Back to previous post: The Exciting Ron Paul Phenomenon

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Ron Paul Redux

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

November 13, 2007

Open thread 95
Posted by Teresa at 04:42 PM *

95 Theses on the Religious Right. (And: the complete set of Peter Ludlow’s theses.)

95 Theses of Geek Activism.

95 Theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto.

Comments on Open thread 95:
#1 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 04:58 PM:

To be followed in due course by Open Thread 98, Open Thread Me, Open Thread 2000, Open Thread XP, and Open Thread Vista.

#2 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:02 PM:

95 Thebes of Greek activism?

#3 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:06 PM:

Jen @ 1

'Open Thread Vista' will require new and expensive hardware in order to post comments.

I was using Win95 up until four years ago. The DOS machine is in the storage room - but it was running two years ago. (It has the 5" floppy drive.)

#4 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:06 PM:

Or, Jen, Open Thread Jaguar v. whatever, followed by Open Thread Leopard.

#5 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:06 PM:

underneath a blue mahoe tree
lay the red petals of a flower
the ridge above us did not tower
we walked uphill to view the sea

a solemn moment or an hour
to think and then to sip our tea
no auguries would then agree
we did not know we had the power

we thought ourselves happy and free
a simple joy to take a shower
ignoring then the old man's glower
we understood what we could see

in the high woods we made a bower
out of the light and in the lee
from paradise we sought to flee
with native sense for only dower

allow us each with aching heart
to name the place with proper art

#6 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:10 PM:

Frangano?

"To each his Dulcinea, though she's only flame and air..."

#7 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:15 PM:

So, I'll be in Minneapolis this weekend. Would anyone care to give a native Pacific Northwesterner used to temperate winters a crash course in What To Pack?

Also, is it utter foolishness to think that I could walk from The Radisson University Hotel (615 Washington Avenue SE) to the UMinn law school, which seems to be on the other side of the river? The map shows a bridge right between the two; does that have space for pedestrians?

Thanks for any help; I think I'm in travel denial right now.

#8 ::: Richard Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:27 PM:

I've been waiting for an open thread.

Question: What makes "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" (which I enjoy immensely) a good book?

There is essentially no plot (Shukov ends the day where he started, no happier, no sadder, no wiser) and the entirety is worldbuilding, yet it is strangely compelling.

Is it simply the ultimate in "show me" (the repression of the Stalinist society) rather than "tell me" (Stalin was bad and his society sucked)?

Help me out, here. I reread it last weekend and, while I still enjoy it immensely, I don't understand why...

#9 ::: Greg ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:29 PM:

Never commented on Making Light before. Hope this works.

Can anyone recommend an English translation of The Brothers Karamazov? I figure it's about time I read it.

#10 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:34 PM:

We shouldn't be using this thread until (at least) Service Pack 2 has been released.

#11 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:36 PM:

Greg @ 9...

Weren't they the guys who used to entertain worldcons with the juggling of bowling balls?
("Pssst! I think those were the flying Brothers Karamazov.")
Oh.

#12 ::: Alberto ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:37 PM:

Richard @ 8:

That's a good question. I'm not sure that I can properly articulate an answer. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is one of my favorite books; I first read it in high school for that year's Academic Decathlon, and have reread it a few times since.

Like you, I'm unsure why I like it so much or why it's so damn good. I think it's how smoothly we're dropped into that life, that day. It's profoundly satisfying (to me, at least) to have the experience of knowing someone, and from the perch that we're given in Ivan Denisovich, we do--that day, at least.

It's been at least a year since I last reread it, so I'd have to pick it up again before I could really begin to comment more seriously, but I did want to share your enthusiasm for the book.

#13 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:40 PM:

Random comment, re PNH's particle on the Ars Technica review of the Sony PRS-505 ebook reader: I picked one up last month, and I really like it. Unlike its predecessors, it's sufficiently compatible with a Linux/OS/X gearhead's lifestyle to be usable, and open source software support is available here. It's a whole lot easier on the eyeball than any backlit LCD I've tried, and it's a third the weight of a hardback. Unless you absolutely insist on being able to buy DRM'd ebooks from Sony, or being able to read proprietary file formats for other readers without prior conversion, it's great.

(Okay, so I have a low saving throw vs. Shiny!, and I've been reading ebooks on PDAs since my Psion 3a, back in 1997, but this one's useful.)

#14 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:42 PM:

A reminder... Tonight's episode of PBS's Nova is a 2-hour special about the Dover school district and the Independent Designers.

#15 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 05:43 PM:

[ The received view is that the conservative christians have taken over the Republican Party. I think the reverse happened. The right wing of the Republican Party has taken over the church. ]

That certainly is what happened with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in which I was brought up; as far as I can recall, it was already beginning in the mid-60's, considering what that newly ordained firecracker of new pastor in my home congregation was like. He even tried to force me to come back home and TESTIFY in front of the congregation that my mother was an adulteress -- because she was now divorced and re-married.

Nevermind that he was too much, then, even for that little congregation, that they let him go, and he had a nervous breakdown and was put into a church treatment center. Surely he was out again, not that long afterwards, and got himself another congregation.

The nation went crazy in more ways than one or two or three or four around 1965. And the loons took over a few decades later. Funny that those 'loons' turned out to be not the ones, say, that my grandfather, thought were the loons and who would destroy the nation (that was the anti-war people, in his opinion).

Love, C.

#16 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:01 PM:

Sarah #7: Dress based on the temperature. It's likely to be chilly.

The Cedar Ave. Bridge has sidewalks (GIYF).

#17 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:01 PM:

I am embarrassed* to realize that I didn't post a thank-you to the people who said nice things about my daughter's picture on the last Open Thread.

Thank you.

* Thank goodness for the spelling reference!

#18 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:06 PM:

Serge @ 14 - thanks for the heads up on that.

#19 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:06 PM:

Lori Coulson #6: I suppose so.

#20 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:08 PM:

Sara @7: last time I was in Minneapolis/St. Paul was for the Winter Carnival. It can be cutting cold; the saving grace was the multitude of enclosed walkways.

Two words of advice: (1)tights, not hose. Especially if you must wear a suit. Tights under the suit's pants, if that is your preferred form of suit. (2)Layering; thin cotton cami, cotton shirt, blazer or cardigan, coat. Things may seem too light, but the effect is much warmer than heavy sweater/heavy coat that most winter novices use.

#21 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:09 PM:

Seth @ 16:

It looks like the nights will drop below freezing; do you get enough rain that I need to worry about ice when I'm out walking?

I'm not familiar with GIYF; can you translate, please?

#22 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:11 PM:

Google "GIYF" for one possible answer!

#24 ::: Greg ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:45 PM:

Serge @ 11

No, I've already read their book, the memoirs from their Trapeze period, "For Good To Make Flying The Easy." I can't help but suspect it was, at best, a poor translation.

I was asking about the Dostoevsky.

(Oh. There really are Flying Karamazov Brothers. Well then.)

#25 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:48 PM:

Fragano @ 5: Applause!!

#26 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:52 PM:

Thanks, Emma @ 20. I'm accustomed to dressing for rain, which is a very different beast.

#27 ::: Dave Hutchinson ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 06:59 PM:

We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we are not waiting.

I think The Cluetrain Manifesto is going to give me nightmares.

#28 ::: Ruth Temple ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:11 PM:

Sarah @7,

If you're staying in the Radisson downtown, there's a bus that runs Very Often between downtown and the U of MN: the MTC 16 route -- http://www.metrotransit.org/serviceInfo/route016.asp -- take anything North on Hennepin Ave (out the hotel door to the west, heading to your right) to Washington Ave, where the 16 runs; get a transfer from the first bus driver. In general you can transfer up to 3 times, but not so as to make a round trip. The 16 bus runs about every 10 minutes.

If you'll be in the Radisson University Hotel, you can hop on the free inter-campus shuttle to the West Bank parts of the Law School (the library, unless they've moved it, is on the West Bank; though they have done some splendid building of things since my days at the U). These also run about every 7 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day. There's an upper deck, complete with glass-enclosed portions to cut the wind, for pedestrians/cyclists on the Washington Avenue Bridge, which is what goes between the East and West Banks of the U over the Mississippi. You can avoid the collapsed I-35W and likely now overcrowded Cedar Ave / 10th Street Bridge (which does have a walkway separated from the roadway very well) by again taking the intercampus bus over towards Dinkytown, which is worth strolling through (bookstores, music, restaurants, etc.) but not likely on your main path for work/hotel.

Enjoy Minneapolis!


The transit website above also has all the info you need for finding your way around the Twin Cities by transit. If you're flying in, and will be between downtown and the school, don't bother to rent a car; take the light rail from the airport, it's around $1.50 (or $2 at rush hour) and the buses/train take dollar bills and any coins.

Emma's advice @20 about numerous light cotton and a windbreaker set of layers rather than the too-light blouse under a too-heavy sweater is absolutely right on; if it's chilly, also remember to drink extra water since the cold precipitates water vapor out to a very dry atmosphere. Do take a long scarf, wrap once tight for warmth and once loose for a breather-pocket that pre-warms your next inhale (a little).

#29 ::: Ruth Temple ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:21 PM:

@28 make that an endorsement of MULTIPLE layers of cottons, and your coat and hat good against wet / wind as well. Though the temperatures can get chilly, the biggest difference between a Seattle cold and a Minneapolis cold temperature is the lower humidity of the latter. Not necessarily the sort of detail a person can count on one's Friend Google to mention, Seth.

Greg #24: indeed there are Flying Karamazov Brothers, going strong since the late 1970s, working their way sideways from Ren Faires to stage show environments. "hup ho, they juggle!" - and warm up, or used to, by juggling in 5/4 time, and things like that. Nice folks. Glad to see they're taking the fun to Europe and China, I haven't looked at their website in years! Thank you.

#30 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:24 PM:

Syd #25: Thanks.

#31 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:25 PM:

Thank you, Ruth, that's all great to know. Cotton sweaters over wool, then? I mostly use wool out here, but it occurs to me that that particular regional preference is probably due to wool staying warm even in an endless drizzle.

#32 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:28 PM:

Sarah@7: we seem to be having a long, warm, fall here. We just had our *first* frost the other night. Right now, it's 50.

Looks like it'll be marginally below freezing the next few nights, but that's the low, so it won't be reached until nearly morning.

Ice tends to be a problem later in the winter rather than sooner, it's mostly compacted old snow rather than newly frozen rain here. But sometimes the weather messes up, fall is unpredictable.

There's an open gathering (they're officially called meetings, but they're actually mostly social, with a 5-minute business meeting that's mostly announcements) of the Minnesota Science Fiction Society this Saturday (17-Nov), if you're into that sort of thing. Afternoon and evening both (details findable from that link). In St. Paul, near Macalester College it sounds like, easily busable.

#33 ::: Ed ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:40 PM:

Sarah @7 and 21

Agree with the rest of the posters on dressing in Minneapolis -- hat and gloves are also good for this time of year. The weather is really variable (it was in the 60s today), but it is forcast for highs in the 40s, lows around freezing over the weekend and snow showers on Monday. (kind of a Thanksgiving tradition in these parts.)

As a sort-of proud U of M grad, I can second using the free shuttles between the campuses. If you want to walk, the pedestrian bridge takes 15 to 30 minutes to cross, depending on speed (we had 15 minutes between classes -- it can be done, but that's certainly no fun).

I don't think it'll be cold enough for any of the rain to freeze, but it doesn't hurt to be careful in the morning.

Oh, and I hope you have time to have some fun in the Twin Cities. There's plenty to see right around the U and in Dinkytown, not to mention downtown.

OK, I'll get off my Chamber of Commerce Soap Box and go back to lurking.

#34 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:42 PM:

Steve C @ 18... You're welcome. I got that from the ACLU's e-newsletter. (Do I need to use the 'e-' prefix in this day and age?)

#35 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:43 PM:

Greg @ 24... I was asking about the Dostoevsky.

The Dancing Dostoevsky Dames?

#36 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:46 PM:

Tania... I just got the DVDs. And the t-shirt. And the bear-eating-a-hiker fridge magnet. How much do I owe you for the last 2 items, as I assume that they, unlike the DVDs, aren't loaners?

#37 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:48 PM:

(cont'd from #36) Forgot to thank you. I ought to be ashamed of myself. My parents raised me better than that. They also raised me to be 6 feet tall, but that's another story.

#38 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 07:53 PM:

Julie L... I just got your copy of Mike Ford's How Much For Just The Planet? Thank you very much! Payment will be in the mail tomorrow. Hmm... A musical involving the Organians. Sounds very silly. Don't you people(*) be surprised if I ask for an explanation of some of the references.

(*) No, I'm not a troll.

#39 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 08:51 PM:

I don't know if this is a good place to find women who use amphetamines regularly, to treat sleep or attention disorders, or anything else that means taking small doses every day. (But here seems more likely than anywhere else I could think of, so I was waiting for an open thread.) Does it disrupt the menstrual cycle? Or cause hair loss?

Neither of those seem to be written up as standard side effects. I'm not sure if they aren't side effects, or if they're just very unusual. A lot of the target market for this sort of drug seems to be children, so of course they wouldn't notice anything about menstruation. And probably not about hair loss, unless it was really drastic, because kids' hair grows so fast.

#40 ::: Nomie ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 08:54 PM:

Ruth @29 has reminded me of my very fond memories of seeing the Flying K's. We have a signed poster from their appearance at our local university's theater. And my family spent many hours discussing the best possible thing to bring for the Challenge, in which (for those not clicking the link) a selected performer will attempt to juggle any three items selected by the audience. One time we saw them the items included a breadbox and a model of the Starship Enterprise (TNG version). Good stuff.

#41 ::: Richard Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 08:56 PM:

Alberto @ 12:

I'll take random gabbling at this point over proper articulation. :-)

Re: satisfying to have the experience to know someone: would it work as well if the person was completely fictional? That is, the reader knows (in general, I believe, it is somewhat drummed in from the back cover forward) that the gulag existed, that Solzhenitsyn was a prisoner there, etc.

Is it possible to bring the reader into a completely fictional world so thoroughly?

If yes, who has done it?

If no, why not?

Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, though; one day, we'll understand it...

#42 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 08:57 PM:

A question about winter coats: I'm looking for a good warm coat, something long involving wool. Everything I've found has a polyester lining. Will I regret this? I'm assuming it's the same kind of thing as my current winter coat, which feels very chilly against the skin. I've pretty much resigned myself to another winter of imperfect coat, but if I ask now, I'll probably remember in August, when coats are available.
Unless I've already asked and forgotton. Le sigh.

#43 ::: Varia ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:04 PM:

I have a question especially for the poets of the fluorosphere, but also for everyone else. I'm looking for poets - or prose writers, I suppose, but short prose, not novels - who deal well with grief and learning to accept it as part of your life. Not in a cheesy seven-stages sort of way; one writer who came to mind was Chris Clarke of Creek Running North, after Zeke died last year - now if I could find a *poet* with that kind of writing power, I'd be set. Do you have poems that come to mind on this theme, or writers who you think handle it particularly well?

It doesn't have to be poetry of any particular kind; it's for a song cycle, so one piece I'm already using is a Lorca poem, and anything else that seems immediately adaptable to music would be great, but even if it doesn't jump up and shout "lyrics" it could be good inspiration.

#44 ::: Varia ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:08 PM:

Diatryma @42: winter where? for Minnesota, these wouldn't work, but they're great for Portland, and a lot of them are really well-designed - and made locally, not by sweatshops, etc. etc. You of course end up paying for the privilege, but I've gotten them as presents for a few Very Special People and they were really well made.

Nau

#45 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:09 PM:

I don't find wool warm enough, at least not up here in Canadia. Down coats rule.

#46 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:10 PM:

Nomie @ 40: I once brought a breadbox to an FKB show myself (not as much of a coincidence as it might seem, since their rule is "no bigger than a breadbox"). Another time I brought jumper cables, and that time someone else brought a slab of liver. The champ made a valiant effort, but received the Gillette meringue.

#47 ::: Pamela ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:13 PM:

Greg at #9:

Any translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is worth reading, according to the Russian speaking professor I had when I read the Brothers Karamazov. For myself, I can say that their translation was readable and enjoyable. Fortunately, it's also readily available since it's fashionable. It's the Vintage edition.

#48 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:14 PM:

I spent a few (too many) hours in the emergency room recently. I overheard the following (half) conversation.

Doctor on phone: Yes, sir, I understand... I understand sir.... sir, I need to know... sir, would you tell me the details.... yes, I understand.... I understand.... yes, I understand....

This half conversation went on for quite some time. Doctor finally comes over to the desk, right outside my door, and relayed the details.

It seems that the gentleman on the other end of the call had had surgery at that particular hospital some eight months prior. The gentleman had come to the conclusion that he felt there was a 15% probability the surgeons had implanted a GPS device in him during surgery. Nothing specified as to what the gentleman wanted done about it, just that he *knew*.

---
*crogglement*

Even under the influence of morphine, I still suffered severe crogglement.

#49 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:16 PM:

Eep, Varia, that does matter. I'm in Iowa City. It doesn't get very cold very often, but when it does, it does.

#50 ::: Pamela ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:29 PM:

Actually, it appears that the Vintage edition I have is out of print, and you can now get that translation from FSG. Sorry.

#51 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:36 PM:

Serge - Drat. I bet the note I meant to include with the package is still in my car. They are gifties, because I thought they might make you laugh. Hopefully you don't find them too tacky or odd. I love the bear magnet. I have one up on my fridge.

If anyone is interested, here's the fridge magnet and here's the shirt.

I wanted to send this one for Sue, but my local source was sold out.

#52 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:42 PM:

I'm going to second Bill's vote on down coats. Jackets are cute and stylish, but if you want to stay warm, get a coat that covers, at the very least, your rear. A cold bottom is a real bummer.

#53 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:52 PM:

Diatryma, wool coats generally have polyester or nylon linings because they are made to slide easily over a wool sweater. Or a light fleece jacket. Or something like that. Something designed to be worn over a cotton shirt is likely to be made for less serious cold, even if it feels warmer to the touch.

#54 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 09:56 PM:

I am out of here for the evening, but I just have to say...

Charles Darwin drives an Evolvo! ::snort::

And that's why I had to send Serge the shirt. I'm sure you all understand.

#55 ::: private cat in the sun ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 10:03 PM:

Adrian @39,

An adult woman here (regular poster, but not the usual name for this answer)...

I've been taking them for over a decade. I haven't ever had either of those as side effects, nor have I read of them in any medical articles, and I haven't heard of it from other people in chadd (support group- adults and kids w/ ad(h)d). I try to keep up with research on any medicine that I take (although I admit it would take quite a lot of negative results to get me to stop... I like having my full brain available to me).

For any question on neuro/psych related medicines I'd recommend the forums at the website Dr-bob.org. It's run by a psychiatrist at the U of Chicago, and the forums there are filled with helpful and thoughtful people who like to geek out on these sorts of questions. If there is a link you're most likely to run into someone who's had the same symptoms there (vs. other places on the net).

I do know how AD(H)D meds have an appetite suppressing side-effect (the "Dex" of the 1970's version of Dexatrim). If one went too low in weight that'd affect one's cycle and/or hair.

As both of those symptoms are important I'd talk to your doctor about them. I know a woman who had those symptoms- iirc, they were caused by a problem with her thyroid- that's not an uncommon problem.

You can do online searches as well, although they can get a bit overwhelming. Here's a search for hair loss plus irregularities at the wrong diagnosis website: it lists 11 possible causes. If you're prone to getting weirded out by websites like that, have a partner or friend who knows your symptoms read through them for you.

#56 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 10:15 PM:

Thanks, Adrian; I'd thought it might be a friction issue, but I am new to coat-shopping. By this time next year, I expect I'll have made up my mind.

#57 ::: Greg ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 10:16 PM:

Pamela @ 47

Thanks much. That's the edition I keep coming across, but it's nice to have a first-hand (second-hand? Does the internet count as a hand?) recommendation.

#58 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 10:29 PM:

My 'winter' coat is down-and-feathers. Toasty at 32F, still comfortable at 0F (though not toasty). I rarely need it in SoCal (althgouth there was the morning I was standing on the station platform in 35F and 35mph, which is definitely windchill country).

My thermals (short sleeved tops, short pants) are cotton waffle-knit, warm when it's cold out and reasonably comfortable indoors.

#59 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 10:40 PM:

Tania @ 51... Thanks. I loved the shirt and the magnet.

#60 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 10:44 PM:

Serge @38: Looks like Xmas came early for you today :)

IIRC there was someone around here who recently offered to identify the original musical numbers... Lee @907 back in the "Wanker Wind" thread, I think? Dunno whether that offer is still open, but it sounds like it would be an appreciably useful thing.

#61 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 10:59 PM:

private cat in the sun, Wrong Diagnosis missed renal failure. At least my hair fell out and my metabolism mostly stopped during both of them.

#62 ::: Emily H. ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 11:22 PM:

I really enjoyed the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation of Karamazov; it seemed to capture some of the flavor of the Russian syntax (I could sort of imagine everyone speaking their dialogue in Russian accents) while not being overly literal or stilted.

#63 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 11:31 PM:

Lin @ 48 - somewhere, some surgeon is saying, "Where the heck could I have set my GPS unit down? I had it yesterday!"

#64 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 11:55 PM:

Diatryma,

Should you run into the money for it; If you go custom tailor you can get silk for lining a wool coat for the friction factor and feel warmer to the touch than synthetics. If you need it to breathe then a nice linen. Last time I sewed a wool overcoat I lined with a light wool crepe polished side to body. Just don't line with cotton. A well made wool coat can last decades.

#65 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2007, 11:58 PM:

Adrian (39), I use amphetamine regularly to treat a sleep disorder.

Does it disrupt the menstrual cycle? Or cause hair loss?
Yes, it did -- the first time around. That was when I dropped ten dress sizes in six months, my menstrual cycles got wonky, and I had hair and skin problems.

After a while, amphetamine stopped having those effects. Even after I'd gone cold turkey for some time and then started on them again, I never again had those reactions.

Drink lots and lots of water, take your vitamins, eat citrus, and treat any remaining problems symptomatically.

#66 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:07 AM:

Over in the last few comments (996,998) of Open Thread #94, Carrie S pointed to a write-up suggesting that Neandertal women had hunted alongside of the men. I was seized with a sudden curiosity about who said so, and why. I searched for, and found, the article by Kuhn & Stiner (2006) in Current Anthropology, and I am suspicious of their assumptions and conclusions.

However, my suspicion at this article was small compared to my extreme crogglement at another article in the same journal, whose abstract I shall post verbatim:

Theory in Furs
Masochist Anthropology
by Don Kulick

Was will die Anthropologie? Freud's analysis of masochism can serve as a lens with which to explore the long-standing anthropological interest in powerless or disenfranchised people. Recent anthropological work can be examined not only in the terms encouraged by its own diegesis as a relation between anthropologist and the powerless but also as elements in a constellation that includes anthropology as a discipline and capitalism. Exploration of the libidinal structure within which our discipline has taken shape—that is to say, the structure that gives not just possibility and meaning but also pleasure to the practice of anthropology—can shed light on the nature of the pleasure that anthropologists derive from identification with the powerless.
[::insert your Srsly, WTF?! icon of choice here::]
#67 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:17 AM:

I made a post on Open Thread 94 earlier today, shortly before this new OT opened and everyone came over here. Since it had a number of links to Weird Stuff On The Internet, I'm going to be slightly crass and repost it here:

- - -

A link at Irene Gallo's Art Department led me, eventually, to ConceptArt.org, where, in one of the forum threads, I found some, uhh, interesting stuff:

The second photo in this post is a disturbing explanation of Why "Fanboys" Get No Respect.

And this piece of art is, I think, Not Safe For Anywhere, even though there's not an explicit drop of ink anywhere in it. Trust me, you will want the Brain Bleach standing by for this: Star Trek/Sailor Moon mashup

And, as a special treat for Patrick:

Strange Japanese Doritos packaging (Does eating Japanese Doritos make you want to give someone a kick in the groin, or to receive one?)

Plus: Rap Snacks


#68 ::: Nomie ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:24 AM:

Diatryma, I haven't noticed that the polyester lining of my coat has made it feel any less warm - but, as Adrian notes, I'm usually wearing it over a sweater or long sleeves. But then, I tend to feel cold more in my extremities, so I worry more about warm socks and gloves and a good wooly hat.

Tim Walters @ 46, I think what they did with the breadbox at our show was to take out an interior shelf and use that. And I've heard stories of challenge objects such as a condom filled with baked beans and a length of pantyhose filled with eggs. The general idea seems to be an unpredictable flight path. Nobody knows what the wiggling beans will do.

...and there's a sentence you don't see every day!

#69 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 02:12 AM:

If this was posted elsewhere earlier, sorry.

John Scalzi finally made it to the Creation Museum, and his report is here. Do not, repeat not, skip the photos out of a sense that your time might be better spent doing something else. His captions and the comments to each photo are hilarious.

#70 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 02:25 AM:

Challenge Items: Condom string filled with jello. A toy dump-truck. That one was a hum-dinger, the hinge made it unbalanced and every attempt they made only made it more unbalanced (for those who don't know, the challenge is three objects, and three attempts. Before each attempt the juggler is allowed to make one adjustment).

There was a time one could, at the SoCal RenFaire, see them three times a day. One could also, in the same venue see, Firesign Theater three times a day.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company got their start there. I was in a group which failed to get a show, The Abbreviated Bible Company.

Good times.

Xopher: I'm not sure I thanked you properly for your support of me in the Yes Judge thread. That's OK, sort of, because I can now point you at someone who thought well of what you said, so, what he said

#71 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:01 AM:

One of the times I've seen the Flying Karamazov's* my in-laws got tickets, ostensibly for the whole family, but actually so they could treat their grandkids. We saw them in an old theater down on 2nd Avenue in downtown Portland, since demolished, whose stage was about five feet above the auditorium floor. This was significant, as we were in the first row. In order to see anything, we had to all slump back and look up. And the most of what we saw was juggled objects headed in our direction, usually caught before they got to us.

Even cowering beneath a potential shower of fish and kitchen knives, it was a lot of fun.

* They're local, and a friend of mine has done technical work for them**, so I've seen them a bunch, but not in the last few years.
** He's the one who made it possible for them to juggle planets.

#72 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:04 AM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 5

Very good!

#73 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:09 AM:

48: It seems that the gentleman on the other end of the call had had surgery at that particular hospital some eight months prior. The gentleman had come to the conclusion that he felt there was a 15% probability the surgeons had implanted a GPS device in him during surgery. Nothing specified as to what the gentleman wanted done about it, just that he *knew*.

Just got a letter complaining that the writer had had eight memory chips implanted in her spine by Merrill Lynch.

COLLEAGUE: Merrill Lynch??

ME: Yes, I know. I mean, Goldman Sachs would be far more likely to do something like that.

#74 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 07:52 AM:

Thanks, private cat and Teresa. The doctor warned me about the possibility of weight loss, but I seem to be seeing something peculiar alongside weight gain. (Fairly slight but very uncomfortable because of the category changes.) It's hard to talk about with doctors, after years of pushing hard to get the medical profession to look past me being fat and treat other problems.

Even now that not everyone automatically sees me as "fat," it's a concern. When I started taking my antiseizure medication, 6 years ago, I lost a lot of weight and a lot of hair. There were lasting bad effects on my depression, blood pressure, energy levels, and ability to think (bad enough to be problematic despite the weight loss and reduced pain, though reduced pain on that scale will make me put up with a lot.) Every doctor I talked to about it thought I must be getting healthier--not because I was having fewer migraines or seizures, but because I was getting thinner.

#75 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:10 AM:

Exploiting the open thread:

Freezing hiker sits
warming blistered frostbit hands
burnt by friendly fire

#76 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:13 AM:

Adrian #74:

Two of my coworkers independently found a local (apparently crazy) doctor, who told them they were infected with nanites spread from the contrails of airplanes. I don't think either one stuck around long enough to find out what his proposed treatment was, though....

#77 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:17 AM:

Serge #38:

Are you troll or ent?
hard to tell in darkened woods
close to Isengard

#78 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:26 AM:

Sort of surprised this hasn't shown up in the Particles or Sidelights yet:
88 Lines About 44 Fangirls

#79 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:58 AM:

A doctor once told my wife that she might be having an allergic reaction to something produced by our stove. Our gas stove.

The wife, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry, found another doctor.

#80 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:07 AM:

Adrian (#74): My neurologist tells me there are many kinds of seizure medicine that work well. After some previous blood tests, he wondered whether what I've been taking affected my platelet count, but the latest test showed no problem so I'll stay on it. No apparent weight loss or hair loss side effects, and it completely eliminates the seizures. You might ask your neurologist about alternatives to what *you* have been taking, and see if something else might be better.

There's an interesting chart in the current Discover magazine about "connecting complex diseases". It turns out that allergies and seizures are quite close to each other, while other major diseases seem to have no major relationships to those two.

#81 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:13 AM:

Julie L @ 60... Looks like Xmas came early for you today

Does this mean I can start setting up the Christmas Tree now? Sue usually objects to my doing it even one minute earlier than Turkey Day. Bah humbug.

As for Mike's novel... Yes, someone did offer to elucidate some of the references. Well, I still have to finish that Peabody mystery, then a few issues of Science News. Then Mike's book.

Thanks again.

#82 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:16 AM:

albatross @ 77... Are you troll or ent?

I ent either.
We are Devo!

#83 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:21 AM:

Malthus @ 78... Heheheh... Thanks for the link.

By the way, one upcoming of numb3rs is going to be set at a comic-book convention. My understanding is that it won't make fun of the fans, although it may poke gentle fun. Whatever that means.

#84 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:51 AM:

Diatryma re: coat linings

Yes, they must be slippery. The old cheap option was acetate, the more expensive one was heavy rayon (Bemberg). Acetate doesn't survive cleaning well, particularly if subjected to body oils - not so much a problem with a coat.

Bemberg or a substantial silk* would be great if your pockets are deep enough (not so long they hang out of the bottom of the coat, though).

You can also have a professional reline a new coat, but you're as well off to have them make the whole thing.

*I'm not sure silk is so much better that it's worth the extra cost when commissioning a garment. I'd put it in a coat for myself.

#85 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:56 AM:

The Flying K's would stay with us when they were taking their bus ("Caution: Weird Load") cross-country and we lived in south central Nebraska. The neighbors were croggled.

They were there one summer when the year's batch of 17-year locusts were hatching. We stayed up all night with lights and tripods and significantly expensive cameras documenting it.

Anything in the house could become airborne at any time.

#86 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:34 AM:

Does anybody have a link to a photo of Jessica Lange as Hera in the movie Titus, preferably a closeup? That headdress made of knives is neat.

#87 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 12:39 PM:

Don't forget Garrison Keillor's wonderful 95 Theses 95, which probably originates in his monologues, but which I first came across as a multipage footnote in Lake Wobegon Days.

#88 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 12:46 PM:

So I missed the PBS thing about ID...anyone catch it? Is it good? Good enough to track down?

Re: the GPS device implanted during surgery, the oddest part to me is that the guy thought there was a 15% chance that it had been done. I thought in general either you thought you had a GPS implanted, or you didn't.

#89 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 12:58 PM:

ethan @ 88... I taped the Nova special about Dover and ID, but haven't watched it yet. If you want, I'll give you the tape when I'm done.

#90 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:00 PM:

#86 Serge: I haven't seen that movie(?), but is this the picture?

Jessica Lange

#91 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:05 PM:

Varia at #43, I'd recommend Kipling for that - his later work follows that theme quite strongly, after he lost his son in the Great War. The short story collections Life's Handicap, Debits and Credits, and Limits and Renewals are all worth looking through - the first at least is available from Gutenberg.

Owlmirror at #66 - that abstract actually sounds quite a reasonable theory to me, at least if my translation into English is accurate. It also reminds me of this song.

#92 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:11 PM:

Bioware is hiring writers.

I saw this story and immediately thought that the Fluorosphere might contain some folks interested in this kind of opportunity...

#93 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:13 PM:

DaveL @ 90... Alas, it isn't. There is a scene where she pretends to be Hera, but her headdress, instead of being made of the traditional(?) peacock feathers, consists of long and narrow knife blades.

#94 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:17 PM:

My favorite memory of the FKBs was seeing them do A Comedy of Errors at Lincoln Center. They didn't do the Challenges, because they were doing a play. Favorite moment: "This mole on my shoulder!" (Pulling, you see, a stuffed mole of the animal variety from his shirt.)

Terry 70: Wow. That's nice. But...well, I was saying what I really believe, not trying to compliment you or even support you as such. You never need to thank me for telling the simple truth. A fine distinction, perhaps...but also, I owe you much more than you owe me. Indescribably more. From early days, when you gave me what was for me a fresh perspective on military service (since confirmed by conversations with many other military friends), to today, when quoting you has helped me persuade many people away from the 24 view of torture. Thanks for all that, pale as they are.

#95 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:24 PM:

Comment 95 already?

#96 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:27 PM:

Oh, no... Girl Genius's site is advertising t-shirts that say
"Fools! I will destroy you all! (Ask me how.)"

#97 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:32 PM:

Adrian, I've been shuttling back and forth between amphetamines and Ritalin for more than 15 years, for ADHD; the worst I can say about Amphetamines is that, eventually, after a couple of years, they begin to have a sedative effect. Ritalin/Methylphenidate is hard for me to manage, or was until I started using Concerta- otherwise I rollercoastered through the day, with rapid onset of effect and crashing rebound.

The worst problem I ever had with regular Dexidrine (as the triangular orange 5mg pills) was when I was prescribed them as appetite control back in the late sixties and was taking about 3X what ended up being my effective ADHD dose- I stayed up all night and ate carbs, which I'm pretty sure wasn't the intended result. Rapid disasterous weight gain, and a side order of sleep=deprivation hallucinations.

I am currently trying to find a balance between treating my ADHD so that I don't space out and walk in front of a bus and getting my BP numbers to a point where my doc will shut up about it; the battle between beta-blockers and stimulants is even less fun than the adolescent dexidrine over-medication was.

#98 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:35 PM:

Kung Fu Monkey considers the reasons to support the Robot Overlords.

#99 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:51 PM:

Coats: {sigh}

I have a wool coat my mother made for me in 1979, from a Yves St. Lauren Vogue Designer pattern; It's been relined once, with silk, and now needs the wool parts replaced, rather in the manner of "this hammer's been in the family for five generations, we've replaced the handle four times and the head twice."

The wonder of living in Western Washington and being a user of public transportation is that one needs many coats; the best all-around one I've found lately is a mens' false-shearling 3/4 length jacket I got from Costco a year ago; it's wind-proof and has many pockets, stays warm when damp, is lighter than a wool coat of comparable R-value and not slippery like many down ones, which are problematic on most bus seats.

Polyester linings are not as cold as nylon satin ones; there's a dandy specially made flannel-backed polyester satin lining in the best ready-made wool coats that is quite comfy (satin linings keep your business clothing from getting wrinkled and messed about when putting the coat on and off). The trick for a really warm wool coat is that it be fully inter-lined with something like waxed hair canvas or one of the high-tech breathable garment membranes.

Also, blanket-cloth coats, which are made of heavy felted wool, are right up there with arctic-grade fleece for heat retention, and almost as wind-proof as Goretex.

Nothing, however, replaces layering (well, maybe sable, if the old movies where women come in out of the blizzard and take off giant fur coats revealing diaphanous silk evening gowns, are to be believed). Frozen 6F/-14.5C fog demanded those nice British lacey woolies over tights and bra, wool socks, insulated leather knee-high boots, corduroy jeans, long sleeved T-shirt, tight angora cowl knecked sweater, wool and cotton bigger cowl necked sweater, and WW2 Naval deck coat, with a basque beret.

Which explains why I didn't go back to Pullman for graduate work.

#100 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 01:56 PM:

fidelio @ 98... You just reminded me that I should add "Colossus - The Forbin Project" to my Xmas wishlist.

#101 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 02:36 PM:

Fire and shadow.
Love and darkness.
Glory bright against destruction.

What a wonderful place this world is. How did I ever deserve to get it?

#102 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 02:45 PM:

fidelio @98 beats me to the punch.

Truly, any conversation that begins, Robot overlords. You are "pro-robot overlords," is one that should be stuck around for. Also, I want the bumper-sticker.

#103 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:04 PM:

In the realm of really doing anything to avoid work....

Quicksort

A list of keys is handed to your hack
your job: return a sorted list at last
an empty list is sorted, send it back
a list with all one value, send back fast

else take the first key, call it "pivot," P
and split the list to two, the left and right
the left gets lesser half, P more than key
while larger keys than P go on the right

the keys that equal pivot go with P
and end up in the list that's on the right
then sort the lists, the rest is almost free
return the sorted left plus sorted right

#104 ::: James Crowley ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:18 PM:

Serge @ 86, 90:

Hmm. I'm surprised that such an image isn't more readily available. Although I haven't seen Titus since its theatrical release, I distinctly recall being sufficiently dazzled by the look(s) of the film to buy the relevant issue of American Cinematographer at the time. (Lots of tech info and a few nice stills. No knife-headdress, though.)

A cursory sweep through the usual image searches makes me suspect that relatively few images from Titus were released into the wild. Which seems odd for this film in particular, unless of course they were worried about undercutting The Illustrated Screenplay....

#105 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:20 PM:

So I had a chance to see Beowulf in IMAX 3-D last night.

Oh. My. God.

I say it better in my review above, but please see this movie in 3-D if you can. Utterly amazing.

#106 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:25 PM:

James Crowley @ 104... No knife-headdress. Drat. Thanks for the references though, especially the one to the illustrated screenplay. Christmas is getting close.

#107 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:36 PM:

Skwid 105: I might, if the previews hadn't utterly convinced me that the sensibility of 300 had infected Beowulf as well. "I! AM! BEOWULF!" is altogether too much like "THIS! IS! SPARTA!" for my taste.

#108 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:38 PM:

albatross @103
Nice. I like it.

#109 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:40 PM:

Xopher... I felt the same way, then I noticed that Neil Gaiman was involved in the writing of the script. Still haven't seen it though.

#110 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:53 PM:

If Beowulf turns out to be a big hit, I wonder how many otherwise idle screenwriters will be turning their hands to motion-capture treatments of Gilgamesh, Gawain, Roland, and El Cid.

#111 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 03:54 PM:

bravo, albatross! Now, can we avoid O(n^2) behavior on already sorted lists without messing up the rhyme scheme or meter?

#112 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 04:16 PM:

The Beowulf trailer left me with the impression that they're firmly in Uncanny Valley territory.

I think I'm developing a dislike for computer animation. There's so much attention put on getting it as detailed and accurate as possible, it seems — modeling hair more realistically, water that moves the way it should, that kind of thing — that there isn't enough attention being put on making the characters appealing or funny. (IMHO, YMMV, etc.) I'm having a brain-freeze and my googlefu is failing me; which animator was it who said "don't show me something realistic, show me something true"?

#113 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 04:22 PM:

Lexica #112: That's exactly how I've felt for a while now. And Beowulf looks awful to me (by which I mean it looks awful; I don't have an opinion about its seeming quality otherwise).

This is why I appreciated Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, flaws and all; it used extensive CGI to create an effect, a feel, rather than a "reality."

#114 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 04:28 PM:

RichM @ 110

I picture Gilgamesh in the style of old silent movies, with the text screens* cutting in at the exciting bits to say "Six tablets are missing here."

* Strike Plate moment. Is there a name for those things?

#115 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 04:39 PM:

I certainly hope that Zemeckis knows that having a larger-than-life character does not mean he has to speak with gritted teeth while spitting out every word. (How can you spit something out under those circumstances? Do I want to know?)

#116 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 04:46 PM:

Sarah @114: Caption cards?

If somebody does that epic, I hope they manage to work in one natural piece of product placement. Shouldn't there be a distiller out there promoting a Heorot Mead right now?

#117 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 04:53 PM:

I get to see the Beowulf for free tonight if I wear my tunics because the marketing people asked local SCA to be around for entertainment during the lineup phase.
To me this looks to be like it's going to be TSR D20 Companion Beowulf more than anything.

#118 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 04:56 PM:

RichM:

Caption cards it is! I knew the "card" part in the back of my head, I just couldn't come up with the other bit.

I blame Kafka; I've been pummeling my brain with him all morning when I ought to be focusing on work.

#119 ::: James Moar ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:07 PM:

Sarah @114: They're also called 'intertitles'.

#120 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:08 PM:

I thought they were called intertitles.

#122 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:13 PM:

Re: Beowulf

Are there uncanny valley moments, yes, certainly (Wealthow, particularly, for some reason). But far more often there just are no issues. Amazing lip-synching and expressiveness. Flawless textures and lighting, beautiful imagery.

This is not 300, Xopher. This is Beowulf the braggart hero, Beowulf the glory-seeker. Beowulf is mighty, and he is weak. He is clever, and he is clearly mad. It's very Gaiman, really.

#123 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:20 PM:

RichM @ 116... Shouldn't there be a distiller out there promoting a Heorot Mead right now?

Ale drink to that.

#124 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:35 PM:

Perhaps an official, branded pukku & mikku set would make a good Gilgamesh tie-in?

#125 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:37 PM:

119 & 120: Intertitles

I love this word, and I want to use it all the time. Thanks for the reference.

#126 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:44 PM:

Serge @ 123 -
Ale drink to that.

Oh, but that's beerly acceptable as a pun. You've mead much better than that.

#127 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:45 PM:

Scott @126
I'm sure he ne-ferment it to be his last word on the subject.

#128 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:47 PM:

@126: Do you mind if I refer to you as Dregs Scott?

#129 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 05:55 PM:

Maybe not, Abi. I'll have to beer the shame of it.

#130 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 06:00 PM:

Oh, for heaven's Sake, Serge! Stop wining.

#131 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 06:07 PM:

re 113: Sky Captain would have been pretty good if Law and Paltrow had decided to act for a change.

#132 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 06:07 PM:

Xopher, yeastill picking on me?

#133 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 06:12 PM:

Serge, I'm fermenting rebellion against you and your kind. We barley touch you, and you start having a maltdown, casking about for another pun.

#134 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 06:13 PM:

Serge @ 83 - Wil Wheaton is going to be in that episode - he blogged a few times about it.

#135 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 06:34 PM:

JESR #97: I am currently trying to find a balance between treating my ADHD so that I don't space out and walk in front of a bus and getting my BP numbers to a point where my doc will shut up about it; the battle between beta-blockers and stimulants is even less fun than the adolescent dexidrine over-medication was.

Are there conflicts between ACE inhibitors and the stimulants, or you haven't tried that, or what?

I hadn't realized you were doing a balancing act. I took beta blockers for several years at a fairly low dosage, then something blew up and pushed my BP higher, and my doctor doubled the dose. Moribundity ensued: I couldn't even climb the stairs in the house without stopping on the landing and then sitting/lying on the bed for a few minutes. Not to mention the "I have no energy and I can barely breathe" syndrome that set in every time I got out of a car and tried to walk across a parking lot. My husband reports that he was really worried about me losing my memory and all interest in just about anything.

I managed to get enough of my act together to charge (slowly) into the doctor's office this summer with a long list of things I didn't like about my current situation, most of which had cropped up since I started taking the higher dose. Result, she put me on an ACE inhibitor, and the effect was like having the switch turned back on inside my brain; I started being able to climb stairs with no problem *immediately*, and got my mental stack pointer (and the round tuit that went with it) back almost as fast. I'm able to do enough exercise that I've lost twelve pounds. I now regard beta-blockers as Teh Evil.

#136 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:10 PM:

Xopher... casking about for another pun

Ale-ey Hops!

#137 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:12 PM:

Dawno @ 134... Thanks for the reminder, about Wil Wheaton.

#138 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:14 PM:

This byplay shot down any hops I might have had of escaping unscathed.

#139 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:30 PM:

Appealing to the collective knowledge of the group mind: I'm trying to remember the name of a children's book. Three kids, two boys and a girl. One boy's name is Pete. Their babysitter/handyman is an old man with a pet dodo and a flying truck. In one chapter, he "fixes" their pipes and they start running with various flavors of soda--grape, orange, root beer.... In another, they pull their reflections out of the mirror to have as playmates, then have to trick them back in.

Anyone recognize this?

#140 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:36 PM:

Any idea when it was published?

#141 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:41 PM:

(Sorry, I lost the date in revision.) I first read it sometime in the early to mid 1970s, but it may not have been new then. Skinny little paperback, probably from Scholastic.

#142 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:42 PM:

Wow. I've never heard of that book, to my knowledge, but I feel like I've read it already! Especially the boy being named "Pete". That's perfect!

Also, Serge and Xopher, you're both total pils.

#143 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:43 PM:

A real coupla weizen-heimers.

#144 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:50 PM:

"Ruth Christoffer Carlsen, Mr. Pudgins. 1951, Scholastic. This is a book about three children and their magical babysitter. The chapter about the grape pop coming out of the faucets is "Mr. Pudgins Turns Plumber". Other chapters involve a flying bathtub, magic birds, a dodo, and a black bear. "

Via the "Stump the Bookseller" Solved Mysteries page.

#145 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:54 PM:

Jen Roth (144): Thank you! That was amazingly fast.

#146 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:56 PM:

Ethan @ 88: I saw it. If the dramatization of the court room scene where Behe is asked about the evolution of the human immune system is accurate, I don't know why the man doesn't slink away to one of those mountain-top monasteries that you must reach by mule, rappelling rope, and finger-in-the-rock cracks... It is utterly devastating.

What is also utterly devastating is a scene at the end where the board member who set the conflagration of discusses the judge's decision, and... well, you will have to see for yourself the kind of conscious deliberate ignorance we are up against.

#147 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:57 PM:

"Stump the Bookseller" is a national treasure. Except that it's international, but that doesn't have the same ring to it.

#148 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:09 PM:

Given Mary Aileen's fast success, I was working on writing up my own request, but gave Google one last shot, and think I found it -- Sid Fleischman's "McBroom" books, but apparently in an illustrated edition that's not currently available now.

So, if anyone else is looking for tall tales set on a farm with giant vegetables, maybe that's it. And even if not, maybe I'll be able to find it here when I forget again...

#149 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:17 PM:

Emma @ #146, a scene at the end where the board member who set the conflagration of discusses the judge's decision

Right. That's the guy in the blue knit shirt with the Sansabelt pants sitting in an overstuffed armchair, right? He looked like a caricature.

#150 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:18 PM:

Jen Roth: How about, "Stump the Bookseller is a delight and a wonder, truly a world treasure,"?

#151 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:32 PM:

Terry: Yes! It is all of those things.

Emma: Behe was interviewed on Point of Inquiry last week. He believes that his testimony went very well. The interviewer brought up the moment with the immunology books, and Behe's squirming was kind of embarrassing to listen to, frankly.

I need to TiVo the rerun of that documentary.

#152 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 09:44 PM:

I know I'm a lager on this thread, but I feel like I should ask Serge to bock down. I worry that in a pun frenzy he might foam at the mouth or get a swollen head.

Then again, Xopher's so good, I can't really get a wort in edgewise.

#153 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:01 PM:

Tania @ 152... Hmph. You hurt my feelings. I think I'll go brewd.

#154 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:41 PM:

Xopher @ 130
Oh, for heaven's Sake, Serge! Stop wining.

You know (he said ryely*) I actually left that one out of my posting, for fear of not leaving any puns for anyone else. I should have remembered that this crew is made of stout stuff, and just carried on beyond the pale.

*which is altogether different from R'lyehly

#155 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:41 PM:

Y'all are barmy, addlepated hop-heads, looking to tap into a keg o' troubles; willing to go doppel or nothing, suffused with the stoutness of your convictions, asking the rest of us to stand aside, where we must hope to be in the lees of your draughty verbiage.

#156 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 10:58 PM:

In setting up a pot roast in a slow cooker (no, it isn't exactly healthy, but I've been experimenting with actually making meals, rather than just defrosting boxes, and was yearning for some comfort food of my childhood, anyways) and decided to put in an onion. An entire onion. And I figured I'd cut it into chunks to let the oniony goodness get all around, cause, hey, I don't know what I'm doing, and it's all one big experiement...

Holy crap.

I spent about a minute staggering around the kitchen blind as a bat, with a sharp knife in my hand, no less, until I manage to figure out I should put the knife down, and then I grope my way over to the sink and stick my head under the faucet and run water over my eyes.

I'm sure everyone else already knows that cutting onions makes your eyes burn, but, damn this was just one step below getting teargassed. The only thing missing was the snot rolling down my face.

Sometimes I think I'm either going to learn how to cook something or die in some horrible kitchen accident. I just always imagined it would involve a major appliance, not a fricken root vegatable.

#157 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:02 PM:

Adrian, #74, you need a doctor like my primary. When I told him yesterday that I'd lost about three pounds a month this year and I wasn't doing anything to cause it, he ordered up a thyroid test for me to get with my standing orders next week.

#158 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:02 PM:

Terry Karney @ 155... we must hope to be in the lees of your draughty verbiage

One can hop.

#159 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:04 PM:

joanne, I'm also taking Lisinopril, which is an ACE; my doc is a great believer in the fruit-salad approach to health. The line about internists never meeting a pill they didn't like is a cliche for a reason.

I started on this merry-go-round even before I was diagnosed and treated for ADHD. Propanolol for hypertension totally destroyed my coping mechanisms for ADHD, which were mostly along the lines of obsessive self checking and living in a constant state of near-terror that bad impulses would screw up everything. Before I was put on stimulants, the Propanolol dosage had to be adjusted upwards every six months or so, since the habit of anxiety is hard to break. For years, my BP was fine with stimulants and Clonidine, but over the past few years assorted bad luck and other health problems have caused that to no longer be sufficient, and I've ended up on a passle of drugs for hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

Atenolol isn't the worst of them, since it only makes me spacy and prone to missing stairs and otherwise damaging myself, and aphasic as hell, with increasing bad effect over time. It replaced Nifedipine, to which I reacted very badly, ending up with periodontal disease and mobility problems related to peripheral edema in existing traumatic joint injuries (apparently a known hazard, especially for Type 2 diabetics).

I can't tell you how much I loathe all of this nonsense. I'm a natural Christian Scientist: I expect myself to be healthy, active, and useful, and instead I'm constantly having to run to the doctor. Of course, in truth, I've had all sorts of medical problems all my life, and would have been diagnosable with Type 2 diabetes in my teens, except for people not doing that back then.

GAH! Venting, sorry. I have to go to the Orthopedic clinic on Friday to see about my right knee, the one I messed up, originally, by walking on it with a dislocated/broken knee-cap. I know I'll get the weight-loss lecture, which is just fine, as these things go, except for the fact that I'm running on 1200 calories a day and fantasies for dessert, and Atenolol and Glyburide are both known to cause weight gain.

(Research Medicine may be a science, but the transactions in the examining room are not).

#160 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:04 PM:

Emma #146: So you're saying it's worth watching, is that it?

#161 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:06 PM:

Greg London @ 156,... Sometimes I think I'm either going to learn how to cook something or die in some horrible kitchen accident.

Hopefully the former, and not both.
"It's made with people!"

#162 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:12 PM:

I'm reading backwards in the thread, and wanted to address this line in Adrian's post at 74:

Every doctor I talked to about it thought I must be getting healthier--not because I was having fewer migraines or seizures, but because I was getting thinner.

Except, in a way, I can't.

So much that is wrong with the transactions of the examining room is contained in that sentence.

#163 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:13 PM:

Linkmeister @148: Indeed. I have never before really understood the full import of that infamous expression "What the fuck?!!!" until I listened to that man.

Jen @157: Maybe that's how they do it!!! They create their own reality and carry it with them... for the rest of us, Behe got his ass handed to him in the most embarrassing manner possible. He displayed complete ignorance of a field he supposedly studies. Not just bad information, not I haven't-kept-up-with-it-for-a-few-months, flat out ignorance.

Ethan, of yes, it's worth it.

#164 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:13 PM:

Greg: Some of them are like that. Some tips.

Put the onion in the fridge.

Decide how you want to cut it up, then peel it (there are several ways to do that)

For Quarters, cut the root off, put the cut face on the board (a dedicated board for lillies is good idea) and make two cuts.

For various finer cuts, don't cut the root end. Slice off the top. Make a set of cuts, vertically, at right angles to each other (making a grid in the onion). The finer the dice, the smaller the gaps.

Slice off one side of the onion, place the cut face on the board.

Cut across the grain of the grid you made.

Work fast.

Rumor has it that a wooden kitchen match, or two, will reduce the effect (the theory is the sulphur compounds in the head will attract the compounds which cause the burn; which is caused by volatiles in the onion converting themselves to sulfuric acid in your eyes). I think this is bunk, but chomping down on them when the burn starts helps some.

Or, just get some swimming goggles.

#165 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:21 PM:

Malthus @ #78: That's utterly brilliant - reading it I could hear it to the tune of the original. (Now I need to go hunt for the original song somewhere because it's probably been 15 years since I heard it. *) Dang.

[*] Now bought, paid for, downloaded and about to listen to. I am finding Amazon MP3 a very very dangerous place.

#166 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:32 PM:

I was taught the best no-sting way to chop onions was to chop them with the cutting board in the sink, under running water. But this doesn't work well if you're dicing, only for largish chunks. Swimming goggles may be the best solution.

#167 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:44 PM:

Greg:

Some onions are, almost at random, extremely powerful. I've usually found it's white onions that have sat around for a while but I don't know if there's any real rhyme or reason to it.

What to do: IMO ignore the bit about kitchen matches; when you get an extra-powerful onion like that in future, at once simply run water over it, your hands, the cutting board, and the knife, under the kitchen faucet. This cuts the fumes by a factor of 10 or so.

Once your hands are rinsed, grab a soaking wet washcloth and hold it to your eyes and you'll get very rapid relief. The fumes are highly water-soluble, which is why they end up in your eyes. It's very much like tear gas; fortunately water will clear it away rapidly.

(Yes, I was once tear-gassed, at Kent State in the late '70s.)

#168 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 12:09 AM:

Clifton Royston: The matches aren't something one grabs after the burning starts, it's what one does before.

I tend to just work them with speed. A sharp knife and a fast hand is the best cure; the cold onions are less volatile, but I don't have the space to keep lbs of them in the fridge, and rarely think to pop one in for a couple of hours.

As for tear gas... I don't think them much alike. tear gas is more punguent, and gets the lungs; persisting more than onions (and rinsing with hot water is the only way to get it out, which isn't what I'm going to do with my eyes).

But maybe the doses I get every year are denser than those you were subjected to.

#169 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 12:35 AM:

Greg, #156: Wow -- that sounds as though your reaction to onion fumes is much stronger than many people's. I certainly don't get that much of a problem cutting them! I'm sorry you had to go thru that.

My partner normally puts onions thru the food processor, but this wouldn't solve your problem because (1) it minces the onion, and you wanted larger pieces, and (2) you still have to cut the onion into chunks small enough to load into the bowl. However, the underwater trick should work well enough.

Also, try Vidalia or Texas Sweet onions if you can find them; I believe they have less of the tear-gassy compound than white or yellow onions.

#170 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 01:00 AM:

Maui onions are very sweet, and not nearly as potent.

I usually keep no more than two onions on hand at a time anyway, so I have room in the veggie crisper compartment of the fridge. I can't recall the last time I had the trouble Greg describes, but it has happened to me. Rinsing them before use helps. Flushing the eyes afterwards is the only cure I know of.

#171 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 01:20 AM:

Sigh; merge ye with the mash, O porters. Have stout hearts.

Do not drown in the bitter. Do not go gentle into that bad lite.

#172 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 02:33 AM:

Oooh, nicely done, Owlmirror. Very high-brau. Your verse kept me from krausen right along to one of the other threads!

#173 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 03:41 AM:

Let the worts tripel gently from the tun. Study well, so that when you have a white head, you will also have a wise one.

#174 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 04:51 AM:

I was wondering if there were some people here who haven't heard, and might be interesting in hearing, about Steve Brust's latest troubles, and the reaction of his fans and LJ friends to them. (His comments here.) Perhaps there's a post in embryo, still quickening, here? I don't know the background of how it all developed, and haven't yet found in trawling back any earlier entries that might elucidate, but it sounds like the sort of thing that we Aussies use to scare our kiddies "Be good, or next time you get sick, I'll send you to America!"

Two entries, with their comments, on Steve Brust's LJ, A Bland and Deadly Courtesy.

Personally, I'm heading off to get new from local shops a couple of his books that I was hoping to get second hand for Christmas. If I spend the same amount of money even if I only get half or a third of the books I want, at least he'll be getting some of the funds, and the sales might enthuse the stores to order more.

#175 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 04:52 AM:

I was wondering if there were some people here who haven't heard, and might be interesting in hearing, about Steve Brust's latest troubles, and the reaction of his fans and LJ friends to them. (His comments here.) Perhaps there's a post in embryo, still quickening, here? I don't know the background of how it all developed, and haven't yet found in trawling back any earlier entries that might elucidate, but it sounds like the sort of thing that we Aussies use to scare our kiddies "Be good, or next time you get sick, I'll send you to America!"

Two entries, with their comments, on Steve Brust's LJ, A Bland and Deadly Courtesy.

Personally, I'm heading off to get new from local shops a couple of his books that I was hoping to get second hand for Christmas. If I spend the same amount of money even if I only get half or a third of the books I want, at least he'll be getting some of the funds, and the sales might enthuse the stores to order more.

#176 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 04:55 AM:

Bother. Sorry about the double post.

#177 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 06:17 AM:

New job on Monday!

Code monkey go back to coal face.

#178 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 08:57 AM:

The technique for cutting onions that I learned from a cooking textbook is easier to describe with photographs than with words, but I will try:

(1) Peel the onion and cut it from the root to, umm, the pointy end opposite the root. Each half-onion should have one half-root and one half-pointy-end. Place them with the cut faces down.

(2) Define a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system on one half-onion where the z-axis goes from the root to the pointy end and the xz plane is the surface that you just cut.

(3) While holding the onion in place, make one or two cuts parallel to the xz plane, but do not cut all the way through; leave the onion together at the root end.

(4) Make another series of cuts parallel to the yz plane, but again, do not cut all the way through.

(5) Finally, make a series of cuts parallel to the xy plane, and this time, do cut all the way through. You now have a diced half-onion.

(6) Repeat steps (2)-(5) for the other half-onion.

The advantage of this technique is that until step (5), very little of the onion's fume-exhaling surface is actually exposed to the air.

#179 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 09:33 AM:

#178 Seth: Don't forget to open the pod bay doors to vent the fumes to pitiless vacuum when you're through.

#180 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 12:01 PM:

JESR #159:

Gaaah! Words fail me. All I have is the blood pressure, a treatable cholesterol problem, and no thyroid. And I feel that those pills are too many. Clearly time to recalibrate.

#181 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 12:21 PM:

Cutting onions safely (my way, anyway) - first, make sure your knife is sharp. Very sharp. The idea is that it should make a clean cut through the onion without resistance, and without dragging pieces along with it and exposing cut surfaces to the air. If you wet the knife first, that will coat the cut surfaces in a thin film of water and absorb some more of the vapours.

Slice off the top and bottom and peel off the skin - you can profitably peel it under the cold tap if you want. For that matter, this is a good time to rinse it in any case. Then put it down on your chopping board (resting on one of the cut surfaces) and cut it in half vertically. Put both halves cut-side-down, hold one of them firmly, and slice into strips. You should now, if your knife is sharp enough, have a cohesive half-onion which just happens to have vertical slices running through it, so turn it through ninety degrees and repeat the procedure.

Then, of course, you do the same with the other half.

I'm told that holding a slice of bread between your teeth will also absorb the vapours, but I've never tried it.

#182 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 12:38 PM:

Sam #181: I'm told that holding a slice of bread between your teeth will also absorb the vapours, but I've never tried it.

I tried it once, just in the spirit of research (tearing is not really a big problem for me) and the effect was way worse than the tearing: it triggered my gag reflex.

Use sweet onions where possible, yellow or red ones where not.

#183 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 12:56 PM:

Greg: See what I mean about systems to cut onions?

For them as care, I peel them by scoring the dried layers, at the top/tip/non-root end, at right angles, rolling down the side, a bit.

Then I pull the "petals" back to the root, and twist them all off at once.

I'll have to try Seth's trick of wetting the knife.

#184 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 12:59 PM:

I wish I could match the punning ability of this grand cru.

#185 ::: Brynna Loppe ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 01:03 PM:

I was originally introduced to this idea by an episode of Veronica Mars, and I tried it and it works well on regularly strong onions, and not so well on ones I've had lying about for weeks.
You put a spoon in your mouth (and feel stupid because you have a spoon in your mouth.) I tried to figure out why it works at all, even if only partially, and only found out that there are different versions of this technique. I had copied the TV show, and used a metal spoon with the bowl in my mouth, but I have seen more references on the internet to holding it by the handle and/or using a wet wooden spoon. I still don't know why/how it works, but it is my preferred method when I can't find my lab goggles.

#186 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 01:07 PM:

albatros @103, todd larason @111:

A Patch

-Quicksort
+Quicksort (v2)
===
a list with all one value, send back fast

-else take the first key, call it "pivot," P
+else take the midpoint's key, named "pivot," P
and split the list to two, the left and right
the left gets lesser half, P more than key

(a more ambitious patch would be to minimize the risk of worst-case performance by using the median of the first, midpoint and last key, but I fear this would require an entire new verse... or of course to use mergesort, which would mean an entirely new poem.)

#187 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 01:37 PM:

joann @180, what really makes me furious about this situation is not so much the pill thing- at least since I've managed to clear the period from 9am to 7am of the need to pack my pillbox around- as it is the obsession with numbers in preference to what I'm saying about how I feel. It is more important to my doctor that my blood pressure stays twenty points below (both upper and lower numbers) where it's been at any time in my life than it is that I have the attention to do my necessary tasks, the clarity to write well, or the energy to get up and do, to steal a line, what needs to be done. Not to mention the ability to get the exercise which, history has taught me, is the only way I ever keep my weight and HGA1-c under control.

I accept that my MD and I have the same objective- that I live out my allotted years in health- but her definition of that term excludes a whole lot of what I mean by "healthy," including, apparently, the ability to get down the hill to the bus stop and go off and run errands, and includes a willingness to subject me to drug interactions and side effects in the name of good numbers. And I suspect that her attitude is the prevailing one in medical practice at this time and in this place.

#188 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 01:50 PM:

I keep my onions in the refrigerator. I cut them with minimal tearing. If I want them finely chopped, I eighth them and put them in my chopper (sort of a hand-cranked food processor). I've used the dicing technique described by Seth in 178 (though I certainly wouldn't have described it that way) when I'm not at home and can't use the chopper. I don't tear any more that way.

When I cut thin slices, I'm generally cutting white or "red" (purple) onions, which have less of this problem.

I carmelized onions on Monday (they're an ingredient in my tofu paté), and everything in my house still smells of them. Anybody have any pointers on getting rid of that smell? I don't want it pervading my chocolates, or even skewing my olfaction while I'm making centers.

#189 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 01:51 PM:

Is anyone else irritated by the fact that yellow onions are red, and red onions are purple?

#190 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 01:57 PM:

Xopher @189:
Is anyone else irritated by the fact that yellow onions are red, and red onions are purple?

Yellow onions in the UK and the Netherlands are only red if I've been exceptionally clumsy with my knife. (Crossthreads! Cannibalism!). The yellow onions I remember from California were always yellow (or brown, on the papery outside).

Must be an East Coast thing.

#191 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 02:02 PM:

abi, the papery outside is a color I call red (brick-red, if I'm being specific). They're yellow enough inside. But send a naïve person to the grocery store for "red onions" and they'll come back with yellow ones.

Or anyway, that's what happened to me.

#192 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 02:43 PM:

Nitpicky comment:

My vowels were apparently returned to the wrong post in the now-closed Ron Paul->brtn thread. Drn, ht whn tht hppns.

#193 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 02:54 PM:

re 148: If it involves "WillJillHesterChester...andlittleClarinda!" and a running gag about watermelons, McBroom's the one. There's an omnibus which has that one and the sequel; when I get home I can see if I can get the data for you.

#194 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 03:13 PM:

Achtung, different topic -- While at my local Megamart this afternoon, I browsed in their bin of motley paperbacks. One literally never knows what will be in there. Today a name jumped out at me -- Juliet E. McKenna. "Hmm, that name sounds familiar..." It was a German edition of her book _The Gambler's Fortune_. The translation is called _Livaks Spiel_ (Livak's Game).

Small world, yes? (And of course the book followed me home.)

#195 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 03:15 PM:

re #192: GOtta watch out for those emvowelisms.

#196 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 03:29 PM:

Xopher, #189: The yellow onions around here range from pale yellow to golden brown, depending on how much of the paper skin is left on them. Once you get into the onion itself, they're white. And yes, red onions would more properly be described as red-violet.

So naive person at grocery store can't read the signage either? IME, the various types of onion are all generally clearly marked.

(OTOH, I know someone who used to laugh at me because I always specified "Lea & Perrins worcestershire"... until she sent her husband to buy "worcestershire sauce" and he came home with some off brand that didn't taste right. Apparently she had never even noticed that there were other brands on the shelf.)

#197 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 04:01 PM:

Lee 196: But you don't need to read the signage if you see a bunch of red things that are clearly onions, and know you're supposed to get red onions, now do you?

And I don't know about your grocery store, but in mine the signage is clear, but which thing it's pointing to often is not.

#198 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 04:24 PM:

Xopher #197:

"There was a sign for white grapes, but all they had left were these pale green ones."

#199 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 04:30 PM:

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions of what to bring/how to dress/how to get around in Minneapolis! I think I'm all packed up and ready to go now. If anyone else is going to be at the Fantasy Matters conference, send me an email - we'll get a cup of coffee or something.

#200 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 04:43 PM:

Lee @ 196... he came home with some off brand that didn't taste right. Apparently she had never even noticed that there were other brands on the shelf.

And this is why I don't like doing the grocery by myself.

#201 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 05:04 PM:

Xopher: No help now, but next time try caramelizing them over a very low heat, in a covered pan. That will make the sweetness more noticable (IMO) and contain the smell.

#202 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 05:36 PM:

Terry 201: It took an hour to carmelize them over high heat in an open pan, stirring absolutely constantly. Over low heat in a covered pan...won't that take much longer?

I think I must misunderstand the chemistry of this process somewhat. Isn't dehydrating them part of what causes the sugars to carmelize?

#203 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 06:28 PM:

Xopher @ 202... It took an hour to carmelize

Nun too soon!

#204 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 06:37 PM:

A happy followup report on the UC Press sale.

2-4 weeks for shipping? 2+4 days more like, not including the weekend. All books were packed nicely in the box- not a bend or a fold in any cover or dust jacket that I can see. All the hardcovers came with dust jackets, too (they warned that some might not).

'Encarnacion's Kitchen: Mexican recipes from nineteenth-century California': other than the candied fruit of the barrel cactus, I know I can find the ingredients she uses.

#205 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 06:42 PM:

Serge 203: Now I'm picturing an onion in full habit...sort of an onion suit.

#206 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 06:44 PM:

Xopher @ 205... In the friar?

#207 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 06:58 PM:

The Nova thing about ID is online at the PBS website here. I will be watching it in the near future.

#208 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 07:10 PM:

Xopher: re onions

I did a post on the subject a little while back. (He said Produce). Don Fitch gave his method of doing the same (more akin, I suspect, to yours).

For my method, it takes 1 1/2 - 3 hours (dependingin the amount of onion).

You don't want them in a pressure cooker, the steam will escape. You don't want them to dessicate, and burn. Covering them will increase the sugared liquids, which will reduce to syrup, and then coat the remaining solids.

At least that's what seems to happen. The actual physics... I don't know.

#209 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 07:17 PM:

gack!

I trust the meaning of the ill structured mess was clear?

A cover isn't a pressure cooker, steam will escape, liquids will concentrate.

Amusment. I tend to keep the threads I'm following in open tabs. I'll draft a comment, and then forget about it; in preview. I did that in two threads (Maia's computer is acting up, and she needed mine to write a paper) I got told I was publishing too much, too fast, and had to wait.

#210 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 07:23 PM:

Dang . . . NYC's Consolidated Edison electric company still had a DC electric service in operation until yesterday

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/off-goes-the-power-current-started-by-thomas-edison/

There were still a few buildings that used Edison-flavored juice for elevators and other equipment.

Well, actually they still use DC, but now that have transformers.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before the New Amsterdam Academy of Elevator Operation stops issuing licenses, and who knows how much longer Amalgamated Chelsea Whale Oil & Coal Delivery can hold out?

#211 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 07:46 PM:

Thanks Terry! I started with about 3 pounds of onions. Since I made the dulce de leche at the same time, I could have carmelized onions at the same time.

#212 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 09:08 PM:

Terry@168: As for tear gas... I don't think them much alike. tear gas is more punguent

Yeah. I've been hit with teargas a number of times. (thinks back to younger days. reconsiders.) It wasn't as bad as that. But it was quite a flashback.

#213 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 09:20 PM:

When Cook's Illustrated tested onion-fume-reduction methods, the one they liked best (after swim goggles) was having an open flame in the vicinity of the onion-chopping to burn off the gases.

If you have a gas stove, just having a pot of water on to boil or pre-heating your cast-iron skillet should do the trick.

If you have an electric stove (my situation since I moved this summer, and one of the things I miss most), try having a lit candle nearby.

It works pretty well for me.

#214 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 09:28 PM:

Stefan @ #210, I'm still sad from the loss of the Medusa Cement Company.

(Mez, thanks for the heads-up on Steven Brust's situation.)

#215 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 09:36 PM:

Ooooooo... Guess what's going to show up in theaters on December 14. Will Smith in I Am Legend. Guess where I'n not going to be.

#216 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 10:45 PM:

I think of Wil Smith as a likable enough actor that I'm willing to give just about anything he does a chance. I even liked him in I, Robot in spite of the grotesquely heretical and ubiquitous divergences from Asimov's story. About the only movie I wouldn't care to see him in would be a porno remake of The Wiz in the role of Michael Jackson's Scarecrow. I just don't know if Smith can sing or not....

#217 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2007, 10:50 PM:

Stefan Jones @210:I suppose it's only a matter of time before the New Amsterdam Academy of Elevator Operation stops issuing licenses, and who knows how much longer Amalgamated Chelsea Whale Oil & Coal Delivery can hold out?

The next level of technology should be self-licensing; i.e, the elevator/automobile/airplane will assess your competence and print out the certificate if necessary.

#218 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 12:25 AM:

By coincidence, today I cut up a bunch of yellow onions and caramelized them. They were unusually pungent, so I had a basin in the sink with cold water and dumped them in there after the initial in-half cut (when the onion's internal pressure forces out the biggest blurt of juice/vapor). Leaving the root end on greatly expedites slicing or dicing.

As they got to the right size/shape, they went into a big stainless bowl with some veggie oil and were stirred to coat, adding more oil as necessary but keeping it to a minimum. This also helped with the fumes. Then the bowl went into a 350 degree oven for the rest of the afternoon. I'd wander in and stir it every twenty minutes or so. They colored just as deeply and evenly as standing and stirring, and at less than a minute per stir. Forty-five minutes?! I did it that way ONCE.

Holding a match/bread/a spoon in your mouth - because it encourages you to breathe through your mouth and puffs the nasty vapors away better? The cold water on the face/eyes is the best remedy I know. If you have a vent hood, cover burners as necessary and do your work there with the thing sucking full (anti?-) blast.

#219 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 01:05 AM:

The trailer for I AM LEGEND makes it look more like a remake of THE OMEGA MAN than an adaptation of Matheson's book.

(I'm not dissing THE OMEGA MAN, by the way. Great comic-book-on-film, and Anthony Zerbe was his usual wonderful bad guy. But the relationship to the original book was peripheral.)

#220 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 01:43 AM:

For those who don't want to read the long Steve Brust threads to find the donation place, here it is.

I never have problems with cutting onions. Not that I'm offering to cut all of y'all's.

#221 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 01:58 AM:

Carol Kimball: I have my mouth shut when I'm holding matches, so any change in air-flow patterns doesn't apply.

I also don't think that matters much, because the aresolising is going to be enough that falling droplets will hit the eyes; and it's the eyes, not the nose, which are the culprits.

#222 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 02:02 AM:

Wait, what... a lit match?!

#223 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 02:30 AM:

Earl @ 222

Yes, it has to be lit. The flame apparently burns, or perhaps evaporates, the aerosol from the onions. I've tried it, it does work. Somewhat more convenient is to light a candle or two on the counter near where you are cutting.

#224 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 02:37 AM:

Terry Karney @ 209

That's my usual technique for keeping up with Making Light. My RSS reader won't keep the posts in numerical order, so it gets difficult trying to keep the order straight.

My problem with posting is a little more noxious - it happened today and really annoyed me. I sometimes read a few comments at work during lunch; for some reason the nanny filter is very random about which threads it will let me bring up; sometimes it lets me refresh a thread several times before it decides to block it. Altogether too often it will block the preview or the post, so I have to wait six or seven hours to get home, have dinner, and then open the computer and remember to refresh and post. That's especially annoying when the post is just a flip remark, a bit of snark, or a pun; the wait makes it seem very labored.

#225 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 03:40 AM:

Xopher @202:

I think I must misunderstand the chemistry of this process somewhat. Isn't dehydrating them part of what causes the sugars to carmelize?

Dehydration of sugars is necessary for caramelization. However, I don't think the process that occurs in onions and is normally called caramelization is actually caramelization, but I suspect it is a Maillard reaction instead.

#226 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 04:11 AM:

So I ran across this Blog Readability Test, and not having a blog of my own, decided to run Making Light. Go ahead, try it. I'll wait.

*snrk* Methinks someone needs to rework their algorithm.

#227 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 06:21 AM:

Earl Cooley @ 222... Wait, what... a lit match?!

Is that where people try to one-up each other about their knowledge of literature?

#228 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 08:26 AM:

So now backing away from the cops with your hands up is "active resistance". Sweet.

(Canadian police taser victim dies.)

#229 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 08:52 AM:

Lila @ 228

The way the cops look at it, dying is active resistance. Of course, as with any rationalization, justification for the cop's actiona is valid post facto.

#230 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 08:59 AM:

Not only is The hard Nut FINALLY being released on DVD, but the show will be at UC Berkeley during the Holidays. Yay!

#231 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 09:02 AM:

Holding a lit match in one's mouth whilst chopping onions sounds to me like a great way to singe yer mustache, scorch the onions (which would, of course, burst into flames as they had been marinated in vodka), and become a hit on YouTube and America's Funniest Videos. It sounds like the kind of cruel joke that a disgruntled employee of General Mills ghostwriting as Betty Crocker might make. heh.

#232 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 09:26 AM:

I even liked him in I, Robot in spite of the grotesquely heretical and ubiquitous divergences from Asimov's story.

So here's the thing: I, Robot bore little resemblance to the plot of the Asimov story of the same name. But I thought it did a fabulous job of getting many of Asimov's themes in. Plus, though it's not an Asimov story, at one point my boyfriend and I looked at each other and when I said, "With Folded Hands!" he just nodded.

Putting aside the action-movie bits they included, I thought I, Robot was surprisingly good sci-fi, all things considered.

#233 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 09:39 AM:

I have yet to forgive Will Smith for The Wild Wild West movie.

#234 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 11:40 AM:

Carol Kimball @ 218 -- I always caramelize onions in the Crock-Pot. Takes time, but a lot less effort. Pretty much the same as your method.

Apropos of very little, I would like to register a request for another turkey fryer fire safety post before Thanksgiving. (Mostly I just want any new folks to get to see the turkey fryer fire videos.)

#235 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 11:41 AM:
I have yet to forgive Will Smith for The Wild Wild West movie

Will Smith did not produce, direct, or write Wild Wild West, so I think that's a bit unfair.

Now, if you said that you had yet to forgive Francis Lawrence for Constantine, or Akiva Goldsman for Batman & Robin or Lost in Space, well, that might be a bit more understandable.

#236 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 12:19 PM:

As I remember the eGullet thread on onion confit, when caramelizing onions the texture of the cooked onions will be nicer if you've sliced the onions longitudinally, not latitudinally. It has something to do with the membrane on each layer, I think — it's not quite the same as the difference in slicing meat across the grain vs. with the grain, but it's something along those lines.

#237 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 12:27 PM:

Heresiarch #226: Wow, and mine's college-level. Something's definitely wrong here.

#238 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 12:38 PM:

Owlmirror @ 235... You're right. I may be unfair to Will Smith for The Wild Wild West. That though depends on who decided that he'd play James West the way he did. The movie could have gone the color-blind route, like Brisco County did with Lord Bowler. It didn't though, and so we had to deal with the absurdity of a black man of the 1860s who could have functionned as an agent of the Secret Service isntead of his being barred from going even to a bar. I remember talking about that with an American-Indian woman and she thought that was a bit more believable than if one of her ancestors had been in that position.

That being said... I thought the giant mechanical spider was neat. And I loved Kevin Kline as Artemus Gordon, master of the mechanical stuff. And of cross-dressing.

#239 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 12:42 PM:

Look at this CNN article on familiarity with driving rules, and be not the least surprised that the bottom four "states" are Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and New York . (Why the heck is Maryland in 25th place? I'd expect it to be rounding out the bottom five or so.)

#240 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 02:08 PM:

Lila, in the UK they'll taser you for being unconscious. Twice.

#241 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 02:55 PM:

#239 C Wingate:

I figure in Maryland, the drivers know they're violating the rules, they just don't care. I had lived in Montgomery County for quite awhile before I understood that it was the same people who were kind and pleasant in person, and homicidal maniacs behind the wheel.

#242 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 05:07 PM:

Seeking the new New World
By John Johnson Jr.
Berkeley's Geoff Marcy, the world's leading planet finder, tells of the fierce competition to find the first Earth-like planet.

It's an interview, and pretty good.

#243 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 05:52 PM:

Hmmm....

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/383/t/4089/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=822

Send Bush an early holiday gift, courtesy of CCR.
The President needs to be reminded that he swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States-his administration has been systematically destroying the Constitution since he took office./i>

With your help, CCR will flood the Oval Office with copies of the Constitution this holiday season.....

#244 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 05:59 PM:

re: #239: I am shocked that Alaska is #2, as my fellow drivers seem to have a trouble with the concept of merge* lanes. Then again, if you need someone to help you out of the ditch, we are the place to be.

*Merge means to join traffic, not drive to the end of the lane and stop, wondering what you're going to do. It's not like we have nasty traffic up here.

#245 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 06:18 PM:

Carol 218: Salvatrix! I will use the oven method next time. How long was "the rest of the afternoon," btw? Four hours or so? And covered or uncovered?

Also, did they reduce in size the same way they do on the stovetop? (I measured once: about six cups of chopped raw onion yields about ONE cup of carmelized.)

Jules 225: AHA! I have at least heard of Maillard browning. Can you explain it briefly?

Also...as I mentioned I made dulce de leche at the same time, boiling four unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk in water for four hours. Dehydration seems impossible under those circumstances. Is that a Maillard reaction too?

Lexica 236: it's not quite the same as the difference in slicing meat across the grain vs. with the grain, but it's something along those lines.

Serge? You have a new rival.

#246 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 07:38 PM:

Earl Cooley III: Not lit, though I like the way you think.

Xopher: re Maillard reactions--

They are a non-enymatic browing caused by interactions of carbohydrates and reducing sugars. Carmelisaton is, in fact, a form of Maillard reaction. (there's a lot of literature in brewing about this, because it's a little more complex than that).

Once the sugar loses a water molecule (creating a ketosamine), and begins the caramelisation process there are three paths it can go down.

It can just lose more water (and thus continue in the Amadori phase) which is simply more caremelising.

The second reaction is to produce some short chain hydrolytic products by breaking up the amino acids some more. Those create off-flavors in beer.

The next step is where things start to get interesting (in both beer, and onions) Strecker degradations cause the compounds formed in the second phase to change some more. Amino acids become aldehydes and aldols. Some of those can be off-flavors, and intial conditions affect the outcome, which takes place as the reactions continue.

In the third phase the ph, available amino acids and sugars continue to brown, recombine and create things like dextrose.

For a chart, showing the reactions, are here

#247 ::: SueinNM ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 10:05 PM:

Xopher @ 245... Serge? You have a new rival.

Better a Maillard reaction than a Maalox one, I guess.

#248 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 10:10 PM:

Darn. Didn't realize I had used my wife's ID here.

#249 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 10:16 PM:

#245 ::: Xopher

...I will use the oven method next time. How long was "the rest of the afternoon," btw? Four hours or so? And covered or uncovered?

Also, did they reduce in size the same way they do on the stovetop? (I measured once: about six cups of chopped raw onion yields about ONE cup of carmelized.)

Yeah, maybe three and a half to four hours, uncovered, though the oven itself is an enclosed space*. Several of us here are working the same technique - Terry's covered pot, the oven, Caroline's crock pot...an advantage of the oven is that you've got heat all around the container rather than just at the bottom. I may try the crock pot next time.

I always assumed the "match in the mouth" was unlit. I had to go lie down for a bit at the thought of deliberately holding fire that close. Never tried it either way.

Yes, the yield of finished product is a scant fraction of what you start with. For those wondering if that much effort is worth it: yes.

*waffling here: "a closed space"? "an enclosed space"?

#250 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2007, 10:37 PM:

Thanks, Carol. I'm tempted to try it tomorrow, but I don't have time.

I think 'an enclosed space' sounds right.

#251 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 03:11 AM:

Paula Lieberman @243:
I tried that. Not so much as a thank you note.

Maybe mony a mickle will a muckle mak', but the true benefit is in the sending rather than the effect on the recipient, I suspect.

#252 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 03:45 AM:

Soon to be a major motion picture:
Warner Bros. presents "Loony-Dune"

A new retelling of the Frank Herbert classic "Dune" with an all-star cast of Warner Bros. cartoon characters.

Directed by Chuck Jones
Cast:


Paul Usul Muad'Dib Atreides Bugs Bunny
He stood against the hunters of a galaxy!
Duke Leto Atreides Porky Pig
"Tha-tha-tha-that's all, Duke!"
Lady Jessica, Petunia Pig
She wanted more from her Duke than she was supposed to!
Thufir Hawat Elmer Fudd
The steely-eyed Mentat master of assassins .
Gurney Halleck Daffy Duck
"Thhhuuufir Hawatttt, eh? I can drink him under the table withhh one hand behind my back!"
Duncan Idaho Sylvester
He would have been a better hero if he weren't off chasing birds.
Dr. Wellington Yueh Pepe' Le Pew
Something about this loyal follower stank!
Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV Wile Coyote
Somehow his interstellar schemes always backfired.
Princess Irulan Miss Prissy
She was far too well-bred for the role she had to play.
Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam Granny
There's a gom jabbar in the old girl yet.
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen Foghorn Leghorn
Evil, a shrewd politician, and a chicken hawk.
Piter De Vries Marvin Martian
Alien to all, his warped views led him to destruction!
Feyd-Rautha Henery Hawk
If he knew what his uncle really was, he'd eat him alive!
"Beast" Rabban Tasmanian Devil
His appetites almost brought down a dynasty!
Stilgar Sam Sheepdog
He followed his master, but did not understand him.
Chani Tweetie Pie
This early bird got the Worm.
Liet-Kynes Yosemite Sam
His knowledge of the desert couldn't save him from the dangers of the town.
Guild Navigator The Roadrunner
"Meep meep!"

#253 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 06:22 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 252... coughgagsplutter

#254 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 06:42 AM:

Eh, what's up Muad'Dib?

#255 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 07:44 AM:

What's up, doc Huey?

#256 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 08:17 AM:

#226 - Blog Readability - mine comes in at College (PostGrad), which is a bit odd as I thought I was pointing my friends at youtube videos, webcomics, recipes and jokes. On the other hand, this week I've documented two brand new words*.

I, Robot was almost exactly what I expected for an Asimov story run through the Hollywood system - I did have one quibble which was that 1. Susan Calvin was far too smart to end up in a position where she had to fire an automatic rifle; 2. Obviously if she did she'd hit what she was aiming at, but with her eyes open.

* Scalzi's "dioramageddon", and my friend Julia's "geschplonken".

#257 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 08:38 AM:

Trollery with extreme prejudice:

News article here about a teenage girl who committed suicide after the friend she'd made on MySpace turned against her and began posting nasty remarks about her.

Turned out the "friend"... never existed. He was a false identity created by a family down the street; the mother there originally wanted to see what the girl was saying about her own daughter.

One kinda expects this sort of unthinking cruelty from teenagers, but that an adult mother was involved and took part in it, rather than stopping her daughter and the unnamed "other person" from this sort of thing... man, that is something really, really ugly.

#258 ::: Yosemite Sam ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 08:44 AM:

Bruce Cohen... You varmint! You couldn't find a role for my sweetheart, Granny?

#259 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 08:46 AM:

Bruce Arthurs... Crap.

#260 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 10:35 AM:

Sandworm Shai-Hulud - Speedy Gonzales

A force of nature to strike fear in any heart, particularly the politically correct ones.

#261 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 10:56 AM:

Bruce Cohen @252, thank you for restoring hope for a better day.

Also, *giggles hysterically*

#262 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 11:03 AM:

And Bruce Arthurs, you remind me what, besides the inate sadism of orthopedics practitioners, had done initial damage to my carefully husbanded flicker of hope. I chased links on that article yesterday, when it showed up in a post on my friends list, and came to a statement by the harassing mother where she cites an earlier suicide attempt by the girl in mitigation of her own responsibility. Because, you know, the kindness I owe a neighbor's child is excused if she is already depressed and known to be suicidal.

#263 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 11:14 AM:

** delurking **

Might I impose on the kindness of this group to ask for reading recommendations for a fourth grader who likes Barbara Hambly's Ishmael?

A 10 year old relative of mine has been reading Ishmael, and enjoying it immensely. He says he likes the parallel story lines where the characters don't know what the other is up to, and the fact that Spock doesn't understand people. (To clarify, he's otherwise unfamiliar with Trek, and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"; he's also not a "Here Come the Brides" fan.)

The kid's not a huge reader, so the fact that he likes this book is a fairly big deal. What else might he like? Are there any other Spock-centric TOS novels that would be good for him? A kid's book set in the Pacific Northwest logging industry?

Thanks.

#264 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 11:42 AM:

Ronit... Susan Shwartz has written novels about the Vulcan culture, I think, but they're not St-TOS. Hopefully others who are more knowledgeable will be able to help you better.

#265 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 11:51 AM:

Commenters have repeatedly revealed the troll family's name and address in a Jezebel thread.

Jezebel also links to this St Charles Journal article which contains an absolute gem of a quote from the police report:

(She) felt this incident contributed to Megan's suicide, but she did not feel 'as guilty' because at the funeral she found out 'Megan had tried to commit suicide before.'

["She"=Mrs. Troll.]

#266 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 11:52 AM:

#252: I'd cast Tweety as Alia. Small, cute, creepy ...

#267 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 12:49 PM:

Yosemite Sam @ 258

Hey, man, I gave her a gem: Reverend Mother Mohiam. What, she wants to be cast against type as Jessica? Well, have her agent call me and we'll talk.

#268 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 12:55 PM:

Baring a bit of the writer's process: the idea of Looney Dune came to me yesterday morning as I was driving to work. Out of the blue, I clearly heard the voice of Daffy Duck saying, in that way he has of spraying the first five rows of the audience: "Thhhuuufir Hawatttt". Good thing traffic was light, or I'd probably be posting on one of Jim Macdonald's threads instead of this one.

#269 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 01:02 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 268... Yeah, please do be careful. We loved the results of your inspiration, but don't let it lead to your expiration.

#270 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 01:07 PM:

Well, it says the btch whr's actions don't appear to fit any law, but I've heard there are federal laws for this sort of thing.

And I figure if we post the names and addresses and caseworker names of people who just comment here and are obnoxious, why not these loathsome excrescences' information?

Their home:

Curt D. & Jori J. Drew
269 Waterford Crystal Drive
Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368
(636) 272-2670
Their business:
Drew Advantage
2977 Highway K Ste 200, O Fallon, MO 63368-7862
Phone: (636) 272-2670
They apparently have had the brass balls to press charges against Megan's father for destroying their fucking FOOSBALL table! Such people are the dregs of humanity.

#271 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 01:25 PM:

Bruce #257 and later comments on the same subthread:

I think one lesson of the net, broadly, is that when you're communicating online with none of the usual cues, social constraints, etc., which you normally have, you don't act the same as you do in person.

It's the fundamental attribution error bias again. You see people acting a certain way, and it's natural to imagine that's something inherent in what kind of person they are, but often, it's more about their surroundings.

If you change the environment, you change the behavior. And in an environment that supports cattiness and teenaged-girl-cruelty, I'm not surprised that this woman fell into exactly that behavior.

I don't know anything about this case besides what I've seen here, but most of us have probably had the experience of getting into a new situation or environment, and acting badly before we understood what we were doing. Perhaps she did the same? Under normal circumstances, cattiness and teenaged-girl cruelty doesn't lead to someone killing herself, and I can't imagine she thought she was doing anything more than being personally nasty to someone she didn't like.

#272 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 02:00 PM:

Neil Willcox #256: I went through all of Scalzi's Creation Museum documentation, and the bit about the diorama was my favorite bit, so how did I miss a genius word like dioramageddon?

#273 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 02:18 PM:

Ronit, I in mind have two books by the same author which might work for the PNW part of your request, but her name has fallen into a black hole; I will relentlessly not think about it and post when the information shows up.

#274 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 03:12 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #72: Thanks!

#275 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 03:30 PM:

Ronit, Diane Duane has some very good Star Trek novels focusing on Vulcan backstory. They stand alone reasonably well for people who are not obsessive Trek fans. (I'm not sure how suitable they are for fourth graders. That includes a wide range of reading abilities and sophistication. I read them in my late teens.) Your relative might also like Duane's _So You Want To Be A Wizard_ and _Deep Wizardry_, though they don't mention Spock or the Pacific Northwest.

#276 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 03:41 PM:

Faren, thanks for the suggestion in #80. I had tried several anti-seizure medications previously, with catastrophic side effects and no reduction in seizures. (Sometimes with side effects having second order effects making seizures worse.) Because I don't have convulsive seizures, only absence and partial, it's sometimes tempting to not bother with seizure control at all and just try to prevent migraines. Well, it would be, if migraine prevention meds other than the anti-seizure type did not tend to lower the seizure threshold as a side effect...

I am still looking for alternatives, because I'm not very happy with it. But it's scary and frustrating because it feels like I've already tried so many of the potential alternatives and had them be worse than nothing.

#277 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 05:54 PM:

albatross 271: I don't know anything about this case besides what I've seen here

Clearly not. Go read some of the links, and you will see that this woman was not behaving normally even by the standards of social-networking sites.

#278 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 06:03 PM:

Ronit, I came up with the author name (Patricia Beatty) but apparently the books I'm thinking of have disappeared into the mists of time. Guess that's what happens to the childhood favorites of those of us born in 1952. :/

#279 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 07:19 PM:

Albatross, #271: At some point, you have to grow up and take responsibility for your own actions. Various members of the Administration aren't being given passes for failing to do that (at least, not here); why should this woman be any different?

Adrian, #275: Psst... it might be useful for you to provide titles! I assume you're talking about Spock's World and The Romulan Way?

JESR, #278: Have you tried searching for them on abebooks.com? That's often a fruitful place for finding out-of-print stuff.

#280 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 07:43 PM:

JESR & Ronit - This search on Patricia Beatty on the USA abebooks site gives roughly a dozen titles. It looks like the most popular is Charley Skedaddle. There's even a teachers' book about it.

Any of them what you're thinking of?

My lost Australian unknown classic is completely beyond my memory for name of book and author, tho' I can see the cover reasonably clearly from 40+ years ago. A girl gets lost in Jenolan Caves and discovers it's full of strange magical creatures, with illustrations. About the same vintage as Snugglepot & Cuddlepie or The Magic Pudding, but quite forgotten. One day I hope it will turn up in the boxes my parents' possessions are packed into.

#281 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 08:03 PM:

Ronit @ #263: re kids' books involving logging industry (but not PNW)-- how about Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles?

#282 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2007, 08:52 PM:

Mez, I think one of my kids may have read Charlie Skedadle in school, but the ones I'm looking for would have much earlier dates of publication; the only two on that list which fit are Ballad of Calamity Creek which is, I have a dim memory, a California gold rush story, and Bonanza Girl which is set in Idaho during the silver rush, and has a female heroine. The one's I'm thinking of are set closer to Patricia Beatty's home town of Quilleute, and have male protaganists.

Anyone who has a daughter (or a son who doesn't get icked by female protaganists) with a taste for historical tales should look for Bonanza Girl, O the Red Rose Tree, and The Nickel Plated Beauty.

#283 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 01:41 AM:

Xopher, #270: They apparently have had the brass balls to press charges against Megan's father for destroying their fucking FOOSBALL table!

... which Megan's family was storing in their basement as a favor to the other family, who were temporarily short of space. Does this sound to anyone else remarkably like the canonical definition of chutzpah?

#284 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 09:15 AM:

Ronit... ST-TOS novels focusing on Spock? I noticed one at he bookstore last night. DC Fontana's Vulcan's Glory, one of the original ST novels that was recently re-released. I've never read it, but the backcover says it's about Spock's early Starfleet days under the command of Captain Pike. That sounds like what the kid would like.

#285 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 10:28 AM:

Hey, daughter:foosball table. Parity?

As the mother of a teenager who was the target of relentless bullying and harrassment from 2nd through 6th grade, I am so enraged by this story I can't see straight.

I think "feeling LESS guilty when you find that the child you hounded to her death had a history of suicidal tendencies" may be a reasonable working definition of sociopathy.

#286 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 11:05 AM:

The first time I saw the FKB fail the Challenge involved a Yellow Pages (not inventive, but it was what I could grab), a small watermelon, and a double-chocolate cake that had "Try juggling this!" frosted on the top. What a wonderful mess.... And the one trick I haven't seen repeated (although I'm sure some other theater has supported it) was at Trinity Rep's half-round (Providence RI); in "Jazz", the downstage feeder ran down the side ramp, partway around the lobby, back in the near aisle, and simultaneously caught his pass and was hit by a spotlight.

Greg vs the onion: cold running water is the best helper I've found; you can section onions (which should be as much as necessary for crockpotting) under it, or rinse after each cut if dicing.
Vidalia reportedly have the same amount of onion-y compounds; the flavor comes from having a higher percentage of sugar than Coca-Cola does. I haven't tried other varieties, but I'm not sure they'd be useful in many dishes -- better to use fewer real onions and be done quickly.

Stefan@210: according to a contemporary story, A Chorus Line (opened 1975) was the first Broadway musical to use computerized dimmers; they couldn't do what they wanted to with the old piano boards, which everyone else had used because Broadway was 100% DC.

Bruce@252: (from a 1984 Usenet post): "Can we tawk? You wanna tawk? Here, stick your hand in this box."

Ronit@263: if he likes parallel lines, try him on How Much for Just the Planet?; he'll miss half of it, but that just makes for good re-reading later. Note that in this one Spock is the only one who \does/ Get It, for similarly inhuman reasons; we see this even though Paramount insisted on cutting the scene Ford wrote to show it.

#287 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 12:31 PM:

When the composer of a movie's score has also written an overture, Turner Classic Movies will play that overture before starting the movie. (Well, there is a reason why it's called an overture.) They have done so with Spartacus, and with South Pacific, among others. Just now, I caught them doing that for... The Black Hole

Mind you, I like that score. And the movie is like a very guilty pleasure for me.("Why am I not surprised?" Tania and ethan say simultaneously.)

#288 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 01:54 PM:

No comment.

#289 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 02:08 PM:

Ethan, how did you miss dioramageddon? One of the commentors notes that Live Search asks if you mean "Dior Armageddon"; slightly less amusingly Google asks if you mean "goremageddon", which appears to be the name of an album by a Belgian death metal band.

It's been a "good" month for new words as I coined "spaghnostic" yesterday on the FSM thread.

#290 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 02:13 PM:

ethan @ 288... Humph.

#291 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 04:31 PM:

The USPS has issued their Christmas stamps for 2007, and their theme for the non-Madonna-&-Child set is:

Holiday Knits!

(My god, the power Teresa has....)


(Is anyone still pushing the idea of a "Science Fiction Authors" set of stamps? I think I first heard of the idea about 25 years ago, when someone was trying to gather signatures in support. And who would be on such a set -- probably 8 or 10 individuals -- nowadays?)

#292 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 04:37 PM:

Bruce Arthurs @ 291... My god, the power Teresa has

Luckily for us, she knows that with great power comes great responsibility.

As for F/SF stamps... Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein? Tolkien?

#293 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 05:24 PM:

Wow, **thanks** to the hivemind here. (And to our gracious hosts, for one of the few salons on the planet that could address this issue so thoroughly.)

Serge, thank you. I've actually been reading Vulcan's Glory this weekend, in between enjoying my cold. It's a fun read, particularly for those familiar with Trek but - eh. I don't know if it has quite enough of Spock being puzzled by humans for the kid.

Adrian @274, you're right, the Diane Duane Romulan books are marvelous but not quite what I had in mind for the kid. _So You Want To Be A Wizard_ and _Deep Wizardry_ will go on the list.

JESR and Mez : thanks to you both. Looking at this link, JESR, is the book you're thinking of Indian Canoemaker?
If it turns out that the kid was hooked by historical fiction, Beatty's books are going to be great for him.

Lila@281, Freckles is on the list. Thank you!

CHip @286. I'd forgotten about the parallel lines in How Much for Just the Planet? That would be worth a try. (Paramount made Ford cut a scene from the novel ?!?! What? Why? Is it somewhere I can I read it? )

Thank you all so very much.

#294 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 05:33 PM:

That is, "somewhere I can read it?"

Arrgh.

#295 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 07:04 PM:

Totally sweet photo set:

Dreams of Flying.

#296 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 07:19 PM:

Stefan, those are absolutely beautiful. Thanks!

#297 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 07:25 PM:

Ronit... By the way, what was that about Hambly's Ishmaël and Here Come The Brides? I do remember that the show's main character appeared twice in the original ST, and so did his nemesis, played by Mark Lenard.

#298 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 08:13 PM:

Clifton @167: Would that have been the summer of '77? If so, if we ever meet, let's reminisce.

With regard to The Case for Hilary Clinton over there in the sidelights, was anyone else struck by the total lack of any attempt to give any reason why anyone should actually vote for her?

In the better bad news department, the blog readability test say I'm junior high level!

#299 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2007, 11:44 PM:

Serge, without getting too specific or spoilery, Hambly's Ishmael owes about as much to "Here Come the Brides" as it does to Trek.

#300 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 12:00 AM:

Ronit, Indian Canoemaker is definitly one of the books I remember reading.

When I was young, Mom often took my sister and me to the Washington State Library. The Washington Room had a copy of every book with a Washington State author, and there were a lot of obscure historic juveniles of mixed quality, as well as Beatty's early stuff. The library is no longer open to the public, a terrible shame, and Timberland Regional Library system has lost or deassessioned (a word I loathe, and which I'm pretty sure I've misspelled) most of her titles.

#301 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 01:54 AM:
Borrowing genes from bacteria, coral and jellyfish, scientists have set mice brains aglow in a bold panoply of colors, revealing the intricate highways and byways of neuronal connections.
The technique, dubbed "Brainbow" by its Harvard University inventors, is detailed in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal Nature.

http://www.livescience.com/animals/071031-brainbow.html


By combining fluorescent proteins, researchers create compelling images

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/11.01/01-brainbow.html

#302 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 01:58 AM:

Also, while the full text of "Transgenic strategies for combinatorial expression of fluorescent proteins in the nervous system" is behind Nature's paywall, you can see the images alone, and the supplementary info, for free:


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v450/n7166/fig_tab/nature06293_ft.html

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v450/n7166/suppinfo/nature06293.html

#303 ::: Individ-ewe-al ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 02:02 AM:

Off topic squee: my link is in a sidelight!!! And my name in the hover text and everything. Eeeeeee! Now I feel like I've made it. (And I've probably spoiled my chances of ever being taken seriously again with this comment.)

#304 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 02:04 AM:

Ronit @ 299... Hmm... I guess I'll have to find a copy of that book then. By the way, did you know that Bruce Lee was in one episode of "Here Come The Brides"?

#305 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 02:04 AM:

Ronit @ 299... Hmm... I guess I'll have to find a copy of that book then. By the way, did you know that Bruce Lee was in one episode of "Here Come The Brides"?

#306 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 08:56 AM:

Adrian (#276): Glad to be of some help, and I hope you can find a medicine that suits you. I have short "absence" seizures myself, not the big, convulsive type, and Dilantin (phenytoin sodium) takes care of everything without extreme side effects. (Medical pros here: please don't write to tell me why those meds could be killing me! I've got enough problems on my mind these days.) Of course I don't know how they'd interact with migraine medicine, since I manage to cope with my sinus headaches with acetomenaphins plus mild, over-the-counter allergy pills -- a combo both my doctors say is OK, in moderation.

As for the problems: Mom's in the nursing home recovering from hip surgery, and someone is "mislaying"/stealing her clothes. Three pairs of trousers have now vanished, and I'm boiling over with fury.

#307 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 09:08 AM:

Faren... Did you know that Farley's Phil Frank had died two months ago?

#308 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 09:16 AM:

I just received a group of four or five virus/trojan E-mail messages, with the apparent sending addresses pretty clearly linked by this blog. One was "from" www.nielsenhayden.com@[something-or-other]. I simply deleted them, though in retrospect I should have waded through the new botched Hotmail interface to try to get the headers.

#310 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 12:41 PM:

JESR (300): deassessioned (a word I loathe, and which I'm pretty sure I've misspelled)

'deaccessioned' :)

Do you prefer 'weeded', 'discarded', or 'withdrawn'?

#311 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 12:44 PM:

Mary Aileen #310:

I suspect she prefers none of the above; books shouldn't disappear from libraries.

#312 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 12:51 PM:

Joann @ 311: books disappear from libraries all the time; either theft, damage, or simply old age... In some cases, replacing a book that has been out of print for decades could involve more money than a small library -- or even a big one --can or should invest. Which is why Interlibrary Loan is your friend...

#313 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 01:05 PM:

Books that are deaccessioned may end up in someone's personal library - I have one of those. (It was one I'd been trying to find for years. The promised reprint kept being delayed.)

#314 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 01:10 PM:

A couple Christmases ago, I got my father a large-print post-library copy of Three Men in a Boat because we'd both liked To Say Nothing of the Dog and he was approaching blindness at that point. He really thinks it's cool that it's post-library-- I'm just glad he was able to read it. It's pretty near the top of the list of Presents I Am Most Proud Of, even if his next detached retina did make it a moot point.

#315 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 04:44 PM:

Mary Aileen, what I prefer is some attention given to the role of libraries in conserving history and knowledge.

I've been through several discussions about withdrawing books from circulation for one reason or another (including the archiving of the contents of the Washington Room) but I'm yet to be convinced that letting old titles disappear from all public access is a good thing.

I also have sort of old fashioned views about card catalogues.

#316 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 06:25 PM:

In case anyone here is interested, there's a BBC World Service Radio Drama of Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys available online until Saturday. It's been cut to an hour, so the ending wraps up a lot quicker (and less neatly) and most of the quirkier bits have gone, but it's pretty good if you liked the book. Or want something to listen to.

#317 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 07:09 PM:

Amazon.com is selling a device called a kindle to compete with sony's ebook.

It uses the same e-ink display technology.

6" diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 4-level gray scale

Cost $400.

#318 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 07:26 PM:

JESR (315): Ah. It's not just the particular word* you object to, but the practice. Fair enough.

I work in a small(ish) public library, and there's no possible way we could keep everything, but I agree that someone should. And a state library seems like a likely place (although they, too, have space limitations).

*'Deaccession' is a rather clunky word, and a little too euphemistic for my tastes. We call it 'weeding'.

#319 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 07:55 PM:

Re the particle: "Moore, Spiegelman, Clowes, Simpsons"

It is most decidedly not a youtube commercial for a legal firm.

Why I was expecting that, I don't know...

#320 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 07:57 PM:

Mary Aileen, what causes me most concern about "weeding" library collections is that there doesn't seem to be any attempt to make sure that a small library somewhere doesn't get rid of the last publically accessible copy of a book anywhere. I've come smack up against the loss of information more than once- trying to find a copy of a book by Mary Bard (Betty MacDonald's sister) for my daughter to read when she wondered what Eastlake in Seattle was like before the freeway was built, looking for Nancy Mitford's Wigs on the Green after reading Unity Mitford and the Banality of Evil, worst of all, trying to reconstruct the fire history of the Nisqually Valley and finding that several small-press histories I'd read in high school were not in collections anywhere.

I can accept that not every book should be kept in every library; I'm fine with the idea that the book I need is in Amanda Park and will be sent to Lacey by next week; what I fear is finding that the last copy of a book containing information available nowhere else has been pulped.

#321 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 08:05 PM:

#319:

That's a hilarious sequence.

Lisa Simpson strikes me as future Neil Gaiman fangirl.

#322 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 08:07 PM:

Mary Aileen at #318: I find 'weeding' rather a worrisome term for it, because it seems to imply that some books are actively unwanted rather than being unneeded or taking up more space than they're worth. 'Deaccessioned', however, is a horrendous changeling of a word.

I have quite a lot of ex-library books on my shelves - enough for me to reach out and grab one to check the stamps inside for the terminology. The first says "Withdrawn from Essex Libraries" and the second says "Sold by Essex County Council Libraries", so I've always thought of it as "withdrawing x from stock". Not sure what the process of looking through the stock to see what's got to go would be called, since I've never had to do it (thank goodness!).

#323 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 08:13 PM:

Individ-ewe-al @ #303: I totally understand. I'd sent Serge something that he put on his LJ and PNH linked to it, attributing Serge. Which I thought was uber-awesome. I emailed a friend of mine who occasionally browses ML, squeeing "I helped with that, I helped with that! Isn't that just great?" and she was very patient with me.

That was the same week I sent Scalzi a bacon cookbook. I figure I've now had my 15 megabytes of fame. And I need to remember to not shop online late at night when I'm feeling rather whimsical.

#324 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 08:29 PM:

Indiv_ewe-al @ 303... I've probably spoiled my chances of ever being taken seriously again

Heck, I squeed too when I saw that Particle that Tania mentions @ 323. Mind you, it was a silent squee, but a squee nonetheless.

#325 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 09:41 PM:

Faren, #306, an interesting study shows differences in the brains of people with migraines. Also, I had a dear elderly friend who went into a nursing home and everything I brought her "disappeared." I told the director that I was going to start charging them for every disappeared item and it got much better.

#326 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 11:21 PM:

A very interesting rant / argument about how to approach Global Warming:

The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See. (The title is a come-on.)

. . . and a follow-up, after the author listened to arguments and objections:

How It All Ends

#328 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 12:09 AM:

While volunteering at my local library over the summer, I was handed a list of books that hadn't been checked out for a year or more, for the purpose of pulling them off the shelves to be purged from the stacks. One of them was Deities and Demigods.

Yes, the edition with Cthulhu and Elric.

I casually asked them if I could keep it; they looked utterly boggled that anyone would want such a thing, and said I could carry off any and every cull I wanted. Unfortunately, I'd walked there that day, it was fairly hot, and I did not relish the prospect of hauling an entire box of books 2 miles home over hilly terrain.

(And anyway, since it had been shelved among games/sports books, I wasn't particularly interested in acquiring football biographies or Playstation strategy guides. Alas, since the last time I'd checked, at least one copy of the Dune Encyclopedia had also been weeded from the county system.)

#329 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 12:09 AM:

The cutesy little "one laptop per child" laptop is available for purchase; you buy one at $399, and a kid in a third world country gets one free.

http://www.laptopgiving.org

I'm very tempted. Anyone have a chance to play with one?

#330 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 12:47 AM:

Here's a new one: It's not plagiarizing if there's no grade.

Now I did not know that.

#331 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 01:12 AM:

JESR: I have an old fashioned view of card catalogues too. I found them to excellent research tools, and one which the computer systems don't match.

I never used title cards, but author and subject sets were great for associational searching.

#332 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 01:17 AM:

Xopher #330: I blench. What chance have kids got, confronted with teaching like that?

#333 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 02:49 AM:

xopher,

i cannot be arsed to search for a link, but a vancouver sun cutesy-relationship columnist* was fired a couple years ago when it was discovered many of her columns were plagiarized.

she didn't think it should have been such a big deal, as "i never claimed to be a journalist."

aaaaaauuuuughhhhh.

*think sex & the city without, of course, the sex, family newspaper don't you know.

#334 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 08:44 AM:

Serge (#307): Yes, I read about Phil Frank's illness and death (plus tributes to him) on SFGate, and a relative who takes the Chron later sent the articles so my mom could read them too.

Rest home report: *one* pair of pants found, anyway. I'll have to ask them to pony up for what's still missing from Mom's closet. (Thanks for the tip, Marilee.)

#335 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 08:47 AM:

Faren @ 334... I'm sad, and not just because I'll never again see Velma Melmac scare people at Yosemite Park.

#336 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 08:59 AM:

Greg @317: it also wirelessly downloads books, blogs, magazines, and your daily newspaper. Using Verizon's cell phone network. And the fee is built into the price of the book or magazine...book prices are way lower than sony, $9.99 for NYT bestsellers.

It doesn't appear to read PDFs, and I dont know if you can sync it with your PC at all. It may be a closed system: buy from amazon, read on the Kindle, period. But since I haven't invested in ebooks yet, that may not be a problem for me...I'm thinking I may get one of these. Waiting for a bit to see how the reviews pan out - right now it only has 2.5 stars on its amazon page, out of 280 reviews, but I haven't started actually reading them.

#337 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 08:59 AM:

Greg @ 317: Early reviews suggest it's competition to see who can send more customers to Sony. It's more expensive and you have to pay to put (some types) of your own data on it. It's also extraordinarily ugly for something designed in the last 10 years.

#338 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 11:49 AM:

Julie L. (328): Were they automatically discarding everything that hadn't circulated in a year? A number of libraries do that, but it's not good practice. Circulation history is one thing to consider, but there are others. Also, a year isn't nearly long enough.

JESR (320): There would need to be some kind of central clearinghouse/depository for those last copies. The state library would seem to be the obvious place, but obviously the Washington State Library isn't interested.

Sam Kelly (322): We call the process 'weeding', but the books are stamped 'For Sale: Discarded'.

Terry Karney (331)/JESR (315): Card catalogues are great for some things, but they're very labor-intensive to keep up-to-date, and they don't contain nearly as much information as an online catalog. I sometimes miss the card catalog, but I'd never go back.

#339 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 12:25 PM:

You can subscribe to read blogs on Amazon's new ebook thingie--for one or two dollars per blog per month.

I hereby downgrade my opinion of the device from "meh" to "ick".

#340 ::: kandle ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 12:39 PM:

Is it called "kindle" because it is an anagram of "ink LED", or indeed "ink-led"?

#341 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 12:50 PM:

Terry Karney @ 331, YES! The ability to start at the broadest subject card, or at the subject card for a known title, and quickly search through the adjacent cards for further reading just doesn't exist in the computer library catalogues I've used, and the searches devised to replace it have not got the same flexibility and efficiency.

#342 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 01:13 PM:

Mary Eileen, the Washington State Library isn't the problem: the Washington State Legislature is. Even though maintenence of the Washington Room is a constitutional requirement, it has not been funded as a currated circulating collection for decades, and the gorgeous but badly constructed WSL building is currently in use as offices and storage.

I spent many long days filing LCS cards in golden oak card files while working as a library tech. I found it an effective meditative activity, but then I was comparing it to using an addressograph to update library cards. Over my lifetime I have probably spent a year or more doing searches in similar files, and mostly come away relaxed and enlightened. In the past two decades I have dealt with each iteration of the online catalogue often enough to get familiar with its quirks, only to have what expertise I'd scraped together washed away by yet another /d/u/m/b/i/n/g/d/o/w/n upgrade. (Apparently these systems are being designed by people who hated using card files, just as new math curricula are made by people who hated drill and memorization and English composition books by those who think diagramming sentences was pointless and boring).

So many problems I see with using libraries these days come down to the matter of money and storage. I am not unsympathetic, nor do I think that it should be possible to run libraries for free, like forests, especially in the face of fools who expect them to be empty by, well, twenty years ago. I live in an area where the biggest problem is finding parking for the people who want to use the library, building new libraries as fast as they are needed.

But I really wish there was a way for me to use my developed research skills instead of having to ask the reference librarian (who is all too often as frustrated with the system as I am).

#343 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 01:24 PM:

The UK Government has just mislaid details of some 25 million people.

They tell us they want us to have a biometric ID card.

It's enough to know that the people referred to in this little ditty are British politicians. (Flash animation)

#344 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 01:34 PM:

It is sometimes difficult for a librarian to discuss things like weeding and card catalogues with bibliophiles -- which probably included 225% of the readers of this blog. BUT...

Online catalogs can, in fact, replicate the proximity search. For example, I just did one in our opac. I started with an author's name; when the book record came up, there was a link to other books of the same subject built right into the record. It also told me that we had an online version of it in addition to the print copy. It also suggested other subjects I hadn't realized could be connected. If your library is part of a consortia, your catalog will also tell you who has a copy of it if yours doesn't. Best of all, I can do this from my house, in my undies, drinking tea (or is this the wrong thread for clothing discussion? :-)).

Card catalogs are expensive and time-consuming to maintain, and most libraries no longer have the financial ability to pay two or three people whose only job is to file cards, and do quality control on the catalog.

As far as weeding is concerned, research going back several decades show that 80% of the items in a library fall into the "seldom/never used" categories. Sometimes libraries faced with a space crunch and no money to relieve it weed out the these items.

Question: Julie @328, were they mostly fiction? Those tend to go under the axe much faster as in a public library that is the subject with the biggest title turnover. Although I agree with Mary Eileen, one year seems rather precipitate.

And DON'T GET ME STARTED on the management types that suggest we weed out everything because "everything can be found in the Internet, anyway!"

#345 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 01:39 PM:

Emma, that's wonderful, but I have to tell you: the online catalogue for the Timberland Regional Library Service is not that good. In addition the last two /d/u/m/b/i/n/g/d/o/w/n/s/ upgrades have more or less removed what little flexibility it had to begin with.

Just because yours works for you doesn't mean mine works for me (nor for the reference librarians who I go to for help, now, when I never had to before).

#346 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 02:01 PM:

Emma, Mary Aileen: I used to be one of those people who did maintainence on card catalogues. I know, and appreciate how hard it is, and what a drain on the resources it it.

But I've never found a proximity search function which works as well. I also dislike having to figure out the work arounds for each library I go to. I have five library groups in easy reach of my house (Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Glendale, Los Angeles). Each of them has a different system. When I was in college there were nine campuses, each with a different system (and an out of date, but not yet useless, card catalogue).

I have spent hours of my life searching fruitlessly for books I know the library had, but not being able to figure out the search string for that system.

I might not mind having to learn a new system, if I only had to learn one. I might not mind having to learn a new system if I didn't have to do it, every couple of years, at each library.

It's gotten to the point that I only use it to find specific books, and sometimes authors (e.g. John Mcphee, who ends up in different sections of the library).

#347 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 02:01 PM:

Charlie Stross, I blame YOU!!!

You made me late to work today. This is, of course, entirely your fault and not due to any weakness or lack of self-control on my part resulting in my inability to put down Singularity Sky. No indeed.

In fact, to show how strong I am, I demand a rematch against each of your other books in turn. My steely will will not be defeated again.

Or maybe it will. But it will be a lot of fun.

#348 ::: Sica ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 02:21 PM:

Open thread, any topic allowed right? I just ran across this piece of news and got filled with an urge to share.

When centrally held information goes bad.

There seems to have been a massive: "Eh.. Oops?" moment in the UK now.

The government has misplaced the personal detail of 25million people. This involves names, names of their children, bank details and national insurence numbers etc.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-7091090,00.html

#349 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 02:54 PM:

Sica, the story there, and the other I found online, which is almost identical, is slightly ambiguous. Do they mean there is no backup or other copies, so the information is unavailable now? That seems to be implied. Which seems nonsensical.

Or is the concern that the information could be misused?

#350 ::: Sica ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:05 PM:

I don't think they mean that the data is lost.

That's not the problem. The problem is the potential for massive identity theft and fraud if the disks get into the wrong hands.

This sort of data should not go missing.

#351 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:10 PM:

JESR@345 and Terry @346: Both your public libraries use Dynix. Perfectly good system for public libraries...but I'm used to a RollsRoyce.

Let me see something (skitters off into the Web): Terry, the browsing in the Pasadena and Glendale library catalog has been pulled to the left of the screen next to the record instead of in it. Bit of a pain but not unavigable. I looked at "trilobites"; not much cop, only two books, but there are links on the left to the broader term "paleontology" which leads to a subject list.

JESR, same thing for you. I guess it must be the "new" look for Dynix. You do seem to suffer from records with limited subject access. Your best bet is the "power search" feature.

Terry I understand the frustration, but different catalogs types serve different functions. Mine (III) was originally built to mantain processing records of complex serial materials; the front end was added later and it pulled information from very complete records. Dynix was designed as a front end, easy-to-search-by-the-average citizen catalog.

All online catalogs are built on the card catalog; in fact, if you look at an online record, it is a transcribed card. The only thing I can offer as a sop is that catalogs are undergoing rapid change and the next generation promise to be da..rned different. Ask Abi. Abi, where are you?

BTW, for what it's worth, I'll give you the secret of the graduate level researcher: you can look at ANYBODY's catalog and derive a list of books. I use Harvard to verify holdings information for mine! Then head out to your local library with a list of titles...


#352 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:14 PM:

JESR (341/345): There are certainly some horrible online catalogs out there. The one where my mother lives has now way to do a title search. Author, title, or keyword only. Stupid!

Terry Karney (346): Yes, the lack of easy proximity search in most online catalogs is their biggest drawback, with lack of standardization close behind.

Emma (344): You can tell which of the libraries in your consortium own an item. You can tell if it's checked out and if so until when. When an item is added to or withdrawn from the collection it updates instantly and automatically. YOu can check from home in the middle of the night. All wonderful things.

#353 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:16 PM:

On the one hand, there is a good probability that my family's data is in there, including bank details. It depends if it was current, or included historic information, since we left the UK Child Benefit rolls in July.

On the other hand, we're not likely targets, being neither rich nor famous. We're just sand grains on a very large beach, leaves in the forest.

On the gripping hand, it's useful ammo against the idea of a national ID database.

#354 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:28 PM:

Mary Aileen @338 & Emma @344: The cull list that I'd been handed was all nonfiction; it was also limited to a relatively small section of the library, but iirc it ended up reducing those particular stacks by ~15% and I know there were other lists covering the rest of the collection. IIRC the quiescent periods on my list were anywhere from one year to 8ish, averaging maybe 2-3.

Another strange feature of this exercise was that it was being surreptitiously carried out against the wishes of the branch supervisor, who shared the same view as both of you that one year was an excessively short cutoff, but apparently there was some further history behind it-- when the branch was renovated a few years ago, there'd been an earlier cull list to reduce the number of books to be kept in storage during construction, but the branch supervisor had successfully resisted that cull and now we were running low on shelf space for new acquisitions. It is a fairly small branch, but otoh the renovation was concurrent with the main library being replaced with a much larger building, which still has vast empty swaths of shelves. I guess they weren't thinking in terms of simply transferring some of the excess holdings over there.

#355 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:29 PM:

myself @ 352: no way, even (not 'now way', whatever that means)

#356 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:33 PM:

OK, I'll post. I don't want to seem too commercial, because this is my day job I'm talking about here. I'll keep it generic; if you want to know about my specific one or try it out, drop me a line and I'll send you a link.

Faceted search, to give it its proper name, is the New Wave in library searching. The goal is to take the base format that the library's catalog is in, be it a MARC variant (US) or one of the European formats like Vubissm@rt, and put a user-friendly front end on it. Nice to haves include full text newspaper articles where licensed, and multiple different databases in different formats all searchable together (we do this; some others don't).

At a minimum, these systems should allow you to search by title, author, keywords, series title, Library of Congress subject category, or just do a text search in the entire database for a word or phrase. My company was one of the early ones to add a visual element, with a word cloud based on what words turn up near the words you're looking for in records (co-ocurrences). A couple of other software providers are now adding tag clouds in to do much the same thing.

(Libraries need this because the general public includes a lot of visual thinkers as well as the text and keyword types. This stuff has to have many paths to the same information.)

Once you have all this searching, of course, you have a lot of results to take to the user. Pretty much everyone has a results ranking algorithm, trying to push the most relevant answers to the top.

Another piece of the puzzle is the ability to refine your search results, by subject area, format, periodical title, year of publication, whatever.

It's all about using the same catalog information libraries have always had (which is now, as Emma says, a collection of card catalog cards in electronic format) and trying to find ways of searching it and presenting it to the patron. The more thought that goes into the front end and the interaction with the user, the better. We do usability studies and reference a lot of search psychology.

(I also love feedback about what people love and hate in catalogs; I read threads like this with a notebook* to hand.)

-----
* hand-bound, naturally

#357 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:33 PM:

Stefan @329,

I got to play with one last weekend, and previously I'd had a chance to talk with people on its design team.

Overall I'm about 51% on the side of getting one for myself, based solely on how I could use it. It couldn't be my only laptop, though, nor could it be a work laptop.

(As to the olpc program for education- I think it could be helpful, just based on the numbers I'd seen for average textbook cost and lifespan. That's a different discussion.)

Pluses:
Screen quality- I took it outside to test sunlight mode. Easily readable in a bright courtyard at noon.

Configurations- the screen can be rotated from a standard laptop mode to a book mode.

Weight and size- lightweight. Designed for ruggedness.

Power consumption- very low power. I don't know if the 2for1 special comes with the pull-power generator. (That alone was a nice bit of engineering)

Noise- no fan.

Neutrals (to me):
keyboard- I could use the keyboard, but other people there with wider fingers were finding it difficult. I don't know how it would work for extended writing.

UI: the UI wasn't good, but I'd expect new ones to be available soon enough

Negatives:
It could only be a partial replacement for a work laptop.

If I found that the keyboard does't allow for extended writing, then the keyboard would have to move from neutral to negative.

Unknowns:
wireless and connectivity: I didn't test this.

#358 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:35 PM:

Julie @354: curioser and curioser. Nonfiction usually hangs around at least 5 years before being considered... In some subjects even more.

It sounds there were some nasty politics being played in your place.

#359 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:37 PM:

Emma, no, my best bet, these days, is to avoid the library entirely, in favor of Amazon and Powell's (although Powell's search is as bad as anything out there). I'm not researching anything which needs library access, I'm not motivated to push my beta-blocker dulled brain to master a system which, experience suggests, will be subjected to a complete redesign in a year or two anyway, and I've got sufficient money to buy most things I need, in the print world.

So I'm no longer a libray user; if I need something I can't afford (the Timber Press book on magnolias and their allies, for instance) I have my husband check it out. After over fifty years, I've been deaccessioned as a library patron.

#360 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:40 PM:

Not sure which thread is best in which to post this link:

Principle vs Money

#361 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:46 PM:

JESR @359:
I'm really painfully saddened to hear that. Maybe in a little while when the interfaces have stabilized you can try again.

I, for one, am working really hard to make that sort of alienation from the library not happen.

#362 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:48 PM:

JESR, I second Abi's feelings.
And if you ever need any research help, I'm a pretty good hand at surfing card catalogs of every stripe. Drop me a line.

#363 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 03:55 PM:

JESR: And I third them.

#364 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 04:04 PM:

One search system that irks me is IMDB.com... If I want to know more about, say, the bio of Katharine Hepburn, it will list all available entries for all the men whose names show up in relation to her, then we get around to the little women.

#365 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 04:15 PM:

Thanks Kathryn!

I suppose I could, if I found the one I kept to be a doorstop, donate it to a local program.

There are plenty of schools in the U.S. for which these little slabs would be a vast upgrade in technology.

#366 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 04:17 PM:

At some point the UMCP on-line catalog specifically had a "go back and forth sequentially through the cards" search method.

#367 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 05:00 PM:

kandle, #340: I thought "kindle" was one of the collective nouns for cats. At any rate, that's the first image MY brain pops up.

#368 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 05:01 PM:

Stefan @365,

On further reflection, I think that a good part of my hesitation is that I don't have much discretionary income for myself at the moment*.

If that wasn't an issue, I'd be very likely to consider it. Some part of that is based on wanting to be an early promoter of the technologies and pricing of an olpc**. (not necessarily to be an early adopter: I live in Silicon Valley... I can early-adopt vicariously.)

Being able to read and write on a device in bright sunshine- that's a big plus.

-------------
* darn you, UCPress sale. Although many of those are to be Xmas gifts.

** rugged, low-power, open-source, under $200. I generally like these.

#369 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 05:21 PM:

"Never burn a bridge unless your foe is on it, captain."

(Found in http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20071116)

#370 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 06:04 PM:

Lee@367: I didn't know that meaning of "kindle", but you're quite right. What a nice word (well, use of). Not sure it's what the makers had in mind, though.

Perhaps they plan to make a start on the burning of books...?

#371 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 06:32 PM:

A question for the Fluorospherianly massive brain.

I'm looking for SF stories I'm sure I've seen / read, but I don't have time to reread my collection of Asimov's magazines (most likely place I'd have seen them).

What near-future SF stories have covered inexpensive gene testing? These stories would cover issues and implications of you knowing many of your own significant SNPs*, good and bad.

This wouldn't include stories where full genetic engineering and repair is possible, or Gattica.

I'm looking for SF takes on today, where you now can get a probability map (however fuzzy) of certain genetically-linked health risks. Your test results may also apply to various family members.

I've read through the wonderful 'Biology in SF' blog and a few similar places- it doesn't list specific stories.

Other places I could look? People to ask? Do you remember stories like this?

--------
* that is, what you can buy for $1000-$2500, as of this month.

#372 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 06:49 PM:

Beyond this horizon springs immediately to mind, incorrect chromosone count and all.

#373 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 07:32 PM:

Terry @372,
I recall that story jumping from plain old selective breeding (original Howard family) to widespread longevity (from research on Earth).

I'm thinking more about stories that have the look and feel (poignancy) of Heinlein's Life-Line, when people are contemplating if they should gain certain knowledge of an unchangeable fact.

But instead of the envelope containing your death-date, the envelope contains probabilities- that you're more likely to get heart disease, or not get colon cancer, or to get Alzheimers, than average...

#374 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 07:55 PM:

Too far advanced, Terry, for Kathyrn's purposes. "Melodies of the Heart" comes to mind, but I don't think that's what she's looking for either. I think there's a story in Greg Egan's Axiomatic that'd fit.

#375 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 08:13 PM:

Beyond this horizon is the one with the genetic breeding, and "The control naturals" who are just randomly bred, instead of the parents going to a genetics counselor, and getting whatever improvements they can make fit.

It has the guy from the 20th century who shows up and is a freak.

It's not a future history story at all.

#376 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 08:48 PM:

But there are versions of the Future History chart that have it. It's an oddity. I seem to recall asking James Gifford about this at the Centennial, and, dammit, don't recall what he told me, and the Reader's Companion is elsewhere. Both copies. Dammit.

(Okay, the hardbound copy is somewhere in one of our countless boxes of books. I must start unpacking them.)

#377 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 08:48 PM:

Some days I need to wear a bicycle helmet while surfing the web.

crash.

Brian May, lead guitarist from rock band Queen who has just completed a doctorate in astrophysics, was on Monday named as the next chancellor to Liverpool John Moores University.

(checking calender, no, not April 1. hm.)

#379 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 12:06 AM:

#378: Cripes, Cthulhu has a lot shoes!

#380 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 12:56 AM:

I'm dropping this here because I simply can't keep up with all the Christianity discussion in all the places it's happening at the moment. So people will have to settle for two very generalized responses.

First, on Biblical literalism: Obviously it isn't really. What it really means is an interpretational tradition in a milieu where there isn't a hierarchy to transmit it. The thing is that they do have something of a point: there has to be some point at which non-literal readings have nonetheless to be constrained by the text.

Second: on a different thread there's been a lot of discussion of Christian plausibility that is dipping heavily into Christology. This is in fact an extremely well-trodden field, so the first thing one has to do is deal with the standard answers. At the very least one should admit that speculation about what was going on in Jesus' mind is untenable. Another error which should be pointed out is that better-read moderns are prone to thinking that Jesus is more or less like the avatars of Vishnu. That is definitely inaccurate (at least if you take scripture as a source-- and what other source is there?). The fusion of the divine and the human in Jesus is permanent; the risen Jesus is just as human as before.

#382 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:21 AM:

#52 - Mary Aileen

The one where my mother lives has no way to do a title search. Author, title, or keyword only.

Huh? What is "title only" if not a title search? Or do you mean "author, title, or keyword" to be one omnibus search? (That's so backward and bizarre it took me three readings of you post to even consider it. My sympathies if that's the situation!)

#383 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:01 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 381... Heheheh

#384 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:22 AM:

BTW, anyone have a suggestion for an OTS (and free) catalog system for a home library? I don't have room on top of my bookshelves for busts of Roman emperors.

#385 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:33 AM:

R. M. Koske (#382) I found that piece in Mary Aileen's post puzzling too.
My biggest beef with most database searches over the last decade or so, despite constant requests in specifications I've contributed to, is the lack of "not". Often if I'm searching for something where you can get a large number of hits, the best way is to search for X and not Y, where Y is the likeliest false hit. Google is good this way, tho' not always consistently correct.

#386 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 11:30 AM:

R. M. Koske(382)/Mez (385): I meant "author, subject, or keyword only, not title. I obviously didn't proofread that post very well. Sorry for the confusion.

And, in fact, one can search that catalog by title keyword. But if you have an exact title--you can't search that way.

#387 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 11:48 AM:

I found this in today's newsletter from the Annals of Improbable Research.

"Effects of Caffeine on Olfactory and Visual Learning in the Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera)," A. Si, and S.W. Zhang, et al, Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, vol. 82, no. 4, 2005, pp. 664-72. (Thanks to James Rodger for bringing this to our attention.) The authors explain:

"Although caffeine is known to improve alertness and arousal in humans and other mammals, its impacts on specific behaviours, including complex cognitive processes, remain controversial.... Behavioural testing was performed with either tethered or free- flying adult honeybees. We show that caffeine has marked cognitive effects in this species."

Tethered bees?

#388 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 12:12 PM:

Serge @ 387

ISTR they tether them by a thread carefully glued between the wings. Not a harness, if that's what you were thinking.

(If you're studying flying objects, it helps if they can actually fly while being studied (they have small wind tunnels for this, I believe).)

#389 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 12:17 PM:

Popping in with a link I thought Jim might find interesting (since I don't see an easy email link for him as PNH & TNH have):

Bruce Schneier: More "War on the Unexpected"

A Canadian firetruck responding with lights and sirens to a weekend fire in Rouses Point, New York, was stopped at the U.S. border for about eight minutes, U.S. border officials said Tuesday.
[...]
The Canadian firefighters "were asked for IDs," Trombley said. "I believe they even ran the license plate on the truck to make sure it was legal."
I know that with fires, every second counts; glad to see such vigilance in protecting the homeland...

#390 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 12:30 PM:

P J @ 388... The idea of putting a harness on a bee hadn't occurred to me, but it makes the whole idea sound even sillier.

"Something wrong, honey?"
"I dunno."
"Have some coffee."
"I did. I just can't shake that dragged-down feeling."

#391 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 12:55 PM:

#386 - Mary Aileen

Ah! Yes, I can see that being quite frustrating.

#392 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 01:33 PM:

The idea of putting a harness on a bee hadn't occurred to me, but it makes the whole idea sound even sillier.

It's the only way to manage if, like Lord Mackay of Clashfren, you keep a bee.

(Reference to this episode of QI. Sorry.)

#393 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 01:34 PM:

Clashfern. Damn. The time to proofread is before you press Post.

#394 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 01:46 PM:

candle... Stephen Fry strikes again?

#395 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 01:48 PM:

Serge: Tethered bees?

Well, if you want your pet bee running loose all around the neighborhood...hey, does that thing even have a license?

Ha ha ha, tee hee hee...

#396 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 01:50 PM:

Serge -- I'll see your tethered caffeinated honeybees and raise you some shaved mice milk.

#397 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 02:00 PM:

Xopher... Debbie... Twasped the night beefore Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse whose back had been shaved.

#398 ::: Zed ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 02:01 PM:

Kathryn @ 371: What near-future SF stories have covered inexpensive gene testing?

Nancy Kress' "The Mountain to Mohammed". But its concern is the effects of such testing on insurance and, thus, health care availability. It doesn't dwell on people choosing whether to know their expected lifespan (indeed, part of the premise is that you basically don't get a choice, if you've ever sought health care.) But people knowing it is one of the touching-off points for the story.

#399 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 02:19 PM:

C. Wingate @ #384, it may or may not serve your needs, but you might want to look at Library Thing for home cataloging.

#400 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 03:00 PM:

The stockings were tethered by the chimney with Nair, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would bee there with a new shaver for Mom.

The children were nestlé'd all snug in their beds, while visions of Honeycombs danced in their heads.

#401 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 03:06 PM:

Kathryn #371:

I've seen a lot of factual discussion, but I can't think of any SF about this, off the top of my head. Though I'll have to go look for Nancy Kress' story, now.

The medical consequences are one side of this. I have a relative who carries the Huntington's gene, which is genuinely a nasty thing to know, and raises exactly the issues you're thinking of.

The health and life insurance stuff is genuinely hard to deal with. Suppose there's a set of tests that can give you a solid knowledge of the risks you face w.r.t. health problems. There seem two broad choices:

a. Insurance companies make you take the test, and then quote you rates; just like the physical or mouth swab (allegedly for HIV antibodies and residue from smoking, I think) you might take now. If you got the wrong roll of the dice in your genes, your insurance rates include the 15% chance you'll have breast cancer in the next decade.

b. Insurance companies don't or can't make you take the test. Many people take the test confidentially, and then go buy insurance based partly on the results. At least some levels of life and health insurance coverage likely become very expensive, because of adverse selection.

I could see this being one of the issues that drives us toward some kind of nationalized healthcare.

Similar concerns arise all over the place. Is it okay if we test accused criminals/juvenile delinquents/immigrants/everyone for crime-predisposition genes, assuming they exist and can be found? ("Sorry, Sir, but this test shows that you're at high risk of violent behavior, so we're not going to be able to let you rent an apartment here.")

Anyway, I'd be interested in seeing a post somewhere about what stories you find....

#402 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 03:08 PM:

re 399: Hmmmm.... Looks very intersting. It's probably not fully what I need since one thing I need to know is where things are (we have a couple of thousand books spread out over around 20 bookcases) but it would certainly be useful for one subcollection.

#403 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 03:11 PM:

albatross @ 401

Or testing for bipolar/unipolar conditions - they've demonstrated genetic connections (we aren't all surprised by that).

Or variations of genetic high cholesterol - would you get a better rate if you have the kind that results in gallstones rather than the kind that produces arterial blockage?

#404 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 03:51 PM:

C. Wingate @ #402, Use the comment field for location. Many users do that.

#405 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 03:56 PM:

C. Wingate @ #384: I second Linkmeister's suggestion - I love Library Thing. The cuecat bar code reader speeds up entry quite a bit, btw.

#406 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 04:03 PM:

C Wingate: There is/has been/always will be a great deal of discussion on the nature of the incarnation. The non-canonic gospels don't help.

But they do point to the problems of canon. We have the scriptures we have because people made choices about what to believe/transmit. We accept them because a lot of people had a lot of arguments about them. Absent the belief in direct intervention to see to it we got the pukka gen (and the text doesn't support that) we don't know they are correct, we merely accept them as so.

For those who are interested, I commend "Misquoting Jesus" for it's explantions of how exigesis works.

As for the "avatar" aspects of well read moderns, it's not unique to us. Entire religious structures built on variations of the nature of Christ existed, and continue to exist.

#407 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 04:07 PM:

Oh, dear.

"Director Ron Howard consults with scientists at the particle physics research center for a movie version of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons.[...]

"Angels & Demons is a detective story about a secret society that wants to destroy the Vatican by using antimatter stolen from CERN."

#408 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 04:29 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 407... You didn't make that up? It sounds like one of those SciFi Channel plots we sometimes cook up around here.

Holy Heavy Water!

#409 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 04:50 PM:

Lee @ #367: I'd seen that term spelled "kendle", and I had it associated specifically with a litter of kittens fathered by more than one male. (The multiple-fathers-for-kittens-in-same-litter is well attested, but I can't find a source associating that with the word "kendle" so I may be confused.)

For me, naming an e-book reader "Kindle" brings on unfortunate images of book-burning.

#410 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 05:15 PM:

Does anybody remember the complete lyrics from MST3K's Thanksgiving song? I googled for it, without luck. I think it went:

We're gathered together

To watch cheesy movies

On Mystery Science Theater 3000

I forgot the rest.

#411 ::: Wristle ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 06:57 PM:

C. Wingate @384 - I have no personal experience with ABEBooks' free Homebase program, but some persons I trust recommend it. It may well be overkill for your needs, but it seems flexible and can accomodate details like location.

#412 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 07:12 PM:

Since this is probably the last time I'll be near a computer until Sunday evening, I'm going to take this opportunity to wish everyone who goes in for this sort of thing a happy Thanksgiving, and everyone else a happy Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

#413 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 07:17 PM:

Same to you, ethan.

#414 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 07:28 PM:

Bill Higgins -- Beam Jockey #407: Anti-matter from CERN? That's a plot point with more holes than a Swiss cheese.

#415 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 07:31 PM:

ethan #412: And the same to you!!

#416 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 07:46 PM:

Linkmeister had the nifty idea that there should be a Libary Thing group for Making Light denizens. So I took the liberty of creating it - it's called "Making Light Denizens." (I thought about calling it "Fluorospherians" or somesuch but people would have to know how to spell it, and putting "Making Light" in the title for search purposes seemed sensible.)

It has no discussion forum or anything like that (since that belongs over here), it's just a way for us to group our member names together so we can snoop through each other's libraries. Please join it if you're a thing-er, and if you're not a thing-er, please consider becoming one! I'm also sending invites via LT to the few people whose usernames I know over there. (My username there is marydell)

#417 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 07:48 PM:

Fragano @ 414... When all seems lost, the Vatican is saved, not by the Swiss Guard, but by the Swiss Cheese Algorithm.

#418 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 07:58 PM:

Mary Dell, I shudder to think how many books that group will have in the aggregate once more Fluorospherians find it over there.

(Of course I signed up!)

#419 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:06 PM:

Have a happy Turkey Day, ethan, and everyone else as well.

#420 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:16 PM:

Mary Dell @ 416, Linkmester @ 418:

I'm in. That's three of us (I'm "doubtfulpalace"), and we collectively have 5,310 books. I should finish cataloging my library so as not to let down the side.

I'm not convinced the "most shared" list is accurate, since it didn't change at all when I joined, and consists entirely of Rex Stout books.

C. Wingate: I use tags for location, prefaced by an at-sign, e.g. "@oversize_downstairs" or "@books_about_books."

#421 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:26 PM:

Tim @420: It appears that Linkmeister and I are both Rex Stout addicts.

Tee hee, I just noticed on my profile page, under "members with your books" there's a member called "Rustermans"

I must catalog the last 200 books or so that aren't in my LT library so I can crack 1000 and not feel like such an egg compared to you folks.

I invited languagehat to join, btw. That's a library worth snooping.

#422 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:31 PM:

I'm on my second collection of the Wolfe books. When we moved from Virginia to Guam in 1968 I gave them all to the Fairfax County Public Library. It wasn't till last year that I finally got the one missing volume (A Family Affair) to complete the collection.

#423 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:33 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 419.. Have a good time. My own Turkey Day plans include, after setting up the Xmas Tree, watching MST3K's The Day The Earth Froze and, time permitting, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

#424 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:39 PM:

Oh my goodness. Following Tim's link from his LT profile finds a whole page of music downloads ostensibly pertaining to Christmas.

Yes, I am nosy. Why?

#425 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:40 PM:

Serge #417: That's not as cuckoo as an actual Dan Brown plot.

#426 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:42 PM:

#s 416, 418, 420: I joined also. I note that my presence, while increasing the number of books in the 'library' did not change the dominance of Rex Stout (though I have none of his works).

#427 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:43 PM:

Mary Dell @ 421: It appears that Linkmeister and I are both Rex Stout addicts.

There must be at least one book that all three of us have, though. Or am I misunderstanding what "most commonly shared" means?

#428 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:44 PM:

By the way, Tim, I'm not sure whether that "most shared" list is immediately updated.

#429 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:50 PM:

Also, the shared list is weighted. I'm not sure how. I think I once read Tim Spalding's explanation but have forgotten it.

#430 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:54 PM:

LT thread on common books and weighting issues.

#431 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:56 PM:

Linkmeister @ 424: Oh my goodness. Following Tim's link from his LT profile finds a whole page of music downloads ostensibly pertaining to Christmas.

And the deadline for this year's is Monday, and I haven't started it yet, or even had a good idea...

But 2003's entry is by far the most popular thing I've ever done, and seems like exactly the sort of thing that fluorospherians might like, and it's almost Thanksgiving, so... why wait?

#432 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:58 PM:

Ah. If you look at the Group Zeitgeist page (top right link at the Group home page) you'll see different books as commonly shared. The weighting concept is one I don't understand yet.

#433 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 08:59 PM:

Argh. All that coy blather and I broke the link. Here it is: Christmas Rhapsody (think Queen).

#434 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:03 PM:

Linkmeister @ 432: Interesting. Perhaps there really are no books held by three or more of us.

#435 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:08 PM:

Fragano @ 425... That's not as cuckoo as an actual Dan Brown plot.

His books are that bad?

#436 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:11 PM:

The vet said the cats need more protein (Spirit, particularly, who only weighs 5 pounds 4 ounces), so I bought turkey drumsticks and a turkey breast this week. I just finished cooking the drumsticks in the microwave (waiting for them to sit a bit before we have a bit and then freezing the rest) and tomorrow the turkey breast goes in the microwave.

#437 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:16 PM:

Serge @ #435, here's the best review of The Da Vinci Code I ever saw. And it is just as bad as the reviewer claims.

I reviewed it myself the day before that one appeared.

#438 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:17 PM:

Re: LT I'm in, but so far the only books I have listed are the ones which happened to be on my desk here at work (ones recently loaned out and returned and not yet taken home) or semi-permanently on my bookshelves here. Maybe this will incentivise me to get my home library straightened out post-move.

#439 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:18 PM:

Have a good Thanksgiving Day, Marilee. The kitties too.

#440 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:24 PM:

It certainly would be an incentive to find the rest of my library, which is all out of Rex Stout - although my mother certainly had a number of them.

Cookbooks, on the other hand - those I have several of on the 'open' shelves.

#441 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:53 PM:

I added myself to the group. I don't have many of my books listed there yet. Thanks, Mary Dell.

#442 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 09:57 PM:

I'm in on the LT group, I'm tclucas. I have a couple thousand books that need cataloged, but that's why I've suggested that a CueCat might be a good gift idea.

Especially looking at other people's catalogs, I keep going "I have that book too", but I've not inventoried it.

#443 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 10:24 PM:

Questions about LibraryThing, on which I have my available books as Mezza (I wasn't allowed just Mez), but not the thousands packed away in the Great Clearances, e.g. my childhood complete collections of Biggles and Agatha Christie books, as well as 1960s & 1970s SF.

LibraryThing allows you to automatically import your Amazon wishlists, but then just merges those entries into the list of your existing books, and doesn't, say, automatically add a tag like "wanted" or "wishlist" or "amazon". So it looks like I have a bunch of odd, exotic, expensive and exciting books which in fact I've just been hankering after for years.

Does anyone know of a way to easily distinguish those on import? Or do I just have to comb through the entire library searching them out and tagging them?

It'd be very useful to have some kind of 'category' or 'shelf' or 'bookcase' or 'file cabinet' thing as a choice *for display* along with everything by author, or everything by title, etc, so you could have different sets kept together and then sorted within each of those. So I could have the wishlist on one 'bookcase' screen with a title or label I could call Amazon Wishlist, 'parents' or something for everything I can remember that's packed away there, and so forth, and they'd move if I got something from the wishlist and changed its category to, say, 'homelibrary', or brought a box from my parents' over to home.

Does anyone know if there's some kind of way of doing this already that I haven't grasped?

#444 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 10:34 PM:

Tania @#442, if you see a book in someone else's library that you also have, just click the plus sign and it'll add it to your catalog. That's one of the great things about LT. I have a CueCat, but for popular stuff like, say, Rex Stout, I just find a library that's already got it and dump the appropriate books into my own library.

Tim Walters @#434: four of us so far have 1984 - including you, me, and Linkmeister. If you click through the various names you can see how many books you have in common. The weighting thing is weird...you would think it would give more weight to a book owned by more people.

Fragano, you and I only have 14 books in common, but those books happen to be ones that I particularly love. So I shall have to go a-browsing in your library to see what else I should be reading.

Hey, I hadn't noticed the cool "also on" feature in our profiles before - it lets you link your LJ, DA, flickr, youtube, myspace, etc - up to 10 other online identities. I left my DA off of there (DeviantArt, that is) because some of my art is a bit boobalicious and I don't want my Dad or co-workers browsing through and being shocked. But it pains me to lose an opportunity to have a complete, octopus-like web 2.0 identity.

#445 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 10:57 PM:

Re; Library Thing, Rex Stout, etc.. Don't forget the Nero Wolfe cookbook.

#446 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 11:11 PM:

linkmeister @ 437... Thanks for the link. Many moons ago, I had considered reading the book as what it is, a work of fiction, but I was told it wasn't very well written, and kind of boring. So I passed. Good thing I did, eh?

#447 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 11:52 PM:

I"m glad all that talk of animal crap has faded away; this was beginning to seem like the Thread at Poo Corner.

#448 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2007, 11:57 PM:

Mary Dell: But it pains me to lose an opportunity to have a complete, octopus-like web 2.0 identity.

I think the octopus got harpooned by the basic flaw in a "complete Web 2.0 identity" -- most people do want some boundaries as far as who sees what!

#449 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:04 AM:

"Oh bother," said Pooh as his roll of paper ran out in the very middle of the Hundred-Acre Wood.

#450 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:40 AM:

Mez, you might want to haunt the Site Talk group, or the Desirable Features group (I know that's not the right name, but there's something like it), because Tim and his team are constantly improving the system and they're pretty responsive if enough people ask. Somebody may have requested exactly what you're asking: a "tag while importing" feature.

#451 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:40 AM:

Serge @ 408 -- oh yes, it's the real plot. Makes my brain hurt. The book contains the immortal line "So....CERN has a particle accelerator?"

(This once spawned an entire subthread here, arguing about whether or not that was a reasonable thing to say.)

In that book, CERN also has a super-jet.

#452 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:42 AM:

re 406: Bart Ehrman helped edit the last version of the standard intro work on NT textual criticism, Text of the New Testament, but frankly you'd be better off sticking with the primary author, Bruce Metzger. If you'll look at any review of Misquoting Jesus from the scholarly community, you'll find that they all complain that he is exaggerating the issue to the point of severe distortion. He is book fits into a secular worldview that wants an unreliable gospel, but when it comes down to it there's not much reason to believe that gospels have been altered theologically over the years. It is abundantly clear that they haven't been altered so much as to produce a gnostic to Nicene transformation. Also, part of the problem with trying to compare the gnostic texts to the orthodox ones is that their notions about religion are so different. The gnostic texts don't have to be true in the context of gnosticism, but the orthodox texts do have to be true within their own context. To accuse the church fathers of picking and choosing among the text is to beg the question: one cannot reconcile the two sets of texts without picking and choosing.

#453 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:56 AM:

Jeepers. While searching LT for "importing wishlists" I found this nifty hack for picking up all the "items you've told Amazon you own" and importing them:

1. While signed in to Amazon, click the center tab on the top ("your name's store")
2a. The top line should read "These recommendations are based on items you own and more." Click the "items you own" link.

2b hack the url part limiting the number of books listed
e.g. &minItem=1&maxItem=999
2c hit enter to get a complete list of books you've ordered

3. Select "view page source" (under the View menu, or simply command U on a Mac)
4. Select all and save as a text file
5. Import that text file into LibraryThing using the Universal Import

Now I wonder if the same could be done with a wishlist.

If not, this page says (on the right, in yellow) that there are instructions for importing from Amazon wishlists. And so there are. Since it forces you to do them one page at a time, in theory you could do a page, tag each item (which should be identifiable in your "add books" page as the most recently added books), and repeat.

#454 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:58 AM:

I did it. Broke down and joined LT, started added the books in eye's reach.

I have one book which only one other member has. I also have one book (so far) which isn't findable in the data base, so I get to learn the advanced tools.

Go figure.

But most of my books are in storage.

#455 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 01:07 AM:

#416 Mary

But what about the ExtremelyGuilty Pleasure books one doesn't want other people knowing one has?! (There are some such as Legend of Miaree which I have simply because I have a really bad case of book hoarding and back when I could find it, wasn't into deacquisitioning... were I deacquisitioning, which I ought to do and had things sorted and organized and accessible (ha, ha, ha, ha...) it would be one of a not inconsiderable number of books on the "books that I would only look at again for research purposes, their value as entertainment and information content for me is negligible." It's not something that I'm embarrassed to acknowledge having copy of--bought it long ago when I was buying rather omnivorously and widely. I have a number of books that other people regard highly that have no appeal to me--those, too, don't fall into the Embarrassment/continuing-lapse-of-taste category--that I bought back then, under the "if you wait to buy it until you're sure you really want it/think it worthwhile, it shall have gone out of been and become unavailable."

As for my want list, one of these years I intend to do something about getting a copy of Forgotten Queens of Islam, and the volumes of A Mediterranean Society I don't have, and perhaps a copy of The Itinerary of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela. I probably never will do anything about getting a first printing of Nine Princes in AmberNine Princes in Amber

#456 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 01:13 AM:

Paula, one of the features Tim's working on is a way to hide part of your public library. Your request isn't the first of its kind. OTOH, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen, as there are higher priority items in his and his team's mind.

#457 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 01:15 AM:

That Möbius transformation particle is really gorgeous. If you're interested in following up the math involved I most highly recommend Visual Complex Analysis by Tristan Needham. It's an informal book* understandable by someone with a good grasp of trigonometry and as much calculus as you'd get in high school AP class. It presents the subject in a strongly visual format; there's an average of more than one diagram, drawing, or computer plot on every page. There's also an emphasis on how to use computers to model and draw many of the mathematical objects. I enjoyed it a great deal, but then I'm a geometry freak from way back. If you are, you'll like it too.

* that is, not all lemmas are proved and many proofs are just sketched.

#458 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 01:32 AM:

#455 Not to mention the smut that all us 40 year old perverts in our underwear presumably have. Unless we're all sock puppets.

#459 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 01:36 AM:

Bruce Cohen @457: One of the blurbs said something to the effect, that if you could only buy one math book this year, you should buy this one. I could only, and I did.

Your link was 'malformed' (sorry). Fixed it for you: Visual Complex Analysis.

Wish I understood it better, but that's me. Since I started studying computer graphics (thirty years ago), I developed an odd fetish for math books. This one was especially appealing.

#460 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 02:34 AM:

Linkmeister @456, et.al.

I've added myself to the Denizens. I've also got a cue-cat that's partially on its way to LT readiness.

However, in logging onto LT tonight it seems as if the UI has changed since the last time, and for the worse. Anyone else seeing that?

Previously I could select a book, select the appropriate cover and it- the right version- was part of my LT list. Now I'm seeing no options for "choose from this set of the most common versions." It's taking several clicks to get a book in.

#461 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 03:05 AM:

Kathryn - I think they're doing upgrades or maintenance, because LT was acting normally, and right now it is wonky. Apparently we're supposed to be in bed at this time of day??

#462 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 03:21 AM:

Albatross @401, Zed @398, J.A.A. and Terry:

Most of the time when I read about a new science development it'll remind me of a few SF stories. Remembering the author or title might be tough, but a bell, however faintly, is rung*.

Not with the 23AndMe / DeCODEMe news. A middle-class person pays 1-2 weeks wages in order to get an incomplete but still interesting database of genetic information? In a few years that $1000 will get them their complete genome? Nifty and Shiny. Why am I not remembering stories from 15 or 20 years ago that contain this?

Thanks for giving me the title of that Kress story. I remember reading it in Asimov's: it has quite a kick. (iirc- that's the one where a doctor is xvpxrq bhg nsgre ur urycf na havafherq crefba, cneg bs n ynetre cyna...?)

The Kress and the Flynn (Melodies...) both have hopeful endings- something is changed, or changing.

What I'm trying to remember- if I've ever read them- would be stories like the last paragraphs of LifeLine. You can choose to know an unchangeable fact about yourself, but that's it.

The closest (for the poignancy, not the specific science) I remember is a novella from 5+ years ago**. In that story the protagonist discovers he is one of the very few people who can't be helped by the common genetic treatment for aging. He had to come to terms with that.

23AndMe is only offering a faint and fuzzy probability map, but that's still profoundly different from what we've had before***.

-----------
* Bells? 'A Song for Lya' comes to mind, for example.

** Published in Asimov's, by Marusek, WJWilliams, Reed or Stableford, most likely. Contained a bit about "adults give children pets to help kids learn about death."

*** If you've got a LJ account I've got a F-locked essay on this, with more to come.

#463 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 03:32 AM:

Mary Dell back @ 444: Thanks! That's exactly what I needed. Now I need to go read up on looking for duplicates -- ooh, look at that, it just identified my current upload as having 55 dupes. Hurrah for technology.

#464 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 03:48 AM:

Just joined LibraryThing as SpeakerToManagers. It's way too late to start adding books; I was only up this late because our toaster oven just died, and I spent awhile finding a replacement at Amazon. It's true their search engine sucks, so I had to do a linear browse through all the DeLonghi products in their catalog to find the right one. Then, of course, the one I wanted had a 3-6 week delivery on it, so I found another one that I could get in a 4 days, but that took more browsing. Meh, I say, meh!

#465 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:06 AM:

Kathryn #462 -- I don't think it's Marusek. As I understand it, all of his SF is included in either "Getting to Know You" or "Counting Heads" (or both); I've read both this year and that's not ringing bells for me.

#466 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:07 AM:

I'm evilrooster on LT. Joined the group.

Just joined the group, but cataloging the collection again (we abandoned our delicious library catalog a year or so ago) is a big job.

Keep intending to finish cataloging the bookbinding books, with the intention of moving the book reviews from my increasingly stale bookbinding site.

Time, of course, permitting.

#467 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:09 AM:

Sigh. Sick, not proofreading posts.

#468 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:20 AM:

Rob Rusick @ 459

Thanks for fixing that link. That was a weird miscopy, I wonder how it got that way? Maybe I was trying too hard to not use the google link, which is rooted in www.google.com, and gives the posting routine on ML indigestion, causing posts with only one link to be held for inspection.

I was somewhat into math in high school and for awhile in college, but I ran into a block that made me drop it for years. But I've always been fascinated by geometry, and I love animated films so I gravitated to computer animation, and so I had to study geometry again, as well as basic linear algebra and curve and surface interpolation, and I found I really liked it.

The result is somewhat of a fetish for me as well. I have a lot of math and physics books, and some of them are really at or beyond my limit of comprehension, at least with the time I have to put into them. But I keep plugging away at them, and I'm occasionally rewarded by comprehending something really beautiful, like Group Theory, and its relation to the structure of geometry, or the basic idea of Clifford Algebras.*

* Clifford algebras, also called Geometric Algebras, create a general structure which describes all geometries, and in which a given algebra describes the geometry and all of the geometric objects of a given n-dimensional space. In 3-space, for instance, the Clifford Algebra consists of 1 one-dimensional object (a translation), 2 two-dimensional objects (oriented surface areas, and 1 three-dimensional object (a volume).

#469 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:42 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale: That potential Marusek is ringing a bell for me, I know I've read it too. Oddly enough, he's spending the winter where I grew up, instead of on the other side of town, or I could call him up and ask. My copy of Getting To Know You is on loan right now, or I'd browse through to check.

#470 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:08 AM:

Todd @465, Tania @469,

You're right about Marusek, as that story isn't in either book. In my memory it feels slightly more like a Marusek than a Williams- but all four of those authors can do that poignancy I recall from the story*.

I'm now remembering that the protagonist is going to use his remaining years to compose a play. (He's an actor / was a famous actor?)

----------
It's related to, but not identical to Sensawunda. The greater the wonder, the potentially greater the sense of loss- but not every author can do loss.

#471 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:23 AM:

SpeakerToManagers @ 468: Thanks for fixing that link. That was a weird miscopy, I wonder how it got that way?

If you don't put "http://" on the front of the link, it assumes you're linking to a page within Making Light and helpfully adds the "http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/" for you.

#472 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:29 AM:

"Angels & Demons is a detective story about a secret society that wants to destroy the Vatican by using antimatter stolen from CERN."

We're going to use it to construct a replica Jesus. When the real Jesus returns, the two of them will collide and annihilate in a blaze of gamma radiation!

(Incidentally, I would like credit for not actually typing the implicit dreadful pun here. Serge - watch and learn, son.)

#473 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 07:16 AM:

ajay @ 472... C'mon... You know you wanna.

#474 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 07:22 AM:

Caroline @ 451... The book contains the immortal line "So....CERN has a particle accelerator?"

"My work is nearly complete."
"Don't! You will destroy the fabric of Reality!"
"Power up the accelerator to maximum!"
"No!"
"Inject the particles!"
"You are mad!"
"At last, as I shatter them, I will be the first to discover of what the Nielsen-Hayden particles are made of. Bwahahahahah!!!"

#475 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:00 AM:

473: "You mean, an anti-Christ?"

#476 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:02 AM:

ajay @472: There has been speculation that matter traveling backwards in time would be equivalent to anti-matter; apparently Feynmann diagrams of electrons colliding with positrons (releasing gamma ray photons) could be interpreted as an electron moving forward in time, releasing a photon and then recoiling back in time as a positron. It was even speculated that there might only be one electron in the universe, traveling forward and backwards in time.

When I first read The Man Who Walked Home, I thought this might account for the cataclysm caused by the backwards traveling astronaut (however, that much anti-matter might have cracked the earth's crust).

In the 50's, Dr. Teller provided some newspaper copy about the possibility of anti-matter explosions, dwarfing the H-bomb projects. It inspired this poem, originally printed in The New Yorker.

#477 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:44 AM:

Somewhere in Heaven, people observe the end of the universe. Richard Feynman is among them.

"Well, that was cool. Let's watch it again. Backward!"

#478 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 10:52 AM:

I just tried to join LT, discovered that I already am in there (chatworthy). I do own more than two books, really.

#479 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 10:53 AM:

I just joined. My Library Thing ID is readinggeek451. I haven't input much in the way of books yet, so I'm bringing the average way down at the moment.

#480 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 11:01 AM:

I have my complete bookbinding library in now, though all my reviews are still on my own site (I'd like to move my binding bookshelf to LT, or use an LT plugin for it, but that's a big site redesign job.)

I think we'll add the other books in when I get around to doing an import from our delicious library files. The books themselves are either a few hundred miles or a fortnight away, depending on how you look at things. It may be some time before it's all ported over.

LT is of professional interest to me as well, since we're about to start the beta release of user tagging to library books, and we've got agreement from them to import the LT tags into our DB. (And one of the LT team is a bookbinder named Abby, so they are clearly doing something right!)

#481 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 11:34 AM:

Serge #435: It's certainly true of the DaVinci Code which is a mass of absurdities piled on each other.

#482 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 11:49 AM:

abi, because of you I'm thinking about signing up for this class.

#483 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 11:55 AM:

Tania @482:
Looks promising.

Langstitch und kettenstitch books can be really fun to make, and you can use a lot of interesting materials in them. They also have the advantage of requiring very little equipment, which means you can make more of them at home.

If you decide to do it, tell us how it goes!

#484 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 11:59 AM:

Mary Dell #444: To have a lot of books in common with my library you'd have to have similar professional interests, so I'm not surprised the number's small. I hope you find some things worth reading in my small collection.

#485 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:17 PM:

I looked up "Making Book" by Our Hostess in Library Thing's "UnSuggestions" - books least likely to share common library ownership with the title entered.

Dan Brown's works were high on the list.

(#1 was "Lolita")

#486 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:44 PM:

Fragano @ 481:

The DaVinci Code is a mass of absurdities piled on each other.

Sounds like football to me.

Jon @485:

(#1 was "Lolita")

I'm not signing up for any system that's been infiltrated by kiddy-porn spammers.

#487 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:52 PM:

Tania @ 482... Yoga while bookbinding?

#488 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 12:55 PM:

Rob #576

Mike Ford did an unintentional Confuse Teresa and Patrick when alluding to that poem years ago at a party at a Boskone or a Lunacon. I got the reference, but TNH and PNH didn't. They looked at him with the "Huh?" reaction.

#489 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 01:15 PM:

Joined LT. I only got one book in; the connection dropped (it was very cranky yesterday evening). I think I'll send them money for a CueCat, but I have books 'before ISBN' that I'll have to do some other way. LC number, maybe, if I can find one?

#490 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 01:17 PM:

Paul A @ 471

That's it. I deleted the "http://" from the copied URL by accident. Never try to navigate the twisty little passages when you should be sleeping.

#491 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 01:50 PM:

PJ, I had at least 500 books with no ISBN numbers when I entered my library into LT. Since I didn't care about which edition showed up (most of them were paperback fiction), I just typed in the title into the search box on the "add books" page and took whatever it gave me (Amazon actually had the bulk of them; if that didn't work I tried searching LC records).

If the specific edition is important, LC would be a better bet.

#492 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 02:38 PM:

The comments thread at the Sidelight link about Robert Redford was wonderful to read. I can't help but wonder about this line from Redford's text "Forgive me while I dodge the rumble of the million footed throngs that have succumbed to the marketing ether for Christmas and its days."

How do you dodge a "rumble"? Unless he's talking about a gang fight a la West Side Story, of course.

The comment "Of course there is the possibility that his cheese has slid off the cracker." elicited a true LOL moment here.

#493 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 03:37 PM:

Linkmeister, some of my books are so off-the-wall that the LC may be the only place I can find them catalogued. (The Ladies League of Leavenworth, The Kansas Home Cook Book is first to mind. 1886, or thereabouts.)

#494 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 03:38 PM:

Fragano @ #481: Angels and Demons makes The DaVinci Code seem like a masterpiece of witty writing, clever plotting, and plausibility.

#495 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:02 PM:

Clifton Royston #494: Having read the Templar/descendants of Jesus 'novel', I don't think I'll be reading anything else of Mr Brown's in this lifetime.

#496 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:04 PM:

I am reading term papers and developing a death wish. This is why:

The Weimar Republic was present from 1919 to 1933 in Germany.

Once Nazi Germany came in to place, the hopes for all other forms of government were seemingly hopeless.

Many critics argued that Marx Communist Manifesto promoted individual freedom and wealth.

Lenin was the greatest theorist and practice of Marxism.

Trotsky was an international.

He was a consecutive fighter for interests of proletariat.

In those times USSR was so monolithic formation, the given event has passed absolutely without serious consequences and imperceptibly. Also easily and simply Ukraine could transfer not only Crime, but also, for example, Siberia or Kola Peninsula. Khrushchev firmly promised to construct in USSR communism by 1980, but as is spoken in one of jokes, Olympiad prevented.

The leader of the Varangians was the semilegendary warrior Rurik who led his people in 1862 to the city of Novgorod on the Volkhov River. The Communists under Vladimir Lenin seized power soon after and formed the USSR.

Khrushchev gradually gained strength within the party, and in 1964 he was ousted.

So far the European Union reserves the right to deny the Catalonian region the right to inter the European Union.

Also, the trade surplus was $27.95 billion in the month of October which grew 13.5 percent since 2000.

The reason why is because Putin has put policies into place that make it basically impossible for any piece of democracy to spring forward.

In February 2001, two editors of a Cherkessk newspaper were attacked with armed guns and badly beaten in their workplace.

The assailants were dressed in police uniforms and they not only broke their computers but they also broke the journalists’ bones as well.

The war has led to massive killings and coasted both countries thousands of dollars that should have been used to support internal issues such as starvation and droughts.

First off, the British imminently removed the color bar that prohibited Eritrean to be employed as civil workers.

There was speculated fraud in the elections and this was investigated and closely observed.

The 1917 victory of the Bolsheviks over the czarist government is the Russian Revolution gave them the wanted forefront of the socialist action.

#497 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:17 PM:

Fragano @496:
I like this one.

In those times USSR was so monolithic formation, the given event has passed absolutely without serious consequences and imperceptibly. Also easily and simply Ukraine could transfer not only Crime, but also, for example, Siberia or Kola Peninsula. Khrushchev firmly promised to construct in USSR communism by 1980, but as is spoken in one of jokes, Olympiad prevented.

I wonder how it went in the original Klingon, and why the writer felt that Babelfish was a reliable translator?

#498 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 04:26 PM:

Abi... I liked the part about Ukraine transfering Crime.

#499 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:02 PM:

Trotsky was an international.

Boney was a warrior, away-ay-ya...

The "monolithic formation" fragment actually looks like someone thinking in Russian - at least, I hope that's the case.

I also like "attacked with armed guns".

#500 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:09 PM:

Fragano @ 496


Please, please tell me that wasn't all extracted from a single paper. That high a concentration of whatever-the-hell-it-is that's concentrated there is guaranteed to warp space, time, and sanity.

#501 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:10 PM:

abi #497: On reading that passage I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. I elected to add it to my collection of student infelicities instead.

I was more impressed by the student who mentioned an attack with 'armed guns'.

#502 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:13 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #500: Fortunately, no!

#503 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:18 PM:

candle #499:

The student in question can barely write English (which is that student's native speech).

#504 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:21 PM:

Rob Rusick @ 476

however, that much anti-matter might have cracked the earth's crust).

*Physics would-have-been alert*
Turns out that while electrons and positrons annihilate each other into pure energy, that's not how baryons (protons and neutrons) do it. The result of the reaction is three highly energetic pi-mesons. And there have been some simulations of such reactions with macroscopic amounts of matter and antimatter; depending on their relative masses and velocities it's possible for the initial reaction of the meeting surfaces to create a buffer of hot plasma so that the annihilation continues only at the intersecting surface, which advances relatively slowly. It's similar, on a much larger scale, to what happens when you assemble a critical mass of plutonium slowly: instead of a big bang you get a small bang or even just a meltdown. So it's possible that Tiptree's time traveler would just dig a big enough crater that all the watching satellites would assume a first nuclear strike and launch their own missles. Not that that would be any fun, either.

PS.
Firefox' spellchecker spells "missle" wrong.

#505 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 05:42 PM:

attacked with armed guns

"Why is that gun giving me the finger?"

#506 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 06:26 PM:

fragano,

i think it's funny that not only did the assailants have guns, their guns had guns. & then what did they do? they beat up the journalists. seems like such a waste.

#507 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 06:47 PM:

miriam beetle #506: That was my thought too.

#508 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:00 PM:

Serge, #439, thanks! The boys liked both kinds of turkey meat but Spirit turned her nose up. Literally. So I froze the drumstick meat in two-cat batches and the breast meat in one-portion-for-me batches. I was surprised how moist and flavorful a microwaved turkey breast is.

#509 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:08 PM:

Marilee... You're welcome. Say, is Spirit the love child of Morris the Cat?

#510 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:11 PM:

Fragano Ledgister (496):
It looks like you a man in need of a red rubber stamp to blazon WTF? all over those papers.
Turning paper grading into a drinking game wouldn't be good for your liver.

#511 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:18 PM:

Bruce @ 504

Let me guess - the Firefox spellchecker wants an 'i' between the second 's' and the 'l'. (Which is, I seem to recall, the most usual spelling.)

We're almost to turkey-and here. The weather is nice, the cats are mostly behaving, and the not-yet-done food should all be done on time.

#512 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:35 PM:

I'm about to turn our roaster oven to preheat.

#513 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:38 PM:

Marilee @ 508 says:

I froze the drumstick meat in two-cat batches

Where are the drumsticks on a cat?

#514 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 08:59 PM:

For those who forgot, Galactica: Razor will be aired this coming Saturday night.

#515 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 09:03 PM:

John Houghton #510: I've had one beer all day (with Thanksgiving dinner), and am waiting for the semester to end before I have anything much stronger. Though I am tempted.

Additional reasons for said temptation:

Aforementioned the king is constantly criticized for his leadership methods and decisions concerning the Swazi people but no individual or group is powerful enough to overthrow his throne or the dissipate the monarchy.

They’ve caught the people’s attention by mesmerizing us with their Geisha’s and electronics.

Beginning on December 11th 1994, Russian troops invaded Russia.

There are mountains in the eastern region; on the coastline is the Mangrove swamps, which has a plateau in the interior with wooded hills.

#516 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 09:46 PM:

They’ve caught the people’s attention by mesmerizing us with their Geisha’s and electronics.

Damn those steampunk-erotica writers! Damn them all to hell!

(... mesmerizing us with their Geisha's what?)

#517 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 10:00 PM:

vian #516: With their Geisha's literacy, I expect.

#518 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 10:27 PM:

The Making Light Denizens group at Library Thing is starting to take shape - 18 members, 22,043 books, and Making Book is up toward the top of "most frequently shared books."

Yay! More, more! Just follow the link through to the group profile page to join.

A tip for LT newbies: You can start cataloging your stuff quickly by scraping other members' catalogs. Do a search for an author and click the "+" next to the books you also own. If you have different editions or need to scan a cover, you can add tags like "change cover" and sweep through later making the changes as you find time. If you have a particular interest (Alexander the Great, Knitting, etc), you can do a tag search to find someone whose library is similar to yours, and add entries that way.

#519 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 10:40 PM:

Todd Larason @#458

#455 Not to mention the smut that all us 40 year old perverts in our underwear presumably have.

Or have in our underwear.

The simple solution is to sign up twice, once with a public library and once with a private library. But I'd like them to have a flickr-like friends & family option - so some items in my library would be friends-only. That way I could show off my collection of smut. And nothing but; a dirty novel I can't shut, etc.

Paula @#455: It sounds like you just need an appropriate tag, like "crap" or "youthful folly" or "strictly research."

#520 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 10:52 PM:

Fragano @#496:

they not only broke their computers but they also broke the journalists’ bones as well.

I actually think that one's rather clever.

Oh, wait, my eye passed right over that "also" in there. Urk.

#521 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 11:36 PM:

I'm putting in the Fred G. Best Collection as a trial run on this thing.

Can we get a new thread for this?

#522 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 11:36 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 496: "In those times USSR was so monolithic formation, the given event has passed absolutely without serious consequences and imperceptibly. Also easily and simply Ukraine could transfer not only Crime, but also, for example, Siberia or Kola Peninsula. Khrushchev firmly promised to construct in USSR communism by 1980, but as is spoken in one of jokes, Olympiad prevented."

So tell me: what's Redford like in person?

"The leader of the Varangians was the semilegendary warrior Rurik who led his people in 1862 to the city of Novgorod on the Volkhov River. The Communists under Vladimir Lenin seized power soon after and formed the USSR."

Must be a geo major.

#523 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2007, 11:37 PM:

In the most recent episode of Pushing Daisies, there was a character introduced named Oscar Vibenius; that last name feels Meaningful, but I can't find anything promising. It looks like Latin to me, so of course this is the proper place to ask, right? Does it mean something?

#524 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 12:12 AM:

Does anyone know what to properly call the plastic stuff IKEA uses to cover some of their furniture: it is like corrugated cardboard, but made of translucent plastic. I want some to line my stairs, but I don't even know where to ask for it!

#525 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 12:38 AM:

Bruce #504

Initially I misread "Tiptree" as "Tipler," which should cause some ROFLAsO.... The first wrote SF, the second went off into territory making Dan Brown look credible....

Mary #519
What about "obsessive-compulsive hoarder" ....

#526 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 12:54 AM:

Re LT: Okay, I'm in, under stardreamer. I've actually had the account for a while, but had only added a few of my reference books. Now I've upgraded to a lifetime account, and will start adding the rest of the collection In My Copious Spare Time.

Flowery Tops -- when you say "looks like corrugated carboard, but made out of plastic", the first thing that springs to mind is Coroplast. I'm not sure that's what you want, but at least it might be a starting point. If that is what you're looking for, any graphics supply store probably has it, and places like Home Depot as well.

#527 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 01:26 AM:

Paul Leiberman @ 525

And for yet more synchrony, Tipler's major paper "Rotating cylinders and the possibility of global causality violation" showed that General Relativity implied at least the possibility of time travel.

Tipler was actually quite a competent physicist; it's just a damn shame he turned into a fruitbat.

#528 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 02:22 AM:

Serge@410: I remember it going like this:

We gather together
To watch cheesy movies
On Comedy Central on Thanksgiving Day.
[On Mystery Science Theater 3000]
'Cause we're the biggest fans
And we love Turkey Day.

I'm about 95% certain of 5 of those lines; the one in brackets is a conjectural reconstruction.

#529 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 03:23 AM:

Lee @ 526:
Thank you, that looks like the stuff I'm after. I think the local sign writer should have enough for my project. Thanks!

#530 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 05:17 AM:

Beginning on December 11th 1994, Russian troops invaded Russia.

"They'll never expect it!"

And I agree with 497 and 499 that the "monolithic formation" bit looks very like it was badly translated from Russian. There's only one article (Russian has none) and "to construct in USSR communism by 1980" is classic Russian sentence structure.
I suspect that the writer's familiarity with Russia probably owes a lot to Nikolai Ivanovitch Lobachevsky. (hoi!)

#531 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 05:47 AM:

So far the European Union reserves the right to deny the Catalonian region the right to inter the European Union.

Well of course. Wait until it's dead before you bury it. Those Catalans have no patience.

#532 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 05:54 AM:

just joined librarything. started with my will eisners, spent a couple hours browsing through recommendations & related links.... now i've got a good chunk of my graphic novel library up, with a few random prose novels.

also i joined the denizens, as miriambeetle. (so much for taking advantage of the holiday by getting away from the computer.)

#533 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 06:29 AM:

We had an outbreak of Clueless Author Self-Promotion on LT yesterday, so I spent most of my cat-vacuuming time over there. And thus spotted the Making Light Denizens group on the "recent groups" list at LT before seeing it here...

While I was wasting time there, I checked up on the progress of the "collections" project. Progressing nicely, apparently. This may well address the issue of "do I want to share my porn collection with the world?", if they include the option to make individual collections private rather than having to have your whole account either public or private. The current workaround is to have a second account for the embarrassing stuff.

#534 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 07:29 AM:

In a confluence of threads: I (in my twenties; I cannot possibly comment on my perversions, real or otherwise) am sitting fully clothed at my desk, and have just joined the LT group (as, with great originality, Jakob). I signed up for a lifetime membership when it was first starting out, but a move got in the way of my cataloguing, and I never got back to it. Now I just need to add the other [BIGNUM] books in my collection - at least I have a cuecat, which should help.

I think I exist, having met some of the Brits on this board IRL...

#535 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 09:43 AM:

Library cataloging? I'm happy just to have the shelved ones grouped by category and in alphabetical order! (The heaped ones are mostly large art or photo books, and so far the heap isn't big enough that I have trouble finding anything.)

My big project at the moment is catching up with more 2007 books and galleys, so I can try to add my faves to the Locus Recommended List -- still very much a work in progress, with a ton of reviewers and editors putting in suggestions, and any nastier squabbles still to come. (Last year I had to fight hard for one book that ended up winning the Poll in its category. Talk about vincication!)

#536 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 09:53 AM:

Mary Dell #520: I would never attribute to cleverness what would better be attributed to writing the paper at the last minute.

Heresiarch #522: Unfortunately, we don't have a geography department or programme.

#537 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 09:58 AM:

ajay #530: Indeed not.

The sentence structure looks Russian to me too, which is worrying for other reasons. It doesn't turn up on Google, though, so it's probably not plagiarism.

#539 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 10:19 AM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) @#527: Am I high, or have I read a short story by that name?

*google*

Ah, right. Larry Niven, Convergent Series collection. Now that I know about the paper I'll have to go reread the story (I'll peek at the paper, but I'm sure it's over my head).

Fragano Ledgister @#536: You're right, I should know better. I tutored at the IU writing center back in my grad school days--I once had a student who plagiarized his "summarize the essay" assignment from the textbook's intro to the essay.

#540 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 11:33 AM:

Mary Dell #539: My favourite is the student who copied text from the online Catholic Encyclopaedia, and couldn't figure out how I'd found out.

#541 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 12:06 PM:

Vian @ 516... Damn those steampunk-erotica writers!

Here's what I got when I googled 'steampunk erotica:

http://www.steampunkmagazine.com/faq.html

Whatever happened to Steamypunk?
Some of the people who were working on the magazine wanted to put together an issue on sex and gender, featuring feminist steampunk erotica (literary and illustrated). Turns out this was a remarkably unpopular plan, and we don't want to accidently associate our regular contributors with erotica. The project isn't dead, but is released independently of Steampunk Magazine. If you have any interest, contact us and we will forward you on.

I picture a Foglio cover of Agatha Heterodyne as the wench holds a wrench rather suggestively.

Disgusting.

#542 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 12:32 PM:

Fragano @ 515:

There are mountains in the eastern region; on the coastline is the Mangrove swamps, which has a plateau in the interior with wooded hills.

It sounds like the landscape for a really bad D&D game...

#543 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 12:38 PM:

537: have you googled it in Russian?

#544 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 01:32 PM:

Emma #542: Possibly. Or a very bad surrealist painting.

#545 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 01:41 PM:

ajay #543: Alas, I can't.

#546 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 01:45 PM:

Fragano @#537: It is plagiarism, unless that's your student's website.

Scroll down to the section on Nikita Kruschev.

My google-fu is strong!

#547 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 01:48 PM:

Fragano @#537: The Rurik bit: more plagiarism.

#548 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 01:55 PM:

It appears that the contact information for the domain name for that website is protected by a WHOIS privacy service.

#549 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 02:00 PM:

BTW, here's my simple search method that works well for either plagiarism or computer error codes:

Take a 2-word phrase from the text that's wrong, unlikely, highly specific, or misspelled. Search for it in quotes. If that doesn't yield a result, add third word from the piece outside of the quotes with + in front of it. And don't let Google correct your spelling.

EG:
"monolithic formation" +ussr
"semilegendary warrior"

#550 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 02:28 PM:

Nice work, Mary Dell. I thought my Google-fu was good, but your Google fu is very strong.

#551 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 03:12 PM:

Mary Dell #546: Thanks. Your google-fu is very strong.

I tend to use complete phrases when I google for plagiarism.

#552 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 03:35 PM:

Ouch. I hate it when what looked like interestingly bad writing just turns out to be plagiarism, because that compounds the offence of (someone else's) incompetent writing with the laziness of not even bothering to write, or rewrite. Have I mentioned here before the student who not only plagiarised from the internet but left in the hyperlinks? In that case the offender was at least not a native English speaker, which makes the attempt a little more understandable if no more legitimate.

The "key phrase" approach is a good one, though. One student I caught after idly typing his description of Plutarch as "a notorious Pompey fan" into google, simply because I liked the phrase and the apparently inadvertant allusion to Portsmouth FC. Sadly it turned out to be part of the Wikipedia entry on Pompey (although not any longer, apparently).

Still, I shall add "native English-speaker writes paper including passages seemingly translated from Russian" to my collection of warning signs for plagiarism. Thankfully I haven't had to worry about that too much for a while.

Sorry, Fragano. It's always depressing having to deal with plagiarism.

#553 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 03:45 PM:

(Fragano: you will have spotted, I presume, that the three quotes previous to the "monolithic formation" passage in your list are also from the same page. I assume they are from the same essay. I'm disappointed to find that the original in fact read "Trotsky was an internationer", although I suppose it's just as good.)

Luckily, "Aforementioned the king" doesn't turn up anything. So probably not plagiarised, but at least leading me to have pleasant visions of His Highness King Aforementioned III...

#554 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 04:05 PM:

Todd@523: Vibenius doesn't look to me like Latin for anything. Names with that ending are quite common in Scandinavia and the Baltic, so it may not mean anything. Of course, I didn't check to see whether it is an anagram of anything...

Meanwhile:

Oh, take me back to old USSR
Where Ukraine could transfer not only Crime
And Lenin is from Rurik only time
And Trotsky was an internationer.

In Manifesto Marx it tells us live
And wealth for individual promotes;
For proletariat is freedom votes
And Trotsky he would fight consecutive.

So Putin is to Lenin monolithic
And is of Marxism the greatest practice
While journalism armed with guns attacked is
And Trotsky semilegendary mythic.

This imperceptibly is consequented
As Khruschev learn in city of Cherkessk:
Knocked by the boot the tribune or his desk.
(So Trotsky jokes:) Olympiad prevented.

#555 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 04:10 PM:

Fragano,
At least your plagiarist put some effort into it! I came across one once whose idea of writing a paper was to string together the first sentence of every paragraph in the first three chapters of the textbook. The whole thing was slightly surreal: individually, every sentence made sense, but since he had scrambled the order, the paper as a whole read like something put through a logic Cuisinart.

#556 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 04:33 PM:

candle #552/553: Oh, absolutely. That's going to be one very unhappy student. What's fascinating is that the web page was listed on the student's works cited page -- and I'm going to have to hear 'but it's on the works cited page' as an explanation.

Somehow, I couldn't see Trotsky as a rugby player (my default understanding of 'an international').

I'd already caught three other cases of plagiarism in this grading session, and this does not make me at all happy.

#557 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 04:49 PM:

Emma #555: That sort of thing is a common sign of plagiarism, since the primary reason students just present chunks of copied text as their own is laziness. The commonest sign is a shift in diction -- badly written sentences being followed by paragraphs of great clarity.

#558 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 08:05 PM:

Delurking a bit late, but this thread actually pushed me to use my librarything account (hhertzof) instead of leaving it lying there empty.

I hadn't bothered because I'd cataloged all of my fiction in Readerware a few years ago and couldn't be bothered to redo it, but today when I went over, I noticed there was an option to import a list of ISBNs, so I just exported the thing to a csv file, and now it's merrily chugging away at the 4000+ books that had ISBNs.

Now I just need to remmeber to remove books as I weed them. And add the nonfiction....

#559 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 08:11 PM:

Serge @ 541

Waiting for the turkey to be done ... yesterday was Tofu Day with our youngest son, so we need today to punish our arteries.

Serge, you're honestly telling me you don't find Agatha attractive? Come on, I won't tell Sue.

#560 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2007, 10:15 PM:

Mary Dell @ #416, I'm in ("lila"). I'm new to LibraryThing, so only a few books listed yet. Of those few, B.J. Chute's Greenwillow and Laura Gould's Cats Are Not Peas are the most obscure. They're both great books, by the way.

#561 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2007, 01:07 AM:

Serge, #509, I don't think she's a finicky eater (in fact, she just had some dry food and is checking both Shiva and me for who she wants to sit with), for some reason, she didn't like the turkey. She's never been a beggar for people food like Shiva is and Giorgio sometimes is, so it may just be that it's not her style. She devours the packet food in the morning, so maybe I need gravy. I had lunch with Brenda Clough today and she suggested baby food meat, so I'll get some of that on Monday to try, too.

John A Arkansawyer, #513, you should pay more attention! I posted earlier that I was microwaving turkey drumsticks!

#562 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2007, 06:21 AM:

Yay! Looks like Australia has a Labour government. And about time too.

#563 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2007, 09:34 AM:

The LT Making Light Denizens group is up to 31 members, with 27,150 books.

The most "commonly shared books (weighted)" list is looking properly inbred:

Making book by Teresa Nielsen Hayden (10), Web of angels by John M. Ford (6), The falling astronauts by Barry N. Malzberg (3), The dragon waiting : a masque of history by John M. Ford (7), The Face of Time by Camille Bacon-Smith (3), Star Trek - How much for just the planet? by John M. Ford (7), Land of Mist and Snow by Debra Doyle (4), The princes of the air by John M. Ford (4), New skies : an anthology of today's science fiction by Patrick Nielsen Hayden (3), Toast by Charles Stross (5)

#564 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2007, 12:47 PM:

Congratulations to our Australian friends!

#565 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2007, 02:40 PM:

The video found at the "Why we live in New York" sidelight is wonderful. Incongruity is alive and well.

#566 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2007, 06:08 PM:

Thanks Steve & Clifton. After a sweet night's sleep, this morning I am almost unspeakably happy. After so many crushing years of fear, regression and cultivating the worst in ourselves, at last there is some small shy hope of progress and humanity here.

#567 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2007, 06:59 PM:

Mez #566: small shy hope

That is a nice turn of phrase.

#568 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 01:25 AM:

Lila - Cats Are Not Peas is a great book, a friend gave it to me for my birthday years ago. The story of the elusive male calico cat, how fun.

Now I need to go check and see if it's one of the ones I've cataloged...

#569 ::: Individ-ewe-al ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 04:55 AM:

After some hesitation, I joined my embryonic LT catalogue to Making Light Denizens. I'm livredor there, hence the hesitation since that account links to my LJ. My LJ identity isn't exactly a secret, but I'm trying to keep it at least a couple of hops away from my real name. I suspect Mary Dell's Web 2.0 octopus will devour me sooner or later anyway.

- * -

I had a Making Light dream last night. Teresa had edited an anthology of Harry Potter fanfic in verse, and I attended the booklaunch. I embarrassed myself by asking the inane question "can you tell us more about why you picked those particular works?" instead of the sensible question "why did you choose not to include any preface or discussion of the poetry in your anthology?" The panel somehow collapsed into an argument about religion, but I fell in like with another attendee, possibly my subconscious' version of abi.

#570 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 05:08 AM:

So where would be a good place for someone to start exploring the works of Richard Thompson?

#571 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 06:38 AM:

Mez: Well, we'll see. I like the promise to make a decent education available to everyone, no matter what their background, and I'm pleased that WorkChoices (AKA Sign This Or Hit The Street) is going, and I really hope they're going to do something about the health system. Mind you, Labor governments in all the States haven't covered themselves with glory on that one.

We'll see.

#572 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 07:59 AM:

#570: His most recent album is Sweet Warrior. It should be easy to find, and it's really very good.

#573 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:07 AM:

Individ-ewe-al @#569:

Awesome dream. I want that anthology.

I find online life is easier when there's only one identity to keep track of...however, I'm having trouble with this since my art is a bit provocative. Right now my plan is to develop a second identity that links to my first identity, but to put warnings wherever the links are. Not sure that's going to work. My writing is a bit provocative, too, and that's going to have to be associated with my actual name, because I refuse to faff around with a pen name just to keep my mom from finding out that *gasp* I'm interested in zex.

#574 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:09 AM:

By the way, although #573 may make it sound like I'm 12, I'm actually 40. And still worrying about these things. Sigh.

#575 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:17 AM:

Dave Luckett, yup. I'm hoping, too. Though the other big issues for me are assorted environmental & infrastructural ones.

Earl #567, "small shy hope" is a semi-quote of our late famous historian Manning Clark. Variations of it have since been used in a number of contexts.

Heresiarch #570 Beesweb is Richard Thompson's official site, with a full list of his releases. If you want to put your toe in the water <ahem>, there's RT - The Life and Music of Richard Thompson, a five-CD boxed set with 92 tracks. One short piece is a Guardian interview from last year.

#576 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 10:04 AM:

Congratulations to the Australians here on getting rid of your fucktard leader. Please keep a good thought for us to get rid of ours—though it's Constitutionally inevitable, he has as much respect for the Constitution as I have for him, and he may just decide that the WOT, and his role in conducting it, is too important to "change horses in midstream."

Unlikely. A less unlikely scenario is replacing our current fucktard with another warmongering, authoritarian, megalomaniacal bozo, and going along in more or less our current vein for another eight years, or until the citizenry overthrows him or a broad coalition of the willing from other countries realizes that regime change in the US is essential to the stability of the region and the world.

That's a nightmare scenario. May we instead get the result you got.

I also liked the "Why we live in New York" Sidelight. It reminded me of the time I heard a speedmetal version of "Hava Nagila" that had me literally dancing in the aisle (well, between tables).

#577 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 11:06 AM:

I have just read "Deer Hunting with Jesus", by Joe Bageant. In the preface to the Australian edition, he quotes an Australian friend: "I'm glad we got the convicts and you got the Puritans."

Well, maybe. Me, after reading that book, I'm glad we got rid of Howard before he managed to rape the working class quite so comprehensively as the poor suckers Bageant writes about have been raped. It's said we have a national value called "fair go". I tend to doubt it myself, but Jesus, I can still have that small shy hope that it's so.

And Xopher, yes, he was a f*cktard, and I can say with pride I never voted for his party. Did you know he lost his own seat in Parliament? The Prime Minister turfed out of Parliament? It only happened once before in Australia, and that was during the Depression. But here's the thing: he won three elections. Three times we lined up and put him in.

I reckon we've got nothing to skite about. Nothing. Less than nothing.

#578 ::: dave ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 12:19 PM:

#577: skite? I thought I spoke fair Strayan, but that's a new one on me.

#579 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 12:41 PM:

(Hmm, think I just accidentally deleted my comment. If it shows up anyway, apologies. This time I bothered to look up titles.)

I've been a Richard Thompson fan since I first saw him as a skinny teenager with Fairport Convention, minus the beard and with long straggly hair. "Sweet Warrior" is OK, but for recent stuff I prefer the idiosyncratic "A Thousand Years of Popular Music". My favorites are mostly from the Eighties: "Amnesia" (with the wonderfully ferocious "Gypsy Love Songs"); "Across a Crowded Room" (loads of great material, including "Ghosts in the Wind") and "Rumors and Sighs" (with the polar opposites in mood, "I Feel So Good" and "I Misunderstood").

RT is still doing great work, but these are songs I was lucky enough to hear live, and they still reverberate in memory.

#580 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 02:11 PM:

Faren @ #579 mentions Fairport Convention as the place to go to find Thompson's early work. That's quite true, and with some of the middle albums you get a bonus: Sandy Denny on vocals.

FC played interesting music; 1960s English folk interspersed with a little skiffle and a lot of flights of fancy.

#581 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 03:34 PM:

skite.n. a boastful person
v. to boast or brag
(apparently used mainly or only here in Australia/NZ. Could have been derived from a Scottish word).
"John's been skiting about his new car - that guy is such a big skite!"

#582 ::: Epacris needs sleep ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 03:53 PM:

[Excuse me. Pressed wrong bit of pooter at the wrong time.]

skite.  n. a boastful person, a braggart
v. to boast or brag
"John's been skiting about his new car - that guy is such a big skite!"
(Apparently used mainly or only here in Oz/NZ. Could have been derived from a Scottish word.)

Definitely a happy change in government. Better than I'd hoped for. A little of my badly undermined trust in people's good will, and hope for progress in humanity, has been shored up. Abraham Lincoln's quote about not being able to fool all the people all the time comes to mind. Best wishes to you USians for your next election.

#583 ::: Ruth Temple ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 03:59 PM:

Linkmeister, The only thing slightly out of true with your post @580 is the tense of the final sentence. FC *still* plays interesting music, very well.

#584 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 04:04 PM:

Just yesterday, I noticed what I think is a recent addition to a local strip mall's businesses...

Valhalla massage and body work
#585 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 04:43 PM:

Ruth, they're still around? I didn't know that. Thanks; I'll look 'em up.

#586 ::: Pyre is watching "Hogswatch" ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:04 PM:

Currently I am hallucinating a live-action movie of Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather" on the PAX cable channel. I must be hallucinating it, because if it were real then you-all would have mentioned it online, and nobody has (that I've seen).

Real convincing hallucination, though.

#587 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:10 PM:

At one point Fairport Convention had the distinction of being the group the largest number of different people had been members of. They had their own whole section in Pete Frame's Rock Family Trees.

We've seen them twice, once at the late-lamented Lone Star Cafe on lower Fifth Avenue, back in the 1980s when Dave Swarbrick was still a full-time member, and once in the early 1990s when Simon Nicol came and chatted with us at our table at the Bottom Line. This pales next to Jane Yolen, who put them up at her house when they played Northampton, MA.

#589 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:27 PM:

Any hints on how I might persuade a teenager that he should put the bottle of Génot-Boulanger 2005 Mercurey 1er Cru Les Saumonts ("A very pretty Mercurey, with slightly spicy cherry and raspberry fruit on a medium bodied palate showing some nice earthyness") back in his parents' wine cellar where he swiped it from, rather than slamming the whole thing because his life is frustrating?

Me: I think drinking that bottle alone would be bad for you, and a crime against wine...a wine like that should be appreciated and shared between two people (or among three or four), not slammed down for its alcohol content.
Him: That's why it's called alcohol abuse! :-)
Me: The thing about alcohol abuse is that the alcohol gets its revenge almost immediately!
...hmm. While I was writing the above, he decided I was right and put it back. He couldn't find a corkscrew anyway. Life.

#590 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:43 PM:

What was Galactica: Razor like? I taped it last night, and was going to watch it this afternoon, which is when I realized I should have tossed that tape in the garbage can a long time ago. Scanning problems. Oh well. It'll probably be aired again.

#591 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:46 PM:

According to the SciFi Channel's ad for Flash Gordon breathlessly told us that, in the next episode, Dale Arden finds herself possessed by an Evil Force, a situation immediately demonstrated by a shot of her grabbing Flash's butt.

#592 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:49 PM:

Serge 590: Rats, that was on last night? Drat.

___ 591: You know, I think I might be possessed by that very same force if Eric Johnson were standing in front of me...facing away.

#593 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:57 PM:

About the Joss Whedon (again) Sidelight, here's his original writeup on Whedonesque.

#594 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 09:58 PM:

Serge: If you like the new Galactica (and I'm assuming you do since you taped it) you'll love Razor. If you're someone who was old enough to stay up to watch the old Galactica but young enough not to realize how painfully dumb it was and thus still have some warm, if embarrassing, memories of it, you will really, really love it.

#595 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 10:13 PM:

It may have just been the partially-satisfied withdrawal pangs, but for me BG:Razor was seriously "Gosh, wow, ooooh. Mooore, please!"

#596 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 10:15 PM:

Can I just say how upsetting it is to me that the third season BSG DVDs are STILL not out yet, and probably won't be until April--which is when the fourth season is supposed to start?

A guy struggles to catch up, and then they do this to him. My memories of the second season are starting to fade, and I've already managed to be considerably spoiled for the third season despite all my efforts to avoid it. And now I have to wait to see Razor, and will have to wait again to see the fourth season. Hrmph.

#597 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 10:17 PM:

#586: The TV listing says it's a 2006 production. Never heard of it until now.

Aha:

Hogfather IMDB entry.

What the hell? What other Discworld movies have they made without anyone knowing? Could Hogfather have been a Straight to DVD stealth production?

Um . . . and I'm not watching it because of prior commitments and a busy PVR. Let me know how it looks.

#598 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 10:56 PM:

Stefan @ 597: It's amazingly decent. The DVD's available. And the same company is filming the first Diskworld novel, "The Colour of Magic", for a 2008 release.

#599 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 11:12 PM:

#598: What's really surprising is that there has been no real word of mouth. I mean . . . Discworld movie! I was getting "Dr. Who" episodes well before their broadcast here, but hadn't even heard of the "Hogfather" adaptation.

Cripes, next thing you know I'll check the newspaper and find that Pullman's "His Dark Materials" is being adapted to the big screen. (Heh, I wish!)

#600 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2007, 11:27 PM:

Ah yes, as to Doctor Who... you remember the series two episode in which the Doctor appeared only a few times, most of it being about a club of amateur sleuths trying to find him, as narrated by a club member named "Elton" into a home video camera? Cute friendly blond rock-music fan Elton?

Now take a wary look at the chillingly sociopathic odd-eyed assassin Teatime (Te-a-tim-e).

#602 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 12:39 AM:

I believe! I called my mother (a serious Pratchett fan) to alert her, but they don't get the right channel up on the mountain. However, there seems to be a DVD available.

#603 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 03:53 AM:

I'd like to see something, anything by Howard Waldrop adapted to the screen (big or little).

#604 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 06:50 AM:

Paul Duncanson @ 594... I was 23 when the original BSG came out and what I was able to catch, being cable-less then, made me wince (although it was better than Buck Rogers, but not as good as Duck Dodgers). That being said, I've been following BSG's new incarnation from the beginning and, of course, I had to pick a crappy tape to record "Razor". Argh.

#605 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 06:52 AM:

Hogfather was broadcast on Sky, the major UK satellite channel, last Christmas. And not bad, as I recall. But the silence does rather reveal how much attention people pay to satellite channels in the UK.

Mostly, Sky is the first to show well-regarded US sci-fi series. I reckon few watch it for original stuff.

(OK, so there's Brainiac, but the appeal is probably in the young ladies with high heels and high explosives.)


#606 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 06:53 AM:

Xopher @ 592... I might be possessed by that very same force if Eric Johnson were standing in front of me...facing away.

Is that the part where I do my impersonation of Capitaine Renaud when he's told about gambling at Rick's? Anyway, I think they repeat Friday episodes on Thursday nights. I think.

#607 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 06:55 AM:

Dave Bell @ 605... the young ladies with high heels and high explosives

What? They literall are bombshells?

#608 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 07:06 AM:

Serge #607: Young ladies who are literal bombshells may be found here.

#609 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 07:15 AM:

Serge @ 604: I was 11 when the original Galactica first aired. I loved it. By the time it was first repeated I couldn't stand it and it took quite a bit to convince me to start watching the new version. (My initial review of the new version read in full: "My God, you can polish a turd!")

But there was still an involuntary squee of ... something joylike ... from my inner 11 year old when, in Razor, jr frr fbzr plyba praghevbaf naq svtugref gung fheivirq gur svefg jne 40 lrnef rneyvre naq gurl ybbx whfg yvxr gurl qvq va gur byq frevrf... but done well.

#610 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 07:21 AM:

Fragano @ 608... Ow. I had heard of that one. Probably not one of Vincent Price's best.

#611 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 07:28 AM:

Paul Duncanson @ 609... "My God, you can polish a turd!"

There was nothing wrong with the original show's premise. How the original executed (and I do mean executed) was a bit more problematic. But, yes, I understand what you mean. That being said, as was discussed here many moons ago, the new version is not something for depressive people.

#612 ::: Chris W ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 08:01 AM:

Is it some sort of very clever joke that when I click the particle link to brokennewyork.com I get a web page on which all of the pictures and links are broken?

(and if so, what's the point of the white-on-white spam text at the bottom with links to porn sites?)

Methinks someone's been hacked.

#613 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 08:06 AM:

Chris W #612: Thanks for asking that--I wanted to, but was afraid of embarrassment.

Speaking of Particles/Sidelights, holy hilarious! with the Joss Whedon and the brains and the zombies. Even though I'm about 90% sure, in my current weakened state, that he's anatomically wrong. Regardless, it's a great joke, and a great piece.

#614 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 08:52 AM:

Serge #610: Definitely not one of Vincent Price's best.

#615 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 09:06 AM:

Fragano @ 614... I wonder which I'd consider Vincent's best. Maybe Theatre of Blood, or Doctor Phibes? I rather like Master of the World.

#616 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 09:15 AM:

Pyre @ 598

I'd say maybe even amazingly good. The choice of Ian Richardson for Death's voice was perfect.

Stefan Jones @ 597

Were you aware of the animation of "Wyrd Sisters"?

#617 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 11:04 AM:

I guess Teresa's Particle to Rorshach's building maintenance is there for the text on the left of the page, and not for the broken links to the pictures (as interesting as they sound) nor for the porn links hidden at the bottom of the page?

#618 ::: Rozasharn ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 11:37 AM:

Stefan @ 597, there have also been animated versions of Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music. I think they were straight-to-video, at least in the U.S. In my opinion they're better than this Hogfather adaptation.

It looks like there are some other Pratchett productions I hadn't heard of, too.

I'm not sure how I feel about them making the Oh God of hangovers be Welsh. I would have named all the other denizens of the British Isles as stereotypically heavy drinkers before ever the Welsh would have come to mind.

#619 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 12:10 PM:

Somehow, I couldn't see Trotsky as a rugby player (my default understanding of 'an international').

A Rugby History Of Communism

1822: a young Jewish student in England, K. Marx (Charnley House), picks up the ball and runs with it during an inter-House soccer match. He is immediately disqualified, but predicts (in the school magazine) that the new game will achieve Europe-wide popularity.

1848: Marx organises the first public Rugby match. London Spectres play against a scratch opposition team in Trier. Spectres start well, but are beaten 22-16 in the second half.

1868: the First International, England v. France, played at the St Martin's Working Men's Club in London. Play stopped after pitch invasion by Napoleon III.

May 1, 1889. The Second International. Played in Brussels: British Amateurs v. All-Europe. All-Europe won, 18-10.

1903. Split of the Russian Rugby Football Association into Rugby Union (Bolshevik) and Rugby League (Menshevik) factions.

1905 (February). Debut of the Russian flyhalf, V.I. Lenin, for Moscow Reform. Lenin, however, did not play in the team's Derby match against the Russian Army; in the event, the Reffers (captain Fr. Gapon) lost 6-32. Lenin later left the Reffers on a free transfer to Geneva City.

1914. Russian Army loses badly at home to a touring German side.

1917 (February). After three years of defeats, the Russian management, under pressure from the fans, sacks national team manager N.A. Romanoff, replacing him with N.P. Kerensky, the Moscow Reform coach.

1917 (October). Lenin returns as player-manager for Petrograd, soon leading them to a 14-12 victory over Moscow Reform.

1918: Lenin appoints scrappy winger Leo Trotsky (Moscow Maccabees) as Petrograd coach. Petrograd retains its position at the top of the Russian Premier Division after beating off challenges from Siberian Athletic and the Archangel Internationals, but the national team loses to Warsaw Juniors in a hard-fought 22-19 cup match.

1921: Petrograd 14 - Kronstadt Anarchy 0. "They'll be dancing in the Nevsky Prospekt tonight, let me tell you", Trotsky tells reporters.

1924: Death of Lenin. Petrograd coach Leo Trotsky retires to become rugby commentator for Mexican radio. New national team manager I.V. Stalin announces end to Trotsky's programme of international friendlies - will concentrate on building "Rugby in one country".

582: "skite" is a Scots word (rhymes with "flight"), but I've only ever heard it used to mean "move rapidly and out of control" - "as soon as we stepped onto the ice we started skiting all over the place". "Flyte" is an early 19th century Scots word (pronounced "flight") meaning to compete by throwing poetic insults - I understand rap artists do something similar to flyting now. And "flype" means to turn inside out. Applies either to socks or to people you dislike. ("C'mere and I'll flype ye!")

#620 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 12:30 PM:

Bruce #616:

Huh, I thought the voice of Ian Richardson was the worst design choice in the whole production. (I realize a lot of people disagree with me.)

He sounded snarly and menacing. Pratchett's Death is gentle, implacable, hapless, understanding, confused, patient, confident, bemused, and very occasionally amused; but *never* menacing and he wouldn't know a snarl if one tried to bite him.

Also, the pacing felt rushed. Which never surprises me in a production of a novel.

This should not detract anyone from watching the show (and I hope it hits the US audience at some point). I liked most of the performances, and I felt like I was watching a Pratchett novel.

Stefan #599: "Cripes, next thing you know I'll check the newspaper and find that Pullman's "His Dark Materials" is being adapted to the big screen."

Would you accept a TV production of _The Ruby in the Smoke_ starring Billie ("Rose") Piper? Looks like they're doing the sequels too.

#621 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 12:36 PM:

620: I don't know. Death gets pretty furious from time to time. Remember "Reaper Man"?

A CROWN? His voice shook with rage. I NEVER WORE A CROWN!
You never wanted to rule.

And he's menacing enough in the duel in "Mort".

#622 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 12:37 PM:

Rozasharn at 618: Like Teatime, he's another Doctor Who actor - if you take a close look at the wedding photographer in The Runaway Bride, that's the Oh God of Hangovers. I suspect they just told the actor to use his own accent for lack of anything else they felt suitable.

The Welsh do drink, though - quite heavily on occasion. Generally the only visible symptom is that the singing gets slower and deeper.

I liked Hogfather a lot when I saw it - more than anything else, from the visualization of Pratchett's world, the costumes and the scenery. It felt right. I'm going to have to watch it again now, I think.

#623 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 12:53 PM:

ajay @619 -- "as soon as we stepped onto the ice we started skiting all over the place"...

...wearing our ice skites? (in other parts of the UK)

#624 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 01:13 PM:

Stefan #599 : Cripes, next thing you know I'll check the newspaper and find that Pullman's "His Dark Materials" is being adapted to the big screen. (Heh, I wish!)

Check the newspaper! It's called The Golden Compass and it's out next week. I've seen a trailer and thought it looked so-so, but I don't want to see it; as with many books, one has one's own mental picture of the characters and events that naturally don't match the film.

#625 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 01:24 PM:

ajay #619 : A Rugby History Of Communism Brilliant!

1914. Russian Army loses badly at home to a touring German side.
The return match was delayed nearly thirty years, but the Russians won it...

#626 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 01:31 PM:

Ajay, flype meaning to turn inside-out is a nice word. More so because there are enzymes called flipases-- pronounced flippases* normally, but if they're pronounced as spelled, it still works. They move things from one half of the phospholipid bilayer in a cell membrane to the other. Hee.


*a fair number of biology words seem to be pronounced interestingly. My favorite is morpheein; it would have been morphein, pronounced with three syllables, but very few people prounced protein like pro-tee-in and so it would have been morphein like morphine and the two are not the same. So they changed it to morpheein, which looks weird but is pronounced properly.

#627 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 01:37 PM:

John @ 624: In your browser's preferences, enable detection of the [snark]-[/snark] tags.

#628 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 01:45 PM:

ajay #621:

Okay, I pushed my argument too far into the never-never. But angry or menacing still isn't his *normal* presentation. (The scene with the crown reads as a shocking contrast.) Certainly not when he's talking to people he knows.

If he says something menacing to a... customer... he's much more likely to follow it up with ER, WAS THAT RIGHT?

#629 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 01:49 PM:

582: on reflection, there is a reference to the other meaning of "skite" in, I think, "Goodbye to All That", describing the Highlanders: "They're dirty in trench, they skite too much and they run like hell- both ways".

#630 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 02:00 PM:

Andrew @ 628: His normal voice is "like a tomb door slamming shut" -- which sounds adequately menacing as a baseline.

Richardson's voice is deep, not necessarily snarling.

By the end, when he's explaining to Susan what would have happened IF..., and how believing in the little lies prepares us to believe in the big ones (the important ones that make us human), that same deep tomb-door voice doesn't sound "snarling" at all, but utterly and completely trustworthy.

#631 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 02:08 PM:

Pyre #627 : No, my fault - the browser did put up a Snark Alert! but I clicked the wrong button.

#632 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 02:28 PM:

Andrew: ... though as for "snarling", particularly in his double role as the Hogfather, the scene immediately prior, when he asks the Auditors whether they had been Naughty or Nice, surely does merit that "menacing" description.

#633 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 04:19 PM:

The thing about Richardson is how much majesty he can get into his voice.** Death often tries to project human emotions, but his scope is always so much larger than human that it often doesn't quite register the way he wants. That's what Richardson did.

Also, there's a line somewhere in the first half of the movie where someone asks Death one of those metaphysical questions he's not supposed to answer, and he replies (paraphrase) "I'm sure you think that, but I couldn't possibly comment" which had me rolling on the floor.*

** Possibly the best moment in "Dark City" is when Richardson's voice tolls out, and I use that word advisedly, "Shut it down; shut it all down!" Fair raised the hackles on the back of my neck, it did.
* If you don't recognize that line, it's the signature line from the three "House of Cards" mini-series. Richardson's character, who ascends to be the Thane of Britain on a ladder of "collateral damage", is always using that line as a way of leaking something without actually saying it.

#634 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 05:06 PM:

#624: Awww, I was being goofy. I saw the "Golden Compass" trailer months ago and was intrigued enough to read the books.

I'm hoping that Pax or Ion or whatever they're called will repeat Hogfather. I'm not actually a huge Discworld fan -- I think maybe three of the dozen or so books I've read have really clicked -- but the setting is cool enough that the thought of an adaptation is intriguing.

#635 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 06:40 PM:

Re the _Scouts in Bondage_ particle - I picked up a copy many years ago for my sweetie, who is a Queen's Scout (the Commonwealth equiv of an Eagle Scout, I think). Garage sales - is there anything they can't offer?

We were a little let down by the plot, of course, but read in the right tone of voice, some passages are quite stimulating ...

#636 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 06:51 PM:

To me, Ian Richardson is Bill Haydon.

#637 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 06:55 PM:

I'm on LibraryThing now, as redrose.

Whoever suggested this should be (metaphorically) shot, since I have work to do, and this is way too much fun!

#638 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 07:30 PM:

vian 635: What on Earth is it about?

#639 ::: sara_k ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 07:52 PM:

Oooh, I love LibraryThing I'm sara_k

and a really interesting video on youtube, shot by tourist is Kruger National Park. Buffalo vs lions vs crocodile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

#640 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 08:17 PM:

Scottish skite or skyte - my reference (which I don't claim as wholly definitive or exhaustive) gives it meanings of:
    1. a quick, oblique blow or stroke; a chopping blow.
    2. a joke or prank.
    3. the butt of a joke or prank.
    4. a person whose opinions are not taken seriously; one held in mild contempt.
But there seems to be some interesting meanings for skyte in Norwegian.

In the Discworld books, Death's words are always WRITTEN IN UPPER CASE. I imagine a sort of inevitability or sureness, portentious without pretentiousness, and a voice that's very clear and audible, tho' not necessarily loud (I've noticed that some peoples' voices on radio cut thru' better). There's the wisdom of long, wide experience and seeing the best and worst of humans, naked and unmasked, but also the knowledge of one's own limitations, and the immense and unceasing possibilities of this unentropic existence — different to "rocks moving in curves and straight lines". The scene of the death of the deep-sea anenome (not sure if that's in Hogfather) is one of his most moving to me. The Hogfather himself has definite menace about him, like the older versions of St Nicholas.

Serge #636 His role as Bill Haydon (NTBCW Bill Hayden) seems to cross-fertilise or bleed into Francis Urquhart aka FU.

#641 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 08:56 PM:

Re: the GTTFD Sidelight -- I have a copy of this on the bookcase where I can see it from the bed and it serves the same for me.

#642 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 09:00 PM:

Nancy C. Mittens (637): I agree. So far, I've uploaded about 250 of my 1000+ books. I need a CueCat. And a computer in the same room as the bookcases. (Both of those are achievable....)

#643 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 09:48 PM:

Serge @636: To me, Ian Richardson is Bill Haydon.

Was he?* I remember the series, but never made the connection. David Cornwell (aka John le Carre) commented since the series was produced, he can't imagine George Smiley as anyone but Alec Guinness.


* Yes. I provided a link to imdb.com, which means I looked it up.

#644 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 10:28 PM:

Seth MacFarlane speaks to a WGA rally.

Damn, I knew I should've tried harder to get into SAG.

#645 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 10:32 PM:

On LT now as harplady. I'm going to experiment with it to see if it will work for cataloging my parents' libraries -- 5000+ of nonfiction and 3000+ of fiction, but hey, they're old and have been collecting and reading it for a l-o-o-o-ong time. Mom likes to remind me that she's been reading science fiction since she got A Princess of Mars for her 7th birthday in 1922.

Does anyone know of something similar for recordings?

#646 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 10:49 PM:

Tracie @ 644... Mom likes to remind me that she's been reading science fiction since she got A Princess of Mars for her 7th birthday in 1922.

I still don't understand why those books haven't been adapted on the big screen yet. I seem to remember Disney planning an animated version circa 1989. A couple of years ago, Jon Favreau was working on a live-action version when the studio pulled the plug.

#647 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 11:03 PM:

Mary Aileen @#641: Another quick-ish way to input books is to photograph the shelves and then dump the photos onto your pc. That way you can look at the spines in the picture and type the names into the search box. I got about half of my collection in that way before they started offering the cuecats.

#648 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 11:35 PM:

I find that entering books via ISBN is the easiest--it's shorter to type than the author and title, and it saves having to choose between editions.

Only works for books with ISBNs, of course.

#649 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2007, 11:45 PM:

Andrew, #620: There is only One True Voice Of Death, and that's Christopher Lee, the only living man who can speak in ALL CAPS. If they've cast anyone else for that part, it's points off.

Mary Aileen, #641: I'm at just shy of 250 too, and it's being a horrible time-sink when I should be doing other things. It was even worse today because I was entering the Sword and Sorceress collection (and discovering that I'm 4 books short of a complete set, phooey!) and kept getting seduced into reading some of the stories again.

Also, I haven't found the CueCat to be much help; apparently an awful lot of my books are old enough that even if they have a code, it won't come up on either LC or Amazon. Fortunately, the title auto-lookup is a lot faster than having to enter all the information manually... though I've had to do that a few times too.

#650 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 01:13 AM:

Many of my books are pre-ISBN, and the only way to enter them into LT was title-lookup. Fortunately most of them were also MMPs, so getting the particular edition right wasn't an issue for me.

As for cataloging recordings, it's been a wishlist item at LT almost since inception, but it's been deferred. I just Googled "CD cataloging system" and got a bunch of hits for software and freeware, so the idea is out there.

#651 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 02:58 AM:

There was some discussion here a while back on the tetralogies thread about P.C. Hodgell's To Ride A Rathorn, how it had been published and then immediately fallen out of print when her publisher went under. (Something like that: I might have the details slightly muddled.)

I just discovered that, AFAICT, the Science Fiction Book Club still has copies at $12.99. At least they just accepted my order for one, so I hope they really have it. If you're a P.C. Hodgell fan, joining the book club may be a small price to pay for the current installment of Kencyr goodness.

P.S. Is Making Light's new web host located in ancient Rome? spqr.cgi?

#652 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 02:59 AM:

I am going to be away for awhile (business calls me to germany, where I may have spotty access at best. With a spot of luck I may be able to check on things in the a.m. (I have to be at the airport by 0530... blyecch).

Absent luck, I'll be back on, or about, the 15th of December.

#653 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 03:12 AM:

Terry @651:

You're not, by any chance, going to be in the Amsterdam area during your travels, are you?

In any case, have a pleasant journey, and enjoy Germany. You should be in time for some of the really good Christmas treats!

#654 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 03:20 AM:

abi, sadly not. There's one day of down time, 09 Dec. I'll be in/around Nünburg.

Rules of the game don't allow me variations in itinerary. Otherwise I would be overoyed to gain an abi number of 1.

Really sad, is that I was able to make a trip to Edinburgh two summers ago, but didn't know to look you up, and so forwent it for a day strolling Inverness.

Next time you come to SF, I'll find a way to make the trip.

#655 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 03:54 AM:

Aloha Clifton! Thanks for the update on the P.C. Hodgell books. I picked up a copy as soon as it went into print, since her books seem to be rather ephemeral. But I know if I hadn't, I would be calling down blessings upon your head and ordering up a copy from the SFBC.

I've been planning on not watching The Golden Compass, because I don't like to watch films of books I've read. Daniel Craig may have just changed my mind. Yum, what a tasty piece of eye candy.

#656 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 04:49 AM:

Serge #645 writes (about Barsoom):I still don't understand why those books haven't been adapted on the big screen yet.

Unremitting nudity and ultraviolence? If you put people into clothes and remove the all the gore, you might as well not bother. Make a Sinbad movie instead.

#657 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 04:51 AM:

Well, that took a bit longer than I thought it would, but I've written up the war pr0n score card for the movie "300".

It came in at 602 points. That's the first draft total as of 4 am today. Maybe when I sleep on it a bit, I might find I forgot to carry a something or other.

You can read all the details here. One of the reasons it took so fricken long was that I had to count every single on-screen death. ~150 persians die on screen. and something like 20 spartans die on screen. That turned into a lot of hash marks.

The other thing was that I realized I couldn't ding the movie for doing something war-pr0n-ish if it was historically accurate for the battle. So, I had to do quite a bit of reading and what not, sponging up all the basic details of the Greco-Persian war from 502 BC up to the Peloponnesian war in 430 BC. OK, so I skipped some stuff in between. But I think I got all the bits that were relevant to the movie, at least.

If there's anyone who actually knows something about that part of history, (And I think there are a couple of you here), it would be really nice if you could skim the history part at least and make sure I don't have anything blatantly, embarrassingly wrong.

When I did V for Vendetta, it came in at 112 points, so I was curious how that compared to something really extreme like "300". Turns out "300" is in a whole nother league.

#658 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 05:03 AM:

Greg: Well, yeah, fiction about a (mostly) lone revolutionary in a tyrannized civilian society ... vs dramatized history of an open battle in which the protagonist army is wiped out ... there's likely to be a difference in level of violence.

At that, the title number "300" understated the protagonist death toll. We see 300 free Spartans go walking off to war on their own and get killed. In history the free Spartans were accompanied (and far outnumbered) by their helots.

#659 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 05:41 AM:

The Spartans were outnumbered 20 to 1 by other Greeks, as well, who fought beside them. The 300 are remembered mainly because they stayed while the others mostly withdrew when the position became untenable.

It should also be remembered that the Athenian navy fought a series of desperate actions in the waters just offshore, to prevent the Persians from landing behind the Thermopylae position, and emerged bloody but not defeated. And of course, that the decisive stroke of the campaign was not Thermopylae, but the naval battle of Salamis.

#660 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 06:17 AM:

Niall @ 655... I don't think so. They'd have made some changes. As for a Sinbad movie, Ray Harryhausen almost made one set on Mars. Never happened, but there is a comic-book out right now that is what the movie would have been.

#661 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 06:43 AM:

Greg @ 656: The other thing was that I realized I couldn't ding the movie for doing something war-pr0n-ish if it was historically accurate for the battle.

It's not meant to be accurate on several levels. The story of the battle at Thermopylae in 300 is wrapped in a framing story in which Dilios, the lone Spartan survivor, is getting the troops worked up for the next battle. The whole film outside of the opening and closing scenes is one big motivational speech. He's quite deliberately exaggerating the horrors and perversions of the Persians and the prowess of the Spartans so he can wrap it all up with a speech about how much more Persian butt they're going to kick this time.

So looking for any kind of historical accuracy in it is a bit pointless. It's all war pr0n. It's war pr0n about war pr0n in the one context in which war pr0n is the way the story should be told.

So you can either give it lots and lots and lots of war pr0n points because it all is; or you can give it none at all because a commander getting his troops riled up with tales of the evil of the enemy and the bravery of those who died fighting them is exactly the kind of thing that would happen the night before the big battle.

#662 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 07:12 AM:

Dave Luckett @ 658: "The Spartans were outnumbered 20 to 1 by other Greeks, as well, who fought beside them."

But Greg's "here" link already lists those: "300 Spartans, 1000 Mantineans,
1000 Tegeans, 2240 Arcadians, 800 Corinthians, 400 Phlians, 160 Mycenaeans, 1400 Thespians, 800 Thebans, 2000 Phocians" -- and as you say "the others mostly withdrew when the position became untenable."

My point concerns the "300 Spartans" figure so often repeated (and made the title of the film). A number like "2400 Spartans" might be closer to the truth, because in formation helots outnumbered the free Spartans they accompanied 7 to 1 in other battles of the period; and, though the exact proportions at Thermopylae are uncertain, the same 7-to-1 ratio would account for the numbers of the Greek dead later seen on the battlefield according to Herodotus.

#663 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 08:20 AM:

Clifton @ #650, Tania @ #654, and interested bystanders:

Hodgell's novels are also available as e-books, through Baen Webscriptions. (As are Miller & Lee's Liaden Universe novels and stories, incidentally.)

Whether this means that the next in the series will be coming out as an e-book, I don't know. If it does, and the Rathilien Curse succeeds in taking out Baen, I shall be suitably impressed.

#664 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 08:34 AM:

Tania @ 654... I don't like to watch films of books I've read. Daniel Craig may have just changed my mind.

He's probably the first Bond that my wife actually liked, and not necessarily because of the eye-candy factor. Even months after seeing Casino Royale, she still thought of the movie - it is quite intense, and there is a strong element of romance.

#665 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 08:36 AM:

Got a bit confused among the ramifying threads of discussion. I was wondering what happened to my reply @703 (November 25, 2007, 10:24 PM) to Pyre's hallucination of Hogfather, I thought maybe I'd copy it over here to where it might make more sense.

Pyre @ 696 [or @586 on this thread] That would be the Hogfather that was shown in the UK for last Christmas. I've been hoping that it'll turn up on our TV some day. Perhaps it will, because I see the (non-special edition) Region 4 DVD is due for release in the first week of summer (December 6th). I'm wondering if I should keep my powder dry waiting for the special edition (perhaps due for next Christmas, or just order it from the UK, because it's not mentioned on any of the pre-order pages.
*Grrrr* Why do they do this jerking around of their customers? Don't they know we're wise to them now? Do you think they're looking forward to the new DVD formats to institute stronger regional barriers? *sigh* Still trying to keep happy thoughts after the good news on the weekend.
Greg @ 656 There's an LJ called Popcorn & Chain Mail that does what is apparently called "history sporking" of films. They did a fine little number <ahem> on 300. It covered a fair bit of the original detail and ways in which the film differed, in quite a fun way. There are probably more serious treatments of it, but you might appreciate a little light relief.

#666 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 08:48 AM:

Yes, Librarything is crack, totally and utterly, and I'm glad I already had a partial catalogue for my library that listed ISBNs. I haven't transferred it all yet, of course, and I've barely begun to input all the paperbacks I have, in storage and otherwise, which weren't in the catalogue I had to begin with.

Tracie, have you checked out the "largest libraries" list they have? Your folks will crack it, easily. Also, I think you can use LT to list music--I typed in a couple of performers in the Add Books function and got what appeared to be recordings. You might try that for a couple of your recordings and see what you get.

#668 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:23 AM:

The thing about Richardson is how much majesty he can get into his voice.** Death often tries to project human emotions, but his scope is always so much larger than human that it often doesn't quite register the way he wants. That's what Richardson did.

Also, there's a line somewhere in the first half of the movie where someone asks Death one of those metaphysical questions he's not supposed to answer, and he replies (paraphrase) "I'm sure you think that, but I couldn't possibly comment" which had me rolling on the floor.*

** Possibly the best moment in "Dark City" is when Richardson's voice tolls out, and I use that word advisedly, "Shut it down; shut it all down!" Fair raised the hackles on the back of my neck, it did.
* If you don't recognize that line, it's the signature line from the three "House of Cards" mini-series. Richardson's character, who ascends to be the Thane of Britain on a ladder of "collateral damage", is always using that line as a way of leaking something without actually saying it.

#669 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:29 AM:

Paul@660: or you can give it none at all because a commander getting his troops riled up with tales of the evil of the enemy and the bravery of those who died fighting them is exactly the kind of thing that would happen the night before the big battle.

This came up when we were talking about V for Vendetta. Having V be a crazy, psychopath, doesn't have anything to do with whether his actions qualify as war pr0n.

It's "porn", as in the pizza guy goes to the college dorm to deliver some 'za, and the three women college students who answer the door don't have any money so they have to pay him some "other" way. Bow-chicka-bow-wow. Yeah, sure, it "explains" what happens next, but it's still porn because all that means is it gives the viewer whatever he needs to slip into the fantasy and accept whats happening on screen.

So, having V be a pshychopath or saying that "300" was in total nothing more than a speech before battle to rouse up the troops, those things "explain" what happens. But it's all part of the fiction to allow the audience to slip into the fantasy and watch and even enjoy the carnage without any of the negative side effects that might come from thinking "Oooh, this is one step above 'Faces of Death Part 3'".

Sure, plumbers go to houses across the country every day, but generally it isn't some playboy bunny who answers the door and asks if he's there to lay some pipe.

If you want to watch porn, I don't have a problem with that. What I wanted to do was more like come up with the nutrition labels on food. You want to eat a slice of pumpkin pie, go for it. If you want to sell pumpkin pies, that's fine too. I'm just trying to come up with a way to make sure it's properly labeled, and that no one's trying ot pass it off as some new diet/health food. Or, in the case of "300", try to pass it off as anything historical.

#670 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:35 AM:

Serge@665, Hilarious!

#671 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:39 AM:

Well, I'm on LibraryThing now, as maestro23.

You bastards.

#672 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:50 AM:

Greg London @ 668... xkcd's depiction of the world is starting to remind me of life at the office, especially the last image. On the other hand, I haven't seen Cory Doctorow, or Teresa, come swinging down a cable, so it's not a totally accurate representation.

#673 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:56 AM:

Greg @656:

I wonder what your score would be for the movie "We were Soldiers", which was about the first fight the 1st Cavalry had in Vietnam.

I've read the book and the movie is somewhat accurate, although there are several things that happen in the movie that take place elsewhere, or in a different timeline. There're considerably more men that end up fighting in the LZ than just one battalion too, but that isn't mentioned in the movie either. It's still a powerful movie.

#674 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 10:28 AM:

Greg L, I could suggest a few films to blog on (eg Black Hawk Down), but I am a bit worried that watching so many of that kind would affect your affect rather badly.

#675 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 10:40 AM:

I haven't really started putting stuff into LibraryThing. There's a whole box on the floor plus two full shelves yet to do, before I get to the storage room.

It's an excuse to re-arrange the storage room, but I'll have to put in shelves to be able to get to everything. Ouch. (I've already sent them money.)

#676 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 11:30 AM:

I've been carrying armloads of books over to my computer and inputting them by ISBN. Except the ones that are too old to have an ISBN, in which case I search by title. A few I've had to input manually, but not many. I have a CueCat on order, but a significant number of my books don't have barcodes, even when they have an ISBN, so it's not a perfect solution.

I said I have 1000+ books; it's actually around 1500. Mostly mass market paperbacks, but I'm doing the hardcovers and trade paperbacks first.

#677 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 11:57 AM:

I did the automated thing as I stated earlier. Now that I've cleaned it up a little (missing or abbreviated authors or titles, and a few ISBNs that grabbed the wrong book) I have about 50 books that weren't found, plus about 2000 without ISBNs. And that's just the stuff I've cataloged in Readerware...most of the nonfiction wasn't cataloged.

I plan on working at it slowly through the winter. I think the original database in Readerware took me a year, but at least I can generate a list of books without ISBNs and look them up by title, so until I get to the nonfiction, I don't have to move books around.

But still, about half of the collection done via the export/import function is good. And I'm seeing things I can get rid of.

I'm very amused at the repurposing of Cue Cats and how they've become a coveted item for cataloging private collections. (I've had one for ages for that purpose.)

#678 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 12:16 PM:

#665: I've had upgrades go much like that...

#680 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 12:44 PM:

Tania @ 677... "Bad putty tat!"

#681 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 01:33 PM:

OK, this is one place online where I might be able to get an answer to this. We just went to the market, and they've got box upon box of these nuts, see? And one guy gave us some to try -- but stressed they had to be boild for an hour in salt water! They're not cashews, although I'll swear the guy called them "pepita pán", and pepita is cashews. (They don't look like all the pics I can find of cashews, and they don't have a fluid layer of urushiol inside their shells. Yes, you read that right -- cashew processing is dangerous. The perfect third-world export.)

Here's a picture:

http://www.vivtek.com/images/unknown_nut.jpg

(This is one I pulled out of the pot just now -- it doesn't look any different from when we bought them.)

Can anybody give me a clue? Something I can Google? They're on the stove now -- do I feed them to my kids after school, or not??

#682 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 03:58 PM:

Try Breadnut

#683 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 04:10 PM:

Indeed! Further questioning of the neighbors revealed that it is, in fact, a Pepita de pana.

Also delish!

#684 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 04:14 PM:

Oops, no, that breadnut is not the same as the one I found. Your breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum) is an American native; this one's from New Guinea (Artocarpus camansi).

The Puerto Rican ecology is a global mishmash.

#685 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 05:02 PM:

Ooo. The Adrilankha Gift Shop has just opened for business, and I'm thinking of getting a Valabar and Sons something. Maybe the wallclock.

#686 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 05:21 PM:

Michael Roberts @#681:

Also, it looks like a bitty turtle. Which has to be a good thing.

#687 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 05:33 PM:

mcz #683:

Dang. The "no matter how subtle the wizard" tshirt would have made the most *ex*cellent fencing shirt.

#688 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 06:11 PM:

I've gone and joined LibraryThing as sophielandon, my currently almost defunct LJ name. So far I've catalogued the shelf immediately behind me, discovered two books nobody else has, and found that the easiest way for me is just to use the search box feature (no cuecat, and I have difficulty typing numbers in sequence). This looks kinda like fun.

#689 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 07:59 PM:

Epicras@672: I could suggest a few films to blog on (eg Black Hawk Down),

Hm, I saw that one, but I can't remember enough to even guess what it's score would be. I think some movies might get a little interesting because the current scoring method is +3 for every bad guy red shirt who gets whacked and -3 for every good guy red shirt who gets whacked. (And when I was scoring "300", I realized I had to limit it to on screen killings, since there was just so much hacking and slashing going on against things just offscreen.)

But the idea was that if you have Rambo going in and taking on an entire army by himself, that's something different than a large group going in and suffering many losses.

I remember at least a few scenes in Black Hawk Down where you see nameless Americans getting killed.

Something like "Saving Private Ryan" will probably be the stress test for my litmus test, since it starts off with a lot of Allied soldiers getting killed, which would push the score way negative.

but I am a bit worried that watching so many of that kind would affect your affect rather badly.

Too late. My affect was removed several years ago.

;/

#690 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 08:46 PM:

Serge, #645: John Carter of Mars

#691 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 08:58 PM:

Marilee @ 688... It says that pre-production is under way with a projected release date of "sometime before 2012." It sounds like I shouldn't hold my breath. On the other hand, this project is with Pixar, and the husband of my manager's manager is an animator there. I think I'm going to ask her tomorrow.

#692 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:04 PM:

Julie Taymor is working on "Spiderman - the Musical". Oooh-kay. From webslinger to websinger?

#693 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:47 PM:

So, I need some ideas for books for a gift for a friend of mine. Some of the previous stuff he liked way back when included Neurmancer, Bio of a Space Tyrant, various Heinlein, and so on. I think that's all military/hard sf type stuff. seems to be a pattern, now that I look at it. What would be considered the new best of that line of story these days? The more "universal" within the genre, the better. Maybe from a couple years ago and is still considered "good"? I'm thinking a standalone book is best, as he doesn't have quite the time he used to to read.

No, none of this makes any sense. I'm verging on Christmas panic, because I've got to ship this thing overseas and need to get something soon.

Sigh.

#694 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:52 PM:

Greg London @ 691... Jack Campbell's "Lost Fleet". There are two books out so far.

#695 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:53 PM:

I see the Bad Sex shortlist is up.

#696 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:57 PM:

Greg London, does he read Scalzi? I've also been enjoying Moon's Vatta's War books, which seem to stand alone.

#697 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 09:59 PM:

Greg @691: As far as hard SF goes, I'm quite keen on Charlie Stross at the moment. I'd recommend 'Glasshouse' or 'Singularity Sky'. 'Halting State' is just out; I haven't read it yet, but it's had good reviews.

#698 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 10:11 PM:

Fidelio @664: Their library will only crack the current record if someone (i.e., me) spends a *lot* of time on LT. I'm taking a whack at it this Christmas, but I don't know how far I'll get. Something about getting sucked into the books.

I'm getting a CueCat, but a substantial portion of the library is too old to have barcodes. I only hope the Library of Congress has most of them.

The amazing thing is that my parents have read most of their books. They're the most voracious readers I know, and pretty fast, though Mom has slowed down because she now needs to use some sort of assisted reading device. This year she told me "no more books at Christmas" because she's trying to finish what she has (unstated: before she goes blind). Depressing. Books on tape aren't quite the same, though they do listen to them on the 3hour trip from the flatlands to the mountains every weekend.

When I was a little kid and my brother and I had the measles, my mother taped herself reading The Wizard of Oz to us and then passed the tapes and tape recorder around the neighborhood for the other kids sick at home. I might just do the same with her favorite Terry Pratchett books.

#699 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 10:45 PM:

Greg, I'd recommend Scalzi, Moon, Varley's Red Lightning series, and Jack Campbell. Your friend sounds like he has tastes similar to my father, and those are authors I've sent him over the last few years.

#700 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 10:50 PM:

A John Crowley moment: The second recaptioned picture on Teresa's "Ship of Fools" link is instantly recognizable as the religious print described in some detail near the end of Little, Big.

#701 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2007, 11:17 PM:

Flourospherian question (it is even about light): does anyone have an idea of how old the phrase "city lights" is? It sounds archetypal...but I wonder.

#702 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 12:05 AM:

Greg London @#691: You can't go wrong with Old Man's War (Scalzi) - it's Military SF, not particularly hard-sf but neither was Bio of a Space Tyrant. (YE GODS! the series that cured me of Piers Anthony for good)

My favorite hard-sf book of all time is A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge. At least, I think it qualifies as hard-sf, although it's also got sociology and whatnot.

#703 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 12:39 AM:

Greg, get him a Vernor Vinge. Either A Fire on the Deep or A Deepness in the Sky. They are both spectacular brilliant novels, including aspects of space opera and deeper thought, and stand alone perfectly well (but pick up some interesting echoes if you read both of them.)

#704 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 01:16 AM:

As threatened earlier, I managed to get this year's holiday track done over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's a reasonably non-standard version of "Joy To The World."

Enjoy it in good health.

#705 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 01:26 AM:

# 691 Greg

There are two new SF military series that having dipped into, I am staying away from--the one with "Clone" in the title, and the one with "Helfort" on the cover.

The Jack Campbell books are decent, I like Elizabeth Moon's Vatta books, there's the Tanya Huff series with Valor in the titles that starts off with the protogonist, who's a female sergeant, waking up The Morning after the Night Morning Before with a hangover with company... and her day goes -downhill- from there. Some familiar names in the SF community show up, one of them playing poker (not that the Tuckerisms are all that likely to get noticed on the outside), and she gets shipped out into a diplomatic assignment that gets very very very hairy and bloody.

On lighter fare, there are three space opera science fiction romances out by Linnea Sinclair which are unrelated to one another. She's also got a new book that went on shelved Nov 27 that's being shelved in romance with a cover that underwhelms me, set with in Florida with a detective cop as male lead and a woman who;s a high tech fighter from way off planet, fighting invading I think cyborgs or some such.

There are the Mike Shepherd Kris Longknife books, which have a certain exterior flippancy to them--not quite a MarySue, but there is quite a bit that's over the top; Kris Longknife is a once-spoiled-bra-substance-abuser gone into the military over the objections of -some- of generally extremely rich and politically powerful relatives but not others, and keeps triumphing over opponents funded by a competing family which doesn't seem to have any members with much in the way of redeeming social value... sort of like an entire clan of the ilk of Cecil Rhodes at his worst.

#706 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 01:34 AM:

#703

Perhaps I should try to stay why I'm shying off those two series. I don't remember much in the way of detail or detailed resons--my general recollection involves them being pedestrian at best, with characters driven by hackneyed trite stereotypical causes/events, and strong sense of tired wine in tired bottles . None of the characters, setting, writing styles, plot elements/conflicts grabbed me and piqued my interest to continue past a few pages of book.

I didn't care what happened to the characters, wasn't enthralled by setting or characterization, or character interactions, etc.

#707 ::: Paula LIeberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 01:36 AM:

#704
Erratum

"stay" should be "say."

#708 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 03:06 AM:

Greg, I also recommend James White's Sector General stories, which have been collected and re-printed over the last few years. And second the Vinge nominations.

Good luck!

#709 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 03:55 AM:

paula,

bra-substance-abuser

what, like tissues? he couldn't resist stuffing ever more in, for that voluptuous look?

sorry, couldn't resist the image.

#710 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 05:03 AM:

Greg - the Miles Naismith books are probably a good start - I enjoyed them, and have the same taste (less the horrible Piers Anthony) as your friend...

#711 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 06:34 AM:

miriam beetle @ 707... sorry, couldn't resist the image.

"Wire-sist?"
"Hah! I've been throw out of better bras than this!"

#712 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 07:27 AM:

Serge, you're making a lot of fuss about a comparatively small and trivial typo. It's really a storm in a C-cup.

#713 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 09:42 AM:

Thanks, folks. I've got a list of names and titles, and I'm going to the bookstore this afternoon.

#714 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 10:47 AM:

Tracie @ 696

a substantial portion of the library is too old to have barcodes

You'd be surprised how many show up on Amazon. So far the only one I've had to go LC on is 19th century - I'll have to visit them for some of the others, too, but since I can't recall titles on them at the moment and they aren't to hand, it gets to wait.

#716 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 12:42 PM:

Another suggestion for Greg:

Transfinity, the NESFA Press Van Vogt volume

http://www.nesfa.org/press/Books/VanVogt.html
(orderable on-line)

#717 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 03:02 PM:

Does anyone know if Hogfather is or will be available on DVD in the US? My Google fu has proved inadequate--results range from a shady-looking sweepstakes, to "available now at Borders" only not really, to "available in March 08".

#718 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 03:09 PM:

Lila... I just called my local Borders and the DVD came out last week.

#719 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 04:00 PM:

Greg @ 691:

I've got tastes similar to those of your friend, and I'll echo the acclaim for Old Man's War and all things John Varley.

I'm surprised that no one's yet mentioned Joe Haldeman. The Forever War is in my all time top 10. Actually, I've never failed to enjoy anything by him. His work over the last couple of years has been particularly choice, including Old Twentieth and The Accidental Time machine.

#720 ::: Bjorn ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 04:05 PM:

Like Dan #669 said: You bastards.
I'm BjornFr on LT
It took ages to do the amazon imports, .com and .co.uk, had to save html files, upload to a web server and then import. (700+ and 600+ items in those files respectively, books, DVDs and CDs, too large to upload)
After that it's taken LT about 3 days to process and since they did it in two batches and I got sucked into manually adding books in between, there are even more duplicates. Amazon has this habit of recommending new editions of stuff one owns and therefore there are dups, trips and quads in there, lots of trimming left.
I have also ordered a cue:cat, both for old stuff and also to quickly add new ones.
I'm not looking forward to adding my older Icelandic books, even the new ones with ISBNs might be trouble, or my 50 odd Folios.
Looks like LT is missing an 'add exactly this book' from others' libraries, as opposed to sending you to search.
No matter, I'll get them all in.
Oh, and I'm a long time lurker but have met some people here due to elsewhere on the nets, mostly the ones who live furthest away.

#721 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 04:23 PM:

For those just discovering the joys of LT:

I'd suggest using the LoC as a source, rather than Amazon, when possible; the data is much more complete, and while Amazon may be able to find old out-of-print books those often have problems with typos or just outright errors in the Amazon data.

Bjorn @718, the "add exactly this book" is something that may be introduced soon -- book-adding code was just revamped and the new lack of this feature is getting a lot of complaints. As for the Icelandic books, while there aren't currently any Icelandic sources, a whole pile of Danish libraries just got added and may have a higher success rate than English-language sources.

#722 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 08:04 PM:

Very, very vague book identification question:

A few years ago I read a book that had been put out by a small press. It was a short story collection, and the author's name was (I think) Slavic of some sort, with I think a V and a J and a K, like Varujek or something (though I could be wrong about some of that). I guess it could be called "slipstream" or "new weird," if I have any understanding of what those terms mean. I don't remember much specifically about the stories, but I think they were about, like, household appliances grouping themselves into big devouring beasts and things like that. Not much to go on, but does anyone have any idea at all?

#723 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 08:20 PM:

And the Lord God spake unto the Prophet Oral, "Do you have the money?" (a brief pause in terms of epochal time, then) Roberts says God forced his resignation.

#724 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 09:15 PM:

Ethan @ 722: Sounds like Meet Me In The Moon Room by Ray Vukcevich, from Small Beer Press. An excellent book.

#725 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 09:26 PM:

OH MY GOD THAT'S IT THANK YOU SO MUCH!

#726 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 09:27 PM:

Ahem. What I mean to say is this: Ah, yes, Mr. Walters, that does appear to be the book I was seeking. Jolly good show.

#727 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 09:30 PM:

Greg London... It's probably too late, but may I recommend CJ Cherryh's Merchanter's Luck?

#728 ::: 'As You Know' Bob ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 09:39 PM:

Ethan: Ray Vukcevich's Meet Me in the Moon Room?

Hi, everybody, and welcome (a bunch of you) to Library Thing.

#729 ::: 'As You Know' Bob ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2007, 09:41 PM:

(That'll teach me that preview is your friend...)

#730 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 07:06 AM:

From the Sidelight Farhad Manjoo on the Kindle:

If you're sure you can read at least 40 books over the life of your Kindle -- let's say five years, so eight books a year -- then sure, go ahead and buy one. You'll save money in the long run, not to mention 40 books' worth of shelf space.

If you're not a book fanatic, though, there seems no point to this device.

8 new books a year makes me a book fanatic? Perhaps I wouldn't find 8 new books a year in Amazon's Kindle shop, but that's a different issue.

#731 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 10:52 AM:

Retrothing had this link to some Russian space and SF art from the past times - I love this stuff.

Russian Space Art

#732 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 12:32 PM:

LoC and Amazon each have their problems as reference sources. LoC doesn't have a lot of my older SF, and when it does, the titles aren't properly capitalized. Amazon is more likely to have things, but then you have to look for the right edition and deal with sellers who can't capitalize, punctuate, or spell. I've pretty much given up on using the CueCat, since half the time it doesn't yield a result even for relatively recent stuff, but typing in the title and author does.

#733 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 12:42 PM:

Niall 730: A book fanatic would want the books. People who are not book fanatics don't understand that reading it isn't enough. If you like it you want to own it.

Or is that just me?

#734 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 01:11 PM:

Xopher@733

Or is that just me?

No. Which explains the increasing lack of shelf space hereabouts. Despite purges.

#735 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 01:14 PM:

Despite purges

twitch

#736 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 01:49 PM:

This is not the best way to do it, I imagine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgmQM9cDPHk

#737 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 02:00 PM:

/me reads various "you bastards!" comments
/me sniggers

I got into LibraryThing about 18 months ago. Tried the free account that lets you add up to 200 books. Didn't get to the 200 limit before pulling out my credit card. Cracked about half an hour in, in fact.

Then I managed to infect at least half a dozen more people on irc and LiveJournal over the next week. :->

Tim Spalding knew what he was doing with that free account that's big enough to make it seem worth playing with to see if you like it. The first hit is free...

#738 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 02:36 PM:

Actually, 200 books would work for me right now-- not only are most of my books at my family's house, but we're building up to a grand book-sorting extravaganza, to end in a big book-heavy garage sale. I don't know how people *do* this; the answer seems to be that many don't. And while there are some I won't miss, there's a big gap between 'probably never going to read again' and 'want to potentially not have access to'.

#739 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 02:37 PM:

Julia @ #737,

Yeah, that was pretty much my experience. According to LT's "about" pages, "LibraryThing.com launched on August 29, 2005." I signed up on September 21 of that year and had 200 books in by mid-afternoon. Looking at my shelves and at the quality of information LT gathered, it was a no-brainer to pay the $25 for a lifetime membership. It didn't hurt that I had been approximating the number of books I owned as 2,000, and I was curious how close I'd been (not very: the first big push netted me about 1,400).

#740 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 02:52 PM:

It sadly occurs to me that LT would be an outstanding resource for datamining thoughtcrime. Over 2600 people admit to owning a copy of Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, and could find themselves punished under Sharia law, as a simple example.

#741 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 02:59 PM:

Niall @#730, Xopher @#733:

I ordered a Kindle last week, and after 15 minutes in the store I had 10 books cued up waiting to send their free first chapter to the thing once it arrives, or is born, or whatever the holdup is (expected arrival, xmas or so).

I love paper books. But mainly I love reading, and I think I'll read more if I make the sacrifice of learning to love a reading gadget. I figure I'll buy about half of my books in Kindle format, and that will leave more room in my library for the half that have to be on paper - favorite authors, art books, etc.

I don't think it's for everyone, but I struggle to find enough time to read, and I'm very distractable, and I'm a gadget geek, so having a go-to device for the majority of my reading would be a good thing.

#742 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 03:30 PM:

Earl, there are 15417 copies of Orwell's 1984 on members' shelves, too. Maybe those people would resist the data mining you suggest.

#743 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 03:44 PM:

#731: How about this bit of Soviet cutesiness? Grandfather Frost, a toddler cosmonaut, a teeny Ice Queen, and woodland creatures! And a rocket!

http://www.mazaika.com/postcard/big/hny0470.jpg

#744 ::: Keir ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 04:06 PM:

To 740: Under certain versions of sharia law.

#745 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 04:27 PM:

Too bad we'll just never know if LT gets served with National Security Letters.

#746 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 07:37 PM:

serge @ #718: Thank you!

#747 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 08:32 PM:

SFWA fanwank alert: (via Charlie Stross)

president and executive have voted to reinstate the old piracy committee, with Andrew Burt to chair it, under the new name of the SFWA copyright committee.

Start saving your links now, so we can get our very own submission to fandom_wank

#748 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 09:23 PM:

more Stun Gun idiocy.

#750 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 10:59 PM:

Pyre, 749,
Corrected link for midori's #747:
Curses, foiled again!
thank you Pyre.

Also, for further kerfuffle, see Scalzi, on "How to Enrage Charlie Stross".

For the record, I do not mean to imply that Mr. Stross is a wankeur, but rather, the actions of the SFWA president, as described by Mr. Stross, will inevitably lead to hot tears of shame.

#751 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 11:03 PM:

W.r.t. reason 5,271,009 not to use Windows Vista: Last week, an IT guy told me that he didn't want me to even look at the permissions on a directory if I got an error message saying I wasn't allowed to put files into it, because I could accidentally change something.

At the time, I thought he was doing the usual "assume all the users are idiots" thing, and didn't think I could comprehend "only look at that if you've already gotten such an error." Suddenly, it seems possible he may just have been looking too deeply into the Microsoft abyss.

#752 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2007, 11:22 PM:

Ive just signed up at Library Thing, and have added a few titles. Now I'm having second thoughts, and am considering changing my LT name. The nickname I use here is the same as my business name, and my website includes my address. I own a number of valuable books (one I just added sells for up to USD1500). Do I really want to advertise my collection to thieves? It would take a smart thief (and an agile one too, to avoid the piles of books, swords, and glaive or two) , but...

#753 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 01:26 AM:

gaukler @ #752, seems like the simplest thing to do would be to take your website info off the LT profile. That eliminates the address data from getting loose.

Alternatively you could create a new free account there under a different name; with only a few books entered so far that wouldn't be a major hardship.

#754 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 01:32 AM:

gaukler @752:
I guess if you have *really valuable* books, they may be attractive targets for steal-to-order burglaries, but generally books don't get stolen.

We were burgled recently (well, last year, but it still rankles). No books were taken & the SOC person who came to dust for prints said that in his experience, he'd never been to a crime scene where books were stolen; possibly a statement on thieves in general but probably that books are not easily fenced.

#755 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:52 AM:

Why should an author need the SFWA to enforce copyright? Yes, there's a role in collective representation when copyright laws and treaties are an issue.

But otherwise?

I can see there being enormous variation in the rights and their assignment, down to the level of the individual book. It's quite possible that the specific right infringed is held by a publisher, and the author's agent has a clear interest.

So why should the SFWA get involved?

#756 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:15 AM:

Gaukler @752: The usual thing there is to simply put the account under a pseudonym with no clear link to your meatspace location, or to make your account private. Some people run a second account (often a free one if it's only a few books) specifically for the books they don't want on public display, and have the main account public and the secondary one private.

#757 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 09:34 AM:

I am in Germany. Life isn't bad... the barracks could be better, but they could be a lot worse. Ops will be daytime, not 24/7, so sleep won't be an issue. Net acces is, at present limited (careful reading of maps and a willingness to open doors, as well as... nuff said; is why I have access now), but will probably be adequate (especially because I am willing to open doors).

The Czech Republic isn't far away (and might be, sort of, visitable) I'll be having pastry in town tomorrow for breakfast and might be able to nip down for supper at some point.

Will get to speak russian and mingle with people, so the trip promises to be decent (though the trip to get here was both strange, and awful... I think the last leg would have been faster, used less fuel and been more pleasant had the scant distance from München to Nürnburg been a train, not a plane. I, however, don't get to plan such things.

No idea yet what the real workload will be like, but that's another day's worries.

#758 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 09:38 AM:

Welcome to Europe, Terry. Hope you enjoy.

#759 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 09:42 AM:

I just felt like sharing this:

a thousand years of patience have to end
not one of you could ever hope or pray
to see the demise of the present trend
and truth and justice resume proper sway
the world is always lit in shades of grey
but if we wait enough both serf and squire
will find that every preacher's a plain liar
and there's no healing for the human scar
we have just those things that we may acquire
the journey's long but ending's not so far

we cannot choose to borrow nor to spend
our hopes on those who saw love as mere play
not what the sunrise ever could portend
when all we see is skirmish and affray
from well-marked paths the goatish ones will stray
and cannot once be stopped by the barbed wire
who knows the pastures to which they aspire
but not one of our barriers is a bar
to those who when pressed can leap even higher
the journey's long but ending's not so far

there's nothing that we could think or intend
that would affect one word of all you say
the road is hidden past the nearest bend
and no maps serve now to show us the way
our only knowledge is we cannot stay
to listen to the plainsong of the choir
or for the calming of the others' ire
it never matters if we can't reach par
the better field's in quite another shire
the journey's long but ending's not so far

prince there's no reason for you to conspire
against us since we too soon must retire
to places that are hidden from your star
the firmest road ends up in thickest mire
yet there's not gold enough to pay our hire
the journey's long but ending's not so far

#760 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 10:00 AM:

abi: The other six trips have been swell (for varying degrees of swell). Unless you've changed the place in the past year or so, I have no worries.

#761 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 10:02 AM:

Lila @ 746... Glad I could help.

#762 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 10:24 AM:

Terry @760:
Haven't been nearer Germany than Nijmegen in about 15 years. And my special talent for breaking everything I touch* only works on items in my near vicinity.

-----
* my colleagues call it het Abiveld - the Abi-field - in tones of mixed bemusement and dread

#763 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 10:37 AM:

Fragano @759:
Lovely. Applicable to several threads here, too...

#764 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 12:33 PM:

Abi @ 762... my special talent for breaking everything I touch

"You broke what could not be broken."
- Merlin to Arthur in Boorman's Excalibur

#765 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 12:37 PM:

Popes write encyclicals, yes, that's what they do.

Encyclical against atheism

#766 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 12:47 PM:

Steve C @ 765

From what they're quoting, it looks like Benny-the-pope flunked history.

#767 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 12:56 PM:

Re: encyclical, PZ Myers is on it.

#768 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 02:16 PM:

gaukler @752, as a stop-gap measure I'd make the account private. Then you can change the name on your account (temporarily disabled, but email LT-Abby (her address is on the "Contact Us" page, cleverly hidden as 'Congratulate/Complain') and request a change) to something that isn't linked to anything that can identify you in the real world; once it's changed you can make the account public again. (Or, since you only have 18 books entered, and haven't paid yet, just create a new account and delete the books from the old one -- once the old one has been empty and unused for some amount of time it will be deleted.)

That said, I think it would be highly unlikely that a potential thief would be trolling LT for specific valuable titles and track you down based on your username, so I think you're probably worrying unnecessarily.

#769 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 02:37 PM:

I suspect that I'm being a bit paranoid- if someone was using the web to target thefts, I wouldn't be a high priority, and if I was targeted, my stock (usually kept more securely than my books) would be easier to fence than my books.

#770 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:02 PM:

I don't think it's completely out of the question for some mad bibliophile to decide that they want your book. People do use LibraryThing to track down copies of hard-to-find books, and in fact last month I received an email from someone asking if I would sell or scan a sheet music collection that has effectively disappeared since it went out of print -- my copy was the only one he could find in Google. But I think the chances are fairly low. If you're uneasy about the valuable/rare ones, don't catalogue those ones until the "collections feature" goes live.

#771 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:09 PM:

One week until The Golden Compass!

#772 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:13 PM:

And 3 days to Tin Man...

#773 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:25 PM:

Sounds like a perfect double bill.

Tin Man/The Golden Compass

Now if you could resurrect Heavy Metal, The Man With The Golden Gun, and Goldfinger and add 'em to the mix, it would be a metallic film festival.

#774 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:30 PM:

Too much gold. The Iron Giant, perhaps, and, um... Silverado? With an exercise video break in the middle to keep everyone from bonding permanently to their seats.

#775 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:38 PM:

Diatryma, I'll see your Iron Giant and raise with Blue Steel and Steel Magnolias.

#776 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:43 PM:

Jon Favreau's Ironman?

#777 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:47 PM:

gaukler, It's not beyond the stretch of fiction that someone would target a library or its content. Lawrence Block wrote a hilarious Bernie Rhodenbarr story (The Burglar in the Library) about an attempted theft of a Raymond Chandler first edition, which contained slanderous remarks about Dashiel Hammett in its dedication.

#778 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:49 PM:

Mercury Rising

#779 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:51 PM:

Hammet's Glass Key...

#780 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:01 PM:

Fragano @ 759

That is very nice, and as abi said, weaves together strands from several recent threads. Maybe one of our hosts could be persuaded to add it as an update to the root post for this open thread?

#781 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:59 PM:

Evel Knievel, dead at 69:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22045287/

I'll refrain from jokes about how many busses the hearse will jump.

#782 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:45 PM:

One of the current Google-ads:

Light Up Martini Glasses
Shop Our Extensive Collection of Light Up Drinkware! Order Online.
www.FlashingBlinkyLights.com

Martinis in light-up glasses?

#783 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:54 PM:

Full Metal Jacket

#784 ::: Teresa Rogers ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:00 PM:

This has nothing to do with anything, but:

As much as I feel displaced in South Georgia, there are things I love about it. For example, one of my coworkers, discussing lactation during coitus, used the phrase "enjoying the marital fruits" in all seriousness. She is twenty five years old, just for reference.

I suppose I should be embarrassed that I doubled over laughing.

#785 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:23 PM:

From today's The Oregonian:

" . . . the biggest news Thursday at the National Weather Service offices in Portland was the approaching "monster" Pacific storm that's going to bring potentially damaging winds and widespread flooding to the region Sunday into Monday and Tuesday. The size and scope of the storm -- which has tapped into the energy of typhoons Mitag and Hagibis . . ."

Mitag . . . and Hagibis?

Ya know, if you're going to lose a weekend to flooding, wind, and rains, there's at least a kind of comfort in the fact that it sounds like a side-effect of a grudge match between eldritch weather-gods.

#786 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 07:51 PM:

abi #763 & Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #780:

Thanks. It actually springs from other things, but I thought it was à propos.

#787 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 08:01 PM:

Library Thing is a terrible place, where I will be spending too much time:(
Because I'm starting with the non-fiction, and only have 104 books loaded so far, I have no matches with any Making Light Denizens except for fidelio.

#788 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 08:31 PM:

I have a guess as to what LT's shared-book weighting scheme might be: divide the number of owners of that book in the group by the number of total owners on LT. The greater the ratio, the more characteristic the book is of the group, as distinguished from the general LT membership.

#789 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 08:36 PM:

Tania @ 783... Raymond Burr as Ironside...

#790 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 09:53 PM:

Re LT, I'm wondering why so much of my classic SF has fewer than 200 matches. Do they count a match on the same title, or only on the exact same edition, the same ISBN, or what?

I'm over 500, and not even thru L on the SF bookcases. Given the mystery, Star Trek, Regency, reference, and miscellaneous shelves yet to be gone thru, I don't think there's any way I'll come in under 2,000 -- even though I'm culling as I go.

#791 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 11:20 PM:

Justice appears to be moving, if very slowly....

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/112907A.shtml

Leahy: Bush Not Involved in Firings
By Laurie Kellman
The Associated Press

Thursday 29 November 2007

Washington - A powerful Senate chairman acknowledged explicitly on Thursday that President Bush was not involved in the firings of U.S. attorneys last winter and therefore ruled illegal the president's executive privilege claims protecting his chief of staff and former adviser Karl Rove...


http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/112807R.shtml

Head of Rove Inquiry in Hot Seat Himself
By John R. Wilke
The Wall Street Journal

Wednesday 28 November 2007

Bloch used private company, Geeks on Call, to delete files on his office computer....

Washington - The head of the federal agency investigating Karl Rove's White House political operation is facing allegations that he improperly deleted computer files during another probe, using a private computer-help company, Geeks on Call....

#792 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 11:36 PM:

abi: But you didn't welcome me to Germany, rather to Europe.

#793 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 11:46 PM:

Lee #790 Do they count a match on the same title, or only on the exact same edition, the same ISBN, or what?
As I understand it, they invented a concept they call a 'work'; in most cases, different editions (even translations) are all the same work; see the "What is a work?" section of the concepts page.

As far as LT is concerned, I have four copies of a work called "The C++ Programming Language". As far as I'm concerned, there's no reasonable way to consider the 120ish-page 1986 edition and the 4 pound 800ish-page 2000 edition the same work...

#794 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 01:19 AM:

Todd, #793: Um, yeah. I'd say that concept needs a little refinement. It's fine for fiction, where you may have reprints, or hard/soft/MM editions, or different covers, which are all effectively the same work. It's probably okay for a lot of non-fiction, in fields where substantive changes are not likely to be made from one edition to the next. In science/academia/textbooks... not so much.

But that still leaves my original question: why do some classic SF works score so low?
Clarke's Against the Fall of Night -- 177 matches.
Poul Anderson's Guardians of Time -- 126.
Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself -- 177.
Clement's Mission of Gravity -- 319.
Del Rey's Nerves -- 46.
Asimov's Nightfall and Other Stories -- 292.
Clarke's Tales from the White Hart -- 269.

Fantasy does significantly better, although I don't think I have a single Darkover book that's broken 500. And hey -- all the Mageworlds books are pretty low, too; Fluoropherians need to support their own!

#795 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 02:28 AM:

Lee @ 794:

Clarke's Against the Fall of Night -- 177 matches.

Most people (448) buy The City And The Stars instead. Those that don't often opt for the double with "The Lion Of Comarre" (82).

Asimov's Nightfall and Other Stories -- 292.

"Nightfall" is in a skidillion anthologies. There's not much reason to expect people to have this particular one.

Clement's Mission of Gravity -- 319.
Clarke's Tales from the White Hart -- 269.

Old-school SF fans will have these. No one else will.

Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself -- 177.
Poul Anderson's Guardians of Time -- 126.
Del Rey's Nerves -- 46.

Strictly for the hardcore. (Even I don't have the Anderson.)

Compare Fahrenheit 451 (8551), Stranger In A Strange Land (4428), Foundation (3529), and conversely Growing Up In Tier 3000 (9), Moderan (12), and Season of the Witch by Jean Stine (6). The power law is in effect.

#796 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 03:05 AM:

I just checked somebody's LJ for the second time today (I don't use my Friends page, don't care to, don't know why). I got a screen I had never seen before, demanding that I tell LJ I was over 14 before proceeding. And every witty LJ-cut in the blog had been replaced by a solemn warning that I might be about to observe adult content.

Huh?

#797 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 03:20 AM:

Jenny, #796: Yeah, LJ is implementing something stupidly (opt-out rather than opt-in) again. Go to Manage Info, and you'll find a link to change your viewing preferences. Down at the very bottom of that page is some new garbage about nanny-filtering. Oh, and you also have to put your birth year on your user info page, because that's what they use to determine how old you are.

#798 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 04:01 AM:

Re: sidelighted (sidelit?) uranium ore.

I'm currently trying to get my head around why the selection of "customers also bought" items for this product is so obscure. Anal syringes, lingerie and Resident Evil books all feature prominently. Huh?

#799 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 06:09 AM:

Lee @797,
I'm wondering why / annoyed that they don't simply have a "were you born before 1993?" question. My birthyear isn't what I consider generally public information.

#800 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 07:17 AM:

Jenny Islander @ 796... Hmmm... I just went to a friend's LJ and I wasn't asked that age-related question, even after I logged out of my own account and went back in to that friend's page. And, yes, I'm wayyyyyyy over 13.

#801 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 09:57 AM:

Apropos of nothing prior, somebody on another forum just called something "Cabellian". Finding out what that meant led me to James Branch Caball, and this massive exposition of Caball's influences on Heinlein's work (dubbing the latter "Caball's Heir"), with a side helping of Magick.

The full title of the essay is: "The Heir of James Branch Cabell: The Biography of the Life of
the Biography of the Life of Manuel
(A Comedy of Inheritances)", by Bill Patterson.

I'm still working my way through this, but I wanted to check in and ask what you folks think of the essay, as it's already exceeded my weekly quota of "new stuff I'll accept without confirmation".

#802 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 11:13 AM:

Oh, and while I'm not quite game to LT my dozen-odd shelf-meters of books (mostly SF/F paperbacks), I find myself wondering about how that "work" concept works in the face of "collections". For example, Amber or Narnia volumes compared to their new omnibus editions.

#803 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 11:42 AM:

Did anyone else click the "Uranium Ore now available on Amazon" link? These were the items "also bought":

Victor Tin Cat Clear Top (2 Pack)
(12) $26.07

Tip Trap Live Mouse Trap 6 Pack
(12) $11.95

Smart Mouse Trap
(19) $12.95

Anal Douche Rectal Syringe Easy to Use and Clean
(3) $17.95

Ultimate Anal Douche Hygienic System easy to clean Rectal Syringe
(3) $8.95

#804 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 12:06 PM:

I need the Latin genitive for "stupidity." It's for a discussion on Charlie's blog. Can anybody help?

#805 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 12:41 PM:

Serge #800: And, yes, I'm wayyyyyyy over 13.

Huh. Coulda fooled me...

#806 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 12:46 PM:

Xopher @804:
Inscitia is stupidity, as opposed to inscientia, which is mere ignorance with no blame attached. Both are feminine nouns, just normal first declension.

Stupor (-oris, a third declension masculine noun) means dullness, as in the inability to learn.

#807 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 12:49 PM:

John: I was more drawn to the presence of the "Add to Baby Registry" button. Of course all babies need uranium ore! No wonder my children didn't grow up to be mad scientists - they didn't have enough uranium!

#808 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 01:09 PM:

abi: so 'vox stuporis' would mean "the voice of dullness"?

#809 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 01:12 PM:

Xopher @808:

Yep.

#810 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 02:04 PM:

NOTE ALERT HEY! HEY! HEY!

"The Golden Compass" is showing as a sneak preview at a couple of Portland, OR theaters tonight.

I imagine that the same will be happening in several other cities.

#811 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 02:55 PM:

Re: Golden Compass sneak previews: one possible source for info is this link, but it only found one showing in Portland for my old zip code, so it may not be complete.

#812 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 03:11 PM:

David Harmon @ 801: There's no doubt that Heinlein read and liked Cabell. I personally don't see a lot of similarity between them, although I've never read Job: A Comedy Of Justice.

I read about half the long paper, and consider it a bit of a stretch; but I prefer Cabell to Heinlein by a wide margin, so I may not be as receptive to the writer's thesis as I should be.

#813 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 04:25 PM:

Interestingly enough, the paper seems to miss what I would consider Heinlein's clearest lift from Cabell--the scene in "Jonathan Hoag" where opening the window reveals nothingness behind it is taken directly from Figures Of Earth.

#814 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 04:44 PM:

Patrick @ 587:

the late-lamented Lone Star Cafe on lower Fifth Avenue

Shit. They had about the best bowl of chili I've ever had, and I got to see The Band there. Shit. When was this atrocity?

#815 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 05:10 PM:

Tim @ 795:

Growing Up In Tier 3000 (9)

My god, what made you think of that book? It was a memorable read, oh yes it was, and I've never seen another copy.

#816 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 05:14 PM:

Re: Golden Compass sneak previews: one possible source for info is this link, but it only found one showing in Portland for my old zip code, so it may not be complete.The Golden Compass

Pittsford Cinemas
3349 Monroe Ave., Rochester
585-383-1310
7:00


coooooolll....

#817 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 05:23 PM:

Lee, I think LJ may be responding to legal concerns. "Corrupting a minor" is the sort of stuff that the police break out the hobnailed boots for. I think it's discouraging, though; just how are children supposed to learn about adulthood if they don't get to see adult behavior?

#818 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 05:36 PM:

ethan @ 805... Serge #800: And, yes, I'm wayyyyyyy over 13 (...) Huh. Coulda fooled me...

Let me amend that. I'm way over 13 - legally.

#819 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 06:16 PM:

#817 Randolph:

Yeah, there's a lot of this. What we'd like is some sensible way to allow people to read and think about whatever they're mature enough to handle. But what we can manage as a society is some kind of bright lines, so "are you over 18" (or whatever age) is the rule used.

This is the difference between places where rules dominate and places where individual judgement dominates. Individual judgement lets you be flexible enough to know that this 12 year old is mature enough to watch that movie, or have a small glass of wine at dinner, or read some book, or whatever. And that 14 year old isn't mature enough for those things.

ISTM that our society is, in most areas, moving toward having more and more places where rules dominate over judgement. This probably saves some people from the consequences of poor judgement, but I doubt the net effect is a good one.

#820 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 06:21 PM:

RE Golden Compass Sneak Preview:

I stopped by the box office at about 12:30 pm, and the 7:00 pm show was already sold out!

#821 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 06:32 PM:

Serge @818:
I'm way over 13 - legally.

Don't let him fool you. Serge was actually born in 1996. But he stole some illicit agemods to pull him over the line†. Beta-release nanotech, highly unlawful, but it gives him the appearance of a man several decades older*.

IOW, he's over 13 illegally.

-----
† too many PG13 and R films he wanted to watch
* There are side effects, most notably making users sound like Christopher Lambert**.
** The alpha release made them sound like Ian Paisley; things are improving

</riff>

#822 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 06:53 PM:

Abi @ 821... There are side effects, most notably making users sound like Christopher Lambert

"Vivant! Il est vivant! Bouahahahah(*)!!!"

----------

(*) French translation of 'Bwahahahah'.

#823 ::: Wrenlet ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 07:00 PM:

Re: LiveJournal's new... policy

Journal owners can choose to designate individual posts or the entire journal as "adult concepts" or "explicit adult content," which is probably why some not-logged-in people are seeing the Cut Tags of Annoyance and some aren't: difference is in the journal viewed. As a reader, you must either include your birth year in your journal or click to affirm you're over the designated age. There's no opt-out of the filtering on the reader's end.

Also? For added FUD, posts and communities can be flagged adult or explicit by other LiveJournal members. Once a comm or post has hit a certain magic number of flags, Abuse steps in and judges whether the content must be filtered.

#824 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 07:59 PM:

WAY off topic, as is usual for me: OK, friends from LA--WHAT is the deal with trying to call an LA cell phone? Are the circuits ALWAYS busy, and why? Area code 213 is LA, right?

(backstory: I'm in the process of finding, or maybe finding, a long lost, long, LONG lost best friend/ brother/ love of my life/ soul mate type and I think he called my house today; I'm trying to get this cell number back but it keeps saying ALL CIRCUITS ARE BUSY. I thought this person was lost forever or maybe dead. It's a happy day that he's obviously not--GO MYSPACE!--but now that he's so close, I can't bear not talking to him as soon as I possibly can. It's like a movie of the week.)

Sorry. Back to your regularly scheduled programming, and I'll go back to lurking while I incessantly hit "redial."

#825 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 08:24 PM:

prhm @ 824

Too many people wandering around talking on their phones without actually saying anything. (213 in mostly around downtown, but the boundaries are fuzzy in some ways. I had to tell the cell company I didn't want a cell with 805, because I live in 818 and don't need 805. Mumble, munble.)

(Weird scene in grocery this morning: woman talking into cell, then listening by turning the mike end to her ear, probably because the person on the other end was loud. There must be a better way ... implants, maybe?)

#826 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 08:34 PM:

P J at #825:

(Weird scene in grocery this morning: woman talking into cell, then listening by turning the mike end to her ear, probably because the person on the other end was loud. There must be a better way ... implants, maybe?)

That's bizarre. I would have likely found it impossible not to stare and maybe even chortle. She may have been, you know, an alien.

#827 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 09:55 PM:

prhm: 213 was LA for ages. In the '80s it was chopped into 213/818 We had a number which was shared with an insurance company when the switch happened, they would flyer cars on the boundary of the area codes, led to some strange calls, until the creation of the next segment.

Nowadays 213 is the "downtown" area (surrounded by 310, 626, and 818.

I don't know why one would want a 213 cell phone.

#828 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 11:33 PM:

Soon Lee, #754, the mover packing my books took The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. My guess is that he read it as a kid and wanted to read it again. At least it's something I can replace.

#829 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 11:54 PM:

Punkrockhockeymom @ #824 -

Text messages should get through (they queue up waiting for an opportunity) even if the voice circuits are busy.

#830 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 11:57 PM:

abi #809: Pardon my ignorance, but what about 'stultitia'?

#831 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 12:24 AM:

I'm hoping that someone who has seen "The Golden Compass" sneak preview will pop in here and give us the skinny.

I watched the last half of "The Polar Express" in hi-def widescreen last night. The whole motion-capture / animated faces technique is very odd; the Uncanny Valley indeed.

I kind of liked the depiction of the North Pole. It's an obsessively tidy company town of lovely 19th century brick industrial buildings. Santa's elves are apparently the victims of a personality cult that would make Great Leader Kim Il-sung green with envy; the elves caper in the streets on their way to Santa's sled launch, and the entire population sings Santa Claus is Coming to Town at the big event. What becomes of elves who don't toe the line, perhaps it is best not to ask.

#832 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 12:47 AM:

Stefan: I got a review... short answer... if you've read the book it sucks.

If you haven't, it's pointless.

#833 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 01:00 AM:

Randolph, #817: One specific problem with LJ's implementation is that they set "safe search" filtering on by default for ALL users, even those of legal age. There are others, but that's the one which probably caused Jenny to be irritated.

Side mini-rant: I ABSOLUTELY DESPISE any form of software/system update which mucks with my chosen settings. In many cases, it takes a fair amount of tweaking to get a program or system set up the way *I* want it to work (aka "removing the misfeatures"), and having to do it all over again from scratch because Somebody thought they knew better than I did how I want my computer to behave is... not welcome. M$ is particularly bad about this; I've actually had to save a system profile called "Silence" because of the many times that an update has cancelled out my "No, don't fucking YAMMER at me, dammit!" settings. At this point, it's rather a sore spot for anyone to do that for any reason whatsoever, so I'm probably hotter under the collar at 6A than a lot of people would be.

#834 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 01:05 AM:

Lee: I am with you on that. Things ought to be opt in. If they are worried about legal issues, then look at the user-info they have, and make the needed changes.

For those of us old enough to choose for ourselves... let us choose.

#835 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 03:28 AM:

Fragano @830:
Stultitia is more "folly" or "foolishness" than the sort of willful stupidity that Xopher was getting at. Too light-hearted.

#836 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 04:52 AM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 815: [re Growing Up In Tier 3000] My god, what made you think of that book?

It's a personal favorite (although I haven't decided how much of my enjoyment is, you know, enjoyment, and how much is admiration for its complete disregard for any sort of normality, including all the normal ways of being weird), and it seems to be my synecdoche for "the kind of really bizarre thing you used to be able to find in mass market paperback at the drug store."

More Library Thing frequency fun: I realized that by sorting twice on "Shared," I could see all the books of which I'm the sole LT owner. Some of these turned out to be typos, so it wasn't a completely useless exercise. The best of them turns out to be relevant to this forum: Headcheese by Peter Blegvad. (The phrase "growing luminous by eating light" is taken from one of his songs.)

"Cheese: milk's great leap for immortality."

#837 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 04:54 AM:

abi @ 835: "Stultitia" sounds like the name of an Edward Gorey character.

#838 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 07:23 AM:

Marilee @828: I recently dug up my copy. I think it may have been the first book of any sort I bought for myself: I was in 4th grade, and it cost 50¢ via Scholastic Book Service.

#839 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 08:02 AM:

I have a book (actually a four volume set) which LT has several editions of listed.

But I am the sole owner.

When I get to the more esoteric cookbooks, photobooks and weapon references... I expect to have more.

#840 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 08:29 AM:

Abi @ 835... 'Stultitia' as in 'stultifying'?

#841 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 08:36 AM:

I'm the only LT owner of an obscure Arts and Crafts era leatherworking book.

I don't think there will be many others.

#842 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 09:08 AM:

Terry (in Germany) @ 839... I am the sole owner

We shoe'd be jealous, I guess, unless you're willing to lend it. Sandal requests to...

#843 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 09:09 AM:

Tim @ 836:

It's a personal favorite (although I haven't decided how much of my enjoyment is, you know, enjoyment, and how much is admiration for its complete disregard for any sort of normality, including all the normal ways of being weird), and it seems to be my synecdoche for "the kind of really bizarre thing you used to be able to find in mass market paperback at the drug store."

I think you've just written an elegy for my youth.

#844 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 09:58 AM:

re - Golden Compass.
(trying to avoid spoilers)

A preliminary note - I have not read any of His Dark Materials - previously, it was on the "maybe someday" list, and went on the "after I've seen the trilogy, should they make all of them" list after I saw the first trailer, if only to be in the refreshing position of seeing an adapted movie where I haven't already read the books and formed opinions of "how it should be".*

Things I liked
Muvverfuggin Ice Bears! Holy crap. Iorek looks huge in most of the scenes (there's a couple of spots where I suspect the CG team did a little fudging as to size). The cg on the Ice Bears is really convincing - they feel like they have mass and power behind them, and when they go into action, shit gets wrecked in ways that are thoroughly believable for being whacked on by a multi-thousand pound bear in sky-iron plate armor.

CG work in general - the daemons look really really convincing for the most part - there's a few that don't look quite right. The various arcanotech bits and vistas all look very pretty and the concept art obviously had a lot of thought behind the scenes as to putting together a coherent sort of "this is the way it works" theme.

Sam Elliot. Enough said.

The acting is good to decent. Lyra feels like the kind of not-quite spoiled, basically decent but kind of a jerk kid that can end up the result of certain types of upbringing - like the one she's had. When Nicole Kidman's character is stealing the screen, it's because her character is stealing the screen, not Nicole.

Eva Green, who looks an awful lot like she's Andie McDowell's daughter in this movie (she isn't, but that's who I thought of, the first time I saw her - which is not at all who I thought of when seeing her in Casino Royale)

The okay and meh
Pacing was good. There's some bits that are sort of like "and now the deus ex machina goes kerzap and something happens to get Lyra and Pan out of this predicament" - but, it's a movie about a kid, and she is resourceful, pretty brave, and not at all just floating through someone else's story - she's not always calling the shots, or solving every issue, but she's definitely her own agent.

The Compass itself. The first time it's used, there's a kind of interesting bit. After the sixth or so time Lyra uses it, the McGuffin effect gets kind of tired and old (not the Compass itself, the effects structure that surrounds it). I really sort of hope that in the second movie, they drop this bit, and find some other way to represent it's usage.

Holding itself back. It's pretty damn clear where bits have been edited/altered to make the original anti-organized religion message more obfuscated. There's sort of a parallel "large sources of authority" bias (framing the Magisterium as not simply "organized religion" but "any overbearing Authority") but it doesn't quite get pulled off. I do wish they had trusted their audience more, but I can understand why they chose not to - tricky decision either way.

CG - there were a couple of bits where various daemons dove right into the uncanny valley, and others that were... dunno. Off just enough that it wasn't uncanny valley time, but just "whuh?"

Infodumping - it's not as bad as some movies, and I didn't mind the bit at the beginning, but there's a couple of spots that are of the "and now, as you know Fred, we're going to recap things just so everyone knows what's going on." variety.

verdict
It was definitely worth a hurried "zomg, Golden Compass!" set of phone calls and going to see it with friends - and I'm glad I got there early, and that it wasn't more heavily advertised locally. I don't regret the money or time at all - it was a fun ride, looked smashing, and still carried some interesting messages. There weren't any characters that I loathed for being poorly executed or meaningless, and the movie carries enough of the worldbuilding along with it that I'm interested in learning more.

Whether someone who has read His Dark Materials and is a Big Fan is going to like it? I dunno - as someone noted above, if you can separate "Movie" from "Book", then likely - it's pretty, decently to well-acted, and has plenty of action and neato to it. I am not in that position, however, and so cannot say for certain. (I'm also not one who goes to movies for Deep Meaning necessarily - I saw Hudson Hawk in the movie theater, had a grand old time).***

*(I am, fortunately, one of those who can set aside the "...damnit!" part of that statement, and enjoy a movie for what it is, rather than what it "should be", in most cases** - but the niggling little voice is still there).

**okay, okay, Starship Troopers I loathed... but, hey, Dina Meyer nekkid!

***none of this is meant to denigrate those who are Big Fans, go to movies for Deep Meaning, or are less able to separate Movie and Book - Degustibus Non Disputandem Est and all that.

#845 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 10:03 AM:

ummm.... I really did think I'd closed out that bold tag, honest, I did....

sorry.

#846 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 10:11 AM:

Those who've read the book should know that the movie ends I believe three chapters before where the book does.

#847 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 10:23 AM:

I told my mother about LibraryThing, sort of in the context of a semi-planned book purge. And the whole barcode-scanning possibility.
She was absolutely thrilled, not to do her books, necessarily, but to do the boxes and boxes of kids' books we have in the attic. I know some of them (After the Dinosaurs, whence came my username, Drummer Hoff Fired it Off, a frightening number of Baby-Sitters Clubs) but an entire list is apparently what she wants for Christmas.
And I'm pretty sure I'm going to be doing at least some of the LibraryThing typing. I held out long enough, I guess. Time to investigate.

#848 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 10:30 AM:

So far, I have 28 unique titles in LibraryThing. Three of them are family histories; I guess none of the other 10-15 people who own them aren't on LT yet. One is my father's extremely academic treatise on Old Testament Form Criticism, which I only own because he gave me a copy. Most of the rest seem to be quilting books. Not very many quilters on Library Thing, I guess.

#849 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 10:36 AM:

Could a separate thread be opened up for Golden Compass? I'd prefer not read anything about it until I have seen the movie. But that's just me.

#850 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 10:45 AM:

Mary Aileen @848:
Not very many quilters on Library Thing, I guess.

It is, however, thick with bookbinders. I thought Fletcher Battershall's Bookbinding for Bibliophiles, one of the most...eccentric books I've ever read on the topic*, would be unique, but I'm the fourth person on LT with it.

I guess it's not surprising that some of LT's book obsessives are binders as well. mI understand Abby, on staff there, does bookbinding on the side as well.

-----
* Think Thomas De Quincey trying to write factual prose and you've got the general picture.

#851 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 11:00 AM:

From the Particle on The Ten Most Incomprehensible Bob Dylan Interviews of All Time:

Dylan on how he chose his career:

Carelessness. I lost my one true love. I started drinking. The first thing I know, I'm in a card game. Then I'm in a crap game. I wake up in a pool hall. Then this big Mexican lady drags me off the table, takes me to Philadelphia. She leaves me alone in her house, and it burns down. I wind up in Phoenix. I get a job as a Chinaman. I start working in a dime store, and move in with a 13-year-old girl. Then this big Mexican lady from Philadelphia comes in and burns the house down. I go down to Dallas. I get a job as a "before" in a Charles Atlas "before and after" ad. I move in with a delivery boy who can cook fantastic chili and hot dogs. Then this 13-year-old girl from Phoenix comes and burns the house down. The delivery boy — he ain't so mild: He gives her the knife, and the next thing I know I'm in Omaha. It's so cold there, by this time I'm robbing my own bicycles and frying my own fish. I stumble onto some luck and get a job as a carburetor out at the hot-rod races every Thursday night. I move in with a high school teacher who also does a little plumbing on the side, who ain't much to look at, but who's built a special kind of refrigerator that can turn newspaper into lettuce. Everything's going good until that delivery boy shows up and tries to knife me. Needless to say, he burned the house down, and I hit the road. The first guy that picked me up asked me if I wanted to be a star. What could I say?

Suddenly, worrying about the confusing chronology in "Tangled up in Blue" no longer seems important. I can relax.

#852 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 11:29 AM:

In #801, David Harmon writes:

The full title of the essay is: "The Heir of James Branch Cabell: The Biography of the Life of
the Biography of the Life of Manuel (A Comedy of Inheritances)", by Bill Patterson.

I haven't read it-- not having read much Cabell-- but Bill Patterson is a very smart and very diligent guy.

I have been reading some of the letters between Heinlein and John Campbell. Heinlein definitely had "The Biography of the Life of Manuel" in mind when he created his "future history."
'
As you may know, Bill Patterson is nearly finished with a massive biography of Heinlein, which, I hear, will probably have to appear in two volumes. I think he's looking for a publisher now.

#853 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 11:43 AM:

Bill Higgins... Then this big Mexican lady drags me off the table, takes me to Philadelphia. She leaves me alone in her house, and it burns down. I wind up in Phoenix. I get a job as a Chinaman. I start working in a dime store, and move in with a 13-year-old girl. Then this big Mexican lady from Philadelphia comes in and burns the house down.

This sounds like Mel Brooks making a movie out of a Philip Marlowe story.

I stumble onto some luck and get a job as a carburetor

That Bob Dylan is such a gas.

#854 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 01:20 PM:

abi #835: I see (or should that be 'video'?).

#855 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 01:39 PM:

re: 836 Tim(or anyone else who knows), where do you find the shared/shared feature on LT?

#856 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 02:06 PM:

Gaukler #855:
1. go to your library (click on the 'Your Library' tab)
2. make sure you're in 'List View'; if the 'List View' doohickie right below the tab bar, on the left, isn't yellow, click it.
3. make sure you're in display style 'A'; if the A in a circle, to the right of the 'list view' doohickie isn't yellow, click it.
4. the rightmost column in the list should now be headed 'Shared'; if not, you've presumably redefined your display views and have wandered out of the scope of these notes
5. click on the 'shared' heading to sort by shared from most-to-least; (my most-shared indexed book is currently 'Thursday Next'; next is 'Programming Perl', to which I myself am contributing 3 copies given the all-editions-are-the-same rules)
6. if you want least-shared at the top, click the 'shared' heading again; if I counted correctly, I have 66 books indexed where I'm the only one. Most of those are software or hardware manuals and I may be unusual in counting them as 'books', even though I only indexed the ones that physically are book-ish rather than brochure-ish or poster-ish.

#857 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 02:16 PM:

abi @ 850: It is, however, thick with bookbinders. I thought Fletcher Battershall's Bookbinding for Bibliophiles, one of the most...eccentric books I've ever read on the topic*, would be unique, but I'm the fourth person on LT with it.

And yet I'm the only person with Warren Chapell's The Living Alphabet, which I would have thought would be common among type geeks.

I see that we both have the Penland Book of Handmade Books.

#858 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 02:41 PM:

I seem to have 96 unique books out of 300. I'm pretty sure that this is an overstatement.
I just checked one title reported as unique to me, and found 80 other copies. I don't think the "Work" idea is working.

#859 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 05:04 PM:

I found this vid in random surfing - a guy doing a song from The Little Mermaid - and if it's not trickery, it's one of the more amazing demos of falsetto I've seen.

Amazing voice

#860 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 06:32 PM:

My LibraryThing catalog(ue) thinks it has ~35 (of 227) works unshared by another member. I've just found and combined 2 that were listed as unique, but were actually the same as ones that were owned by scores of members. Many of the others are a bit specialist or local, so may I very well be the only owner in the membership so far.

My list is a very odd & patchy selection from what I have. There's about 150 which are what I have in my little flat near the hospital — probably 100 of those are here because I've bought them since I moved in, mostly in a splash-out of wallowing in the joys of internet search, fuelled quite a bit by recommendations from Making Light.

The rest of the list is what was quickly reachable around the old family place I was staying in then. Checking the date of my joining, I'm rather staggered that so many are from there, because it was only a month after that I was in hospital and starting the whole health-related disruption of the remainder of 2006 and chunks of 2007. That also involved getting everything from that place packed up in boxes and put in a shipping container stored on the semi-rural outskirts of Sydney, so those books are not exactly easily accessible now. It's also only in the last few months that I've been able to get access to the books in my own house, and carried a few over to where I am now. Eventually I plan to put in what I keep from my late partner's library, with some special tag. It's also now packed up in boxes in his garage while someone else lives in his house.

It's all far too many books — along with all the other piles of possessions accompanying them — and needs serious winnowing down. Except that that conflicts a lot with my very deep needs and instincts. Which leaves me in something of a stalemate. Oh well. Life could be so boring without all these wrenching emotional conflicts to leaven the medical stuff.

#861 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 06:44 PM:

Just finished watching Robinson Crusoe on Mars. In spite of its dreadful title and primitive sfx, it is a smart little movie about survival on an alien planet. One line took me very much by surprise, coming from a film of the early 1960s: "Sea water is too salty. So is urine."

#862 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 07:23 PM:

I was astonished that none of my Harry Potter books were picked up by ISBN when I was entering them. I had to do title searches. They're only the six* most-shared books in my LT collection, by an enormous margin.

*I'm buying the paperbacks, so I don't own the last one yet.

#863 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 07:32 PM:

Serge @ #861 -

That's one of my favorites. I particularly liked the way the mining ships would zoom in, blast away, and zoom out. It had a spooky, otherworldly quality to it.

#864 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 07:42 PM:

Steve C @ 863... Yeah. It's one of those cases where a movie's small budget works in its favor. One thing I like about those old SF movies is that I often get more of the thrill of Venturing into the Unknown than I do from modern extravaganzas.

#865 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 07:55 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 862: Were you searching the LoC? It often doesn't find paperbacks (I believe they only catalog the "best edition"). Amazon should pick them up.

#866 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 08:11 PM:

Serge #861: Ah! Thanks for reminding me! When Criterion put Robinson Crusoe in Space out a few months ago, I looked for it on Netflix and they didn't have it, so I requested that they stock it. And then completely forgot to check back. But, thanks to you, I did, and they have it, so it's in the queueueueue now. At #489, but in it nonetheless.

#867 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 08:28 PM:

ethan... It's now at #489? Hopefully the movie will reach you before you reach my age. Well, you know what to do, should you wish to see the film a few decades early.

#868 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 09:33 PM:

Gaukler--I'd have more matches with other Making Light folks as well if I entered the dozen or so boxes of paperbacks sitting in storage currently; as it is, my collection sounds a lot more unbalanced than it is, without all the lovely tasty bits and peices of popular book culture that are embedded in the real thing* being listed.

*ejects cat*

Lee--like a lot of other people who've commented here on it, I think the part of LT's system that's supposed to list "copies of" is knackered somehow.

*re-ejects cat*

I also suspect that there are a lot of people on LT who have not yet managed to get all their books input. I know I haven't, and that's without reference to the previously mentioned boxes of lovely, lovely pulp that I can't quite fit onto my shelves (and there is no more floorspace for shelves; I'm now building superstructures.)

*ejects cat from midst of keyboard again*

As interesting as the social aspects of LT are, I have to admit I was looking for a place to keep my catalogue that was easily updated, and accessible enough that I could check before I acuired too many duplicates; there's a limit to what I can pawn off on my family, in whatever genre. Plus having a catalogue is useful for the fire insurance (the which, may I never need to use it, but still...)

*removes cat with prejudice*

*Like (insert small delicious tidbits of your choice) in a (select otherwise bland baked good of your choice).

*Repulses cat as he attempts to jump back on the table en route to the keyboard*

Excuse me, it appears that I am supposed to be paying attention to the cat right about now.


#869 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 10:09 PM:

#833 ::: Lee :::

Side mini-rant: I ABSOLUTELY DESPISE any form of software/system update which mucks with my chosen settings. In many cases, it takes a fair amount of tweaking to get a program or system set up the way *I* want it to work (aka "removing the misfeatures"), and having to do it all over again from scratch because Somebody thought they knew better than I did how I want my computer to behave is... not welcome. M$ is particularly bad about this; I've actually had to save a system profile called "Silence" because of the many times that an update has cancelled out my "No, don't fucking YAMMER at me, dammit!" settings. At this point, it's rather a sore spot for anyone to do that for any reason whatsoever, so I'm probably hotter under the collar at 6A than a lot of people would be.

I have one labelled, "quiet" or something similar, for exactly the same reasons. I have felt the urge to label it "shut the fuck up!".... I blame Mr Jobs, the hypocrite who tells other people who they should be using the computer but does NOT have those settings on e.g. the debug environment that opened up on crashed Macintoshes....

If One Size Is Forced on All, the person doing the forcing should the be FIRST one "adjusted" on Procrustes' bed!

#870 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2007, 10:10 PM:

I'd been wanting to catalogue my books for some time. The ML chat removed the last excuses (especially when I found out that you can copy your LT list to a palm pilot).
I'll get a lot more matches when I, too, finally get to the SF bookcase. I started with the non-fiction (the only fiction I've listed so far is my John Dickson Carr collection, which added quite a few matches). the next project is to convince my wife to start at LT, so I can stop buying her duplicate books.

#871 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 12:08 AM:

This is a Weird Al Yankovic parody of Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. I don't know if it's new...it's the first time I've encountered it.

Anyway, it consists entirely of palindromes. Joy.

#872 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 12:18 AM:

I haven't taken advantage of it*, but one of the neatest aspects of LT for compulsive bookbuyers (we all qualify, right?) has got to be the ability to access one's library via Internet-enabled cellphone. Fortunately I only had about half-a-dozen dupes when I got done with my major inputting, but still, the ability to check when I'm in a used bookstore is a major deal.

*I use an early Tracfone, a candy-bar Nokia which doesn't have 'Net capability.

#873 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 12:25 AM:

JESR:

I've come smack up against the loss of information more than once- trying to find a copy of a book by Mary Bard (Betty MacDonald's sister) for my daughter to read when she wondered what Eastlake in Seattle was like before the freeway was built

I think Mary Bard was as fine a writer as Betty, but the prices for her stuff are shocking: I stumbled into a copy of The Doctor Wears Three Faces for $12.00 at a local bookstore, but $90.00 for a reading copy of Forty-Odd? No, thank you. And the Best Friends series is worse--$350.00 for a reading copy of a young adult book is bloody insane! After seeing the prices on the books in that series I did look up the reviews on them and they were almost unanimously "You can't have my copy because I love it so much I'm being buried with it" or some such. That explains the price: they're all coffin liner...

#874 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 02:24 AM:

I can point to many programs which cheerfully ignore general user settings for such potentially significant things as size of text and text/background colour choices.

Websites, too.

In many places, this may be illegal under laws covering provision for disabilities.

I cut some slack for the guy who programs a nifty utility on his own. I see some reason for awkwardness over tasks outside the default range: I don't think Windows has standard interface provision for moving a virtual camera through 3D space.

But somebody who picks grey-on-brown, in a small font, and doesn't let the user change that, deserves derision.

#875 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 03:56 AM:

abi @ 821

That's all very well, but what happens to Serge when the product is finally released, and all the beta licenses expire? Having him melt in mid-pun would be very unsettling for all of us.

#876 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 04:04 AM:

Marilee @828:
And they say reading is in decline.

#877 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 09:38 AM:

Random word association often strikes in the early morning before sufficient caffeine ingestion. Fidelio @ 868 led me to the realization that another word for the continuum of Making Light friends and relations would be "FluorSpace".

#878 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 09:56 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 875... I thought that my model's demise would be more like Roy Batty's in Ridley Scott's Bladepunner...

#879 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 09:56 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale, #799 - Those are the situations in which I feel no compunction about lying. I'd give them a birthyear exactly far enough back to define myself as an adult. I've been known to claim I was born on New Year's Day when I think the site doesn't really need my exact birthdate.

I might have done exactly that with LJ when I set up my account, but I don't recall.


And it annoys me greatly that LJ's new CYA makes it harder to avoid adult content by mixing it indiscriminately with the ordinary stuff.

#880 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 10:27 AM:

Last night, I had the TV on to Turner Classic Movies, where they were running the original ad for the movie Becket. I especially liked the part where the narrator tells us "They wenched and brawled their way across the pages of History."

That's one book I wouldn't read without first putting on gloves.

#881 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 10:40 AM:

Does anyone have a problem with Making Light breaking Firefox occasionally? Sometimes when loading the front page, the loading progress bar gets most of the way to the end, then the window freezes. Firefox continues to work behind the window, as it were -- I can open new windows, copy & paste URLs, close windows -- but none of it is displayed. I thought it might be a memory problem, but force-quitting and coming back to ML, it just freezes again, and I have to use Safari for a while. Could it be an ad on the front page?

#882 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 10:44 AM:

Me @881: Sorry, I got confused between windows and tabs there. I can close tabs and open new ones, and that isn't displayed. I can also make new windows that work fine, except that they then stick when I try to go to Making Light.

#883 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 11:06 AM:

Speaking of movies and DVDs, I saw, over at Digby's place, a note that The Life of Brian - Immaculate Edition is supposed to be out early next near.

#884 ::: cmk ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 11:09 AM:

NelC: And I thought it was just me. It's going a little better in Leopard, though I think it has still done it once or twice.

#885 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 11:11 AM:

NelC - yes, I get exactly that behavior occasionally. Not just on the front page, but otherwise, yes.

I think someone here told me that it was indeed an ad. I haven't found a solution.

#886 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 11:56 AM:

Tim Walters (865): I was checking both Library of Congress and Amazon.

My book collection is split into mass-market paperbacks and other, for fitting-onto-shelves reasons. I entered the hardcovers/trade paperbacks first, because I have a lot fewer of them and it would more quickly show the range of my collection. If I'd started with the mass-markets, I'd probably still be in a single genre. 300+ hc/tp, and I'm ready to start on the thousand or so mmpb.

#887 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 12:13 PM:

What an interesting set of ads Google has on the front page:
Eagle Brand Recipes
Contact Lenses
A Slice of Apple Pie [memoir]
Christian Comics
Double-Crust Apple Pie [ready-to-bake]

#888 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 12:54 PM:

Would anyone else care to comment on the interesting sequence of events where first there's this age-related addition to LJ, and then a day later LJ gets sold to the Russians?

#889 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 12:56 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 886: The only other thing I can think of is to try Amazon UK for British books.

#890 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 12:58 PM:

If you (any you, generic you) haven't seen Datamancer.net, you really, really need to. And if someone has a spare grand lying around, would that person buy me one of his custom keyboards? Because I lust for one with a completely unreasonable lust. This is why I must learn to work with metal.

#891 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 12:58 PM:

I seem to be doing something not-quite-right with LibraryThing. I'm using the search keyword method to enter things, because I'm lazy enough to not want to climb a bunch of ladder steps to get at stuff seven feet up, and because attempts to remember an ISBN long enough to type it in accurately are doomed to failure. So I've been picking the thing with the earliest date, on the theory that this will give me the hardcover version of things released in both hc and mmpb. But if I go and look at my list, the edition listed is always the massmarket. Any other way to choose correctly without actually looking in the book for the ISBN?

#892 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 01:09 PM:

Bah.

The December ReadyMade magazine has a letter to the editor from a library employee. Apparently her library is discarding a lot of microfiche because it contains government publications that are now available online.

She says, "I've spent the last two months weeding through thousands of little plastic sheets we no longer need to keep. Please help me reuse all this microfiche, ReadyMade!"

Their suggestion? Use it as giftwrap ribbon[1]. Putting aside the fact that I learned the difference between microfiche and microfilm before I could drive[2], there's a lack of reading comprehension in that response that irks me. Besides which, I really wanted to see their ideas for reusing microfiche.

[1] It doesn't look too bad, actually, though I can't find a picture on the website.

[2] I'm an utter geek, but not trained in the Running of Libraries at all.

#893 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 01:33 PM:

R. M. Koske, 885,
re:Firefox freezing
I think someone here told me that it was indeed an ad. I haven't found a solution.

It's one or more of the ads, I believe, from the blogads.com network. The problem went away when I installed the Adblock and NoScript extensions for Firefox. I believe the problem is with some of the javascript included in the blogads html, so NoScript might be enough.* If you are feeling adventurous, you could edit your hosts file so blogads.com resolves to 0.0.0.0

No offense is intended towards our hosts by blocking ads on this site.

_________________
*warning: the default in NoScript is that nobody gets to run any javascript on your computer unless you explicitly allow them to. So to post comments, you have to allow nielsenhayden.com. To buy stuff on amazon, allow amazon.com, etc. It provides a list you can allow, allow temporarily, or forbid. It is a really, really, good defense against all kinds of things that compromise privacy like Beacon, or Google's analytics tech.

#894 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 01:45 PM:

Aah, very clear Midori, thanks.

I shouldn't have said "I haven't found a solution," because I haven't looked. I do recall now that you mention it that AdBlock was a suggested solution before, but I'm on a work machine, and installing extensions is something that probably would be frowned on by the PTB, so I won't do it. I need to recall the solution so that next time I pipe up with "me too," I can offer the solution as well.

#895 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 02:04 PM:

R.M. Koske laments the non-reading use of Microfiche, above.

Contrary to my whinging over the sorry loss of card catalogues, I'd be happy if all the microfiche in the world was converted to pdf format (and I loathe pdfs). I spent several weeks one summer long ago reading the field logs of the 1856 General Land Office Survey of the Nisqually area in microfiche format, and just the thought makes my eyes hurt.

Microfiche is less stable than available computer storage techniques, the hardware is neither elegant nor energy efficient, and repurposing can be a beautiful word...

(Spent the weekend Gone to Ofregon, including a wet and windy trip home driven by a 40mph tailwind behind us up I-5 from Eugene to Wilsonville. There are sure a lot of sheep north of Eugene this time of year!)

#896 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 02:10 PM:

R. M. Koske, 894,
Aah, very clear Midori, thanks.
You're welcome! Glad to be of help, and not merely helpy.

I'm on a work machine, and installing extensions is something that probably would be frowned on by the PTB, so I won't do it.
Well, in the spirit of being helpy, you could try Portable Firefox - which is Firefox repackaged to run off of a usb-flash drive, so no alteration to work hardware is necessary. I have used it before with great success.

I need to recall the solution so that next time I pipe up with "me too," I can offer the solution as well.
LOL!

#897 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 02:23 PM:

Tim Walters (889): Already doing that, thanks. I did find a few things that way. When things aren't in LC, Amazon, or Amazon.uk, I've just been doing title searches. My Harry Potters are the American paperbacks, and their ISBNs weren't turning up, but I found what seemed to be the right editions searching by title. I'm just boggled by the ISBNs not being there.

#898 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 02:29 PM:

cmk & RM Koske: If it is an ad, then I can block it with ad-block. Any idea which one?

#899 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 03:08 PM:

JESR, #894:

I wasn't clear, apparently. I don't object too much about non-reading use of microfiche or microfilm. I'm not entirely sure that I think destroying the hard copies and going to online soft-copies only is a good idea, but I can certainly see why libraries would do so, and I don't blame them. I'd rather use PDFs than microfiche, myself. As I recall fiche is a royal pain in the behind.*

My objection was to the magazine conflating microfiche (which is little individual sheets) with microfilm (which is a ribbonlike object that comes on a spool.) The letter even mentions the "little plastic sheets." You cannot use microfiche as ribbon on a gift without some major hoop-jumping.

*It is certainly a pain to spell. I've had to stop every single time I typed it and put the H in the right place after leaving it out or mis-placing it.

midori, #896 - Hey, that's a good idea! I love the concept of Firefox-on-a-stick but never thought I had a real use for it. Hmmm.

#900 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 03:10 PM:

NelC, #898:

Sorry, confirmation that it isn't just you and vague rumor-mongering are the extent of my knowledge about it. :)

#901 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 03:23 PM:

NelC @ 881: Yes. I've taken to using Safari here for just that reason.

#902 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 03:36 PM:

I wouldn't worry so much that a thief might be targeting my library as the thief who thinks "If they have enough money to buy all those books, they have enough money to buy a lot of other things, too." While this is not necessarily true, it isn't out of the question, especially when combined with location. If I were to engage in housebreaking, I'd do it in the nice safe suburbs, where everyone is working or at school during the day, the dogs are friendly and the security minimal. Which is why my house was broken into -- a back door that wasn't visible from the street or either neighbor's house or yard, the rottweilers next door were friendly (and indoors), and the bad guys had time enough over several days (according to police estimates) to chisel out a deadbolt lock. The scary thing was that, while I was supposed to be at work, I was actually away from the house for about 90 minutes seeing the doctor about my broken nose. Security system? Hey, this was the nice safe suburbs! On the other hand, when I lived in a run-down neighborhood, the drug dealers down the block made sure nobody got bothered. They took special care of the elderly couples and little old ladies, mowing their lawns and shoveling their snow. "What nice young men!"

#903 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 03:49 PM:

midori @ 893

I've had similar problems, so I disallowed blogads.com in NoScript. This reduced the number of problems, but didn't eliminate them completely. I still get an occasional freeze, usually when I have multiple tabs open on ML threads. It's infrequent enough that I'm just tolerating it for now.

#904 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 04:22 PM:

On the subject of scripts, sorta: is anyone else having trouble with Haloscan's comments? Over the past two or three days I've been unable to see comments using that system on Eschaton, Digby, LawyersGuns&Money, and other blogs which use it. I'm on Firefox 2.0.0.11, which as far as I know is the latest (maybe that's the problem).

#905 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 05:07 PM:

Is anyone else planning on attending the NYRSF reading with Catherynne Valente (Tiptree award winner & World Fantasy award finalist) and S.J. Tucker (amazing singer-songwriter who has recorded two Valente-related CDs) tomorrow (Tues 12/4) evening at the South Street Seaport? I will be there with some of my krewe and possibly my alligator.

#906 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 05:29 PM:

I've been having that problem with Orcinus for ages. I've got firefox 2.something running (this isn't my machine, so I can't check), and it just won't open. I also have it on the allow list.

Defeating Norton isn't doing it (that words for somethings, just kill Norton for five minutes et voila, I can see).

#907 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 07:24 PM:

Dave Bell @874: [..] somebody who picks grey-on-brown, in a small font, and doesn't let the user change that, deserves derision.

Definitely. Things of this nature had become a rambling subthread months ago. Someone offered a link to this page of small javascript utilities. The relevant utility:

      zap colors | "Makes text black on a white background, and makes links blue and purple."

You can save the scriplets as bookmarks, so you can apply them to any page you are currently viewing by selecting the bookmark.


#908 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 07:40 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 897: I'm just boggled by the ISBNs not being there.

That is very odd. Sorry if I was being a master-of-the-obvious pest; I was just remembering that it took me a while to get into a groove with the data entry, and thinking out loud.

One less-obvious thing that I eventually figured out was that some old paperbacks have the ISBN only on the spine, without a check digit. I wrote a little check-digit generator, and was able to enter those by ISBN as well. (Why bother when I could just do a title search? No practical reason--it's just that having a unique descriptor but being unable to use it drove me nuts.)

#909 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 07:49 PM:

Bruce Durocher answered my Mary Bard complaint, and I find that someone else has a taste for her writing (and it was Best Friends I was looking for, by the way). Betty's best writing is about Mary, and Mary, from all evidence (I worked for a little while with someone who was a friend of Cleve's and knew the whole family very well) was a fiercely good friend and threw great parties.

And the used book prices on both sister's out-of-print books make my ears ring; I bought a first printing Nancy and Plum with dust jacket for $14 in about 1995, and then misplaced it (someone had shelved it with the garden books I don't use, a bad gift collection which needs cleaned out some day); I was going to replace it with a trade-paper reprint that was released a year or so after I'd bought the old hardback, but by that point the paper edition was out of print, and running $25 on EBay, and the book I'd misplaced was around ten times that.

And yet, the only Betty MacDonald books in my local libraries are the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle ones (not that they're a bad read, no, no!) and no Mary Bard books are available at all.

#910 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 08:44 PM:

Tim Walters (908): Not a pest at all; I appreciated the suggestion even though it was something I had already thought of.

The CueCat is not as helpful as I had expected; it's almost easier just to enter the ISBNs manually. What I really need is something that would scan and store the ISBNs, which could then be transferred to my computer for upload to Library Thing. Somehow I had gained the impression that that's how the CueCat works; pity I was wrong.

#911 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 08:44 PM:

If anyone likes Middle Eastern music and free MP3s, Amazon has a large variety in their MP3 store available for free. Did I mention the free part? We've been using search terms like balady, baladi, habibi, arabian, egypt, and belly dance to and have found a number of albums that are out of print and some good stuff in general.

Re: LT, older/classic SF, and reference materials
I figure I'm like lots of other people here, and have enough books in storage to open a small used bookstore. And I don't have them catalogued electronically, so entering them into LT will be an ongoing process. That's why when I browse other folk's libraries I'm always saying, "Hey, I have that book too!"

#912 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 09:03 PM:

Tania #911: Hot damn, thanks!

*rushes off to look for Amr Diab*

#913 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 09:19 PM:

Mary Dell and anyone else - check back often, I just looked and some of the stuff I picked up yesterday is no longer free, and new songs/albums are free.

#915 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2007, 11:56 PM:

Tania #913: Yep, I noticed that. Different free MP3's every day, woo! Thank goodness, because I totally didn't have enough daily internet habits.

#917 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 12:48 AM:

Earl Cooley III @#916: OMG, the wiki editors are TOTALLY BUGHOUSE CRAZY. I can't believe Wales is defending this crap.

#918 ::: Brynna Loppe ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 01:17 AM:

Re #881, 885 etc.
I have also been having this problem with Firefox freezing, but I find if I re-size the window slightly* the freezing problem fixes itself without having to reload anything.
*eg by grabbing the resize corner and dragging it by a few pixels smaller or larger in either dimension.

#919 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 01:18 AM:

Once in a great while I get a piece of email spam that I save. Not because I'm interested in the product, but because the offering is so peculiar. A month or so ago, an Indian tweezer manufacturer sent me a list of boggling variety of tweezers.

Just now, I got:

"http://www.------.org NEUROLOGY TEACHING SOFTWARE
NEUROLOGY BOARDS 1.0
NEUROLOGY BOARDS 1.0 is a massive collection of more than 4900 questions and answers which covers almost all the questions that the WRITTEN PART OF THE NEUROLOGY BOARD EXAM could potentially contain."

Talk about esoteric! If this had been an offer for term papers and book reports, I wouldn't have paid any attention. But neurology cheat sheets?

#920 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 02:38 AM:

Dave Bell @ 874

My very favorite awful site was one I found a few years back* while poking at links off a friend's site. The entry page was entirely black; there was a link map on it, so you could click to enter various parts of the site, but you couldn't see where the buttons were!. The only way to find anything was to sweep the mouse around the page, clicking every few pixels. And once you hit a link, you could go back to the entry page and not be able to find it again. Genius!

* and, unfortunately, can't find again; I need a good laugh

#921 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 02:51 AM:

#916: Good God.

Is this kind of behavior inherent in online communities? I've given up posting on DailyKos because the same thing seems to be happening over there, too.

#922 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 03:26 AM:

serge, waaaaay up there,

"They wenched and brawled their way across the pages of History."

which i can't stop rewading as "wrenched and bawled their way across the pages ...", a much stronger image, i think.

#923 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 03:37 AM:

Earl Cooley @916:
I watched that unfold live; I even happened to have refreshed the appropriate page in between the posting of the email and its deletion. (I saved a copy, of course.) The article is a fair summary of the facts of the case.

Not being a Wikipedian†, much less a member of the inner circle, I can't vouch for the commentary. But it's a mess that's been rumbling along, off and on, since the last time Making Light got declared an attack site*. I suspect it will die down for a little while, then erupt again, more horribly and completely.

There are interesting parallels with the later rumblings of the SFWA situation, particularly with respect to the balance between public and private discussion.

-----
† I read the admin pages because I'm fascinated by community dynamics and the nature of trolls.
* Making Light generally cited as a site that, if bannable under a proposed policy, proves the policy to be over-broad.

#924 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 03:50 AM:

me,

i can't stop rewading

argh, argh! can't stop reading. hopefully i can start spelling.

#925 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 05:54 AM:

914: hmmm... [munch munch munch]... no, needs more citation.

#926 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 07:39 AM:

Girl Genius yesterday: Proud papa.

#927 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 07:50 AM:

About the Wiki-insanity, unlimited and ongoing: I fell into reading the Administrator's Notice Boards via, long ago, a link from here to the Articles for Deletion discussion. The article Earl Cooley links to at 916 is a minum of the wank and foolishness which spread across Wikipedia's administrative pages and onto the Wikien-l mailing list, an assortment of blogs, and the infamous Wikipedia Review. I'm not providing links because I don't want to be responsible for anyone else falling into the slough of wikidespond.

When last I checked, there were still arguments on the now-closed Durova arbitration committee proposed decision talk page, and jibes being thrown in the Arbitration Committee Election voting. Durova was a candidate for Arbcon; she has left the field, as have others tarred by the scandal, and Giano, who posted the email containing her "evidence" (aside: if there was ever anyone needing a tattoo saying "Correlation does not equal Causation," it is her).


#928 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 07:58 AM:

#920: Back in DOS days, I was working on developing teaching software. Our program's color scheme, though fine for monitor viewing, made it look lousy when projected on an overhead screen. The principal author was getting a bit frustrated demoing an unreadable display. So I added an option allowing text and background color to be changed, so that the author and sales types could fix them as necessary. That would be good for other users that didn't like the default scheme, so we thought, so it was left in. Well, we started finding lab machines with the program set to black on black, purple on purple, et cetera. Conclusion: never overestimate the common sense of your users ...

#929 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 08:27 AM:

ajay @ 925

Sage criticism.

#930 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 08:28 AM:

Stefan Jones @ #919, that's not all that obscure. Cheating on board exams is a major industry. This past year a professor at U.Ga. was caught basically buying and selling licensing exam questions, resulting in a nationwide suspension of the licensing exam.

#931 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 08:30 AM:

#907 - Rob Rusick -

I find myself using zap colors quite often on sites that have disabled the color-change for visited links. On some sites it will also discard overly busy backgrounds. Very, very handy.

Corrected link for Bookmarklets for Zapping Annoyances

#911 - Tania - Oooh! Thanks!

#918 - Brynna Loppe - Now I'm hoping it will freeze so I can try this.

#932 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 09:08 AM:

Bruce Cohen, speaker to managers, could you send me an email (email at greg london daht com)? I can't seem to find yours.

#933 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 09:56 AM:

Mary Aileen @ #910: I used my CueCat to enter ISBNs into a text file and then used LibraryThing's import tool to upload that file. I did this about a shelf at a time, to make it easier to check for mistakes (absent-mindedly scanning UPC instead of ISBN, etc.).

I used my CueCat to enter 1427 books in one weekend, so this worked really well for me. =>

#934 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 10:03 AM:

miriam beetle @ 922/924... "wrenched and bawled their way across the pages ..."

Or...

"...winched and hauled their way across the pages of History..."

#935 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 10:48 AM:

Earl, #916: I am in awe of your link text! If there's a more appropriate way to describe that clusterfuck in one phrase, I sure can't think of it.

JESR, #927: What really struck me about it was her invocation of the Oliver Stone argument -- that the complete lack of evidence in favor of her hypothesis thereby constitutes proof that there MUST be a sinister conspiracy!

#936 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 11:34 AM:

Amused at the commentson the story over at the Register.
Sample:

The problem here is that, collectively, the general populace is more arrogant, more self-important, more cocksure than any given individual itself...
The unfortunate bit about it is that previously it was nearly impossible to gather an entire world's worth if stupidity together in a room. Now it is almost a guaranteed hourly phenomenon
It would be true, were it "selfishness", not 'stupidity' in the quote. As it stands, it's got that smug libertarian tang, with a thick, frothy head.

I do love the British, they are so good at their clever, hyperexaggerated, mockery and even when they are not, it's often entertainin.

#937 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 11:37 AM:

ah! entertaining! entertaining! entertaining!

Bah. I fail teh internets, 1d6 turns.

#938 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 12:11 PM:

R. M. Koske @931:

Thanks for catching that. Don't know how I missed it...

#939 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 12:27 PM:

I suspect the secret/private mailing lists are at the moment probably harmless. They became known at a particularly bad point, right after the case against MONGO (an ex-admin with a history of being a bit of a jerk and, not incidentally, the central figure in the BADSITES battle) was refused, allegedly to avoid more "drama". You have to wonder how such a refusal could do anything but generate drama, but there's a consistent streak of cluelessness by the Powers of Wikipedia as far as how their actions might be taken by others.

#940 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 01:40 PM:

C.Wingate @ 939... MONGO (an ex-admin with a history of being a bit of a jerk

Cue in Queen's music for Flash Gordon... Not that this have any Barin on the current discussion.

#941 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 01:56 PM:

Kate Nepveu (933): That might work. My big problem is that the Internet-connected computer and the bookshelves are not in the same room. But I could put ISBNs into a text file on the laptop, then transfer it to the desktop for upload. Hmmmmm, that has promise.

The CueCat input looks like gibberish. Does it put coherent ISBNs into the text file?

#942 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 01:57 PM:

Lee @ 935, the utter uselessness of the "evidence" to prove anything except that !! was working hard to, ta da, build an encyclopedia was, indeed, the whole point of the matter. That the existence of a "secret" mailing list was used as a red herring to lead the marks off the trail of administration by bad logic is the only thing which makes me think anyone in the more senior reaches of WP has a brain in their head.

C. Wingate @939, humans pass notes in class: a passle of private email lists is axiomatic. What was important about the "evidence" is not that people scrolled past it on the stalking list, but that it was publicly alluded to with the same hushed flourish as the secret evidence in the Alkivar arb con case (which was what drew me from AfD into the seventh ring of RfAR).

#943 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 02:40 PM:

I'm getting the feeling that someone in my family's going to end up with a gift LibraryThing account and a CueCat. With luck, it won't be me (resisting, resisting) but if the CueCat works as it seems to, it won't be too useful for Mom, either. Unless I conned my sister into donating her laptop, and that's not going to happen. There may be a lot of book-hauling in my future.

#944 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 03:22 PM:

Diatryma @#943: you can enter your library by taking pictures of your shelves and working from the pictures to do title searches. You can do other people's libraries that way, too, if you want to enter things for someone who doesn't have a computer.

#945 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 03:58 PM:

About the DMCA Sidelight, I must say that I will certainly open my software CDs in that fashion from now on. Actually I have CDs supplied with my computer, even though the software was already installed from another source (by the manufacturer), so while the manufacturer may have agreed to the license agreement, I have not, since the CDs are still sealed with the little YOB sticker.

#946 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 04:12 PM:

gaukler @858:

Some of your putative singletons on LT don't have authors. Try adding the authors. For the others, there may be slight title variants (punctuation, for instance); if you look at the author page you can see whether this is the case, and combinine them if it is.

On the "works" concept more generally, it's not entirely something defined from on high (with the exception of the "all translations are the same, except when they aren't" rule; combiners debate the issues, and almost none of the combinations are automatic -- everything is done by someone trying to improve the quality of the data.

#947 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 04:46 PM:

lorax@946 thanks- I'll check the author field.

#948 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 11:30 PM:

Just in time for your holiday baking:

In Flagrante Delicto Cookie Cutters

Probably NSFW

#949 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 11:38 PM:

Sun came out for the first time since Thursday out here in Portland.

Well, in Forest Grove, where I was attending a company off site meeting. It was actually nice out. Sweater weather, but . . . no rain.

One co-worker and her family are unaccounted for. They accepted a long-standing invitation to spend the weekend at a town on the coast, which is now inaccessible and maybe electricity-less.

#950 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2007, 11:58 PM:

Earl@916, good grief. And to top it off, after having someone publish part of a private email exposing the existance of a private email list, it seems the only thing the wikipedia muckety-mucks have learned is that the thing to do is make it a policy prohibiting revealing emails from private correspondence.

Nothing like completely missing the fkcing point.

No, it's got nothing to do with posting a private email, it's got to do with your supposedly "public" process that's nothing but a bunch of fifth graders passing notes and voting people out of the treehouse club because you're paranoid schiz.

#951 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 12:04 AM:

I'm simply and irrationally happy that my parser is finally parsing one simple, bloody line correctly... and getting the hell away from the keyboard before I try 'just one more thing'.

#953 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 01:24 AM:

Just in time for your holiday baking:

In Flagrante Delicto Cookie Cutters

We wish you a Merry Beltane

(well, it is Down Here).

Almost as good as the Darwin fish shortbread cutter I dig out at this time of year ...

#954 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:19 AM:

Xeger: Ha, interesting! I just wrote up a quick page for my company's inhouse wiki explaining how to turn a BNF/EBNF grammar into a recursive descent parser. For small grammars, that's often faster and simpler than reckoning with YACC and its ilk.

#955 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:28 AM:

I came across an interview of Mary Stewart discussing how she wrote her Arthurian books. She says she wrote the first (The Crystal Cave) nearly off the top of her head, with very little research, and that she never meant to write three and then four books, so she trapped herself by killing off characters she'd like to have kept and kept ones she hadn't much use for.

Pays to have a plan in advance.

#956 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:36 AM:

Am I the only person who saw Tin Man and who was very disappointed?

#957 ::: Another Damned Medievalist ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:57 AM:

Er ... has anybody seen the latest Wikipedia meltdown? *snerk*
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/04/wikipedia_secret_mailing/page2.html

#958 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:06 AM:

I think Wikipedia lost what little cachet the idea of eiditing had. I've got an account, and looked at doing some little edits but decided it wasn't that important.

This last bit (banning whistleblowing), was the nail in the coffin. I may move from, "it's the second or third thing I look at" to, "I don't look at it at all" when trying to find facts.

That sort of smoke-filled room behavior has no place in a "open" society.

#959 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:31 AM:

955 Linkmeister

Just writing by accessing your unconscious thought processes can often be the best way. Your subconscious (which is really one of many processes going on in your brain, which vote periodically to decide on what your 'conscious reality' is) has powers conscious thought often doesn't have.

I suspect this is more or less what happened in '9 Princes in Amber' by Roger Zelazny. 9 books later, he had somewhat trapped himself.

As a writer you then have to take some risks, I think, and blow some credibility by fixing the mistakes.

#960 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:47 AM:

Greg @ 952... Wikipedia's not too unreasonable description of parsing.

Clifton @ 954... Xeger: Ha, interesting! I just wrote up a quick page for my company's inhouse wiki explaining how to turn a BNF/EBNF grammar into a recursive descent parser. For small grammars, that's often faster and simpler than reckoning with YACC and its ilk.

Heh. As it happens, I'm using Parse::RecDescent against a BNF grammar...

#961 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:35 AM:

Valuethinker - #959 -

As a writer you then have to take some risks, I think, and blow some credibility by fixing the mistakes.

Taking that kind of creative risk sounds difficult and thrilling. Doing it well is going to be so situation-specific that my imagination can't conjure it, so instead it pops up with an example of doing it really, really badly.

I keep thinking of a production of what I think was David Copperfield I saw on television. Included within the story was a production of one of the more death-filled of Shakespeare's plays. All the dead characters return in the final act, revealing themselves to have been not really mortally wounded, just resting for a bit.* I think the idea was that this was typical of productions of the play during the period of the story. It was...odd.

*One had just died on stage and sat up from the death scene, while at least one entered the stage after dying in a previous act, and I'm pretty sure there were at least three characters revealed to be not-dead.

#962 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:11 AM:

RM Koske #961, The most famous example was a Mr Bowdler who improved Shakespeare's plays to modern nineteenth century standards, suitable for all the family. I'm fairly sure that Romeo & Juliet ended happily, and Cordelia survived, perhaps even Lear. There was a lot of improvement needed according to him, so I'm sure there are many more examples. I find it difficult to imagine what was left of Titus Andronicus.

#963 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:48 AM:

Mez, you do something of an injustice to Dr Thomas Bowdler. He didn't change any of Shakespeare's plots, or add anything. He only took words, expressions and even characters out that offended the times, and substituted some words for others. Mutilating the actual plots has a much longer history.

Edmund Keene - I think - had a Lear with a 'bless you my children' ending, I seem to recall a Romeo and Juliet where she wakes up just in time to dash the phial from his hand, and there were others. I don't think Bowdler ever substituted one ending for another, or had characters return who'd been killed.

Bowdler might have been prissy by our standards, even hypocritical - he wrote Doll Tearsheet out, in keeping with the invisibility of prostitutes in his day - but he used respectable editions, kept most of what Shakespeare was, didn't add anything, and at least had the effect that the Victorians were able to read Shakespeare without embarrassing themselves.

Some of them, no doubt, wanting something a little stronger, slipped out to the Gentleman's Bookseller and Discreet Literateur (Editions with hand-coloured plates a speciality) and found the original texts. Guiltily, no doubt. Ah, well. They were used to that sort of thing, then.

#964 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:02 AM:

xeger, I've wrestled with parsers myself.

Parse::RecDescent is pretty cool. Damian is a genius. yada. yada.

#965 ::: Harry ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:06 AM:

Secret mailing list angers Wikipedia contributors.

"This sort of extreme paranoia has become the norm among the Wikipedia inner circle."

#966 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:13 AM:

Mez @ 962... I find it difficult to imagine what was left of Titus Andronicus.

Him too? The cannibalism really got out of hand then.

#967 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:20 AM:

Midori

Idle question.

I am guessing you are not the famous Midori of 'Master Han's Daughter' fame?

I mean the writer (and practitioner) about sex and former fetish model?

If you google Firehorse Productions you will see of whom I speak (not a particularly work-safe site).

Vt

#968 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:25 AM:

xeger @ 960... As it happens, I'm using Parse

Me, I can make the Kessel run in less than 12 parses.

#969 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:34 AM:

Harry@965:

I just dropped by Making Light to tell people about this story - glad to see you beat me to it.

#970 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:41 AM:

Harry/Jim: See also up-thread at "Wiki-wiki-wiki-ptang!"

#971 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 12:03 PM:

#962, 963, Mez and Dave Luckett -

I've heard of Dr. Bowdler before, but this places him more firmly in history for me. That's very cool whether he was the culprit in this case or not.

My recollections about the whole thing are very fuzzy - it was more than twenty years ago, and I started watching the program expecting it to last two hours. I was a bit dismayed to discover I'd let myself in for something like four nights of ongoing drama. That dismay and the sudden resurrection of a silly number of characters in the play are the only things I took away from the whole thing.

#972 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 12:21 PM:

Serge 956: Possibly. I averted disappointment through the soft bigotry of low expectations, but there were also parts of it that I loved. The very steampunk technology, even "magical steampunk realism" was wonderful. (Alternate title: Myst VII: Tin Man.) I liked the fact that Qbebgul Tnyr appears in it, and other little references to the original movie.

I liked the fact that I didn't notice Alan Cumming doing an American accent until he blew the pronunciation of 'privacy'. Come to think of it, I liked the concepts they used for each of the companions.

I thought they let one character off implausibly lightly, that the main character should have been named MS instead of DG, and that they left all sorts of potential drama undeveloped: orgjrra gur gva zna naq uvf fba, for example. I was deeply disappointed in the ending. I think it would have been better as a four-night mini, allowing time to develop more of the subplots, and...well, I'll tell you the ending *I* wanted only if you express interest.

#973 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 12:43 PM:

Xopher @ 972... There are parts of it I loved. But they just didn't know what to do with Raw. And the actress who played DG seemed to have only two expressions, and grief wasn't on the list. Personally I'd have preferred a 2-night story while you'd have wanted a 4-night one. At least things picked up within the last 45 minutes, but the result is that the ending was way too rushed. What's the ending you'd have wanted?

#974 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 01:08 PM:

#916, then #957 and #965: I'm starting to wonder if people are systematically ignoring the links I post due to my occasional rants, or if that's just a risk of posting after #900 in an Open Thread.

Serge #956: As for Tin Man, I've decided that it isn't so much punishably heretical as merely irrelevant to the OZ Canon. What's next, Harry Potter/Equus/Mandela crossover slashfic reimagined by some puerile auteur as political commentary on South African apartheid?!

#975 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 01:14 PM:

I've only seen the first two parts of Tin Man so far, and it's not at all what I was expecting but it's oddly fascinating.

(thread convergence: this is another example of it being easier to do something the supposedly-dishonest way than the honest way; presumably due to all the rain the Seattle area's had recently, my cable has been unwatchable this week, but the magic bittorrent in the sky still works just fine; it's just been a little slow getting Tin Man episodes available.)

#976 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 01:22 PM:

Serge @956 about being disappointed with Tin Man: I liked parts of it (the young sisters, especially) very well, but on the whole there was insufficient character development and supernumary deus ex machina moments, and on the whole I had trouble with the visual story-telling, dialogue writing and direction, so, in conclusion, could have been much better with a bit of thought.

#977 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 01:29 PM:

Serge 973: Vg jbhyq unir erdhverq zber frghc jvgu Nmxrqryyvn svtugvat gur jvgpu sbe pbageby bs gur obql BE nofbyhgryl abar. Gur Zber fpranevb jbhyq vaibyir Nm hanoyr gb trg evq bs gur jvgpu, naq oybjvat urefrys hc/qvivat bss gur gbjre gb ure qrngu/xvyyvat urefrys fbzr bgure jnl gb fnir gur B.M. Gur Abar fpranevb jbhyq vaibyir QT fhpprffshyyl bssvat gur jvgpu, ohg ure fvfgre erzrzorevat abguvat fvapr fur jnf 13, be orvat vafnar sebz 20 lrnef bs orvat n cevfbare va ure bja urnq.

Pbafrdhraprf. Ab cngf ba gur urnq. Abg gur fhaal, fnccl, unfgl "unccl raqvat" gurl yrsg hf jvgu.

#978 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 01:33 PM:

Heh. DG is a QT. And the O.Z. is a B.M.!

#979 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 01:46 PM:

I agree with earl up to a point because the Oz elements often felt tacked on. Still, as JESR said, it could have been great if more thought had gone into the whole affair. Xopher, did it bother you too that DG's 'cneragf' onfvpnyyl qvfnccrnerq sebz gur fgbel, abg rira sbe n tbbqolr ng gur raq?

#980 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:03 PM:

Xopher, I agree with you aboutvanaryl unccl naq hasbhaqrq raqvat, rkprcg sbe gur cneg jurer V yvxrq gur Nmxrqryyvn/jvgpu/synfuonpx gb puvyqubbq ptv n jubyr ybg. Jung V qvq abg yvxr jungfbrire jnf gur Qnq va n obk; vg jbhyq unir orra fgebatre fgbel-gryyvat, va zl rlrf, gb unir Mreb or na raguenyyrq Qnqql- zber natfg, fbzr npghny punenpgre qrirybczrag, naq zber Pnyyhz Xrvgu Eraavr, juvpu vf nyjnlf n tbbq guvat, nf sne nf V'z pbaprearq.


#981 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:09 PM:

Also, about visual storytelling: what disturbed me the most was the fact that too many of the exterior settings- most notably, the cave- have been used extensively in this season's Stargate Atlantis, and V xrcg rkcrpgvat Grlyn naq Xryyre gb or jnvgvat whfg nebhaq gur pbeare, ernql gb svtug bss pnaavonyf va snprcnvag.

The Scifi Channel, where all fantasy worlds and alien planets look like Stanley Park.

#982 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:26 PM:

Claudia Black as DG, and Alice Krige as Azkadalia... I'd have bought the DVD of that pronto.

#983 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:33 PM:

Serge, I'd agree with you there, assuming Joss Whedon as script doctor and director.

#984 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:39 PM:

Lesson in Being Prepared:

Co-worker took advantage of an invitation to use a friend's cabin. A cabin on stilts, on a cliff, overlooking the Pacific. On a weekend when TWO cyclones were scheduled to smack the coast.

The town -- Seaside -- was cut off north and south by flooding and downed trees.

The house survived, which is a Good Thing considering the torrential rains and 100 mph winds.

The electricity went out. The family didn't have flashlights. They played Monopoly with the light from a Littlest Pet Shop toy.

No heat; the pellet stove needed electricity for the feed mechanism. They tried using it, but the pellets in the intake hopper started to cook off and smoke. They managed to clean them out without starting a fire, but the place was full of smoke. Fortunately, clearing out the smoke entailed opening a couple of doors . . . remember the 100 mph winds.

Also fortunately, it wasn't that cold.

No way of cooking food. It was PB&J all the way, except for one pizza given away by a shop with a working gas oven.

#985 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:42 PM:

JESR @ 983... One can dream. It's frustrating, watching those Halmi fantasy mini-series: they're never total garbage, except for EarthSea, but we have to slog thru a lot of dross. I remember The Tenth Kingdom, which was wayyyyy too long, and yet it had Camryn Mannheim as a grownup Snow-White talking about her birth and the blood that it spilled on snow...

#986 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 02:59 PM:

I appreciate everyone using rot13 to disguise Tin Man spoilers. I was going to watch it this weekend.

It's been a long time, but I recall the Halmi Bros. "Gulliver's Travels" not being bad at all. A bit ponderous, but WOW, they actually dramatized more of the book than the lilliputians! And left in some of the raunchy stuff.

#987 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 03:08 PM:

#964 ::: Greg London @964 ...
xeger, I've wrestled with parsers myself.
Parse::RecDescent is pretty cool. Damian is a genius. yada. yada.

Ah hah![0] Can you tell I've had a week of dealing with folks that wonder if parsers are related to parsnips? :D

I'd be willing to call Damian a genius, but I'd have to wonder if mad scientist needs a place in there too... I don't think my brain will ever be the same :)

[0] ... and you, Sir, are a sick puppy, in the best of ways :)

#988 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 03:10 PM:

Stefan Jones, the important thing to remember about Tin Man is that I watched it, all of it, all the way through. Lately my TV viewing is limited to Chuck, Bones, and Stargate Atlantis- the latter mostly a matter of peer pressure on my LJ friends list. Me watching all six hours is significant of something.

It's just that it could have been so very much better with a bit more thought.

#989 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 03:35 PM:

Serge @ 968...
Me, I can make the Kessel run in less than 12 parses.

My, er, kettle will boil long before this parses?

#990 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 03:35 PM:

xeger@960 / greg@964; Parse::RecDescent.

Frankly, I've always felt the most important point of recursive descent is that it's easy to hand code, so you don't need a generator.

From the same point of view, I have to admit really liking Top Down Operator Precedence parsers. The concept takes a while to get your head around, but once you see how they work, they're really easy to write, plus they're *amazingly* fast.

Not sure how easy they'd be to express in Perl, though, as the technique relies heavily on closures, which I don't believe Perl supports.

#991 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 03:50 PM:

earl,

I'm starting to wonder if people are systematically ignoring the links I post due to my occasional rants, or if that's just a risk of posting after #900 in an Open Thread.

i think it was that it was just onomatopoeic link text without any explanation (it was funny once you knew what it meant). i didn't click on it 'til other posters referred to it.

#992 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 03:56 PM:

xeger @ 989... My, er, kettle will boil long before this parses

And my bagel bun will spoil even earlier.

#993 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 03:59 PM:

Earl, I read your link

Jules, Perl has supported closures for a long time now, but as recently as 5.6.1 there were serious enough memory leaks I wouldn't use them in anything that needed to be long-running; of course, even that is 5 years obsolete by now(!).

More thread convergance: Douglas Crockford (author of that top-down parser page) has been involved in many of the efforts to produce real metaverse-like environments.

#994 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 04:06 PM:

Earl Cooley @ 974:

Given the discussion at 917, 921, 923, 927, 935, 936, 939, 940, 942, and 950, (and possibly other numbers I've overlooked) you are not alone in being ignored on this subject.

I suspect the latecomers were already so far behind on this thread and so eager to spread the news that they just posted without worry for being rather past sell-by date.

I'm not actually caught up on this thread, either; I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday traveling to the further reaches of the Willamette Valley, coming home with the wind behind us all the way up I-5, and have just dropped back in hoping nobody would notice my absence.

#995 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 04:11 PM:

Todd @993: Aha. It's somewhere in the region of 7 years since I last did any serious Perl programming, so I'm somewhat out of the loop...!

#996 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 04:13 PM:

JESR #994:

We noticed, if only to worry about whether you might be way too busy or inundated.

(I was sort of unnerved, department of retrospective alarm, to notice that one of the featured mudslides in Seattle was just below the now-demolished motel we used to stay in right above Lake Union.)

#997 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 04:43 PM:

JESR @ 994

You lucked out. If you'd tried to go back on Monday you'd still be staying at a motel in Centralia, most likely. Last I heard I-5 won't open between Portland and Seattle until Thursday. That was one king-hell of a storm.

#998 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 04:45 PM:

joann, our luck was in this time- didn't even lose electricity or (miraculously) cable at home. Travelling up I-5 with a 40mph tailwind all of the way from Eugene to Wilsonville was all the excitement we got; we were staying at a friend's place up in the mountains and Saturday we were too low for the snow, too far east for the rain, and pretty much as good as PNW weather gets in December: 45F and thin high clouds.

Worst thing all weekend was knowing our son was working Saturday night, when it was supposed to be snowing in Lacey; I wasted a whole lot of motherly fretting about slippery roads only to find out that it had warmed up and rained.


#999 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 04:50 PM:

Valuethinker, 967,
Good heavens, no! I'm not that Midori
Rot-13'd for Susan's amusement:
V'z bayl Zvqbev urer, ba Fpnymv'f Jungrire, Fgebff' Nagvcbcr, naq bppnfvbanyyl ba YW nf na nabalzbhf cbfgre jub fvtaf nf Zvqbev.

#1000 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 04:50 PM:

JESR & Stefan & BS (STM) & Everyone else in the PNW - I'm hopeful that you are drying out and you and yours (and your livestock) are safe.

I'm way behind in thread reading. I'm actually getting some work done.

Serge @ #966: Bite your tongue!

#1001 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 04:56 PM:

Bruce, I know how lucky we are, indeed- my husband and I have done Lewis County flooding, long ago when I was a student at Centralia Community College and then two decades later when he ran the computer lab there. We drove between Jersey barriers on Sunday evening that were scattered like jackstraws by Monday morning.

I'm worried about friends with homes in Lincoln City and Cannon Beach, as well as Farmer's Market people on the Chehalis down stream from Centralia. My Seattle friends got off lightly- unlike last year, when one of them had seven feet of water in her house in Madison Valley. On the other hand, a friend cross town has a house for sale on a road which is blocked by washouts at one end and landslides at the other.

#1002 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:08 PM:

Cute video encouraging your pets not to be cute so they'll support the writer's strike.

#1003 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:10 PM:

Serge 979: No, because gurl'q orra pbeehcgrq gb freir Nmxrqryyvn, erzrzore? Fur erjverq gurz. Fb gurl jrer onfvpnyyl qrnq.

Nz V gur bayl bar jub abgvprq gung 'Nunzb' vf 'Bznun' fcryyrq onpxjneqf?

Claudia Black as DG? Naw. Waste of Claudia Black. Make her Az or the Queen (and if the latter, you KNOW who I want as Nunzb). How about Emma Caulfield as DG? She'd do the stupefied incredulousness really well.

Allyson Hannigan would also make a good Az. Kathleen Robertson was good at the evil, but when she was supposed to be pretending to be sweet she was unconvincing on several levels. Our Allyson could do both.

#1004 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:20 PM:

Xopher, I thought, at one point, that having Emily Deschanel play Az opposite Zoe might have been one adjustment, but I like your ideas, too.


#1005 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:33 PM:

999 Midori

OK, sorry. Just so you know you have a famous namesake ;-).

#1006 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:57 PM:

Guerr cvrprf bs avtug
unir snyyra vagb zl unaq:
bar pybhqrq, bar fgneel, bar furre oynpx.
Gurve pbearef naq rqtrf ner funec
naq phg zl cnyz jurer vg evfrf gb zrrg gurz.
Gur oybbq sybjf tragyl naq jvgubhg cnva.
Guhf shryrq, ng yrnfg gjb bs gur funeqf ner fjveyvat,
yvxr pernz vagb fgveerq pbssrr, yvxr juvgr fnaq va n ebvyvat frn.
(Vs gur pybhqyrff fgneyrff qnex zbirf ng nyy, vg qbrfa'g fubj.)
V pbhyq qebc gurfr cvrprf, gb fcner zlfrys shegure vawhel,
ohg, ragenccrq ol snfpvangvba, V ubyq gurz fgvyy.

Choose:
Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.