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May 28, 2008

Open thread 109
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 03:15 PM *

Element 109 on the Periodic Table is meitnerium, first synthesized by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg in 1982; Mendeleev referred to it as eka-iridium in his predicted periodic table. Although itself uncontested, the element was caught up in the Element Naming Controversy until 1997, and was temporarily designated unnilennium until it was resolved.

Meitnerium takes its name from the Austrian physicist and mathematician Lise Meitner (1878 - 1968), whom Albert Einstein referred to as “our Marie Curie.”

Meitner suffered from the double handicap of being both female and Jewish, at a time and place when either one was enough to stunt a researcher’s career. She was acting director at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin when Hitler came to power, and held onto her position by being both Austrian and apolitical. The Anschluss stripped her of these protections, and she fled Germany in 1938. She found refuge in Stockholm, where she could continue her research (in an outbuilding, because the head of the research lab would not have a woman on the premises when men were present).

Meanwhile in Germany, her former collaborator Otto Hahn continued their work while she advised him from abroad. Although Meitner is credited with one of the key insights that led to nuclear fission (she realized that neutron bombardment could split a uranium atom into two nearly equal parts), Hahn had the facilities to do the practical investigation. He received the Nobel Prize for chemistry alone in 1944.*

Meitner does not appear to have been bitter about being overlooked by the Nobel Committee, and remained on good terms with Hahn. She remained in research and became a Swedish citizen in 1949. She died at the age of 90 in Britain, and is buried in Bramley, Hampshire.

There is no record of any romantic involvement in her life. She was close to her nephew, Otto Frisch, and corresponded with many of the brightest scientists of her day. She seems to have been married to her work, an unusual fortune in a female scientist of her time. I hope that she was happy.


* History has its own balance sheet: Until 1997, element 105 was unofficially known as hahnium. In 1997, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry adopted the name dubnium for element 105 and the name meitnerium for element 109. The element hahnium no longer exists.
Science Week

Comments on Open thread 109:
#1 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 03:25 PM:

Cool story. Also, FIRST!

#2 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 03:27 PM:

I have a wonderful book (the title of which escapes me) about Mendeleev.

One Mendel describes genetic patterns, and another elemental.

Oh yeah, his name is fun to say.

#3 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 04:19 PM:

Lots of schools are named after Meitner, which I think is a great legacy.

#4 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 04:24 PM:

None for me please. I'm driving.

Has anyone read this bit of codswallop ?

Also, codswallop is a cool word.

#5 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 04:29 PM:

There is so much that I have to discover
that I regret each moment lost to sleep,
each second given to that simple cheap

loss of the self; letting the mind hover
between the places where life is so steep.
There is so much that I have to discover:

What moment makes of me a lover,
allowing my small heart to make and keep
the very things that matter and are deep;
there is so much that I have to discover.

#6 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 04:36 PM:

My HS Physics teacher had us all pick a scientist from history and do a report on his or her contributions. An interpretive report - we were supposed to submit a paper and then speak in character for five minutes about what we did. Meitner was mine. One of my friends beat me to Maria Goeppert-Mayer, dang it.

Lise Meitner was an impressive scientist.

#7 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 04:44 PM:

Josh Jasper -- But how do you pronounce codswallop?? Cods_wallop or cod_swallop? I see it both ways, with an instinctive tendency toward the latter.

Re: the Forbes article. What are the odds that the article's writer has herself submitted the odd manuscript? Maybe I'm being catty, but lines like "For decades, the publishing industry has taken advantage of authors. Amazon: authors are counting on you to turn the table!" raise an eyebrow.

Fragano -- lovely poem. May your dreams all be creative chaos (the good kind).

#8 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 04:56 PM:

Debbie #7: Thanks.


It's pronounced cod's wallop, btw. Curiously, the OED's earliest citation is only to 1959.

#9 ::: Carl ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 05:16 PM:

Has anyone told Tom Lehrer? How will he make it fit into the song?

#10 ::: David Manheim ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 05:20 PM:

Is it just me, or does everyone agree that it's even less acceptable to get "it's" and "its" incorrect on this site than it is generally, given the cheat bar right above the comment submission form? I noticed a post that was incorrect on an old thread just a minute ago, and wanted to point out how wrong that was, i.e. rant (without the personal attack part.)

#11 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 05:30 PM:

A question for Fluorospherians with equestrian knowledge:

This past weekend I went to the desert. While following part of the Applegate trail, I saw a small herd of wild horses. One of them--no good picture, sadly--looked exactly like a brown horse that happened to be wearing a cow-skull mask*.

Would there be a horse-markings word for this pattern? "Baldface" doesn't seem to capture the skull-like pattern around the eyes.

----------
* Or white horse forehead armor, although narrower than armor towards its nose. That is, it had a wide white stripe down the top of its head (although thinner than the "baldface" marking), narrowing towards its nose, with a white band around its eyes and one flare between its eyes and nostrils.

#12 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 05:34 PM:

Kathryn @ 11, the term is indeed: bald.

Were there other markings on the horse? Coloration?

#13 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 05:41 PM:

Carl 9: It's already in there. "There are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard, and there may be many others but they haven't been discovered."

Surely you're not suggesting that he update the song, which perfectly captures a moment in time, just because another one has been discovered? Would you put sunglasses on the Mona Lisa?

#14 ::: Carl ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 05:48 PM:

Groucho Glasses. :)

#15 ::: Jason Aronowitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 05:53 PM:

Another question for the fluorosphere - I can't seem to come up with search terms good enough to find this on my own.

Quite a while ago I read a short story wherein a sociologist (or similar) designed rules for a club that led to it propagating beyond control. It may have had a name along the lines of "The Some-town-name Social Club," and had a golden age flavor like Henry Kuttner's work. To my best recollection, it never used the word "meme."

Please, someone identify this story. Thanks!

#16 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 05:57 PM:

Premiering on July 29, the third season of Eureka.
Science!

#17 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:03 PM:

Serge @ #16:
But not as we know it!

#18 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:03 PM:

Jason @ #15:

I remember that story, too. I'm certain it was from the early 1960s at the latest, probably earlier. Sadly, I can't remember the author or the title - obvious searches using Kuttner, Tenn, Sheckley, and Leiber turned up dry.

#19 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:23 PM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale: The description is bald.

Josh Jasper: That feels like a fluff piece. There are a lot of rosy assumptions tossed off (amazon has a "wonderful user experience", will decide to forgo 30 percent of the return; so that it can pass the money along to the author, etc.).

Some of the turns off phrase are very reminiscent of the things said by the rep from whichever publishig house is trying to create a POD outlet for itself.

And her math is borked. She has the agent taking 15-20 percent of the gross.
Press release as news is my take.

#20 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:25 PM:

Damn it, now I'm going nuts trying to remember this story. Nothing I have tried pans out. I think the club in question was a garden club, if that helps anyone. But I'm not sure.

#21 ::: Jason Aronowitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:31 PM:

Yep. It's been stuck in my head for months. Maybe we should start a club...

#22 ::: Sten Thaning ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:43 PM:

I know that story!
Katherine Maclean: The Snowball Effect. Printed in 1952, according to Locus.

#23 ::: Sten Thaning ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:44 PM:

I know that story!
Katherine Maclean: The Snowball Effect. Printed in 1952, according to Locus.

#24 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:45 PM:

#23: Beat me by one minute ...

#25 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:50 PM:

That story sounds familiar, but I remember it as a sewing circle.

I had thought it was Asimov, but a quick check shows I was thinking of his story Ignition Point which revolves around a sociologist coming up with a way of making speeches "ignite" crowds, which gets out of control.

#26 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 06:53 PM:

Should have refreshed the thread! Sew it goes.

#27 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 07:00 PM:

Oh right! Yay! It's "ask the internet a question" time! So, internet, I have a mechanical/hardware question which has baffled at least five learned people so far. Say you have two metal tubes that telescope, one inside the other, and each has a hole drilled through its diameter, and inside the innermost tube is a peg being driven to expand by a spring (the setup I saw was on a hang glider, I think, with the peg being cylindrical with a half-dome on either end), and when the tubes line up the peg springs through the holes and holds the tubes in that position until you press it in with your fingers and can slide the tubes again.

What's that peg called? I want to buy one, but various combinations of "spring pin peg lock telescoping" aren't getting me to the right doodad.

#28 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 07:19 PM:

Tania @ 17... How many shows are there where it's not unusual to hear some say this?

"I hate to interrupt, but we have bigger issues at hand. Time is unraveling. The laws of physics are breaking down. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's the kind of thing that's not gonna stop at the city limits, is it?"

I also wonder if Deputy Jo will be having further erotic fantasies about Fargo.

#29 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 07:32 PM:

We have a Dude!

Gareth was born on May 20th at 1:23 AM, 9 pounds, 14.6 ounces (that's 4.495 kg for you metric types) and 20 inches.

He will be with us at WorldCon, for anyone who's showing up.

#30 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 07:42 PM:

Congratulations! May he abide.

And he was born on Eliza Doolittle Day. Most auspicious, unless you think having him grow up into a musical comedy queen is a bad outcome. :-)

#31 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 07:46 PM:

Considering thst I've been singing Gilbert & Sullivan to him, I don't think that's a problem. :D

#32 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 07:54 PM:

Congratulations!

#33 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 08:18 PM:

B.Durbin @ 29... Welcome to the Dude!

#34 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 08:47 PM:

B. Durbin --- You star! Con-Dude-ulations!!! Pics?

#35 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:03 PM:

All hail the Dude, may he long abide!

#36 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:06 PM:

Pics here. There actually aren't a whole lot post-discharge because there's only so many pics you can take of a sleeping baby— and when he's not sleeping, the pics would be NSFW.

#37 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:15 PM:

Happy birth, Dude!

#38 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:16 PM:

Madeline@27: Say you have two metal tubes that telescope, one inside the other

Hm, I just bought a painter's pole that had a push button extension thingy. They called it a "tab". But it was a button on the outside, not a thingy on the inside.

Oh, and just put up a lawn umbrella this weekend. That actually had the tube-in-a-tube setup, with the two holes and the spring loaded thingy. But I threw out the instructions already, so I can't help other than to say check out yard umbrellas and see if you can find what they call it. I think its a pretty common design for them to break into two pieces that way. smaller box.

I can't imagine a generic part that will join any two tubes, though. More like find the thing that gets joined and scavenge parts. I mean if you need something strong enough to hold a hang glider together, that's a bit different than the yard umbrella.

#39 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:19 PM:

b. durbin,

congrats on your new dude!

#40 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:24 PM:

B.Durbin @ 36... I especially like the 'baby burrito' photo.

#41 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:27 PM:

Congratulations on the Dude!

#42 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:28 PM:

Congratulations, B. Durbin! Love babies in hats :)

#43 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:41 PM:

Duuuuude! Welcome to the world! Congratulations to the happy parents -- and get plenty of sleep now, before you need it. ;-)

#44 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:47 PM:

@29,

Dude! Duuuude. & Dude? Dude.

(Congratulations. Cute.
Remember, when it seems like they're on a random sleep schedule, they're not. They're just on a 48 hour cycle for the first many weeks.)

#45 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:48 PM:

#11 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale

Walleyed horse, is how I was told.

Love, C.

#46 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:50 PM:

The Dude.

#47 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:55 PM:

B. Durbin--that is definitely and undoubtedly a baby. Good work.

Profound wisdom from my mother--"If he's sleeping, let him!"

#48 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 09:57 PM:

Congrats: Sleep when you can.

May he long abide.

#50 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 10:26 PM:

b. durbin, Congratulations on your dude! Really cute pictures.

#51 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 10:27 PM:

Congrats to the Dude! Many, many happy returns on this most auspicious birthday!

#52 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 10:31 PM:

B. Durbin -- that is one exceedingly adorable baby. Well done.

#53 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 10:43 PM:

B Durbin: Wow, congratulations!

#54 ::: 'As You Know' Bob ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 10:53 PM:

Yay, a baby. Congratulations!

#15: I think the story is Silverberg. Give me a minute to come up with a title.

#55 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:00 PM:

Oh, and for those of you appalled by the "taste of dead cabbage" remark in the last open thread, that literally disappeared right away. As in within the second meal post-labor. (The first I won't swear to as there were many other distracting things going on at the time.)

In fact, eight days post-partum, almost all of the pregnancy symptoms have resolved. That's really nice.

#56 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:08 PM:

And how could I forget? Here's a pic I took on what turned out to be my last day of pregnancy. I'd been waiting months to set up that shot...

#57 ::: coffeedryad ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:11 PM:

Madeline F @ 27 -
I believe that's called a "detent". If not, I've been using the wrong word for it for a while now.

#58 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:32 PM:

Abide with us Dude, sweet baby boy
bringer of smiles, chuckles, and unfettered joy

Congratulations!

#59 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:42 PM:

Let me add my congratulations! Yay for babies!
And yay for the end of dead cabbage!

#60 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:44 PM:

Scott Taylor @ 49...

When she's dancing next to me
"blinding me with science - science!"
"Science!"
I can hear machinery
"blinding me with science - science!"
"Science!"
It's poetry in motion
and now she's making love to me
the spheres're in commotion
the elements in harmony
she blinded me with science
"she blinded me with science!"
and hit me with technology
"good heavens Miss Sakamoto - you're beautiful!"

#61 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:05 AM:

coffeedryad: The detent is what the prong goes into.

#62 ::: Greg Carere ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:14 AM:

I've been trying to find some sound advice about short stories, and figured I'd turn to the Fluorosphere for guidance, because you all just seem so swell.

There's a small stack of short stories that I've written that are more-or-less gathering dust on my desk (or harddrive). I keep promising myself I'll "send them out," but then I realize that I'm not even sure I know how to go about sending stories anywhere, where'd they go and so forth, and the whole thing gets daunting and then I just need to sit down.

So I've resolved to seek illumination, and so far the internet has mostly been confusing and untrustworthy.

In particular, I wanted to ask about simultaneous submissions. I get that it's mostly (if not universally) frowned upon with novel-length manuscripts, but I'm finding somewhat conflicting opinions when it comes to shorter forms. I've found a couple of people whose advice is "ignore sim sub guidelines," but my instinct (largely informed by Making Light) seems to say that simply ignoring guidelines is a bad, bad thing.

So I guess that's my question: should I be simultaneously submitting my short stories to a bunch of journals, or is that just going to be hurtful, in the long run?

And, I guess some additional questions: anyone have any advice on getting some short stories published? Places to look, at least? Journals/magazines that are simply screaming for submissions from a young, as-yet-unpublished writer?

(Also, to pack everything into one post, I'd be much obliged if you fine folk would take a look at a very (very) short story writing experiment I started with a friend called The Two Minutes Project. We'd appreciate any and all feedback.)

(And finally, congrats on your Dude, B. Durbin.)

#63 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:15 AM:

Regarding the codswallop: I just got a card from an acquaintance who is publishing a book through amazon.

Sigh.

On the website it's explained that self-publishing is being done by so many authors because the present state of publishing makes it so hard to do it, "the other way."

It's also explained that the people who read books won't care if the book is well written. Which is true.

I really liked the option of getting an version, "unsigned on Amazon Kindle."

I have not much hope for the quality of the book, but doubt this will disuade the author from thinking it's the fault of the "industry".

#64 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:23 AM:

That is a very cute baby. I like the name Gareth as well, but will not be indulging my bro-in-law by naming our dude after him. He (BiL) is entirely too proud of himself as it is. And I remain hopeful that I will manage to make it through the next 4 weeks with no icky cabbage taste, since I've yet to experience such unalloyed vileness. Congratulations on the lovely addition.

#65 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:45 AM:

Congratulations to the healthy baby and mom!

#66 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:54 AM:

From my understanding... do not ignore guidelines.

#67 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:08 AM:

B. Durbin #29: Congratulations!

All: Since everyone else is doing it, I have a question for the fluorosphere in general.

Does anyone know of the existence of a book I could go to in order to get a basic knowledge of what it's like to fly a fighter jet? Specifically the kind of jet is a Messerschmitt Bf 110, and specifically the reason is that I'm currently in the research stage of writing a story about Rudolph Hess's wacky 1941 solo flight and I know about as much about the physical reality of flying any aircraft, let along a German WWII fighter jet, as I do about the physical reality of living on Gliese 581 c.

I know so little about it that I don't even know if this is a realistic question to be asking. Or if the question even makes sense.

#68 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:14 AM:

The Bf-110 is a strange plane. I'd look, basically, at a normal book on flying a twin-engined aircraft.

Then I'd look at flying prop-fighters.

The thing to find is a reprint of a basic manual, then I'd read some memoirs.

#69 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:27 AM:

B.Durbin: I woke up this morning, thinking "You know what the world needs? More Dudes." And then there you (and him) go!

Congratulations!

Terry Karney @ 19: "That feels like a fluff piece. There are a lot of rosy assumptions tossed off (amazon has a "wonderful user experience", will decide to forgo 30 percent of the return; so that it can pass the money along to the author, etc.)."

That was what I thought too. Amazon would split the savings with the author? Um, why?

And the Amazon recommendation is, I have to say, not the secret of their success. "Oh look! Other people who bought this book went on to buy another book by the very same author! I would never have thought of that!" Amazon does a lot of things very well, but recommendations is emphatically not one of them.

#70 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:28 AM:

Let me clarify, it was a twin engined "fighter".

As a pure fighter it was useless, not fast enough, not manueverable enough. It couldn't attack bombers, because the fighter cover would chew it up.

But it had range (which is why Hess chose it). It carried a lot of firepower. It was a decent night-fighter (because it was large enough to carry the radar of the day, and a person to operate it).

For practical purposes (in light of Hess's flight) it's basically the same as any other twin-engined prop plane, of small size.

#71 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:58 AM:

I thought, as readers & writers, people visiting here might be interested in reading an edited transcript of the closing address Junot Diaz gave recently (25 May, 2008) at the Sydney Writers' Festival: Literature opens the door to compassion in our brief lives.

And yay, Dude! There will be mud (, mud, glorious mud – by Flanders & Swann)

#72 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:00 AM:

Madeleine F., #27, those are spring-loaded locking pins.

B. Durbin, #29 & #36, congrats! He looks like a baby!

#73 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:03 AM:

ethan@67: get a basic knowledge of what it's like to fly a fighter jet? Specifically the kind of jet is a Messerschmitt Bf 110

well, what do you mean by "what it's like"? I recall a history channel thingy about the german jet engine program and one of the german pilots said it was "like being pushed by angels" or something to that effect.

Wait, the 110 is a twin prop job according to wikipedia, not a jet. I was thinking of the 262.

The basic controls will be the same. stick and pedals. The thing about twin engines is you can tweak the engine throttles to the individual engines so that you get exactly the same RPM. If they're off, you can get a pretty loud beat frequency. At least that'd be for piston powered twins. I don't know if it's present in twin jets or not.

Otherwise, its the basic pull back go up, push forward go down, and the pedals act like the old foot-steering mechanism on the old wooden sleds, turns you so your nose points into the wind.

Mostly you drive with the stick and use the pedals to keep the "slip" straight ahead. About the only time you use the pedals for something extreme is if you have full flaps and you're too damn high to land and you need to lose altitude fast, then you slip the plane, basically turn it so it's flying sideways a bit, and it'll drop fast and keep your airspeed up so you don't stall, then you right it, and fly down the centerline.

planes are pretty stable. the first time I flew, it sort of felt like driving a boat. you kind of bounce around, but the boat just naturally follows the waves and corrects a lot of stuff naturally. even if you let go of all the controls. (as opposed to helicopters which want to kill you) Actually, the training for small plane stalls at altitude was, if I remember right, apply power and let go of the controls. The plane will naturally correct by going nose down, gaining speed, and getting out of the stall. (if you let go of the controls on a helicopter, specifically the cyclic, you might kill yourself)

I can give you some basic stuff about flying. If you want specific 110 stuff, then that's out of my league.

#74 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:08 AM:

ethan, I did a Google search for "world war 2 german fighter pilot" and got a lot of hits, one of which was Stackpole Books. It looks to have an awful lot of war diaries and histories from several conflicts, including WW2. A couple were akin to "Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe," although they seemed to be flying 109s, not 110s. Nonetheless...

#75 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:12 AM:

B. Durbin, well done with the dude!

#76 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:26 AM:

heresiarch @ 69

One of my pet peeves about Amazon is that when I am logged into their site, so that they know all the stuff I've bought from them, they recommend books that I've already bought from them! It makes them look awfully clueless.

#77 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:28 AM:

Ugh, the 110 is a tail dragger. I've never flown one of those, but my understanding is they're a bit harder on take off because you have to first get up enough speed that you can get enough lift to get your tail off the ground, then get enough speed to take off.

You won't be able to see over the nose until you get the tail up, and the center of gravity is screwy so that it's a bit easier to unintentially do a Rockford on the runway.

Landing is either 3-point, all three wheels simultaneously, or front 2 then slow till you lose lift and the tail lands. Not sure which way the 110 worked.

Most of the WW2 planes were tail draggers, so it wasn't like it was a big deal then, but it affects the experience.

Oh, when you're on the ground, the stick doesn't do anything. You steer by applying brakes to one wheel or the other, or by adjusting engine power to turn. The brakes, at least in modern aircraft, are on the tops of the rudder pedals.

And being inside a twin prop fighter cockpit would probably be extremely fricken I don't care what you play as long as you play it LOUD.

#78 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 03:30 AM:

Greg: The WW2 types (not carrier based) were all 2 point landers.

And in high-performace planes (which the 110 was) have some other uses for the rudder, mostly in high-bank turns. The other problem with them (and I don't know if the 110 was counter-rotating, or not) is the torque (and the slipstream rotational pressure on the rudder) which required some rudder pressure to keep the plane straight on the runway.

In the tail draggers of the US and RAF (I don't know for the Germans) the rear wheel was connected to the rudder, which gave steerage on the ground.

#79 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 03:34 AM:

B. Durbin -- congratulations to you and yours!! That is one cute Dude.

Guess you won't be needing us to provide distraction anymore, eh?

#80 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 03:47 AM:

B. Durbin @29:
Hartelijk gefeliciteerd! Yay and hooray!

Looks like a very good dude indeed; I hope you're having fun with him.

#81 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 06:00 AM:

ethan @ 67:

(Hmm... I remember building a plastic model of the Bf 110 when I was about 10 or 12.)

A little googling turns up this recommendation from some random forum:

May I recommend "Schnaufer, Ace of Diamonds" by Peter Hinchcliffe (Tempus, £19.99), the biography of Germany's top-scoring Night fighter of WWII? a superb read from start to finish, he was a 110 man - gives a great account of what it was like.

Here is an article by a German pilot who flew Bf 110s during the war -- including how he got confused by the controls and accidently raised the landing gear just before landing, and what it was like to bail out of a Bf 110.

Another letter by a former Bf 110 pilot is here; it includes some comparisons of different models (e.g., the Bf 110-E vs the 110-G. This suggests that if you want to be really authentic (probably far more than is necessary!), you should figure out what model of 110 Hess would have flown (some more googling suggests it was a brand-new 110-D). The accounts by night-fighter pilots (like the ones I've linked to) could be slightly misleading here and there, since they were flying later models of the basic design. But, again, that may be way too much authenticity for your purposes...

A quick check on Amazon shows half a dozen or more books on the Bf 110; these seem aimed at the military history and/or model-building crowds, and so may not contain much detail about the experience of flying one, but those are possible sources as well. (Some might even have photos or illustrations of the instrument panel and cockpit interior, which it occurs to me might be useful for you.)

#82 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 06:10 AM:

Terry@63: "It's also explained that the people who read books won't care if the book is well written. Which is true."

The first four times I read that, it parsed for me as:

"people who read books won't care whether the book is well written", rather than:

"people who read books won't care as long as it's well written""

Funny word, "if". Now it makes much more sense :D

#83 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 06:26 AM:

Hmm... From newborn babies to war planes... Yup, this is a Making Light thread.

#84 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 08:19 AM:

Given the subject of the story, ethan probably doesn't need too much information about what landing a Bf 110 felt like...

31: Excellent. Though a Gilbert and Sullivan baby should really have been born on 29 February.

#85 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 08:24 AM:

I look at publishing as a game. You get published, you win! Or something like that.

Changing the rules doesn't win the game. There are good reasons for print on demand— there's a family geneology, for instance, that is of almost no value to anyone outside of our family. So that one was self-published. Or there's a particular piece of historical fiction for which the target market is Oregon Trail museum bookstores. That's not precisely a NYT bestseller market. So that person went to POD and markets the book directly to the little museums.

But fiction? Unless the whole point is to get ONE copy of a book into a particular person's hands, you're better off playing the game.

P.S. #79: I don't need distraction any more, true. So I'll just have to come here 'cause it's fun.

#86 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 08:45 AM:

Jon Carroll about Oakland's elections...

Mario Juarez, who's running for Oakland City Council, has been walking my block handing out tomato plants. It's not a campaign tactic I've heard of before, but now I have three official Juarez seedlings. I'm not sure what it means. Juarez is endorsed by all sorts of people who have reason to be mad at Ignacio De La Fuente, the incumbent in District Five. Juarez also endorsed by his seventh-grade teacher. (Really; it's featured in his campaign literature. If you're a hero to your seventh-grade teacher, you can pretty much get along with anyone.)

I don't know if my 7th grade teacher would endorse me, should I run for office, but my 10th grade's chemistry teacher remembered me fondly when we met a decade later.

#87 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 09:03 AM:

Greg London @73 -

Stall training (for me, at any rate) handled stalls in two configurations. One was in the landing configuration: power to idle, full flaps, pulling back until you get a stall warning or you start to fall (all lift has ceased). Recovery was full power, lower the nose, flaps to 20 degrees, when positive rate was climb was established, flaps up and airspeed to cruise.

The other was a full power-on stall, much as you might encounter during take-off. Recovery was lowering the nose and reconfiguring for cruise. In both cases, using rudder is important to prevent a spin.

Needless to say, stalls were practiced at about 3000 ft, because it's really easy to lose altitude during a stall.

#88 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 09:15 AM:

Another question on the open-thread-of-questions:

I am looking for a professional organizer willing to travel to Brooklyn. Has anyone here worked with one, or does anyone know one?

Also, congrats, B. Durbin! Hello Dude!

#89 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 09:22 AM:

Terry@78: mostly in high-bank turns.

Yeah, you're tweaking the rudders as you fly, but it's more like a background process and the stick is foreground. Use the stick to turn where you want to go. idle time? OK, check the slip indicator. Oop. kick it left a bit.

The planes I flew all had slip indicator guages in the cockpit. But the best slip gauge was a piece of yarn attached to the outside of the cockpit glass. If the yarn was lying along the centerline, you were good, if it way lying to the left or right, you could see the airflow slipping sideways across your fuselage.

Don't know if the 110 had some sort of string/yarn based slip indicator or not. 400 mph might be too fast for WW2 yarn/string. But if it had one, it'd be right there in front of you, on your windsheild.

#90 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 09:26 AM:

Comcast.net seems to be in the process of 'improving' its site.
"Oh crap", HellBoy would say.

#91 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 09:42 AM:

Serge #90: Yeah, it's Comcastic.

#92 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 09:55 AM:

In the republic no serf fears to speak
but the bright hero need not listen hard,
there are no weapons given to the weak.

These are not memories that we should seek
nor are there ways that should have been unbarred,
in the republic no serf fears to speak.

A short bright moment's given to the meek,
but all pay homage to the blonde retard;
there are no weapons given to the weak.

A golden statue's raised upon the peak
to honour those whom we call avant-garde;
in the republic no serf fears to speak

We claim the future never could be bleak
nor your bright visage ever could be marred;
there are no weapons given to the weak.

The whole endeavour's safe from all critique
we do not think that anyone's been scarred.
In the republic no serf fears to speak,
there are no weapons given to the weak

#93 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 10:00 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 76: Yep. Maybe their recommendation system was groundbreaking in 1998. But that's, like, a gazillion years in internet time.

#94 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 10:14 AM:

#7 - Debbie :

It's pronounced (best I can tell) CODS-wall-op.

The history of the word is in the Wikipedia link : The more popular etymology places the word's origins in the brewing industry.[citation needed] In 1876, British soft drink maker Hiram Codd designed and patented a bottle designed specifically for fizzy drinks. Though his Codd-neck bottle was a success in the fizzy drink industry, alcohol drinkers disparaged Codd's invention, often saying it was only good for "wallop" (a slang term for beer in the late-19th century).[citation needed] The term soon became "Codd's Wallop" and was eventually used for anything of low-quality or rubbish.

#95 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 10:37 AM:

Ooh, a question thread. I gots one:

Can anyone recommend a book/resource that is, more or less, "The U.S. Military for Dummies"?

(Checking Amazon reveals that there is, in fact, a "U.S. Military History for Dummies", but that's not the same thing.)

I'm not interested in the history. What I need is kind of a broad-strokes primer on the current armed forces and how they're set up and how they operate; ranking systems, training methods, standard equipment, etc.

The kind of thing that would answer random questions like, "Are the Marines actually trained to use swords, or are they just part of the ceremonial dress uniform?"

Stupid question, right? Well, that's what I mean. I have very much a lack of clue here. I know there are tons of ways to get this info, but it would be nice if there were one or two 101 sources to get me started.

#96 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 10:50 AM:

EClaire @ #64:

Letting brothers-in-law determine the name of the new baby can be a very bad idea.

Why, I heard of one woman who had twins, and was so exhausted afterward that she let her BIL fill out the paperwork; he put the girl's name down as "Denise"...

...and the boy's as "Denephew".

#97 ::: Jason Aronowitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 10:51 AM:

Ethan @67: I can't vouch for this, but have you thought about Flight Simulator?

http://flyawaysimulation.com/downloads-file-746-details.html

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22bf+110%22+%22flight+simulator%22&btnG=Google+Search

#98 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 11:08 AM:

ethan #67: ISTR that there was a flight simulator/fighter game called Yeager (after Chuck Yeager) that let you pretend to fly various German WW2 planes. I'm not sure whether that's at all useful to you ("Then, he his the space bar to fire the machine guns...."), but maybe there's some value.

#99 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 11:23 AM:

Leigh Butler @ 95

Each of the US military services, Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy has its own website. A large part of the content near the front page is intended to help recruiting, so thay have a lot of that sort of low-level information, sort of a huge FAQ. Air Force and Navy are trying to attract techies to run their complicated machines, so they have lists of airplane and ship types, with specs and such. And they describe micro and macro organization ("who runs the Army", "what's a regiment", "how many soldiers in a platoon"), rank and uniforms ("why a sergeant-major doesn't wear oak leaves"*), etc., etc. I go to them once in a while to see how things have changed since I wore the green.

* Honest cowboy, coming out of Basic, one of the less clueful guys in my company decided to impress his girlfriend when he went home. He figured he'd tell her he'd been promoted to Sergeant-Major (E-8 paygrade then), so he went to the tailor to have a sergeant E-5's stripes sewn on the sleeves of his dress uniform, and a major's gold oak leaves pinned on the collar. Then he put the uniform on and walked out on the streets of the base, where an MP immediately arrested him for being out of uniform and impersonating an officer.

#100 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 11:31 AM:

#95: If you find one, we ought to send a copy or two to Hollywood. Every time a military movie comes out, the armed forces folk I know smack their foreheads at the dumb things that make it in. (Military advisors to films prevent this; most films don't budget them.)

I don't know about the swords* but I do know that the Army used to have weapons badges for all sorts of weird weaponry— things like the sling, or the atl atl. I know this because we had a friend whose stint in the Army included trying to get as many of those as he could. (He was five foot three and really enjoyed the confusion he'd engender by being "the weapons expert.") I think they got rid of most of the separate badges in the end.

*Except that they are nicely balanced. My cousin Fig** showed his off once.

**Last name of Newton. I don't know what his real first name is, actually.

#101 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 11:52 AM:

James Dunnigan's "How to Make War" is pretty good on how wars work, but less so on the US military specifically. I had to write a short guide to the British Army last year for the benefit of my mother, who was busy transcribing my grandfather's letters home and wanted to know things like "how big is a brigade" and "what is a CCS", but I think you probably want more detail than that.

I love the fact that the US army had an atlatl proficiency course.

The British Army will still teach you not only to ride a horse, but also to use a lance from horseback - there are tent-pegging competitions. (where you have to spear a wooden peg at high speed and take it out of the ground; get it wrong and your lance goes into the ground and you pop out of the saddle like a pole vaulter)

7 (Parachute) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, however, have neither parachutes nor horses. Pity.

#102 ::: Holly P. ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 11:56 AM:

Delurking...

Debbie @ 7 and Josh Jasper @ 94 --

The OED says, re: codswallop etymology
"It is often suggested that this word is the genitive of the name of Hiram Codd (1838-87), British soft drinks manufacturer, who patented several designs for mineral water bottles in the 1870s + WALLOP n. (see sense 4c at that entry), and that it was originally used by beer drinkers as a derogatory term for soft drink. However, no evidence has been found for early use of the word in this sense, and derivation from the surname is not supported by early spellings."

The true origin is unknown.

#103 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:10 PM:

I'm sure people can tell by the fact that I called it a "jet" that I really have no idea what I'm talking about. In my brain jet and plane are the same thing, just like bug and insect or boat and ship or even coat and jacket, no matter how much other parts of my brain might know otherwise. Thank you, Terry, Linkmeister, Greg, Peter, Steve, Jason, albatross--I knew I'd get a lot of responses around here!

Greg, what I meant by "what it's like" is pretty much exactly the stuff you guys have been saying--what it feels like in there, what you have to physically be doing while you're flying, that kind of thing.

So yeah, thanks everyone--between what you've said here, the books and articles you've pointed out, and the simulators (maybe, although for some reason that idea scares me), I'm sure I can work this stuff out...eventually. When I decided to write this story, I realized it would involve a lot of research, but the more I look into it the more I realize just how much water there really is over my head.

ajay #84: Ha! Good point.

#104 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:16 PM:

ethan @ 103... In my brain jet and plane are the same thing

Today's kids... And this reminds me of Sid Caesar's skit where he plays a test pilot who freaks out when he realizes his plane has no prop.

#105 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:33 PM:

Ethan @103: If you want a reminder as to the difference between a plane (prop) and a jet, the Air Traffic Control rules might help.

Under those, a balloon has right of way, that is the more agile (jet) has to make way for the least agile.

True story: 2 jets in formation just finishing a Veteran's Day fly-by suddenly realize they're sharing airspace with a blimp -- and split the formation to go around it. I saw it happen, and I wish I had had a radio that covered the ATC frequency. The subsequent conversation had to have been...interesting.

#106 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 12:56 PM:

Sten @ #22:

Thanks for identifying the story! Now I can sleep at night.

#107 ::: Zvi ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:03 PM:

Russ @82: Thank you for that re-parsing, as I was finding it impossible.

In my dialect

"people who read books won't care _if_ the book is well written."

Can only mean
"people who read books won't care _whether_ the book is well written"

I can only get the second reading if there's a pause before the 'if':

"people who read books won't care, _if_ the book is well written."

=

"people who read books won't care _as long as_ it's well written"

These two sentences seem to have very different structures (the scope of the if clause?).

#108 ::: Jason Aronowitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:41 PM:

Sten @ #22 - Thank you! I need to find more Katherine MacLean stories.

#109 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:48 PM:

Can two words be deadly to keyboards? They will! And Fragano @91 will bring it to you!

#110 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:48 PM:

Russ: Funny word if. The confusion is from my lack of a comma. Mea culpa.

#111 ::: Zeynep ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:54 PM:

Zvi @107: Thanks, I was thinking/reading the same way. The comma makes it much easier there for me to consider the "if" as conditional.

Way, way too long past my formal English grammar studies to be able to analytically describe why that's so, however.

#112 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 01:56 PM:

Also, very much enjoy the aviation geeking out. I've only been in a taildragger once, Greg, and that was just before I met you and the rest of the VPX crowd. I was surprised at how much easier it was to land than I was expecting. Take-off, though, as you describe, was complex.

Eh, I'm new enough to this stuff that I'm still congratulating myself on getting over my "stage fright" enough to ask Denver Approach for Class B clearance this weekend. ("Dude! They vectored us through! We're flying in DIA's airspace! So Cool!" "Yes, dear. Very cool. Now please just fly the plane.") I'm new enough, in fact, to still have this stupid radio stage fright.

Anyway, it's really fun to hear the much more experienced pilots talking about planes I've never yet had the pleasure of flying.

--

Big-time congrats to B. Durbin and the Duuuude! Looking forward to seeing you both in August!

#113 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:03 PM:

One point about Rudolph Hess: the story is that he was detained shortly after 11pm, by a ploughman with a pitchfork.

We're talking Scotland, so dusk would be quite late.

Now for the catch: 1941 was the first year in which an order was made for Double Summer Time, 2 hours in advance of GMT, starting on the day after the first Saturday of May. We don't need to know which day was the first saturday of May: it's impossible for it to be later than the 7th, so the change took place on or before the 8th. and Hess made his flight on the 10th. So his arrest at about 11pm was at about 9pm GMT

So he was flying in daylight.

But a good chunk of the flight was made over the North Sea, which meant navigation by clock and compass. And then some fairly hurried searching for visible landmarks on the coast. The obvious landmark ia the Firth of Forth, but there would have been a lot of heavy AA. I don't have a clear account of the route Hess flew, but it looks more sensible to cross the coast in Northumbria, with landmarks such as Holy Island.

The straightline course looks to come close to some fairly heavily defended parts of northern England, and the flight would be about 800 miles. Rather than changing course over the North Sea, it might have been that Hess would have set off on a compass course from some landmark on the Danish coast.

What time did Hess take off (and how was time being measured)? I don't have cruise speed figures for a Bf 110, but think four or five hours....

#114 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:13 PM:

Leigh Butler: Shrort answer, I don't think the sort of detail you are asking about there is in a book (and no, they aren't trained to use the sword, though there are some ceremonial flourishes the guy who do Silent Drill Team learn).

On a more prosaic note, you can feel free to ask me questions, though some of my knowledge is obsolete (they've changed basic training a lot since I survived it).

Bruce Cohen: Any fool knows the Oak leaves go under the chevrons.

B.Durbin: Adivsors fix some, but rarely all. Then there are the strange myths (an officer's uniform has to have an error, or the actor will be arrested). I keep thinking I wish I knew how to get some of those gigs; because the little stuff drives me batty. The things most people won't notice; like having a film set in 1990 using the (slightly different) helmet of 2005 (when everyone got the parachutist helment).

re badges: One can still qualify in lots of things. One gets rungs to a ladder below the level of skill. There are limits to how many ladders (and one can only have two skill levels, of the three possible) For me I find it amusing the one which impresses people most is my expert pistol (easy to get, IMO) and least is Expert Grenade (far and away the hardest; at least of any I've had the chance to see the qualification tables for).

Serge: MY stepfather's dad was in WW2, he says he almost got killed in the middle of bridge as the lot of them were figuring out how much it could bear in the current (he was an engineer, of the strange sort the army makes). The were croggling at the plane which wasn't falling out of the sky; for lack of a prop, when the water 100 yards beyond them exploded.

He figures the pilot was brand new to them, and hadn't internalised the higher speed, leading to underestimated lead.

re that if: Looking at the original, that's the way it's phrased. Didn't giv me hiccups, but there you go. I think that may be part of why the book wasn't picked up, "the other way,"; if that's an example of the writing style.

I should better have phrased it, "if the book's well written, people won't care how it was published."

#115 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:29 PM:

Nicole @ 112 -

Yeah, "mike fright" can be a bit unnerving, particularly if a controller chastises you for stepping on another transmission (which happened to me once). I learned to fly at a Class D airport near Houston, and protocol is much easier there, and I stay away from the Bravo airspace, though I've talked with Houston Approach from time to time.

I don't have any taildragger time, but I was tempted last week when I saw this new Cubcrafters Cub at my FBO. But they also had a new Cessna 400 that was being shown, and that's a sweet looking plane. Too bad I don't have $620,000.

My next step is to get a complex endorsement in the flight school's Piper Arrow.

#116 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 03:28 PM:

World Wide Words' entry for "codswallop" has the Codd story, but notes that it's most likely a spook etymology, and that there's no other commonly-accepted explanation.

#117 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 03:38 PM:

Terry Karney @ 114... he was an engineer, of the strange sort the army makes

Would that be the kind with a knack for improvisation and for risk-taking that would make the NCC-1701's engineer look like a timorous person?

#118 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 03:41 PM:

Dave Bell #113: That's interesting. I'd been picturing the parachute-ploughman-pitchfork series of events happening well after dark. I'll have to look into that.

#119 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 03:42 PM:

It almost sounds as though someone searched for an appropriate (beverage) name to legitimize the pronunciation already in use.

Not having grown up where it was actually used, it'll probably continue to be cod_swallop to me. The associations -- cod/strong fish/swill/swallow -- suggest a right mess of nonsense.

#120 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 03:58 PM:

B. Durbin @85: But fiction? Unless the whole point is to get ONE copy of a book into a particular person's hands, you're better off playing the game.

This was precisely why I self published my first novel. It was written as a present for my wife and so long as she has her copy and likes it, I consider it a success.

Also, it's a Gothic Fairy Tale, which as a genre, has an audience you could fit in a medium sized living room. So I saw no point in pursuing the mainstream publishing route. I can publish the book on Lulu.com and have it in a little over a week or look for a publisher which could take, gee, like, two, maybe three weeks, at least. And that's assuming anyone would be willing to court the aforementioned totally massive and rabid fan base of maybe twenty (judging by the number I've sold so far, which is 19 times more than anticipated, making it a huge success by my admittedly minuscule expectations).

But yeah, the next novel is intended for a larger and more robust audience and will be making its way into the slush piles of publishers, forthwith.

#122 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 04:01 PM:

#99 Bruce Cohen: I was hoping to find something on paper, honestly. I've been researching it via Wikipedia and similar, and after a while it makes your eyes cross. But you're right; nothing like going straight to the source.

#100 B. Durbin: That is actually fascinating, and startlingly relevant to why I'm doing this research in the first place. They got rid of the badges, but do they still do the training? If you have more sources on unconventional weapons in the Armed Forces I would dearly love to hear about it.

Also, congrats on the Dude!

#101 ajay: yeah, those are exactly the kinds of dumb questions I have about the U.S. military. I'll look into the Dunnigan book, though.

#114 Terry Karney: I would love to pick your brain, if you're willing. Can I email you?

#123 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 04:38 PM:

I find this little story very alarming.

#124 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 04:49 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @123:

That was... something else. Sort of speaks to why the term Jar head was invented. This Marine should have kept his coins in his jar.

#125 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 04:51 PM:

Keith #124: I'm waiting for the outcry that he was just doing his duty as an Xtian.

#126 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Yesterday's news
Left dead in the past
Though consequences do not go away
Yesterday's news
Forgotten in the last,
Though the problems are still here with us today.

The world of bloggers
Posters on the Internet
And newsgroups
Epherma like flotsam on the seas
The messages that flow around
The spammers and the trojans
Are modern forms of robbers, tolls, and fees.

Yesterday's news
Goes trailing cruft in wakes,
The eddies leaving websites years behind
While someone once intended
To update and renew,
Nothing there that's current shall you find.

Yesterday's news
Today's gone by so fast,
And timebound, we are hopeless e'er to change,
Yesterday's news
We live part in the past,
As life goes on the world becomes more strange.
(c) 2008 Paula Lieberman

#127 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 04:56 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @125: It's sad but such an outcry is all too likely, and from the usual sources.

#128 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 05:18 PM:

Fragano, that sounds like just what the neocons and xtianists were planning - although I think they were hoping for either violence or mass conversions of the 'heathens', rather than complaints from the locals. Depending on their personal religious views, of course.

#129 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 05:42 PM:

Leigh: If the training is still there (though for atl-atl and sling, I doubt it: though I saw guys working with them at Cp. Williams... so? and Javelin doesn't mean what you think it does) the badges still exist.

But one can only wear so many. What this guy had (and one can still get) is a huge list of qaulifications on one's personell file.

Feel free to e-mail me.

Serge: Yes. The sort who realised, a tad too late, that blowing the remnants of Remagen; without emptying the downstream Bailey Bridges was a bad idea,and got in his jeep and told his driver (he was an officer, with at least a comany; perhaps a Bn) to race down to them.

He says they managed to clear them.

Then they had to repair them.

#130 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 05:45 PM:

The aggressive proselytyzing being done in Northern India - the Delhi region, the 'Hindustan' belt in the 1850's by evangelical missionaries played a large role in the bloody 1857 uprising. That region was mixed Muslim and Hindi, where religious tolerance had been part of the Mughal rule for a long time. They did not take to the aggressive determination that religions of both groups were to be wiped out and everyone was to become Christian.

Along with the other issues that provoked the uprising, these were the consequences of the later Company administrators and British military having pulled away from mixing with Indians at all, and thus believing in their own superiority, while becoming thoroughly ignorant of the people among whom they lived.

It sounds so much like the current situation in Iraq.

Love, C.

#131 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 05:46 PM:

P J Evans #128: I would not want to be a public affairs officer in the occupation forces right about now.

#132 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 05:51 PM:

Constance Ash #130: Now, that's an interesting parallel.

#133 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 06:06 PM:

If they want to "do their duty" as Christians, they shouldn't sign up for something that conflicts with it. The Marines prohibit that sort of thing.

If they're so concerned about being "good Christians" that they will not follow the Marines' rules, then they should accept Dishonorable Discharges with serenity, and turn the other cheek, so we can kick their asses on that side too!

#134 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 06:08 PM:

Terry@110 on the "if"

Ignosces tibi ;)

I thought twice about posting that in case it was just me (and possibly simple pedantry), so I'm glad it helped out a couple of people.

#135 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 06:24 PM:

Star Trek composer Alexander Courage has died at 88.

Fly with the Great Bird of the Galaxy, Mr. Courage.

#136 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 06:29 PM:

#135: They're dropping like flies!

Star Trek' director Joseph Pevney dies at 96

May 29th, 2008 | PALM DESERT, Calif. -- Joseph Pevney, who directed some of the best-loved episodes of the original "Star Trek" television series, has died. He was 96.

Pevney died May 18 at his home in Palm Desert, said his wife, Margo.

Pevney directed 14 episodes of the 1960s series, including "The City on the Edge of Forever," in which Capt. Kirk and Spock travel back in time to the Depression, and "The Trouble With Tribbles," in which the starship Enterprise is infested with cute, furry creatures.

#137 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 07:48 PM:

Asimov's Mysteries -- I got an urge to reread the Wendell Urth stories and found them, with other classics, in this book. I enjoyed reading it, other than sneezing and sniffling. It's pretty dusty. Anybody want it for the price of postage?

Contents:

* A Loint of Paw • (1957) • shortfiction by Isaac Asimov
* The Singing Bell • [Wendell Urth] • (1955) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* The Key • [Wendell Urth] • (1966) • novelette by Isaac Asimov
* The Billiard Ball • (1967) • novelette by Isaac Asimov
* The Dying Night • [Wendell Urth] • (1956) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* I'm in Marsport Without Hilda • (1957) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* Marooned Off Vesta • [Brandon, Shea & Moore] • (1939) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* The Talking Stone • [Wendell Urth] • (1955) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* Pâté de Foie Gras • (1956) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* The Dust of Death • (1957) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* Anniversary • (1959) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* Obituary • (1959) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* Star Light • (1962) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* What's in a Name • (1956) • shortstory by Isaac Asimov
* Introduction (Asimov's Mysteries) • essay by Isaac Asimov

(thanks to ISFDB)

#138 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 07:50 PM:

<mode lang="grammar geekery">
Found this sentence as the summary of a news story: "The Vatican says it will women priests and the bishops who try to ordain them with automatic excommunication"

Possibly means: "The Vatican says it will women priests and the bishops who try to ordain them automatically excommunicate"?

or maybe they couldn't bear to use the word "punish" before "women"?
</mode>

#139 ::: Gursky ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 08:24 PM:

Teresa, Clay Shirky just gave you a shout-out in a talk here at BEA.

#140 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 08:31 PM:

Marilee, I'd like them!

My email is the livejournal name in the link, at juno.com

#141 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 08:35 PM:

Been wondering if B Durbin (& partner)'s 'Dude' could be inspired by the observation at the head of Open thread 86?

Just substitute "hamster" :)

And W00t!! for The Dude, too.

BTW, can someone with recent experience tell me (us) what that thing taped to his head in the early hospital photos is? I get nasty SF-type ideas w/o yer akchool facts. Do all new bebbies get those other attachments seen in the photos for a while to check all's in working order?

#142 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 09:02 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 123

The end of the article is even scarier than the rest. Some of those idiots were using a copy of the Quran for target practice, and they didn't even have the brains to burn it so no one would find out. That's just asking to bring up all the stories from Abu Ghraib and Gitmo about flushing Qurans down toilets and such. Oh, why can't these morons learn not to insult the local population every chance they get?

#143 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 09:28 PM:

#117 Serge--Military engineers are really good at Blowing Stuff Up. There are those who will say they're better at Blowing Stuff Up than they are at ordinary civil engineering, although they do some of that, too.

Mostly, it's blowing stuff up and putting up bridges.

My father, who was a chemistry professor at a technical university, spent many years in a Reserve Unit (mostly because having a Reserve unit on campus kept a lot of students out of the draft, because the Army preferred to have all these young engineering minds learning to do military engineering tasks rather than trying to turn them into infantry). Every summer they'd load up and make the short drive down to Ft. Wood and build things, mostly bridges, but sometimes other things. (He got to the point where building bridges across the Little Piney and the Gasconade was no longer entertaining pretty quickly.) After they built things they'd get to blow stuff up, for a treat.

#144 ::: JimR ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 10:10 PM:

#135, 136 et. al.
This is getting a bit crazy.
So, in recent days we've also lost Sydney Pollack, Harvey Korman, Dick Martin, and Robert Asprin.
May is feeling sadder and sadder...

#145 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 10:45 PM:

Mez @141: That's an IV. He'd already managed to suck them out of both hands.

He had an IV because he had a temperature spike so they put him on a course of antibiotics, but his cultures came back negative and his temp stabilized where it should, so they discharged him only a day late.

#146 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 10:52 PM:

JimR, #144: Yeah, and I just found out that a merchant we know from the Texas RenFaire died unexpectedly last week. That's probably going to shut down the business as well; they sold (among other things) period-style garb, and she did all the sewing.

This is NOT being a good month.

#147 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 11:36 PM:

Madeline F @27:
the pin itself (which sometimes is a bearing instead of a pin) is referred to as a "button" in that context.

#148 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 12:23 AM:

fidelio @ 143... Much as I enjoy watching the MythBusters do what they do(*), I'd have a hard time building things for the sole purpose of wrecking them. I love making things. Unmaking them? Not so much.

(*) "What happens to a concrete mixer if you load it with - and detonate - a few hundred pounds of modern explosive? Let's find out."

#149 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 12:45 AM:

B. (145), thanks for the info. I couldn't see any remarks about it anywhere on your assorted sites. Good news he's doing well now. (Go Gareth!) Probably your milk & life in general will resupply healthy gut flora.

Back during earlier hospital stays, I've been hooked up to heavy-duty antibiotic IV drips for several days at a time. Because of previous surgery, they can only use my right arm. It wasn't just learning to watch all my almost involuntary movements, and trailing the equipment around whenever I moved out of bed, but also training myself to sleep without moving that arm. I can just imagine a baby or young child would have trouble with one indeed.

#150 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 12:53 AM:

JimR @ 144... Harey Korman too?

Hedley Lamarr: Repeat after me: I...
Men: I...
Hedley Lamarr: ...your name...
Men: ...your name...
Hedley Lamarr: [to himself] Shmucks.
[continues aloud]
Hedley Lamarr: ... do pledge allegiance...
Men: ...do pledge allegiance...
Hedley Lamarr: ...to Hedley Lamarr...
Men: ...to Hedy Lamarr...
Hedley Lamarr: That's *Hedley*!
Men: That's Hedley.

#151 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 03:53 AM:

It's really starting to feel like summertime here. Decent strawberries are to be had, and my grocery store has the first pickling cucumbers. The first batch of the year has just been transferred to jars in the frig, to make room for Batch #2, courtesy of the Open Jar Dill Pickle recipe in Anna Thomas' Vegetarian Epicure (Pt. 2). Heartily recommended!

One puzzle, though -- her recipe calls for including some grape leaves, but she doesn't explain why. I've done that before, with conventionally canned pickles as well, and it seems to have the effect of making them crunchy. Unfortunately I don't have a source of grape leaves anymore (although I suppose I could buy a vine for the terrace). So what I'd like to know is,

1) does anyone know if grape leaves in fact help make pickles crunchier? (How's that for an Open Thread question?)
2) is there a substitute, or alternative method/ingredient to achieve the same effect?

#152 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 04:12 AM:

If we're mentioning people who've died recently, I'm going to bring up pioneering comics retailer Rory Root. The comics blogosphere has a ton of tributes to him...I knew him as the guy I bought comics from once a week for more than two decades. He was only 50. I'm going to miss him.

#153 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 06:37 AM:

If they're so concerned about being "good Christians" that they will not follow the Marines' rules, then they should accept Dishonorable Discharges with serenity, and turn the other cheek, so we can kick their asses on that side too!

There is a type of "good Christian" psychology which finds the attraction of martyrdom irresistable. The leaders of the early church actually had to issue injunctions against deliberately seeking it. (I believe, though not sure, that Mohammed, pbuh, had to intervene similarly among his followers.) Of course, where "martyrdom" doesn't actually involve pain or death, merely some inconvenience like being thrown out of the Marines, it must seem even rosier.

#154 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 07:12 AM:

Serge at 148,

Growing up with a forensics engineering relative, I learned that one or two instances of thoughtful unmaking could prevent many instances of unexpected unmaking*.

Although the Mythbusters'
a. quarter stick of dynamite
b. 1 stick of dynamite
c. several-hundred pounds of modern stuff
method isn't quite the same as forensics testing.

------
* that, and also that with sufficient application of stupidity, anything can be made to catch on fire.

#155 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 08:28 AM:

Kathryn #154: Okay, but I still thought the exploding herbicide-soaked jeans were cool.

#156 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 08:53 AM:

...with sufficient application of stupidity, anything can be made to catch on fire.

In high school, I once saw my brother burn water. I still don't know how he managed it but by golly, it was impressive. Of course, this is the kid who managed to destroy a pot or pan every time he tried to warm something up on the stove, so maybe it was inevitable. I don't think he ever groked what the little numbers on the dials meant and just cooked everything on high.

#157 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 09:42 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 154

* that, and also that with sufficient application of stupidity, anything can be made to catch on fire.

"The stupid, it burns!"

#158 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 10:12 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 154...

"Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering Kaboom!"

#159 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 11:10 AM:

Debbie: re grape leaves My guess is the oxalic acid in the leaves acts to bind up the fibers. You might try a test, with an equal weight of young leaves and older leaves. The younger ones have more acid, and so should (if my hypothesis is correct) make for a firmer pickle.

As an aside, young grape leaves, sliced thin, make a nice inclusion in an omelette.

chris y: re suffering and Christianity It's a built in theme (look at the letters of Paul, he points out that you can tell he's a good Christian because he is suffering for Christ). Even Christians we respect (Quakers) have the urge (see how many get arrested at protests). Oddly enough, refusing to persecute them can lead to greater stability (Mass. made them miserable, even killing some. Rhode Island let them be. At which point they travelled to Mass. to preach).

#160 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 11:13 AM:

I've been holding off on this, but the recent "in memorium" posts make it seem an appropriate time to mention the disappearance and almost certain [see discussion on the Left/Right thread] death of my neighbor's beloved cat.

Odi (short for Odin) was very much an outdoor cat, though he spent a lot of time hanging around both his owner's condo unit and mine -- sprawled on porch railings, peering in at windows and screen doors, asking for attention in his peculiar raspy voice. When in, he wanted out, as her bent-out window screens could testify. And he roamed the streets, stairs, and gravel-plus-plants landscaping of our area happily for many months after his arrival here, stopping for a belly rub whenever anyone came by.

Part of his time outdoors was a couple of hours each night. Then, a few weeks ago, he didn't come home. (I didn't find out about this till last week.) There are no clues to what might have happened, and the Pound couldn't help, but coyotes do occasionally show up nearby and I consider them the prime suspects.

It's almost impossible not to brood on the loss, and his owner was really distraught -- still is, as are all who knew him. But the Fates intervened in their usual capricious fashion, and she came back from a weekend visit to a friend in her old town to the west with something unexpected. She invited me over to see: a pair of fluffy, part-Siamese kittens born to the friend's cat a couple of months ago. When she took them to my vet for a check-up, he said they were the cutest he'd ever seen, and it's true. She vows they'll be strictly *indoor* cats.

So here's to Odi, who lived as he wished and died relatively young, but also to Tiara and Gigi, who will help us heal after his loss.

(Apologies for the sentimentality, in a world where far worse things happen every day. I just needed this combo of venting, tribute, and tentative reasons for hope.)

#161 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 11:16 AM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) #142: The sound you hear in the background is one Usama bin Ladin laughing.

#162 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 11:16 AM:

I came here to make a shameless self-plug for some fiction I wrote yesterday, but the tales of unmaking are making me stay!

I got a good one. My daughter eats this honey-and-walnut concoction (specific carbohydrate diet for Crohn's) and, because she's 13, she has a tendency not to clean up the pan afterwards. So one night, seeing this solidified honey pan on the table with a wooden spoon in it, I put a little water in it to boil, to soften it up. But it being night, I was deeply embroiled in something online (actually, I think I was working) and so I forgot it entirely for about an hour.

All of a sudden, I smelled this lovely scent of incense, like cedar, or ... burning wood! (We live in a concrete building, so fortunately it didn't even occur to me it might be the house.) Remembering the pan, I ran into the kitchen -- the water had cooked off entirely, but the spoon hadn't caught fire. It simply ... charred down to a nub. It was the strangest thing I ever saw! I don't know if it was because it was soaked in water, or had something to do with the honey, but the entire bowl of the spoon was gone, converted to aromatic ash. It smelled really nice; we used to heat with wood, so woodsmoke brings back good memories for me.

So there you go: how not to clean a pan with honey in it.

#163 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 11:37 AM:

Faren @160: My sympathies on your loss and I think the kittens are a wonderful tribute to Odi's memory.

We had to have our oldest cat, Alibi the Silver 'synnian, put to sleep last week. He had stopped eating and was losing the use of his hind legs. He spent his final morning soaking up sunshine.

#164 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 11:43 AM:

Open threadedness:

http://www.hobby-lobby.com/fpv.htm

Video goggles with remote transmitter

I WANT!

#165 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 12:00 PM:

I keep wondering, how does one process grape leaves to make them into food, as opposed to stringy mass of unswallowable fiber no matter how much one masticates? Dolma involves rice with grape leaf wrappers, but every grape leaf I have ever picked off a vine and tried eating, even attempting to cook first, the above happened to.... Perhaps I've always waited too late in the year to try, but....

#166 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 12:11 PM:

#166
Google brings me this:
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Vegetables/StuffedGrapeLeaves.htm
which has a paragraph on handling fresh leaves.
(Dolmeh ... yum!)

#168 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 12:50 PM:

Chris Quinones @ 167... When I was a mere child, Saturday at 5pm was the Sacred Hour for me. That's when the Bugs Bunny Show was on, and that's where I put to practice what I'd learn that week in my school's English class.

Hail, Mel!

#169 ::: Carol ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 12:52 PM:

Re: preparing grape leaves

After a visit to the Greek Orthodox festival I dashed home and harvested some grape leaves to make my own dolmathes. Bleah! They did flavor the lamb/current/pine nuts/rice nicely. By the following spring the techniques had been sorted out.

Use only very young, tender leaves. You can steam or boil them as in P J Evans' link, or use a salt-vinegar brine, which is closer to what you get in the bottled Greek ones (I never did find a recipe*). The brined ones can be canned as you would any pickles. I suspect there's a correlation here. Which came first, the grape leaf or the cucumber?

You can freeze the raw leaves, but it's best to can if you're not using them right away.

If you can't find fresh leaves for your pickles, most Mediterranean groceries carry prepared ones.

Old recipes used alum for crisp pickles, but with aluminum salts showing up in autopsies of the brains of Parkinson's/Alzheimer's sufferers, and no one quite sure if it's absorption through cooking, antiperspirants, or actually eating the stuff, better not to go that route.

* but a nice woman wearing the name badge "Calliope" coached me. As Calliope is the name of my business, and my husband's family were circus people, here are pronunciations (sorry, I don't know the correct "real" way - help?):

The Muse, the hummingbird, the 22nd(?) asteroid discovered: cuh-LIGH-oh-pee.

The circus instrument: KALL-ee-oh

The Greek woman: Kahl-YO-peh

#170 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 12:59 PM:

Google is our friend:
http://www.fatfree.com/archive/1997/aug/msg00222.html
for how to preserve grape leaves
(Yes, I'm going to save these. I have grapevines. And cookbooks.)

#171 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 01:11 PM:

Faren and Lori: My condolences on your losses. Here's to the healing power of kittens, and warm memories of those gone on.

And a nice warm spot of sunlight dedicated to their memories.

#172 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 01:39 PM:

#152: I've been to his store plenty of times, and probably bought comics from him.

Keef Knight did a nice tribute: The K Chronicles

#173 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 01:50 PM:

Hmm, interesting links on the grape leaves and pickling. Thanks all. Maybe I really will get a grape vine...

Here's a slight tangent. When I was 19, I made a week-long trip to Russia. My Russian was (is) non-existent, and sounding out Cyrillic was arduous. Shopping for souvenirs in GUM, I found a packet of what I assumed was fruit tea, based on the pretty pictures of fruit. The white lump I found upon opening it turned out to be alum.

#174 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 01:58 PM:

This one is interesting:
Are Grandmother's Pickle Recipes Safe? from Colorado State's extension service. They discuss vinegar, alum, and grape leaves, as well as processing the jars.

#175 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Ginger @171: Thanks.

I'm going to invoke AKICIML: Has anyone here had a knee replaced? My mother is getting it done at the end of August, and while we're going to a class about it, I thought someone here might have some recommendations for managing afterward.

She's going to be staying in a Rehab facility for about three weeks after she's released from the hospital.

#176 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 02:25 PM:

The good news for the picklers is you can get pickling grade vinegar for home use. Allan's sells %9 in 4L jugs. Remember no iodine in the salt.
I was taught the pre mummify method of salt your cukes over ice the night before in the fridge before cooking in strong brine with honey and mustard. Tumeric and vinegar = glowing yellow stains forever.

#177 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 02:31 PM:

P.J. Evans @174-- that was very interesting. My recipe belongs exactly in that generations-old, not "enough" vinegar category, but we've gotten away with it anyway. The recipe also calls for putting filled mason jars in a pot with cold water, then heating it just until it boils. The jars are left in until the lids pop down. It sounds unlikely, but it works well. I do NOT can anything else (pumpkin, plums) like that.

#178 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 02:34 PM:

I pickled my daikon pickles in ½ tamari, ½ plain white vinegar. The plain ones were boring, but the garlic-pepper and habanero-rosemary were pretty good IMHO.

#179 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 02:37 PM:

Lori Coulson @ 175... TexAnne's mom went thru that. My wife will too, in February. I had hope she'd get an adamantium knee with a repulsor beam in the cap (or maybe claws that go 'snikt!' when they come out), but all she'll get is a boring titanium thing without any extra feature.

#180 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 02:42 PM:

Debbie @ 177

Sounds like your jars are sealing just fine. (I did pickles one time, just refrigerator-type, and used a boiling mixture of vinegar and brine on them. They tasted fine. Mixed veggies with dill. I've also done chutney.)

#181 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 02:54 PM:

If you want to make a section of PVC pipe look like it's made of bronze, is it better to spray on something onto the plastic before spraying on the actual finish? Yes, I could ask the person in charge of paint at the nearby superduperhardware store, but I don't really expect them to know paint from a pint.

#182 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 03:15 PM:

Lori @ #175: I have both my original knees (though not in mint condition), but I work with knee replacement patients regularly.

The two best pieces of general advice I can offer:

1. The stronger your legs are before the surgery, the faster your recovery will be.

2. DO NOT PUT A PILLOW UNDER YOUR KNEE after the surgery. (That is, when lying on your back or sitting with legs extended, do not put a pillow behind your knee in order to rest it in a bent position. Pillow between knees when lying on your side is fine.) It's difficult for many patients to recover full knee extension after surgery, even if they don't prop the knee up in a bent position. Because of the mechanics of the knee, if you can't fully extend it (lock it), gait becomes abnormal and both standing and walking require more energy than they should. This can also lead to hip and back problems in the fullness of time.

Both these issues should be addressed in the class, of course, but I just saw a patient yesterday who said nobody ever told him not to sleep with a pillow under his knee, and guess what? Now he has a knee flexion contracture.

#183 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 03:35 PM:

Lori @ 175

My mother had one knee replaced successfully (her doctor was quite pleased).
It's really, really important to do the physical therapy afterward; skipping out on it means it takes longer to get the function to anything like what it should be (likewise, if they say beforehand to lose weight, they really mean it).
They'll probably start in the hospital, as soon after surgery as they can.

#184 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 03:40 PM:

Crossover from another thread....

Concept for a Making Light game, with positive and negative points....

Getting disemvowelled--loss of points, for lack of wisdom....

#185 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 04:13 PM:

Lori @175: My mother-in-law had a knee replacement about two years ago, and the key for her rehab was to do the passive exercise whatchamacallit. Start as soon as possible, and do it as often as you can; those will help rehab go better, more smoothly, and you'll regain function faster.

Also key is proper pain control, but most orthopods do address that.

#186 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 04:21 PM:

Debbie: Grape vines are fun. If you can tend them, a half (or better yet, 3/4 barrel) is a good planter. You can keep them on concrete, and turn them; prune them, etc..

I have four. I'd commend ammending the soil in such a planter with (hard though it is to believe) with dryer lint. It's water retentive.

You'll need to drill a couple of holes in the bottom, and a strap to cooper the top closed (they tend to splay) is a good idea.

I have four of them (they have names, The Cutting Grape, the Birdshit Grape, the Not Chardonnay, and the Tokay... all but the Birdshit [which was a volunteer] bear fruit. The Cutting is so heavy this year I had to cut more than 60 bunches off of it; because it was overbearing).

I also keep other things in the planters (shallots, onions, tarragon, rue, poppies, dill carrots).


regarding the canning: Tomatoes (and other really acidic objects) can be canned with the same boil 'til done method.

re knees: Again my plaintive exhortation to get an Occupational Therapist. /soapbox.

#187 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 05:13 PM:

My mom had a new knee put in a couple of years ago. I can't give you any tips better than others already have, but she does say that if she'd known it was going to help that much, she wouldn't have put it off. No buyer's remorse there!

#188 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 05:36 PM:

Debbie: The "not enough vinegar" pickles are also referred to as, "fresh pickles". Japanese pickles are often in this category.

When I have friends coming over, and think of serving sake I will often make some. Little wine vingar, some sake vinegar, and maybe some spicing (ginger, tarragon, etc.) let them soak in the fridge for 12-96 hours.

Serge: PVC will take paint just fine. Be sure to wash it with a solvent, let it dry thoroughly (I'd to the washing on a support inside the tube, so you don't have to touch it after, otherwise use cotton gloves to handle it), and then spraypaint (to get an even finish).

#189 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 05:56 PM:

Terry Karney @ 188... Thanks for the tip.

#190 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 06:52 PM:

My mom had both her hip and her knee done while she was in her eighties. She went at the physical therapy like the trouper she is, and got a great result.

#191 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 07:34 PM:

I've been waiting for an open thread to ask this; is it possible for the administrators to make the particles/sidelights open in new tabs? I mean, I know I can do it on my end, right-clicking and such, but I've always liked the {target="_blank"} links because they've made browsing so much easier . . .

Just thought I'd ask.

#192 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 07:43 PM:

Serge: One caveat... make sure the solvent won't eat into the finish of the PVC. I'd use alcohol, just to be safe (unless you have various grades of aviation plastic, which are built to take things like acetone).

I don't know which solvents are the sort to eat into it. I pretty much only use it for supports (it makes a great way to hang backdrops, and with fitting a large, adaptable support, can be fit into a duffle bag), obstacles for horses to jump, and a means to transport water.

#193 ::: JimR ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 07:49 PM:

Xopher, #178
What, exactly, is the big deal with tamari? When my wife and I were in Italy, we stayed with a young man who was renting out a room. He kept raving about his tamari. My wife, being Japanese, was utterly confused. She had no idea what he was talking about, and on tasting it, said "it's just soy sauce."
Is it really special or something?

#194 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 07:54 PM:

Terry Karney @ 192... Alcohol? Duly noted.

#195 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 10:20 PM:

Faren, #160, I'm sorry about Odi, but glad about the new cuties.

Lori, #163, And I'm sorry about Alibi, too. It's so sad when our little companions die.

JimR, #193, tamari is stronger than shoyu (regular soy sauce) and doesn't use fermented ingredients (or wheat).

#196 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 10:30 PM:

Serge @181: I've never done this, but I would suggest using some form of textured paint first, yes. Probably some of the paint for doing "spattered" paint jobs would work about right; you want something that will give it an approximation of a sand-cast finish. (And then the "bronze" paint will smooth that out a bit, so it looks about right for a bronze pipe.)

At least, I think that's about the right look.

#197 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2008, 10:34 PM:

Pickling is complete voodoo to me. I still don't understand food preservation. I found some really cheap single serving sized boxes of frozen spinach at the store and was really happy about the whole deal until I got home and looked at the label to discover it had 25% of the daily allowance for salt. Frozen and they still use salt? All the transport channels for food are salted apparently.

#198 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 12:05 AM:

JimR 193: Tamari is the real thing (or one of them) of which soy sauce is the cheap Japanese American knock-off. Tamari is to soy sauce as Wicca is to New Age, as Shakespeare to Edgar Guest, as Marilyn Monroe to Sharon Stone.

#199 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 12:15 AM:

Brooks Moses @ 196... Thanks. I'll probably wind up trying that and other suggestions with short pipe sections, not on the final results. (I know, what a brilliant concept.)

#200 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 12:47 AM:

Marilee @195: tamari is stronger than shoyu (regular soy sauce) and doesn't use fermented ingredients (or wheat)

...? That runs somewhat counter to my understanding of the stuff; tamari/shoyu were traditionally made by natural fermentation, although most commercial products are now made by artificial hydrolysis. IIRC on my last trip to a local Asian supermarket, I spotted some naturally fermented stuff from Kikkoman labelled as a premium product, and accordingly priced at 2-3x their regular soy sauce.

Xopher @198: Which version of tamari are you using? The all-soy version of soy sauce (otherwise often made with additional grains such as wheat, rice, or barley), naturally fermented or otherwise? Or is there actually a commercial producer of tamari in the old farmstead sense of the liquid runoff from making miso paste?

(I've had an experimental batch of soy/rice miso fermenting away in my kitchen for ~6 months now, and sadly suspect that the minimum duration of "one hot summer" for full flavor is just never going to happen in this particular microclimate of the SF Bay Area-- whenever I poke at it for a sample, it's still sadly bland. However, the tamari floating off the top tastes amazing.)

#201 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 12:51 AM:

Xopher #198: Say what? Soy sauce is just a cheap knockoff of a Japanese sauce? That news will, um, come as a huge surprise to a lot of Chinese cooks, who tend to think the Japanese barely grasp the concept of what soy sauce should taste like.

So, is it dark soy sauce you're knocking, or light soy sauce?

#202 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 02:20 AM:

Serge: What is it you want it to look like (and for what purpose)?

#203 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 04:38 AM:

Stefan Jones@172: Thanks for that link, I hadn't seen it before. (Rory's nose was nowhere near that big, though.)

#204 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 07:16 AM:

Terry Karney @ 202... Well, a Victorian Time Traveller isn't one without a Victorian device of superscience. Mind you, I may wind up dropping the whole idea, but I thought I'd ask here, in case I decide to go ahead.

#205 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 07:35 AM:

David Goldfarb @ 203... Rory's nose was nowhere near that big

My wife says that francophones, whether they be Gérard Depardieu or yours truly, tend to be endowed with large noses. I never noticed. Then again, maybe the plain truth was staring right at me. Like the nose in the middle of my face.

#206 ::: Mary Aileen points to more old spam ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 10:22 AM:

Several pieces of old, undeleted spam here.

#207 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 10:34 AM:

#206 Interesting that that's the thread it's on.
(Die, spammers die is the title of the post)

#208 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 11:16 AM:

I have a request for recommendations.

I've decided I need to branch out my blog-reading into topics that tend to make me happy. I'm a politics junkie, but it depresses me as often as it gives me a sense of righteous outrage or schadenfreude. Neither of those are particularly healthy emotions to subsist on anyway, and it's even more rare that I read genuinely good political news.

So, does anyone have recommendations for interesting blogs about gardening, cooking (particularly vegetarian or vegan -- I am neither, but enjoy veg*n food and cooking), environmentally-friendly living, and/or home renovations and improvement? Essentially, blogs about the favorite topics of Mother Earth News. So far I have dug up (ha) Garden Rant and Gardening While Intoxicated.

I mean, other than here, of course. *nods upwards at conversations about tamari, food preservation, and preparation of grape leaves*

#209 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 12:34 PM:

Re #191: I would like to weigh in with an opposing viewpoint on target="_blank". People who want links to open in a new window/tab have the option to do so with normal links; people who *don't* want links to open in a new window/tab don't have an option if the links are set to target="_blank". (At least, not built into the browser; there are probably Firefox extensions that will fix that.)

I don't know if it would be possible to do this here, but some sites (for instance, Eschaton) allow the user to check a box to indicate whether they want links from that site to open in a new window or not. That seems like a great compromise to me.

#210 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 01:36 PM:

Serge @#205:

Presumably that makes it easier to talk like Maurice Chevalier. (2:18 for the relevant bit)

#211 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 01:41 PM:

And now I've just gotten sucked into the TV Tropes Wiki. Currently reading the Just a Stupid Accent page but I can tell I'll be spending the next hour reading other pages.

#212 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 01:58 PM:

Mary Dell @ 210... I'm more a Charles Boyer kind of person myself, although Abi says I sound like Christophe Lambert.

"You talk funny Nash. Where you from?"
"Lots of different places."

#213 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 02:47 PM:

OK, this morning I finished The Ghost Brigades and immediately started The Last Colony.

This afternoon I finished The Last Colony.

Wowie zowie, what great books. I shall burble more coherently later.

#214 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 04:10 PM:

I give up. I've spent a good chunk of the day trying to figure out the current status of the democratic nomination process. And I'm stymied.

I just want to know if Clinton has a mathematical possibility of winning or not and what it would take for that to happen.

After reading the squabble about florida/michigan, it sounds like Clinton can't win the nomination, ao I can see no rhyme or reason for her to continue the fight, other than to try to further polarize her voters away from obama.

Maybe she thinks if she torpedo's Obama, he'll be forced to make Clinton her VP?

Also, Clinton's claim that she's won the "popular vote"? WTF? If the delegate numbers are wacked like the Electoral College numbers, then the populr vote doesn't matter, does it?

lastly, does Clinton seriously intend to run this completely into the ground? If she chose to withdraw, then she admits Obama is the better candidate and her supporters have reason to switch to Obama.

If Clinton rides this nightmare all the way to the end, and then claims something like the way the michagan votes were counted is why she lost the race against the big, mean Democratic Party machine, then those who were loyal to her are going to have to do a bit of work to reconcile how they can switch to Obama.

I mean, does she seriously think Obama shouldn't get any delegates from Michagan when he wasn't even on the ballot? Her people argue that Florida/Michagan should have a voice in the same breath that they propose the Michagan voices that would have voted for Obama had he been on the ballot should be thrown out?

I don't see any benefit at this point to dragging this out any further. I don't see any reasonable expectation that Hillary can win the nomination. I don't see any result from further infighting other than to further polarize the party. The math by itself just doesn't make sense to me.

With friends like this....

Am I missing something about the process?

#215 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 05:45 PM:

I wanted to ask the Fluoreadosphere about how barbarian I might be.

As I blogged here, someone on the internetNYTimes* is thinking his readers might have read 1/3 of the "1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die" (P. Boxall editor, 2006) list, controversial and heavily biased to the 20th (70%) and 21st (7%) centuries that it is.

I am barbarian to that writer, or the authors, having read only 1/15th of these books, including just one of the 69 published in the last 8 years**. If these are such ovular works, I have a ways to go in understanding the novel.

Wise comment about expected shared cultural backgrounds notwithstanding*** (I don't think I've been missing a Houellebecqian subtext to the poetry here, but then how would I know?), is 7% low, including that mere 5% of the 20th century? How barbarian are you?

-------------
* he often writes obits and book/cultural reviews.
** Not that my bookshelves don't contain more than 69 21st century books. But, quoting Amazon's product description "Each work of literature featured here is a seminal work key to understanding and appreciating the written word."
*** & I know my numbers for pre-20th books are low, but I've been working my way backwards towards the 18th century.

#216 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 05:51 PM:

B.Durbin @ 29: Belated Congratulations! (And cute kid!)

Mary Dell @#211: Oh yeah, that place is totally addictive! Have you reached the "Five Man Band" page yet, or Phlebotinum?

#217 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 06:04 PM:

I wanted to ask the Fluoreadosphere about how barbarian I might be.

As I blogged here, someone on the internetNYTimes* is thinking his readers might have read 1/3 of the "1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die" (P. Boxall editor, 2006) list, controversial and heavily biased to the 20th (70%) and 21st (7%) centuries that it is.

I am barbarian to that writer, or the authors, having read only 1/15th of these books, including just one of the 69 published in the last 8 years**. If these are such ovular works, I have a ways to go in understanding the novel.

Wise comment about expected shared cultural backgrounds notwithstanding*** (I don't think I've been missing a Houellebecqian subtext to the poetry here, but then how would I know?), is 7% low, including that mere 5% of the 20th century? How barbarian are you?

-------------
* he often writes obits and book/cultural reviews.
** Not that my bookshelves don't contain more than 69 21st century books. But, quoting Amazon's product description "Each work of literature featured here is a seminal work key to understanding and appreciating the written word."
*** & I know my numbers for pre-20th books are low, but I've been working my way backwards towards the 18th century.

#218 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 06:42 PM:

#215

That's about what I find, going through the list.
I don't think it's barbarian, I think it's a matter of what you like to read, as well as what came with school.

#219 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 06:47 PM:

Serge: Then I'd go for a smooth finish, as of polished brass.


Caroline: I've been known to read a little about food, so here are some of my reads.

Food blogs (unlinked, to avoid moderation hell)

http://www.habeasbrulee.com/

ww.travelerslunchbox.com/journal/

http://corduroyorange.com/

I really like all of those (the first and last in particular).


http://mykoreankitchen.com/

http://breadchick.com/

http://www.dessertfirst.typepad.com/

http://myhusbandcooks.wordpress.com/

http://amandamc.blogspot.com/

http://whatholtandbarbarahadfordinner.blogspot.com/


Those are all fun.

I did discover (or was reminded, it's been a while since I stopped by) that the Wannabe Wino is misqouting, and misattributing her slug, which she has as, "A Day Without Wine is like a Day Without Sunshine."-Louis Pasteur.

The proper quotation is, Un repas sans vin c'est comme une journée sans soleil -- Brillat-Savarin

For a more idiosyncratic look at food.

Harold McGee has a blog: http://www.curiouscook.com/cook/home.php which is great fun and

Cooking for engineers (http://www.curiouscook.com/cook/home.php) has some interesting pieces, but it's not really a blog.

#220 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 06:47 PM:

(try this again, MT hung on me. splitting in half)

Caroline @208:
Here's a partial list of my cooking-related blogroll.

Kitchen Wench, http://www.insanitytheory.net/kitchenwench

Tigers & Strawberries, http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen, http://fireinmykitchen.blogspot.com/

Gourmeted, http://gourmeted.com


(continued)

#221 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 06:52 PM:

Continued from previous:

zesteasy, http://zesteasy.com
Le Petit Cochon, http://le-petit-cochon.blogspot.com/

Too Much Garlic, http://www.toomuchgarlic.com
Happy Love Strawberry, http://happylovestrawberry.blogspot.com/
Heeb'n'Vegan, http://heebnvegan.blogspot.com/

and a meta-blog to find new cooking/food blogs: http://www.foodblogblog.com/

#222 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 06:56 PM:

Serge: With that as your goal... I'd go for the smooth finish, a la polished brass.

Caroline: I have a small laundry lost of links, which is lost in the halls of moderation (I thought the lack of active links would save it, so I failed to break it up).

They are all food blogs.

#223 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 06:56 PM:

Kathryn (215/217): Sounds about right to me. I read 8% of them (okay, 7.9), about half of those for literature classes. Most of the rest I have absolutely no interest in, a few I deliberately skipped the classes I would have had to read them in.

It strikes me as a strange list, in a lot of ways. Why three Douglas Adams titles? For that matter, why *all* of Toni Morrison (to pick one name at semi-random)? Wouldn't it be better to read a wider range of authors?

#224 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 07:02 PM:

From a quick glance down the 1001 list I get

97 I've read
3 I've read but they might have been abridged translations and it was some years ago so I'm not sure whether to count them or not
5 I've started and never finished*
25 in addition to the previous categories I've seen adaptions of on film, on TV, or on stage

So if you count the maybes and not-finished I get 1 in 10. I notice there's 20 or 30 or so that other people (espcially my brother) have reccomended to me, and so I have them in mind to read when I get the chance. There's only a couple that, if asked, I'd suggest people not read (Why read The Godfather? Honestly, watch the films instead)

Presumably this puts me in the ballpark of a barbarian (or possibly a Barbadian to cross threads) although I note no Shakespeare or Bible on there. Are we to assume, like Desert Island Discs, that we have them already?

* If you asked me earlier I'd only have named two books I've never finished**, so I've learnt something from this exercise
** plus two I'm actively reading at the moment

#225 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 07:12 PM:

B.Durbin @ 29: Belated Congratulations! (And cute kid!)

Mary Dell @#211: Oh yeah, that place is totally addictive! Have you reached the "Five Man Band" page yet, or Phlebotinum?

#226 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 07:14 PM:

Greg: Clinton can't win the needed number of voted in delegates. She is angling to show the superdelegates that she is more, "electable" and is (IMO) playing dirty pool to do it (and has been since the Michigan election).

Michigan was off the table. All the candidates agreed. Clinton, however, left her name on the ballot; and campaigned.

As a result she, "won". Now she wants to be given all the committed delegates she collected, and some portion of the people who, actively, didn't want her.

Thus she can go to the superdelagates and say, "look, I can deliver Michigan, and Florida; again. Obama can't, so if we don't want McCain to win, you HAVE, to vote for me."

It's realpolitik writ small, and bad for the system, bad for the country, and (I think) bad for Clinton, because the voters will think she can't win but for cheating (or at least dirty pool) and that calls her fitness for office into question; in a way the shenanigans of the Republicans haven't attached to McCain.

The, "scheming bitch" trope is already out there, and the Republicans will pick it up and pound her with it.

#227 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 07:25 PM:

#224

Calvinball. Or fizzbin.
The committee meeting today didn't give her what she wanted, so she's going to take it to the credentials committee at the convention.

#228 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 07:32 PM:

Damn. I don't know how I stood it, but I watched the whole damned day's coverage of the RBC.

It's over. It's time for Clinton supporters to decide if they want a Democrat or a Republican to be the next President.

#229 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 07:37 PM:

Is the DNC before or after Worldcon?

#230 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 08:10 PM:

(215/217) Kathryn from Sunnyvale

I am more barbarian than you. I think I've read 82 of those titles. 44% of the ones I've read were written in the 19th century. While many of those can be credited to attending a liberal arts college, the authors I've read include Wells, Verne, Doyle, Twain, Carroll, Alcott (Louisa May), Poe, Stoker and Shelley (Mary). I suspect I'd read a significant number of those in high school.

I made the mistake of majoring in English in college because I liked to read. As a result, I haven't read anything labelled "literature" since. These days I browse almost exclusively in the "genre" sections (mystery and SF/F).

#231 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 08:20 PM:

Thank you geeksoaur and Terry Karney for the links (even if your list is still in moderation)! It is very much appreciated.

Although, re 224, may I request that we lay off the sexist language about Clinton? I think it's very possible to criticize her strategy re: delegates without giving more airtime to the sexist stereotype of "scheming bitch."

#232 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 08:30 PM:

Caroline: All respect, no I am not going to talk around it. I didn't say she was such. I said it is something people (should she be nominated) will use this political manuvering to call her.

And being aware that it's coming is being ready to fight it. We don't do ourselves any favors in not looking at the wicked, base and stereotypical responses people are going to make.

#233 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 08:39 PM:

Yeh, second half of list still in moderation. Splitting again, since my last message that went into moderation came out after that thread was dead :/

zesteasy, http://zesteasy.com

Le Petit Cochon, http://le-petit-cochon.blogspot.com/

Too Much Garlic, http://www.toomuchgarlic.com


(part 3 to come)

#234 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 08:58 PM:

[happily smiling and pointing at the news]

ohhhh, shiny

#235 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 09:25 PM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 242... Wow.

#236 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 09:29 PM:

Well, what do you know? It looks like the American public will finally get to see Charlie Jade, starting Friday, on the SciFi Channel. What I had seen at Seattle's NASFiC in 2005 looked quite interesting. Now we'll get the whole thing.

#237 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 09:35 PM:

geekosaur @#231: Zesteasy, like Tigers & Strawberries, gets a "page not found", and Down For Everyone, Or Just Me? says "doesn't look like a site on the interwho".

#238 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 10:31 PM:

As a lifelong space nut, I have spent hours happily poring over imagery from varous probes. But I was never that good at geology, much less areology. (If that word exists.) I have friends who can pick up a rock and accurately classify it and identify its proper place in the story of the surrounding terrain.

All I will see is a rock.

There are pictures from the Spirit or Opportunity landers that come with with wonderful explanations of why one rock or another is surprising and significant. I have found that fascinating, even if I am unable to really see that significance myself.

But the possible discovery of an ice layer right under the Phoenix lander is different. It looks like a couple of patches of ice. It may prove to be something else, but even I can see this.

#239 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 10:42 PM:

Claude Muncey @236

They do warn--in one caption on the Phoenix site--that the picture is overexposed. i.e. The the smooth stuff might have the same color as the shadowed foreground material.

Still, as Phoenix has twittered, the majority opinion is that it's ice.

And one of the drill instruments is a tile cutter, so that they should be able to get a sample and test it before it sublimates.

#240 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 10:54 PM:

Hm. http://zesteasy.com and http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com both load fine here. zesteasy hasn't updated since early April, though. (T&.S updates almost daily.) I did forget to escape the ampersand in the title.

(having sent that, part 3 gets delayed even more — MT really doesn't like me tonight)

#241 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 11:21 PM:

The DNC is after Worldcon, but still screws up the scheduling.

They had Boston in 2004, too. One wonders who in the DNC planning committee is trying for the SF connection. "I'm heading there a few weeks early, for... uh... planning." (Hides Spock ears.)

#242 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 11:50 PM:

Okay, let's try part 3 now.

Happy Love Strawberry, http://happylovestrawberry.blogspot.com
Heeb'n'Vegan, http://heebnvegan.blogspot.com
The Food Blog Blog (a meta-blog which is a nice source of new food/cooking blogs), http://www.thefoodblogblog.com/
Missy's Recipes, http://recipesbymissy.wordpress.com/

That's it (for now)...

#243 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 11:56 PM:

Marilee @ 195: "tamari is stronger than shoyu (regular soy sauce) and doesn't use fermented ingredients (or wheat)."

I'm confused. No fermented ingredients? Soy sauce is made by fermenting soy beans (and occasionally other stuff); how could you have a soy sauce without fermented ingredients? I checked Wikipedia, which was informative. It seems that tamari is unique because it is made without the addition of wheat, which Japanese soy sauces usually contains a fair amount of. In other words, it's pure soy, a lot like you average Chinese (original, if you're into that sort of thing) soy sauce.

Xopher @ 198: "Tamari is the real thing (or one of them) of which soy sauce is the cheap Japanese American knock-off."

Wh...what?

#244 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2008, 11:57 PM:

B Durbin, it could be worse.
In 1976 it was in St Louis, after the GOP convention. I understand the liquor dealers much preferred Worldcon, because the con people bought more stuff. I guess Republicans bring their own or buy at the hotels. (I'm not going into what they bring or buy ....)

#245 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 12:40 AM:

Another future shock moment for Kathryn in Sunnyvale:

Yesterday I glanced through the mailer from my daughter's high school. This year, the AP Biology class has been splicing the bioluminescence gene from jellyfish into E. coli. I spent a moment after reading that going, "Wha? wha?" trying to think if I could be misreading somehow.

#246 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 01:05 AM:

Xopher #198:
They are different products (ingredients-wise, soy sauce typically contains wheat, tamari normally doesn't), used for different dishes. I grant you that there is a quality & price difference between the sorts of 'soy sauce' produced by fermentation (which costs more but results in a more complex sauce) vs. by acid hydrolysis (which is cheaper but which I find perfectly acceptable for most things).

Mary Dell #211:
I've lost a bit of time there too. My current favourite entries: Large Ham which led to Brian Blessed and William Shatner.

#247 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 01:27 AM:

I was engaging in hyperbole in order to praise tamari to the high heavens. In doing so I also riffed on the phrase 'cheap Japanese knockoff' which was ridiculously prevalent when I was growing up (the phrase, not the products).

The soy sauce I grew up on was La Choy, which is an abomination unto the palate.

Please don't take my florid statements about tamari any more seriously than that.

#248 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 01:38 AM:

Kathryn # 215
The books on that list tend to be profoundly lacking in attraction for me--most of them are boring pretentious litcrit claptrap or just plain boring lacking otherwise in redeeming reading value to me.
(and of course most of then are by Dead or even Alive White Male Christian Anglophones...)

#249 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 02:22 AM:

Xopher #245:

Got it.

That aside, I have had some really bad soy sauce made by local manufacturers. Makes me wonder if it's because I didn't grow up with the local version; some NZ-born Kiwis I know swear by them. An acquired taste?

It was certainly the case with tomato ketchup/sauce. I grew up with the 'Heinz' brand but the most common brand in New Zealand is 'Watties'. It took me a while to get used to it, they were so qualitatively different. Mind you, I suspect the same sort of flame-wardiscussion could be had between connoisseurs of Marmite vs. Vegemite.

#250 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 02:46 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @215.... By my count, I've read 100 of the 1001, or 9.9%. Only two were from the 21st century, and I didn't care that much for them, either. As Mary Aileen noted, it seems like an odd list. Why that much John Updike, and not any Robertson Davies (who, while less celebrated, is much more compelling to me)?
Why Dorothy Sayer's "Nine Tailors" and "Murder Must Advertise", but not "Gaudy Night"?

I did benefit a lot from having multiple books by the same author on the list - Jane Austen and Charles Dickens contributed a good number of my hits, for instance.

#251 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 02:49 AM:

Correction to my post @248: Dorothy Sayers, not Dorothy Sayer.

#252 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 03:12 AM:

David Goldfarb,

Rory's nose was nowhere near that big.

yeah, keith knight's nose is actually rather petite, though, & you see how he draws it.

#253 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 03:16 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 215

Bar-bar-bar. Me too. I've read 120 of those books, only 1 from the 21st, more than 2/3 of them were from the 20th, but mostly from the 1st half not the latter half, and most of the rest from the 19th.

Some of the books listed that I haven't read were by authors whose other books I've read; who decides which books are better? Others are books by authors whom I have sworn not ever to read for one prejudiced reason or another; also barbarism, I guess.

Writers and books have been included or left out seemingly at random. For instance, I take great issue that there are 4 books by Hammet, whose work I like, but none by Peter Dickinson, whose work I love greatly and whose skill and talent as a writer I admire greatly, much more than Hammet. "Tufugu", "Hindsight", and "Skeleton-in-Waiting" are amazing pieces of work, but they've been tarred by the brush of "genre", and for some reason "The Glass Key" and "The Big Sleep" haven't, thought they're mystery stories too. And so on.

My take is that this is an "approved" list, created by pundits for the sake of punditry; they approve of what they've heard of and disapprove all else. What bothers me is not so much what's on or not on the list as that someone has the gall to say that they can conclude what books we "should" read.

#254 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:02 AM:

re #249: Correction to my post @248: Dorothy Sayers, not Dorothy Sayer.

I am given to understand that's Dorothy L Sayers, thankyouverymuch. (I probably read this in the "such a strange lady" bio, which istr others have said was ... less than perfect.)

#255 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:59 AM:

re #249: Correction to my post @248: Dorothy Sayers, not Dorothy Sayer.

I am given to understand that's Dorothy L Sayers, thankyouverymuch. (I probably read this in the "such a strange lady" bio, which istr others have said was ... less than perfect.)

#256 ::: hedgehog hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 05:02 AM:

#252, 253, hedgehog

(fx:blush) Oops. Sorry. Gosh, it's surprisngly
easy to do that. Memo: clear browser before breakfast.

#257 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 05:10 AM:

Xopher @ 245: Oh, okay. I was confused because Japanese-style wheat/soy sauce could, arguably, be called a knock-off of the old(er)-school Chinese soy sauce. But it would be a terrible, stupid argument, and one of a sort that would be very out of character for you.

(Nowadays popularly-imagined cheap knockoffs are Chinese, causing yet another level of cognitive dissonance.)

#258 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 05:48 AM:

I hope you have your Tivo-in-the-sky pointed at the latest Doctor Who episode, first of a two-parter.

And it's written by Steven Moffat.

Keep out of the shadows.

And don't blink!

#259 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 07:47 AM:

B.Durbin @ 239... Luckily, DNCon being held after the worldcon will break an unfortunate pattern.

1980... DNCon is held in Boston, later followed by the worldcon. Ronald Raygun becomes President.

2004... DNCon is held in Boston, later followed by the worldcon. Incurious George becomes President.

Or maybe that was just a Boston thing.

#260 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 08:03 AM:

Whoever wrote that list has strange tastes in Graham Greene and William S. Burroughs. After figuring that out, I lost interest--though it was funny to see I hadn't read a single twenty-first century work.

#261 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 10:06 AM:

Kathryn @ #217: I've read 81 of them (only one from the 21st century), and that includes several I count as a complete waste of time.

No Shakespeare, no Chaucer, and three Douglas Adams? Sheesh. (Oh. It just occurred to me that plays and poems don't count. Duh. But why not?)

I didn't count movies, though I suspect Kurosawa's Rashomon should count for something.

One of the questions in my head as I was scrolling the list was, "Which of these (if any) would I put on a 'must read' list for other people?" Answer: very few. Most of the books I try to get other people to read are nonfiction. Fiction is so seldom one-size-fits-all.

#262 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 10:35 AM:

Serge @ 257

1976, St Louis, the GOP convention was before Worldcon. Carter became president.

I don't know whether it fits a pattern or not.

#263 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 11:58 AM:

I just got intense chills thinking about ice on Mars. And no, not because of cold.

Kathryn, I've read about eighty-five of the books on that list (one of them actually being Houellebecq, just last week). It seems to me that it's essentially a list of every book that's ever gotten a lot of attention. Snoozy.

#264 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 12:51 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 258:
Whoever wrote that list has strange tastes in Graham Greene and William S. Burroughs. After figuring that out, I lost interest--though it was funny to see I hadn't read a single twenty-first century work.

According to the NY Times article that Kathryn linked to, it's a compendium of suggestions from multiple people, not just one person's idiosyncratic list: "Peter Boxall, who teaches English at Sussex University, asked 105 critics, editors and academics — mostly obscure — to submit lists of great novels, from which he assembled his supposedly mandatory reading list of one thousand and one."

The fact that it was supposed to be "novels" explains why there's no Chaucer or Shakespeare, though the definition of "novel" clearly got stretched to include both short stories (e.g., Jorge Luis Borges, Edgar Allen Poe) and things that are harder to classify as even being "fiction" (Swift's "A Modest Proposal"). And I see Ovid's "Metamorphoses" at the bottom of the list, which violates the supposed stricture against poetry....

I did find it amusing that James Fenimore Cooper was on the list, for Last of the Mohicans. That sound you hear is Mark Twain (only one more book in the list than Cooper!) spinning in his grave.


Interesting to see that there are a couple of ancient Greek novels on the list; slightly dispiriting to see that no one mentioned Tale of Genji, or any classical Chinese novels.


(By my count, I've only read 57 books from the list, plus another 6 or so that I started but never finished -- which makes me The Most Barbaric So Far... Erk.)

#265 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 12:55 PM:

One more person joining the Great Bird's extremely-post-production crew:
Bob Justman.
Interesting note: he was the one who wanted Patrick Stewart in TNG.

#266 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 12:59 PM:

86 (with about half a dozen failure to completes not counted).

None in the present century (not really a surprise... they seem to be modern "literature" which leaves me pretty cold, though I have a copy of the history of pi, and someday will get to it).

I don't know how many I'll add. None of the Hemmingway, Steinbeck or Updike. Tried them, didn't like them.

And why so many of so many? Is there really that much which needs reading in Hemmingway, Updike, Morrison and Austen, that one needs to read so much of their work, just to be well rounded? I don't think so. A couple, sure, but not so many as that.

The Jungle? Please, there were better muckraking novels. Not as well known, but actually readable.

I was pleased to see a Fleming, amused to see Cryptonomicon (and not sure what to make of it, but I'm still of a mixed mind on Stephenson; though I've read all of his stuff; I think).

No Shakespeare, and Hound of the Baskervilles stands alone, but, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" A collection of Strand Magazine freestanding stories, is one work? I'd have chosen "The Sign of the Four" or "A Study in Scarlet".

Then again, that doesn't let him have it in two centuries.

As usual, the list tells more of the composer, than it does of those who compare their reading history to it.

I'm not sure what it would say about someone who spent the next set of years trying to get through it.

#267 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 01:32 PM:

Terry@224: She is angling to show the superdelegates that she is more, "electable"

so.... she doesn't have the delegate votes, which represent the votes from individuals during the primaries, so instead she's arguing that even though she doesn't have a majority of support from the democratic voters overall, she is arguing she has a majority of support from democratic voters in battleground states like Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and is therefore more "electable"? When Obama didn't campaign in Florida and wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan?

Is that really her argument? I ask because it seems to me to be obvious bullshit if that's really what she's tryign to push.

If so, it would seem that the superdelegates should be stepping in and telling Clinton to cut the shit and can it.

The only, and I mean only, possible problem with that would be the possibility that Hillary would respond to a massive superdelagate vote for Obama by telling her supporters to stay home on election day.

And given her behaviour so far, (it's 3 AM and a phone is ringing in the white house), I wouldn't put it past her to do that.

#268 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 01:52 PM:

Greg: That's what she's arguing.

Me... I'm of a mixed mind on her continuing to campaign. On the one hand, I don't think she should be the Dem Candidate anymore. On the other... She is taking a lot of the attention from McCain and keeping it on the Dem Race, which means more of the issues are still being kept in play (though some of the issues, like Obama's pastor are the same old shit; that we didn't hear about McCain's religious advisors... well par for the course [and yes, I know we got him to divorce himself from Hagee, but it didn't get the days, and days of play... which means if it comes up again McCain will say he didn't need to have it shown all over the national news before he did it] and IOKIYAR, because they are "real people" and real people make mistakes).

I don't know why Clinton is pushing so hard... partly because I think she feels she's entitled to the office. She was annointed, and the presumptive candidate a long time ago (I recall the people saying she was going to run '04). I think she believes she would be good in the office.

I also think she has something to prove, and wants to poke a sharp stick in the eyes of all those who have been attacking her for so long (the, "Please let them run Hillary" crowd, the one's who wanted her to run because they hate her so much they can't imagine anyone with a brain voting for her).

I don't think she's the political animal Bill was, but I think she's good enough to do the job; but I also know she's going to have tough going if she gets it. There will be a lot of people angling to undermine her, and then say, "see, we told you she was no good" and using her to run in 2010.

I don't think she's willing to spite things by telling people to stay home, because I don't think her motives are that personal.

Does she want to win? Of course. No one gets that far, in that field, without a lot of ego, and a lot of drive. I don't know how long she's been planning/dreaming for this, but it's got to be hard to give up, esp. when one has been painted as a standard bearer.

#269 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 01:59 PM:

Kathryn #215:

I've read 60 of them for sure, and I think I read a couple more in high school. Some of the books I'd read in high school, I could remember nothing about except that I had read them. (Or some vague thing like "Billy Budd....hmm, wasn't there something about an allegory with Jesus in there, and a ship?")

The list strikes me as pretty silly in the places I had read. Was _The Three Musketeers_ really great literature that nobody should miss? Or _Around the World in 80 Days_?!? Is _Player of Games_ really the Culture novel of Banks' that you ought not to miss? (It wasn't bad, but IMO _Remember Phlebas_ and _Use of Weapons_ were better.)

This leads to a natural question. Not "what should this list be," I'm not in school anymore, so I am only going to read stuff I think I'll enjoy and get something out of. But it's worth trying to work out what books those should be.

What non-SF[1] books am I likely to be missing, assuming they're boring or not to my taste, but if I made the investment in them, I'd really be happy? As an example, a few years back, I watched the _Sense and Sensibility_ movie with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant. I loved it (my wife found it terribly boring), and I wound up reading all of Jane Austen's novels, and I reread them from time to time. If someone had told me "go read this Important Literature by Jane Austen," I'd probably have ignored them.

My two cents (as a barbarian, who is certainly less well-read than most people in this discussion) is that you can read and love Jane Austen's novels if you can read SF. Like a good SF novel, you have to put on a different worldview, culture, and technology base, in order to understand the characters. And you have to get used to the way the language works (no harder than reading _Terraformed_ or _Emergence_ or _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_), so you can get the full subtlety of what she could make that language do. (It's no insult to the authors of those other works to point out that they're not remotely in the same league with her in what she could do with language. The payoff for getting used to how her characters and narrator speak is *way* higher than working out the odd grammar in _Terraformed_.)

What are good introductory works for authors that really are worth reading? Like, if I wanted to try Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy, what are accessible works I might start on? FWIW, I found _Sense and Sensibility_ and _Pride and Prejudice_ both pretty nice for starting out with Jane Austen, and I suspect watching the movie of Sense and Sensibility first made it easier to get some feel for what the world looked like.

[1] I already read a ton of SF, so I can find my own stuff there. Though this is surely the place to find ideas for more fun SF to read!

#270 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 02:37 PM:

I have to admit, on that list, I could get a decent head start without leaving the house. My parents were in one of the literary book clubs, and we had a lot of those 19th-century works on the shelves.
I can't say that as a teenager, you'll get much out of Madame Bovary or War and Peace, but at least you can say you've tried.

#271 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 02:57 PM:

No O'Brian.

The comment about worldview reminded me. One of the things I love about O'Brian is he doesn't (overmuch) fall into the trap of just plunking moderns into other settings.

Maturin does some medical things (pyrnafvat uvf cngvragf jbhaqf jvgu qrangherq nypbuby) not beause he thinks as we do... but for purely personal reasons, in keeping with the times.

That was one of the things which bothered me about the film... Maturin would never have been blathering about evolution while in the Galapagos; he didn't have the frame of reference.

#272 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 03:08 PM:

I'm allergic to the writing of most of the names of people I recognize on that list... started books by them and was, again, was for the most part profoundly uninterested in continuing to read. (One of more of "These are not people I am interested in/find worthwhile-and-or-rewarding to read about," "The writing style is tedious," "The story location/setting is one I am not interesting in reading of," "The plot is not anything to keep me reading," "The viewpoint character(s) is/are people I object to being put into the heads of/don't want to spend time with," etc., apply )

#273 ::: Mary Aileen points at more old spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 03:11 PM:

Old, undeleted dog-training spam here.

#274 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 03:13 PM:

#266 ::: Terry Karney --

[ I don't know why Clinton is pushing so hard... ]

I know no more than anyone else, but a long time ago, while her husband was still in the Oval Office it seemed to me that Clinton was going to try very hard to do something that, when looked up in the history books, databases and google, the first thing that came up for her name would not be the colossal public humiliations she was put through by everyone, most of all, her husband the POTUS.

The best revenge is living well. How satisfying then, when the histories and biographies are written about her, that they are written because she was a senator from NY state -- that she was POTUS herself, and the first women to be POTUS.

By the time of her vote on the Iraq invasion though, I think she'd already gotten twisted out of that very understandable and -- you know, it could have been -- laudable goal and objective. It became power for the sake of power and instead of canceling out her humiliations, it became about how she was entitled to the power, even so perhaps, because she'd been so humiliated.

That's a theory only, and mine own, and humbly submitted. Recall, I do write fiction.

Love, C.

#276 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:11 PM:

I count 193, plus 22 writers whom I've read, but only their non-list works. So I may yet be civilized before I die.

#277 ::: Mary Aileen points to still more old spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:11 PM:

even more old dog-spam

(Sorry to spam this thread with so much, but there seems to be a lot lingering in December 2004's threads.)

#278 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:19 PM:

Tm Walters: I have several writers whom I've read, but not the works on this list.

So I too might be civilised, and even educated, before I shuffle off.

#279 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:22 PM:

I realise there's probably an obvious reason why the answer to the following question is "No", but as it's not obvious to me I'll ask anyway:

Supposing that Obama gets the Democratic nomination, is there any chance that Clinton will run anyway, as an independent or third-party candidate?

#280 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:27 PM:

Albatross, Terry, et al.,

The 1001 book has short essays for each novel listed that explain why it's on the list. I'll have to check out those essays. As the NYTimes article says, they were aware / expecting / designing the list to be controversial.

And of course while I have a reaction of "how do they even know what's worthy in the 21st century?" it's immediately countered by that I have thoughts on which recent SF novels are likely classics*.

I do feel I need to catch up on my 18th-19th century novels--in part because they often are the foundations for modern novels, SF and mainstream.

But the 770 20th-21st century novels? I'll have to see their arguments.

---------------
* Peter Watts' Blindsight, for example. [Assume a full set of arguments]...that's why it's the distilled and dangerous essence of sensawunda, the thing that if I needed to define SF to a non-SF-reader, I'd just point to it and say "That" (even knowing that it isn't a book for SF beginners).

#281 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:50 PM:

Paul A: Her argument is that she should be the nominee because she, and not Obama, can beat McCain in the fall. (I originally typed that as "fail", which, well.) She's smart enough to know that would be handing the race to McCain if she ran as an independent and split the left-of-center vote with Obama, so there goes her only rationale. Also, she'd be dealing her career a fatal blow in the process. If she doesn't get the nomination, she will probably immediately start gearing up for 2012.

#282 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 04:51 PM:

One thing that occurs to me as I scan these book lists (and recently there has been another with 100 that's been making the rounds) is that it's been a heck of a long time since I've read my subset. It would probably be an interesting exercise to go back and re-read them. The person I am now would surely get different things out of "The Grapes of Wrath", to pick one at random, than the 11th grader who read it the first time.

Maybe I'd be bored stiff, maybe I'd find unexpected treasures.

#283 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 05:45 PM:

Suggested addition to the mini spelling reference: "Hemingway". (I should be less sensitive to misspellings....)

#284 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 05:55 PM:

105 books off of the list.

And some entries are almost trivial, like the bunch of Poe short fiction that's named which I read in a slim "best of" collection.

And I'm not sure that Quo Vadis and Ben Hur were all that great as novels.

#285 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 06:01 PM:

Paul in 277, a great deal of Hillary Clinton's political power comes from her ability to use the Democratic Party power structure to her advantage. (It was John Edwards and Barack Obama who made a point of drawing support from outside the party, creating entirely new activists.) If she runs as an independent, she would not only abandon most of the base of her support; she would alienate them enough to make herself less effective as a senator, as a future presidential candidate, or fundraising/advocating for political allies.

#286 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 06:22 PM:

Terry, #266: She was anointed, and the presumptive candidate a long time ago

I can't possibly be the only one who's noticed that most of the people doing the "anointing" were Republican pundits. She's been the right-wing's wet-dream candidate ever since 2000, and it's their pushing that shaped the discourse, not anything the Democratic Party did or said. And y'know, I'm getting damn sick and tired of the Republicans picking both candidates for every Presidential election.

Re the "1001 books" list... sorry, way too many fluff best-sellers on there, and older books which are now of primarily historical interest. I'd be more likely to consider people who have read more than half of them barbarians, in the sense of "people who allow their tastes to be shaped by whatever is the latest Hot Thing".

#287 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 06:35 PM:

"Dog spam" sounds like the Maguffin of next week's Chinese import horror story.

#288 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 06:52 PM:

Dave Bell @ 282... I'm not sure that Quo Vadis and Ben Hur were all that great as novels.

Stories that were made into famous movies seem to acquire an advantage over others, especially if we get Peter Ustinov as Nero.

#289 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 07:20 PM:

Hmmm, it should be fairly simple to start a political double dactyl with "POTUSy-SCOTUSy" and a core word "impeachability". heh.

#290 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 08:10 PM:

Lee: While the Republican nabobs wanted her to run (expecting her to be handily crushed in a general election), there was also a strong contingent of other people who thought she was a good shot.

They are the Democratic National Party apparatchiki she's been playing to with the, "electability" scheme. Those people (on the levers) are the same ones who have been listening to the pundit class (to include the Carvilles and MoDos, the Saletan's and Kleins); they all drank the kool-aid (the stuff which says progressive, liberal, ideas are sudden death, and actually taxing based on expeneses, etc. are a sure ticket to losing at the polls).

Regardless of where she got the idea, it sure looks as though she thought the nomination was hers for the asking.

#292 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 08:47 PM:

I've read 136 of that list (including such items as Selvon's The Lonely Londoners which definitely deserve a wider audience than 'West Indian literature' or 'post-colonial literature').

#293 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 09:16 PM:

My credulity fails at the point where I calculate that I would have to have read two of these a month since I learned to read, to keep up.

#294 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 09:26 PM:

albatross @ #267, if you haven't read the Aubrey & Maturin books, try one. There seems to be consensus that the third book is where O'Brian really hits his stride. (I liked them all.)

If you either haven't read any Steinbeck, or you've read some and disliked it ("The Pearl" or "The Red Pony", for example), try Travels with Charley; it's a nonfiction account of a cross-country trip he made in a camper truck with his dog. For extra fun, compare/contrast with I See by my Outfit, Peter S. Beagle's account of a cross-country roadtrip he and his artist buddy made on scooters.

#295 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 09:47 PM:

albatross @ 267: What non-SF[1] books am I likely to be missing, assuming they're boring or not to my taste, but if I made the investment in them, I'd really be happy?

Here are some books from the list that I really liked and that feel like near-neighbors of the best SF to me for one reason or another--usually a vivid setting that gives a similar frisson to that of "world-building":

A.S. Byatt: Possession
John Fowles: A Maggot; The Magus
Graham Swift: Waterland
John Kennedy Toole: A Confederacy Of Dunces
Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart
Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped, Treasure Island
Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone
Tove Jansson: The Summer Book
Kingsley Amis: The Green Man, Lucky Jim
these next few might be considered difficult
Laurence Sterne: Tristram Shandy
Herman Melville: Moby-Dick
Donald Barthelme: The Dead Father
Thomas Pynchon: Gravity's Rainbow
Alasdair Gray: Lanark
William Faulkner: Absalom, Absalom!

#296 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 09:47 PM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @215--

OK, I'm changing my name to Apame, or possibly Zenobia, because I am clearly a barbarian.

Not only have I not read a good many of these, I have Serious Quibbles.

None of the Poe listed is a novel. They're all short stories; he only wrote one novel. Not that I object to seeing all of them on the list; Poe was an immensely influential writer and he can still raise the hair on your neck. But: short-stories, not novels. Among the selections from Dickens, I believe "A Christmas Carol" is technically a novella, so maybe I should let that pass. YMMV when it's novel vs. novella. It's certainly had legs.

While Apuleius's Golden Ass is a novel, Ovid's Metamorphoses is not. It's a long poem, and while it is narrative, it's not constructed like a novel, but is a series of vignettes involving different characters who have one thing in common: their forms were changed, usually as the result of a god's intervention.

No Tale of Genji? Hnunmph! Because if "changing literature by its existence" or even just "rilly rilly influential" is one of the reasons these books make the list...well.

Michael Arlen's The Green Hat? Oh please, did the compiler just go through the best seller lists for stuff written in the ealier 20th century and toss out the sentimental trash, as opposed to the sensational trash?

Much of the entries post-1970 or so simply look as if they are either the more respectable survivors of the best-seller lists, or else spring from some Sekrit List of The KoolKidz. Ther's a lot of repetition there, but at least it's not all white, male, European/North American and mostly anglophone. Still, the more recent works are not as well-winnowed as the older entries.

I am impressed by the amount of science fiction, fantasy, and murder mystery/crime fiction that makes it into the list. I don't know if I agree with all their choices, but that some things from these genres made the list at all is impressive.

Also, Matthew Lewis is laughing until the tears roll down his cheeks at the thought of The Monk making this list. Maybe even until he starts snorting for air.

I agree--where's Robertson Davies?

#297 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 09:55 PM:

Stefan Jones @285: "Dog spam" sounds like the Maguffin of next week's Chinese import horror story.

Soylent Red: It's made of dogs.

#298 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 10:07 PM:

Maybe the "1001 books before you die" is an oblique strategy towards achieving immortality, like the character in Thursday Next who is unable to die until she has read the 10 most boring books in existence.

#299 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 10:09 PM:

Jen Roth @#279: If she doesn't get the nomination, she will probably immediately start gearing up for 2012.

Umm, she'd be running against an incumbent of her own party! Unless Obama screws up big-time, that would still be splitting the party against the Rethuglicans.

#300 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 10:13 PM:

Just finished watching Julie Taymor's Across the Universe. I enjoyed it, overall. My favorite line?

"Learn French or die."
#301 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 10:30 PM:

I really don't think I've read 145 of those books, but that's the count I came up with.

If some of those titles are novels, then I say Whitman's Specimen Days should make the list.

If I were to recommend on of those books to someone here, it'd be Sometimes A Great Notion.

#302 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 10:32 PM:

David, she seems to be utterly convinced that Obama will lose to McCain.

#303 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 10:56 PM:

Apropos of nothing much

NY Times opinion link Editorial: Mr. Rove Talks, but Doesn’t Answer is 'article not found'

So much for news. I've reported the 'broken link.' I suspect it was deliberately removed.

#304 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 11:00 PM:

#284 ::: Lee
a) Whatever happened to the candidates getting chosen at the convention?

I have major objections to the way the candidates have been determined relatively early-on in the primaries and caucauses contests, with the convention rubber stamps of "already determined."

Women are more than half the population of the USA, yet....

Sen Clinton paid her dues, has Sen Obama? It feels like the late 1800s and the women's rights movement... "You want emanicipation and status as voting citizens and self-determination? Get back in the kitchen and laundry room that you belong in and shut up about Men's Business, you bitch!"

Re the "1001 books" list... sorry, way too many fluff best-sellers on there, and older books which are now of primarily historical interest. I'd be more likely to consider people who have read more than half of them barbarians, in the sense of "people who allow their tastes to be shaped by whatever is the latest Hot Thing".

Greg Benford years ago said that he looks at books with the perspective that he has a limited amount of reading time/number of books he can read in what whatever time he statistically has left in his life. "Is this book worth being one of those limited number of books?"

Most of the stuff on that list flunks that test for me!

I had a lot more patience reading books when I was 16 than I do today.


#305 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2008, 11:13 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 299: If I were to recommend on of those books to someone here, it'd be Sometimes A Great Notion.

I second that Notion.

#306 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:15 AM:

Terry Karney @ 266: "Me... I'm of a mixed mind on her continuing to campaign. On the one hand, I don't think she should be the Dem Candidate anymore. On the other... She is taking a lot of the attention from McCain and keeping it on the Dem Race, which means more of the issues are still being kept in play"

I'm really frustrated with all the calls for Hillary to drop out. It's just silly--you don't call for the team down three goals with ten minutes on the clock to give up in soccer, and this race is a lot closer than that. She's still winning primaries, for goodness' sake. There's no reason for her to drop out. Let her cross the finish line with dignity. And, as you say, she can do a fair amount of good from where she is.

The problem is, she isn't doing that much good. Rather, she's indulging in all sorts of weird, divisive rhetoric designed to drag Obama down. She hopes to win by convincing everyone that Obama is unelectable (and threatening to make it true by taking her supporters with her), and while it's very doubtful she'll succeed well enough to win the nomination, the damage she inflicts on Obama will last past the convention and into the race against McCain. The strategies she's pursuing are helping her at the expense of the party. That, I do not approve of.

(I'm starting to develop a weird theory about Clinton's decision to remain on the ballot in Michigan and to campaign in Florida. Was this her back-up strategy from the beginning? Disenfranchise the states to keep the other candidates from campaigning there, then push to seat them if she needed the extra edge? It's the only explanation that fits her campaign's earlier insistence on barring them, and then going on to campaign there.)

#307 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:25 AM:

Clifton Royston #296:

Or it just feels like forever.

Another barbarian here, having read only 59 from the list. 1001 is a lot of books. A number on that list just don't interest me. Life is too short & my time is better spent doing other stuff. Besides, I would have to be some sort of speed-reader to be able to complete the list. It'll be a chore. I read for enjoyment.

Debbie #280:
Something's got to give. There are some books I re-read because I *know* they stand up to repeated reads, but the trade-off is a reduction in the number of new books read.

#308 ::: Gursky ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:28 AM:

For those of you who haven't gone down the list, here's a spreadsheet tool that'll calculate it for you. I'm somewhere around an embarrassing seven percent.
It's not easy being a genre reader, having to split your time.

#309 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 01:25 AM:

I went through the list just now (found that same spreadsheet, which was quicker than making my own.)

I found to my surprise that I've read 151 of the books on the list, which is a lot more than I expected. Some I barely remember; for example, I'm sure I read Billy Bathgate as well as Ragtime, but virtually nothing stuck with me from either. I suspect that's an indicator they do not really merit inclusion on such a list. I notice I've also started but never finished a lot of other big name books on the list. For instance, I have always bogged down in Moby Dick as well as Ulysses, and more recently Stendhal's Red and Black. I don't beat myself up over that any more, though.

#310 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 01:46 AM:

heresiarch: I'm not calling for her to quit. I wish she wasn't playing the procedural games she is (and that it didn't look as though she played to be able to use Michigan in the way she has, where she had all the advantages, and then asked for 50 percent of the people who voted against her).

Since she doesn't really have a decent chance at getting the needed delegates, there is something which seems less than beneficial to her when I see the continuation.

I don't think the primaries she's winning mean much. She's winning them by narrow margins, and they aren't (unlike the Republican system) winner take all, so she isn't really closing the gap (which is why her campaign is do hot to trot for rewriting the Michigan straw poll [and it feels to me that she planned to use the lack of Obama/Edwards to campaign in Michigan. She was the beneficiary of the press trumpeting her, "win", and tried to use that to gain ground in the subsequent primaries. I think that was deliberate. I am not sure I think her Byzantine enough to have planned the rest; though I do think the Florida Republicans were that conniving, to make it something they could beat the Dems up about, and in a way to pitch it toward the candidate they most wanted to run against).

But I think it good for the nation, and the party, that the race is going on. That's the mixe mind.

Paula Leiberman: Obama's paid his dues. Arguably he has more real political experience (from his time in the Illinois State Senate, where he learned to make the sorts of compromises which got his staunched opponents on bills to sign onto his ideas; e.g. the videotaping of all interviews in murder cases])

He was running a senate campaign which was uphill, in all likelihood, had Ryan not self-destructed, we'd not see him in this race (his speech at the convention notwithstaning).

He wasn't asked to speak at the 2004 convention because he was a lightweight, with no credentials. He came up through the ranks, and I'm tired of seeing people forget everything he did before he got to National Office.


Gursky: I am around 9 percent, which explains why I am so ill-informed, and unable to make literary allusions, nor able to understand them. I am plainly a heathen. :)

#311 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:01 AM:

Clifton Royston @ 307: for example, I'm sure I read Billy Bathgate as well as Ragtime, but virtually nothing stuck with me from either. I suspect that's an indicator they do not really merit inclusion on such a list.

The problem with this theory is that everyone will find different books memorable. I remember Ragtime pretty well despite (or possibly because of) having read it some thirty years ago. (That said, I'm not sure I would put it on the list either.)


#312 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:40 AM:

I've read (or think I've read) 79 of those books. I think I qualify as one of those people Cavafy wrote about.

#313 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:40 AM:

I've only read about 64 of them, I'm definitely a barbarian.

Funnily enough I have read the very first book on the list, which is science fiction, though I didn't know that when I picked it up.

Ursula Le Guin is not on the list. Enough said.

#314 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 03:38 AM:

I've read 114 of the books on the list -- mostly Rushdie, Austen, Calvino, and Borges. I haven't read a single one of the 21st-century list.

#315 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 04:16 AM:

Paula, #302: How exactly is telling me that I must vote for Clinton because she's a woman any different from telling me that I can't vote for Clinton because she's a woman? Don't play the gender-politics card with me if you want my respect. And don't play the Republican-talking-point "Obama's lack of experience" card either, because that's just a flat-out lie.

Terry, #308: Thank you. One of the main reasons I'm supporting Obama is precisely that he has a record of putting authority under control of law. That's exactly what we need at this juncture.

#316 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 06:47 AM:

I don't know where the "barbarian" cutoff is supposed to be, but I recall having finished 94 of the books on the list (and only 1 of the 21st-century titles). There are a fair number that I've started at one time or another but not finished (more than my usual proportion), and some where I know I finished it but don't remember much from it.

It's an odd list, in a number of ways. Even though I've heard it claimed that some of the omissions are due to the focus on novels, there are a number of books on it that aren't novels, but collections of short stories. (Borges' _Ficciones_ and _Labyrinths_, for example; I was actually surprised to find both on the list since they have overlapping selections to a significant degree.)

Is there a list of the selectors available somewhere? That might be interesting to see, to give some insight into the selection process. (I'd be curious to know how many of the selectors were women.)

There are at least a few books on the list that I suspect wouldn't be on it if it weren't for the movies made from them (which in some cases are more noteworthy than the books).

I note that the two Lord Peter books chosen are ones where Harriet Vane is absent, which suggests to me that these are were picked by a fan with a particular kind of taste for Sayers. (The Harriet and non-Harriet books have rather different feels; I like them both.)

#317 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 06:57 AM:

I only read 38 on the list, which probably explains why I have voted for Republicans from time to time.

#318 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 07:16 AM:

Paula @302:
That was pointless and incendiary. No one here is calling anyone else a bitch*. Can you please presume a bit less bad faith on the part of the community?

Presuming that everyone who does not support Clinton wants you and me barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen is not helpful to either the greater good of the nation or the cause of feminism.

-----
* if they are, my justice will be swift, sure, and very very messy.

#319 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 07:17 AM:

Terry Karney @ 308: "I'm not calling for her to quit. I wish she wasn't playing the procedural games she is"

Oh, I didn't think you were! My post was meant as agreement, in that I'm also of a mixed mind on the issue. I have problems with the same procedural tricks she's playing as you do, while still respecting her desire to stay in it until the convention.

On her winning primaries, it's true--she's not winning them by nearly enough to catch up. That's not really the point, though: people don't usually give up even after their loss is obvious. They play the game out. So yeah, mixed mind.

On dues paying: More relevant than whether Obama has paid his dues, or if Clinton has paid hers, is that I simply don't care one way or the other. Respecting the seniority of those who have "paid their dues" is what got us here in the first place. It's what convinced Gore to sacrifice his soul in '92, it's what got us Kerry in '04. It's why the entire system is saturated in a don't-rock-the-boat, don't-offend-the-power-brokers mentality that makes it next to impossible to ever change anything.

#320 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 07:56 AM:

I don't think these lists should be taken too seriously. The value of them* is in sparking debate.

I've been thinking about some of them - The Godfather, Ben Hur, Quo Vadis - bestsellers at the time, known now for their films. If we believe Wikipedia The Godfather introduced mafia jargon into the mainstream. Ben Hur was the bestselling novel in America until Gone With The Wind**. Good or not in themselves they were tremendously influential. On the other hand, if influence and bestselling is sufficent, then Harry Potter, The Hunt for Red October and The Da Vinci Code should probably be on there.

Perhaps in this category is The Three Muskateers and The Count of Monte Cristo. These are tremendously influential books, rarely read. (If you were going to pick one, to read, make it Monte Cristo - adaptions tend to leave out bits like two women eloping together and the Count taking enormous amounts of Hashish)

I feel slightly embarassed to have 5 from the current century.

* other than to sell newspapers/magazines or books, obviously
** another film adapation!

#321 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 08:11 AM:

abi @ 316: I got my first fiancee pregnant while she was barefoot and in the kitchen. Does that count?

#322 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 08:30 AM:

The dates might mess this up, if I bothered to look, but Ben Hur and Quo Vadis are prototypes for the Christian historical epic: Scott mixed the Victorian Christian Message. And I think that does justify their place on the list. To be honest, I'd put Ben Hur a little above Quo Vadis: it wouldn't be the same story without the presence and influence of Christ, but the story doesn't depend on it. If anything, I'd point at The Count of Monte Cristo and Les Miserables rather than the Bible.

I think multiple books from the same author needs some extra justification. They've got to be different in some significant way When you look at Dorothy L. Sayers, I do have to wonder what a reader would miss through reading only one of The Nine Tailors and Murder Must Advertise. Why not Gaudy Night? I'd certainly put it ahead of Murder Must Advertise. What I see in T9T is a mystery which also deals with the aftermath of the Great War, and much more so than as part of the puzzle structure of The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club.

I have read Tono Bungay. I don't really remember it. Big business?

It's interesting that we get Hawksmoor. When I read it, much-lauded at the time, the claimed originality seemed hollow. The mechanism which drives the plot is straight out of the lovecraft/Derleth genre of reawakened New England horror. It might as well have been The Mummy.

Which raises a question: is the influence of literature over-rated in this modern age. If this list can include, as it does, Watchmen, why not Star Trek or Doctor Who?

#323 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 08:41 AM:

Dave Bell @ 321: I wondered at the inclusion of Watchmen but not Maus or anything by Franz Masereel--especially Masereel, whose work is wonderful and cast a long shadow.

#324 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 08:53 AM:

John A Arkansawyer @319:

Were you wearing shoes yourself, or were you also barefoot?

#325 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:05 AM:

Abi @ 316... my justice will be swift, sure, and very very messy

Combining a Flaming Sword (or Strombringer) with a Disemvoweller?

#326 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:08 AM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 319... This reminds me of a joke that Groucho Marx once made to a contestant in This Is Your Life. No, that joke didn't make it into the actual broadcast.

#327 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:11 AM:

Serge @323:
Combining a Flaming Sword (or Strombringer) with a Disemvoweller?

I will use a spoon. Because it hurts more that way.

#328 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:24 AM:

Abi @ 325... Oh, the pain! The pain!

#329 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:27 AM:

abi @ 322: Pig that I am, I'm pretty sure I had my shoes on, even though we were in Arkansaw.

Serge @ 324: Sometimes a cigar is just a pretext. Or a straight line.

#330 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:37 AM:

325: "I'm sure you've discovered my deep and abiding interest in pain. I'm actually writing the definitive work on the subject. So I want you to be totally honest with me on how this makes you feel." I suppose a disemvowelled scream is just "hhhhhh!!!!"

OT, but can anyone suggest items for a list headed "Entertaining Things To Do in and around Ho Chi Minh City"?

#331 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:46 AM:

Tim @ #293: a hearty second for The Moonstone; what a fun book that is.

#332 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:53 AM:

ajay @328:
I suppose a disemvowelled scream is just "hhhhhh!!!!"

Or RRRGH!

Tim and Lila:
The Moonstone: thirded.

#333 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:59 AM:

Abi @ 330... Or RRRGH!

Isn't that where the Holy Grail is supposed to be?

#334 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 10:04 AM:

Dave Bell @320 -- I think multiple books from the same author needs some extra justification.. I, too wondered about that. There were a few authors (Kingsolver, Atwood) who wrote things I have read but which weren't on the list. All in all I got 145, but there's a fair margin of error depending upon how it's compiled.

Why were so many of Paul Auster's and Georges Perec's included (and should I read them)? There were some prize-winners -- Nobel, Man Booker -- but by no means all of them. Odd when you think that the winner of the Nobel Prize in particular is selected not only on the basis of skill but also influence.

I thought the pre-1700 selections were so nearly random as to be useless. Why 1001 Nights? Why NOT Dante, the Decameron, Chaucer, Beowulf?

#335 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 10:08 AM:

The inclusion of Watchmen on the 1001 Books list was odd. If the compilers wanted to recommend comics, there are any number of comics that should have had higher priority. If they didn't intend to branch out and mention Love and Rockets, Frank, Jimmy Corrigan et al., they shouldn't have bothered including that single token graphic novel. I suspect the compilers are vaguely aware of comics but haven't read any, and just slotted in the one that always turns up in the "hey, comics aren't just for kids anymore!" articles.

It's also odd that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is on the list, but not The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. They're pretty much two halves of a single novel.

#336 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 10:09 AM:

Jen Roth @#300:

David, she seems to be utterly convinced that Obama will lose to McCain.

And as Terry has been noting, she's also in a decent position to make sure of it. :-(

#337 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 10:35 AM:

Debbie #332: Why were so many of Paul Auster's and Georges Perec's included (and should I read them)?

You were probably being rhetorical, but if you want my opinion on Paul Auster, there's definitely no need for more than one of his works to be on a list like that. And that one should probably be The New York Trilogy (so, OK, it's three, but whatever).

#338 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 10:46 AM:

Combining a Flaming Sword (or Strombringer) with a Disemvoweller?

Serge: I definitely want no part of a sword that brings Strom Thurmond (either in the transformative, channeling, summoning, or necromantic senses). That would make it a pretty effective intimidation technique, but I'm worried about the potential Lovecraftian impact on the local environment.

Now Zap Brannigan's ancestral sword "Sexcalibur" might be a different story...

#339 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 10:50 AM:

ajay (328): I was going to point out that nothing could be off-topic in an open thread, then realized that 'OT' could mean either. heh

#340 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:05 AM:

Lee #313

Most of the ranting against Sen Clinton to me looks like misogyny--not all, but most. I wasn't saying that anyone should support her due to her gender, but kicking at her -because- of gender, is quite another issue, and that's the one that's got me irate. If she were a he, would there be all that vituperation involved? There would be some, yes, but I expect nowhere near as much at a male candidate....

Things which bother me about Sen Obama include the Evangelical factor, I have a very large distaste/distrust for people with a long history of membership in charismatic Christianity branches in political office/supposedly secular authority. Yes, I realize that Sen Obama has resigned his membership in the particular church, but to me that looks like a forced move politically, as opposed to e.g. former President Carter along with the majority of the congregation he belonged to quitting en masse the Southern Baptist Convention and changing their affiliation to the United Church of Christ in rebuke and repudiation of the "what we believe" planks of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I remain grateful to the current Pope and his predecessor for the decree regarding leave Jews unproselytized.... (Credo-complying Southern Baptists do -not-.)

#341 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:13 AM:

ethan @335, I wasn't being entirely rhetorical, and I appreciate the input.

One omission on the list I can't believe: "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."

#342 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:20 AM:

FungiFromYuggoth @ 336... Me neither. The idea of Abi (or Elric) bringing Strom Thurmond back from the dead one more time is enough to turn my blood to ice. By Crom!

#343 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:33 AM:

#334 David

And as Terry has been noting, she's also in a decent position to make sure [that Sen Obama loses to McCain]. :-(

Oh? How is this primary so much more unusual in generalities that the previous ones, regarding "Democratic candidates make war on one another during the race" and that THEN, with a candidate picked, close ranks and those who may have looked like bitter enemies become buddy-buddy working for who the selected candidate is.

I fully expect that whoever gets the nomination will get the full support from the non-nominated candidates and that the non-nominated candidates will urge everyone who supposed the non-nominated candidates, to support the nominee.

All this "Hilary Clinton is splitting the party" assertion stuff, to me is ignoring typical Democratic Party precendent, and is in some ways hatemongering....

My comment "bitch" earlier was with respect to the attitudes of misogynists, and the likes of Mr McCain who called his wife a worse term in public....

I was not ascribing that sort of attitude toward Sen Obama. Some of the folks who are excoriating Sen Clinton saying how abominable it is that she not dropped out of the race (by the way, there's at leason one Republican candidate who hasn't dropped out and nobody's screeching loudly in the mainstream media claiming that he's splitting the Republican Party...) and asserting that she is harming the Democratic Party and its chances for putting a Democrat into the Oval Office, etc., however, seem to have that sort of attitude... they just don't necessarily -say- it that explicitly in public.

The attacks on Hilary Rodham/Hilary Rodham Clinton when her husband was President, were of mostly the sort that looked deeply rooted in misogyny... and the public level of misogyny in some ways has -grown- in the past eight years, with the open season declared by the Executive Branch and its Congressional catamites on human rights, including rights of women and minorities, for equal pay for equal work; on the health and wellbeing of the general public--the crusades against family planning and -effective- prevention of transmission of sexually transmitted disease and -effective- prevention of unwanted/inconvenient/health-endangering pregnancies; on collection of data that over time in the past had substantiated claims of wage and promotion discrimination; on redress for protion and pay discrimation against women (that judgment by those Supreme Court "judges" that the woman waited too long to file a discrimination claim, even though she didn't HAVE the evidence she needed for asserting the claim with proof of the discrimination!) to me is a mark that the Supreme Court justices are in dire need of impeachment and removal for malfeasance.... -male- judges, every one of them of course, it's not THEIR pay and pay grade affected....)

Sen Clinton is NOT my ideal of who should be President.... but the attacks on her hit very close to me in some very sore parts of my psyche. I see Clarence Thomas and Anton Scalia and Samuel Alito and Judge Kennedy and Judge Roberts in their abasement of women on the Supreme Court and I don't want any more of their ilk, I want them -gone-, -gone-, -gone-!!! And I do NOT trust Sen Obama to not put another MALE on the Supreme Court.

#344 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:36 AM:

#330 ::: abi :::
I suppose a disemvowelled scream is just "hhhhhh!!!!"

Do you hear anguished cries of "aaaiiieeee" coming from the disemvoweller?

#345 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:38 AM:

Serge @ 340: Death had a hard enough time getting its hands on Strom to begin with*, so I'm quite certain that it won't be letting anyone raise him up. Not any time soon.


I am assuming that Death did finally win that battle. If I'm wrong, and Strom's still un-dead, then we all have a serious problem.

#346 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:50 AM:

Ginger @ 343... Let's hope so. Then again, at the end of the first Prophecy movie, Christopher Walken's Gabriel was sent to Hell by Viggo Mortensen's Lucifer. By the beginning of the 2nd movie, the ground opened up on Earth (in Los Angeles, I think) and Hell spat Gabriel back because he was such a pain in the you-know-what.

#347 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:54 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 341... All this "Hilary Clinton is splitting the party" assertion stuff

...reminds me of something that Mark Twain once wrote, to the effect that it's in the nature of Democratic Party members not to agree on anything.

Plus ca change, plus c'est pareil.

#348 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:55 AM:

Paula @341: I don't recall previous Democratic primary contestants saying that the Republican nominee was more qualified than the person who was very likely to be the Democratic nominee.

I don't see how she's in a position to close ranks and support Obama after this: "I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

#349 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:01 PM:

Squamous goodness, or At the Searches of Madness?

"New Tech Money: Antarctica
Photo by Photo by Maria Stenzel/National Geographic
A great place to cool one’s heels after an investor road show? Young Silicon Valley billionaires are packing their Leica digital cameras to snap glaciers and penguins. Patagonia, which straddles the Andes mountain range in Argentina, is also hot right now with the tech set. According to Googleplex insiders, both destinations are favored by the guys in the C-suite."

It's the third slide in the set. All the really good stuff is just behind the mountains in the background.

(OT, but where else can I post a thought like this?)

#350 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:16 PM:

Paula: You may not have meant it, but it sure felt that you were rebuking people here in general, and me in particular.

Since I can't think of anyone who said she was an uppity bitch (though I did say there were those who would try to tar her with being a scheming one), the rant you posted came out of left field.

The reason no one is screaming about the Republican is because he is irrelevant to the nomination. Barring McCain dropping dead it's been a done deal for month's gone. The Dem race has actually been a hindrance to the noise machine (even if it does spare Mccain some time to raise funds).

David Harmon(334) I don't know that I've been noting she is in a position to make sure Obama loses to McCain. I don't think that (because I don't see the various bits of vicious desire to win at any cost; just a desire to win with any reasonable tool to hand; and Michigan and Florida handed out some nice tools).

I figure that most of the people supporting her will (even if they are holding their metaphoric noses) and rally round the flag in the hope of preventing McSame from taking over.

I further suspect those who don't, wouldn't have done so regardless. Those were/are the people who are holding their nose to vote for her (and some in the Obama camp are the same way). They would see anyone who isn't their compromise candidate (save perhaps Kucinich) as being too far to the "wrong" side (for whatever reason), and vote green, or reform, or whatever stripe of purity is their passion.

#351 ::: Jen B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:25 PM:

The Federal building in Dayton, OH is now scanning Driver's Licenses at the metal detectors in order to check for outstanding warrants. I saw several people pulled aside in the Social Security waiting room. Everyone was allowed to finish their business before going away with The Men In Suits, so I can't believe that the warrants were for anything major (I've seen people immediately escorted out for speaking too loudly to the staff.) It has really annoyed me as now people who need assistance are going to stay away. It also worries me that if TPTB decide that, "this works really well" that they might get the bright idea to try and extend this to polling places. Argh.

#352 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:30 PM:

Neil Wilcox @ 318: I don't think these lists should be taken too seriously. The value of them* is in sparking debate.

I think it also has value as a (non-exhaustive) list of things to consider reading. Most of what I've read from it has been quite good, and many of the books I haven't read (e.g. The Master and Margarita, The Man Without Qualities) are ones that have already piqued my interest at some point, so I'm inclined to check out the ones I haven't heard of, even though as a normative canon the list would be rather silly.

Perhaps in this category is The Three Muskateers and The Count of Monte Cristo. These are tremendously influential books, rarely read.

I read TMM as a kid, re-read it a couple of months ago, and enjoyed it thoroughly both times. Given that plus its influence, its presence on a list that people "should" read makes sense to me.

Debbie @ 332: Why were so many of Paul Auster's and Georges Perec's included (and should I read them)?

Auster: I loved The New York Trilogy and In The Country of Last Things (the latter fringe SF), but disliked Moon Palace and its cod-Victorianism fairly intensely. This was all about twenty years ago, so salt to taste.

Perec: A Void is the famous e-less novel. I liked it a lot, but I probably have a higher tolerance for Oulipo stunts than most people. That said, there's more to it than the stunt.

As far as why so many: my assumption is that authors with lots of titles were ones that were liked by lots of panelists, but without a clear favorite individual title. With 105 voters and a naive ranking algorithm it's easy to imagine this outcome. J.M. Coetzee seems to be the winner; The Life and Times of Michael K. is certainly worth reading, but giving ten slots to one author on a list like this is nuts.

#353 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:45 PM:

Ob on-topic: I'm clocking in at 119 books from the 1001 list, plus a fair number of authors read but not the specific works cited.

Btw, Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (Peter Handke) is a bucketful of suck; it'd be pretty high on my list of books not to read before you die.

#354 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 12:51 PM:

Also on-current-topic: If it's Sienkiewicz, it shouldn't be Quo Vadis but instead With Fire and Sword. (Plus sequels The Deluge and Fire in the Steppe.) Not only would I recommend it without reservation for F&SF types, I think that with proper marketing the modern translation (Kuniczak) would make a mint for an F&SF publishing house.

#355 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 01:03 PM:

Terry 308: I am around 9 percent, which explains why I am so ill-informed, and unable to make literary allusions, nor able to understand them. I am plainly a heathen.

Just what are you incineratin' 'bout us heathens?

#356 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 01:10 PM:

I read Ben-Hur repeatedly as a child and high school student. I loved it, as a book of historical and geographical marvels with a great story -- and I didn't mean the story that is the subtitle of the novel: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

I did Quo Vadis, once, in high school, because it was on a list of the books you should have read by the time you went to college. But never again. That one really was about religion as opposed to Arabs and Arabian horses, and sexy Egyptian priestess-princesses, naval battles, etc.

Love, C.

#357 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 01:15 PM:

Hillary Clinton's religious affiliation -- the Fellowship Prayer Circle -- is truly scary and worrisome. At least I find it so, since it is secret and affiliated with some of the scariest people in the country.

Whereas, because of whatever, Obama's stuff bothers me not at all, because I do not believe that is him, though it is some of the people with whom he associates. It's really different than what that Fellowship stuff is about.

Love, C.

#358 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 01:21 PM:

Maybe we should do a Making Light recommended list--"1001 Glimmers in the Fluorosphere", or something.

#359 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 01:24 PM:

Paula @#341: What Terry said, at #348. Also, !?!?!?

Terry: Hmm. I may have been reading too much into your comments, but given the current situation, I'm not willing to give her too much slack for "oh, this is just until the nomination". "Scorched earth" attacks can weaken Obama against not just Hillary, but McCain, and I'm not happy to see Hillary using them.

It wouldn't be the first time that Democratic infighting left their surviving candidate crippled in November... and of course, the Rethuglicans are masters at provoking and exploiting such infighting!

#360 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:33 PM:

Of that list of 1001 books I've read two of the pre-1700s works, nine from the 1700s, 49 from the 1800s. I don't feel like going through the other 785 works carefully enough to count the ones I've read, but a quick glance at the 69 books from the 21st century shows I've only read one of them (Cloud Atlas; quite good). There are also a fair number of novels on the list I've started and bounced off of, or collections of stories I've read part but not all of.

It's a weird list, mostly novels but a few short stories, novellas, short story collections and epic poems. If there's that much variety in forms, why not include plays as well? If one includes the Metamorphoses, why not other better and more novel-like epic poems? And why such a heavy bias toward recent stuff?

#361 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:38 PM:

David Harmon: I think a lot of the allegations of infighting hurting the Dems is a combination of losing, and the Repubs telling us why the Dems lost.

Was it the floor fight of Kennedy which cost Mondale the election?

What about the Dem primaries was so effective at costing Dukakis the win?

Gore....

Kerry?

I see a lot of things, most of them outside the control of the players (though Dukakis looked stupid in the tank... but how can one pass up such a chance, and it might have worked... look at the, "manly package" praise Bush got for screwing over the sailors on the Lincoln)

Maybe some of those voters in Mondale and Dukakis were persuaded by the infighting, but I doubt it. I think the infighting happened because the Dems felt vulnerable, and were casting about for a way to win.

Which, I think is not the case here. The DNC, and its allies, feel vulnerable, and they are afraid of losing place and power, so they are resisting (as they did in 2006 cf. Lamont and the lackluster support they gave him. All they needed to do was tell Conneticut that Lieberman wasn't going to be seated with the Dems, and the race would have gone a lot differently. I think the campaingning by Dems, for Lieberman, in the primamry, was more hurtful to the party than pretty much anything else, because it made the support they then gave Lamont look contrived, shallow and purely partisan. Lamont in the senate would have changed some of the balance of power; and the DNC, and sitting senators didn't take the long view, but I digress).

That resistance is part of the problem. The people who came up when Bill was president are trying to recreate the glory days, and are afraid the broader interest the party is getting (with the Edwards, and Obama campaigns, behind things like Lamont) will marginalize them.

They don't know how to adjust, and so want to chase the kids off their lawn.

I think that is a large part of it. Those people are telling Clinton she can win the election (these are the same people who think the party is too far left as is), and they think if she does win, they get to stay.

If she loses, they get to stay; because obviously the party went, "too far left".

The only thing they don't want, is an Obama (or Edwards, or Dodd, or Kucinich) to win.

God, I feel cynical.

#362 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:39 PM:

What I found was interesting about the list was not how many I had read (114, notthati'mcountingoranything) but the pattern they fell in. If I'd graphed it, the peak would definitely have fallen around the 1860 mark, with very little in the 21st century and not many in the late 20th. Was this the case for anyone else?

And, yes. No love for Dante?

#363 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:44 PM:

My list got denser as the books got older.

#364 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:51 PM:

Jim Henry @ 358: And why such a heavy bias toward recent stuff?

I can't find stats on this, but I believe that vastly more novels were written in the 20th century than in previous centuries, and I can't think of any reason to expect the percentage of good ones to vary much. So conventional lists that weight each century equally are actually biased in favor of older works.

#365 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 02:58 PM:

Did anyone else notice that Bahrain has named a Jewish woman to be its new ambassador to the United States?

Apparently she's one of about 50 (!) Jews in the country.

Bahrain has one of the world's oldest and smallest Jewish communities. It was, at one time, home to as many as 1,500 Jews. Today the community has a synagogue and numbers around 50 people.

She's been a legislator for a few years.

#366 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 03:03 PM:

I've read 71 on that list— 30 of them from the 1800s, which is a much higher proportion than I expected. But then, I like Austen, and Hugo, and others of that ilk.

My question is why is it important to read these specific books before you die? Do they have insight into the human condition that you won't find elsewhere? Or is it just to have another list to check off and say, yup, I did that. Null value for the latter in my opinion. Now if the list is more like, read this, you'll love it, I can appreciate that... but I'll confine taking recommendations from people who know me.

abi @ 319: Barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen? Perish the thought.

#367 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 03:17 PM:

I am an ill-red 129, but any list that doesn't include the Odyssey and the Aeneid can be summarily ignored.

And what was with the Jack London selections? Martin Eden and The Iron Heel. I'm going to set Buck and White Fang on whoever thought that up.

Hmph.

#368 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 03:37 PM:

Xopher: You, my friend are no heathen, being a classic example of Homo sapiens urbanis.

#369 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 03:39 PM:

Another shameless self-plug for more fiction I done writ. A few people linked to the last one, which is why I dare to do it again.

#370 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 04:59 PM:

Is there a reason why the HTML Acronym tag is stripped out of comments? If allowed, it could be used for inline "tooltip" annotations of comments.

#371 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 05:01 PM:

Terry Karney @#359:

Well, I do hope you're right about the infighting "coming out in the wash". I just get worried that the Dems will yet again manage to blow it in the clutch. (And your last few sentences suggest why "we the people" would much rather have Obama than Hillary!)

God, I feel cynical.

Hmmph, a cynic is just a frustrated idealist. ;-) Personally, I tend toward free-floating anxiety and occasional pseudo-paranoia. (It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you!)

#372 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 05:25 PM:

Been mulling over that list of 1001 books. I won't read them all in my lifetime. And some of the ones I've read aren't ones that I would have included in such a list, so I'm wondering if the other books are really worth the effort. YMMV. Obviously.

Reading for fun is in decline; there are many more entertainment options, ones that don't demand as much brainpower. Reading is a solitary activity. I would also like to spend my time doing other stuff - hanging out with friends & family, not to mention the necessary time spent keeping a household going.

I love reading so I make time for it. But time is precious, and I would rather not be obliged to read certain books just because some experts think I should. tl;dr

#373 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 05:31 PM:

No Pat Cadigan, K.W. Jeter, Patrick O'Brian, James A. Michener, Martin Cruz Smith, Bruce Sterling, Howard Waldrop? No Star Wars novels??

Sadly, that 1001 list is not relevant to my interests.

#374 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 05:40 PM:

No one in the world will ever force me to read Paul Auster, Jonathan Franzen, or yet another Chuck Palahniuk or William Trevor or Joyce Carol Oates.

Where is Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games?

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and The Red Queen by Drabble were excellent.

But by and large what is on the 21c list leaves me cold, just as there are such strange choices on the 20c list. Atwood, yes, but why the lesser work of Alias Grace and not the brilliant Robber Bride, for instance? And never shall I read anything by David Foster Wallace.

The farther back the list goes, though, the increasing number of the titles I have read.

I didn't keep track but I've probably read at least half the list. Some of the titles I've read multiple times, and others once and that was more than enough.

Love, C.

#375 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 05:50 PM:

Part of the "problem" of the, "dems are hurting themselves with the infighting" trope, is I don't hear people spouting it about the Republicans.

Who brings up Reagan making a floor-fight in '76? Nope, He lost because of the hangover from Nixon...

Bush saying McCain was all sorts of bad... not a problem.

Jackson running... bad for dems.

It's like all the other stuff the pundits do, one set of rules for the Dems, another for the Repubs.

My paranoias.... are legit.

:]

#376 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 06:15 PM:

Constance: Look again, Robber Bride is on there, as is The Blind Assassin; those were two I counted.

I've only read one Kazuo Ishiguro so far, but it makes me think the heavy dose of his books on the 20th/21st century list might be justified. Very strange and interesting stuff. (But why no John Crowley?!) Also, I'll add a big big shout-out for A.S. Byatt's Possession, for anybody who didn't read it yet. It's one of those books that made me almost giddily happy to read, because it is so intensely in love with reading and literature itself.

I read a comment on one of the sites Kathryn linked that the French edition of the book has a very different selection, including novels from a much broader range of international authors. Has anyone seen that list online yet?

#377 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 06:24 PM:

Terry #373:

I think most media pundit analyses of why X won or Y lost the election have the same validity as those "explanations" people always put on stock market results. ("Stocks fell sharply today on profit-taking and oil prices hitting $Z/barrel.")

I mean, there are in-depth analyses, but you're mostly not going to get them from the talking heads, who aren't very bright and don't have any time for analysis that doesn't make a good, easy-to-understand story.

#378 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 06:32 PM:

re: N books about books you should read

I've now requested it from my local library system--it has 11 copies, all checked out.

#379 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 08:09 PM:

I've read 102 of these books, which surprised me. Most of the comments others have made about the choices occurred to me as well. I did wonder however - Wild Swans? Surely that was autobiography/memoir?

#380 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 08:48 PM:

#374 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 06:15 PM:

Constance: Look again, Robber Bride is on there, as is The Blind Assassin; those were two I counte.

Great! I'm glad. I just saw Alias Grace and Cats Eye.

Love, C.

#381 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 08:55 PM:

Surfacing and The Handmaid's Tale (the two I've read) are on the list as well.

#382 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:09 PM:

Paula @ #338: Your identifications of various religious groups are off. Obama's church, Trinity UCC, is not charismatic, and he did not leave it. Carter's church affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, not the UCC. And from their (the CBF members) point of view, they are about where they have always been; they would say the Southern Baptist Convention moved away from what they believed in. So none of these people have changed as much as you say, whether out of conviction or from political expediency.

#383 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 09:57 PM:

Gursky, #306, what do you mean, split your time. I'm an SF reader! (Okay, I'm currently reading Alma Alexander's YA fantasy series because she asked me to. Well, I started them because she asked me to. But they turn out to be quite good.)

#384 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:04 PM:

Paula@338: Most of the ranting against Sen Clinton to me looks like misogyny--not all, but most.

When discussing the cost of the Iraq war, some hawk came onto the thread and said "Some people seem to find the prospect of an American success in Iraq unpleasant". The red-flag word is "some". It is an attempt to legitimize a strawman attack by speaking not about anyone here in the conversation, but "some" hypothetical people, somewhere else, out there.

The thing is, no one here that I know of thinks Hilary should step down because she is a woman. My reasoning is that she should step down because she can't win at this point, and her tactics to sway superdelagates can do nothing but harm Obama's campaign.

So, the conversation was about the benefit of Hilary remaining in the campaign, versus the cost. And you turn it into a misogynist attack that she should drop out because she's a woman?

How about we look at her behaviour, rather than her gender? She has attacked Obama's credentials repeatedly, questioned his experience, dismissed the fact that he is a senator, and invoked fear mongering with her 3AM call commercial. She over-inflated her war experience by saying she came under "sniper fire". Had a Republican ran an ad like "3AM" against Obama, one would rightly interpret it as sayign "A vote for Obama is a vote for terrorists".

I recently read that Obama might be considering a female Vice President for his ticket. Rumor was he was considering a couple of different women governors. If anyone is to blame for Obama not picking Hilary as his VP, it is Hilary. Not because she's a woman, but because she repeatedly inflicted damage on his campaign.

And the cost, versus the benefit, was what I was origianlly asking about. And you turn it into a conversation about how "most" people attacking Hilary are misogynists, changing the subject from the cost of Hilary staying in the race to lumping most criticism of Hilary as being misogynist.

It's like trying to get a grip on how much cost the Iraq war is (3 trillion dollars) and having someone change the subject to "You want us to lose the war!".

Can we discuss Hilary's mistakes and criticize her campaign without being accused of misogyinists or not?

Or can we only discuss whether or not Obama will put another MALE on the supreme court?

Paula@348: I do NOT trust Sen Obama to not put another MALE on the Supreme Court.

I will just note that during this entire conversation about Hilary et al, it was you who put the emphasis on the person's GENDER as being their primary qualification.

#385 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2008, 11:39 PM:

Greg, #382: My gender* and I thank you.

* Personal, not collective.

#386 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:18 AM:

Greg: I don't think Clinton not getting selected for Veep is because she's run a nasty campaign, but because she doesn't really bring anything to the ticket.

If we believe the Veep's real contribution is to bring in the state they reside in (and perhaps some votes from the region) she's not worth much in that department... New York isn't going to go for the Republicans, and the people who aren't happy with the Republicans, but hate Clinton (I know a couple) won't vote for him if she's on the ticket.

If we assume the Veep is really limited when it comes to policy, and a Republican can be found who won't screw things up when the president in out of the country (or when there are splits in the Senate), then selecting a moderate Republican would be a canny move; if one can be found who really qualifies.

Hell, that might help to actually shift the Republicans, by rewarding leftward movement.

#387 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:57 AM:

Bo Diddley died. :(

#388 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 01:39 AM:

"I don't think Clinton not getting selected for Veep is because she's run a nasty campaign, but because she doesn't really bring anything to the ticket."

Terry, she's the candidate of tens of millions of women and working-class men. WtF?

#389 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 01:45 AM:

One theory on why Clinton is pursuing scorched-earth politics against Obama:

The Clinton team doesn't worry about hurting Obama's prospects of winning in the fall, because they assess those prospects at zero. Always have. Obama might not win if he leads a bitterly divided party, but (in this view) he was never going to win. Not a chance. He would be smashed like an armadillo in the road* by the Republican campaign machine, and he would be just about as ready as the armadillo for what was coming.
#390 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:16 AM:

Randolph: And (to get very horse-racy here), those people are, by and large, not going to vote for McCain.

The Veep's most important job (according to the handicappers) is to bring people to the candidate who wouldn't be voting that way.

LBJ was to bring the west; counterbalancing Kennedy's Northeastern strength.

Lieberman was supposed to bring the "conservative" middle to the table.

Bush was supposed to bring the Northeast, and the people who valued, "experience".

And so on.

I don't see Clinton being that sort of, "balance" to the ticket. I see the Veep slot as a place where her negatives are strong, and her positives are weak.

Putting her in the VP spot tells the pundits, and the wafflers, that the Dems can't get behind their candidate.

Worse... I don't think she'll take it.

I think she believes that she is the only person who can beat the Republicans. That the politcal savvy she and Bill put together is the only thing which has been able to beat them, and the only thing which will be able to beat them.

That her actions might (I don't think so, but arguendo) have caused that isn't something she considers She's not trying to destroy Obabma's chances... she doesn't think he has any chance to start with, so hurting him isn't material.

Which means taking a place on the ticket (which is pretty much a political dead end), is to hitch her star to a loser. Better to stand aside and run again in four years... when she can say, "you should have listened to me last time."

And if he asks her and she refuses it will get out... which would hurt him. So he's not likely to ask.

#391 ::: Danny Yee ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:16 AM:

I highly recommend the biography of Meitner by Ruth Lewin Sime (the link is to my review).

#392 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:21 AM:

Tired.... that her actions in this campaign might contribute to a loss for Obama (God forbid), isn't something she entertains. As hersiarch's link points argues (and, as evidenced, I think much the same way), her actions are based on her being the only good candidate.

#393 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:24 AM:

If Obama picked a moderate Republican for VP he'd be hard pressed to explain it to the hard-core supporters he's got, and even harder-pressed to explain it to the 17 million people who voted for Hillary.

Or so I think, anyway.

#394 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:31 AM:

Terry Karney @ 388

Which is why a lot of people are talking about Edwards as a likely running mate for Obama. He brings the Southern white vote, and Obama brings the Southern blacks, which could put a big dent in the New Dixiecrat scam the Repugs have been running the last few years. Clinton represents the Liberal Northeast, which has been one of the main recipients of Bush' malign neglect policies; the West (especially Oregon and Washington, those centers of communism and homosexual depravity) has been on his fecal roster since the beginning of his reign, and McCain's Arizona address can't clear all that up. So a Veep from the South or the Midwest (Ohio would be just scrumptious) makes the most sense.

#395 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:37 AM:

I've seen the Edwards idea floated on blogs, and I can't see it. Why would Edwards want to run for the second-place office again? Perhaps more importantly, Elizabeth Edwards is sick; would she and her husband want to devote their time to campaigning for the second spot while she's coping with her cancer?

#396 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 03:43 AM:

I don't see Edwards being offered the slot.

He was on a losing ticket, and he lost on his own. I'd love to see him in the cabinet (AG would be a good spot), but I don't see him on the marquee.

For a whole lot of reasons I don't see a Republican (not least because I can't see one who has any weight) who could be trusted to carry the ball when needed. In a more perfect world that would be possible.

Of course, in a more perfect world we wouldn't need to have this discussion and I'd have the D3 I want, and a pony.

#397 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 05:58 AM:

Edward Norton being offered the veep slot? That's wonderful.
"It's John Edwards, Serge, not Edward Norton.")
Oh.
Nevermind.
Drat.

#398 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 06:27 AM:

Joshua Norton for VP? Do you think he would accept, being both dead and an emperor?

#399 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 07:20 AM:

I score 8% civilized, 92% barbarian.

I score 100% barbarian for 21st century stuff, and lots of my 80 hits are for action/mystery/SF novels further back.

#400 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 08:54 AM:

Terry Karney @ 394

Your remark about the D3 brought on a wave of gadget lust*, and a thought about politics. I like to remind my colleagues that engineering is the art of tradeoffs: balancing the characteristics of the component materials and parts of a design to bring the final assembly as close as possible to some set of desired properties. In an imperfect world, we use the strengths of one ingredient to counterbalance the weaknesses of another, or the arrangement of parts to achieve some level of strength or rigidity that an individual piece can't. For instance, because trees evolved for their own fitness, and not to make their wood suited to building houses, we've learned how to engineer structured beama that are stronger and more uniform in characteristics than balks of wood of the same size cut from the tree.

In politics the "materials" we have to work with are the people who seek office, and the laws and rules we've developed to govern their actions. It may be that some the governments established in the wake of the Enlightenment like the US, are the first real attempts at engineering political systems to be more reliable than ones that evolved instead of being constructed. In particular, the notion of checks and balances is an elegant engineering solution to the problem of the highly variable quality and occasional outright rottenness of the political materials.

The current breakdown of those systems in the US and UK (and other) governments seems to me to be partially a consequence of running an old design with low-quality materials in a regime it hasn't had to cope with before, so some of its operations are out of spec. When the design of your car is found to have a high level of air pollution, the correct solution is not to build bigger engines so you can get away from the fumes faster. It's to find a new design that includes some achievable level of reduction of the emissions. But politicians are not usually motivated to look for engineering solutions to problems, especially problems that they themselves have caused and often benefited from.

Back in the 20th century** mundane politicians used to give SF writers and fans a lot grief for believing that engineers and scientists and others who are trained to use reason and the notion of tradeoffs in solving problems could understand the complexities of politics. I'm thinking now that the last seven years are evidence they were wrong, and that maybe it's time to send in the geek squad to clean up the mess.

* Hey wait a minute. Don't you already have a pony?
** "In those dark days."

#401 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:04 AM:

Abi @ 396... Do you think he would accept, being both dead and an emperor?

Better a dead emperor than our current dumb imperator.

#402 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:05 AM:

I have a question for the disemvowelling experts:

What word would cghtt be?

(Unfortunately, there's no context to help. And that second t might represent a second word. ARGH!)

#403 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:12 AM:

"caught it"?

#404 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:28 AM:

Cat Meadors @400: Here is a link to an online re-emvoweler someone (sorry, forgotten who) posted on an earlier thread.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work at all with your example 'cghtt', by itself. I think it would work better with some context, so if that is a single word out of a disemvoweled sentence, you may have better luck with the whole sentence.

#405 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:30 AM:

Sorry, you said there was no context...

#406 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:45 AM:

heresiarch@387: Clinton team doesn't worry about hurting Obama's prospects of winning in the fall, because they assess those prospects at zero.

Yeah, and one could attempt to justify Bush's invasion of Iraq in a similar manner. Emotional certainty versus objective reality and all that.

What damage she inflicted is what counts. Whether she thought Obama could never win in teh first place, or whether she didn't care about Obama and simply wanted the presidency to herself no matter the cost, doesn't matter. What matters is the damage done.

At the start of the race, I would have voted with equal enthusiasm for Clinton or Obama, whoever got the nomination. At this point, seeing Clinton either oblivious to or indifferent to the damage she repeatedly inflicted on her own party has gotten me to the point where I'd oppose her nomination.

#407 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:06 AM:

Is it just me, or does nobody ever tell Republican candidates that they should pick Democratic running mates?

#408 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:45 AM:

AKICIF request:

the peculiar speech pattern in Nancy Kress' "Beggars" series, which according to Debbie also shows up in some Fiona Patton books, where the speaker adds an extra pronoun at the end of each sentence - is that a natural part of speech somewhere, perhaps Wales?

E.g. I'm going there, me.
or He's going there, him.

#409 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:53 AM:

Cat Meadors #400: What word would cghtt be?

It is also an acronym for Country Gingham Hanging Tea Towel. I agree, though, the best candidate is "caught" followed by a second word like "it"; a typo in the cleartext could easily lead to that.

By the way, Google dispassionately indexes disemvoweled words just as if it were another language.

#410 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:54 AM:

#191, Will Entrekin -

I think this Firefox setting (for 2.x or later) makes that browser do what you want. There are also extensions that make it easier, and keyboard shortcuts (those exist for more than just Firefox). I always open things in new tabs and I never right-click to do it - my mousing is clumsy enough it is too slow. I don't like things that use target="_blank" because they break the way I normally do things in unpredictable ways, especially if I'm away from home and using a browser not set up to my preferences.

#411 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:59 AM:

Jen Roth #405: does nobody ever tell Republican candidates that they should pick Democratic running mates?

MSNBC asks, Does a McCain-Lieberman ticket make sense?

#412 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:01 AM:

#406

Sort of, for Welsh and some other languages (in Welsh it's part of the verb, not really a pronoun as such, if I understand the grammar correctly).

English is more likely to stick the pronoun at the beginning of the sentence. Me, I think that works fine.

#413 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:02 AM:

#400, Cat Meadors -

You've got me curious - where did you run into a single disemvoweled word with no context at all? Was it a single-word comment somewhere?

#414 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:04 AM:

#385 ::: Terry Karney :::

Bo Diddley died. :(

The Spouse did an a retrospective Bo Diddley Assisted Listening this a.m. for the NPR show, Bryant Park Project.

You can find it here.

Click on "Listen to Today's Show" and the NPR media player comes up with today's selections.

Click on "Bo Diddley Assisted Listen" and there you are.

If your speakers are on. :)

He was so on fire about Bo Diddley last night that he wrote an article about his musical and cultural significance and influence, though nobody's asked him for one. Now he's got to find a place to publish it.

Love, C.

#415 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:15 AM:

Jen Roth: No, of course no one tells the Republicans to reach out. "Real People" want to elect republicans, so the Democrats have to make concessions.

It's a nasty little meme, which has far too much traction (and the sub-memes, that Dems would lose if it weren't for the welfare cheats, black people and Indians are worse).

We can only hope this year effects a bit of change, but the history of the past few cycles makes it easier for this to carry on; what with the dominance of the Republican Party in all three elected roles.

Greg: There are two questions, and they aren't as cut an dried. What she thinks is important to assessing her motives, and those do matter.

If she was out to screw him over because she wanted to win; and if she can't have it no one can, that's one thing, and speaks to her judgement. In that case I'd have to use a clothespin on my nose and wash my hands after I voted

But if she's doing it because she has a reasoned (even if unreasonable) belief, that's different. It shows a different problem in judgement, but I might not need to wash my hands, and it's more likely to be something solid advisors can modify.

Motive, and intent do matter. It's why we have grades of homicide, from negligent, to premeditated; and a range of responses.

We could say it's all the same, someone got dead and it wasn't justified... you get the kewpie. We don't, and there's no reason to be less rational when looking at other behaviors.

#416 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:24 AM:

It occurs to me that my post at #411 might be a bit rude. Cat didn't tell us, and I don't want her to feel that she must tell us any more than she has, but I can't imagine a single contextless word. I am (probably to Cat's great frustration) looking for some context for the lack of context. It doesn't feel like prying, but you can't feel the motivation behind the question so what I feel is a bit irrelevant. If I am prying, I apologize.

On a different topic, geekosaur's link to Food Blog Blog (post #240) has a really neat thing called the "Blog hop," which randomly pulls up one of the blogs on their list. It works great on Firefox on the mac, but chokes in my (older) version of Safari. Fun when it works, though.

#417 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:40 AM:

Constance: I don't know about on fire, and I don't know enough to merit writing an article but of all the notable people who've recently died, he was the only one I blogged.

I hope it sells.

#418 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:01 PM:

Jon Baker @#406--
That pattern is also seen sometimes in the French-influenced Louisiana dialects of English, although they may also put the same emphatic pronoun at the start of the sentence instead. I don't know that's as a common as it was when there were more people there for whom French was the cradle language.

Which placement is chosen may depend on the rhythm of the sentence; I'm not sure if there are other rules that affect that or not.

#419 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:06 PM:

re: cghtt - Sorry, it's part of a puzzle (which is then part of a riddle), so I didn't have anything else to go on when I first asked. After working on it some more, I think the next words could be "down of the dark one" but does that make sense preceeded by anything?

AND I just now realized that something I was translating as a letter isn't necessarily. Tricky.

But I do appreciate the help - that reemvoweler is a handy thing to know about.

(If anyone else wants to play, you can find the puzzle here - you'll need the track listing from the CD, and this image would also be helpful. I don't care about winning, since I already have the grand prize, but at this point it's driven me just crazy enough to NEED to solve it.)

#420 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:08 PM:

Linkmeister #393:

John and Elizabeth Edwards did campaign for a nomination while she was sick with cancer, so campaigning for an actual office, even if a number two slot, wouldn't seem off the table from that angle. At least to me.

#421 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:09 PM:

Jon Baker @ 406 and fidelio @ 416...

Oh goodness.

You two just made me realize that this is the way I used to speak French. Mind you, that sentence structure's way of emphasizing, wasn't favored by educated people.

#422 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:16 PM:

I never really warmed to The Moonstone, although bits of it were fun. It's not a good book for the kind of reader who asks questions like "If the batrachian monstrosities are right outside the door, why is he stopping to write about it in his journal?"

(There aren't batrachian monstrosities in The Moonstone. But there's a fundamental disconnect, not to say contradiction, between the narrative's in-story justification and its actual status that had me terribly confused until I realised what was going on - and frequently irritated thereafter.)

#423 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:18 PM:

Earl @409: You know, I almost added "except for Joe Lieberman", but he's not even a Democrat anymore.

#424 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:21 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 409... A McCain-Lieberman ticket? My. I'd like to see Susan's reaction if that were to happen.

#425 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:32 PM:

Randolph, #386: And those numbers are shrinking every day, as she keeps shooting herself in the foot over and over again. I know plenty of people who started out either supporting her, or thinking that she was an acceptable alternative, who are now saying that they might not vote if she's the candidate. Obama doesn't need that.

Not to mention, I don't think she'd accept. Her language indicates that she wants the whole ball of wax or nothing.

Jen, #405: It's not just you. And Earl, you can't really count Lieberman for this purpose; he's a Democrat only when it's to his advantage.

#426 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:33 PM:

For what it's worth, Paula, I read your italicized "back in the kitchen, bitch" comment as a description of commentary you're seeing in the world at large, not here in particular, so I didn't feel attacked. And I'm seeing it in the world at large, too, and it hurts my heart. I'm running into random conversations in public where men toss out gendered insults about Clinton, like "I hope he beats that tart." I'm also remembering how during the civil rights movement of last century, feminists saw equal rights for blacks as being part of the same piece of the puzzle as equal rights for women, but black women were specifically told by leaders in the movement "Your turn will come, but for now, your proper role is to support your men." These things make me feel slightly, irrationally guilty for preferring Obama's candidacy; but in the end I cannot hold Obama responsible for others' misogyny on the basis of his sex. Nor can I overlook Clinton's less desirable traits as a candidate (my opinion there) simply because she's a woman.

#427 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:38 PM:

Serge @ #419--

From what I've seen (which isn't all that much), it was more a country and urban working class thing. I don't know how common it is anymore. Of course, with dialects, there are sometimes people who make a conscious effort to keep them alive these days, rather than moving to a more mainstream language, so there may be some among les gens acadiennes who do it on purpose. I suspect it's more common there than among the white Creoles. It may have some stating power among the African-American Creoles as well, but that's well into my range of ignorance, so all I can say is "could be so".

#428 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:40 PM:

Huh. I wasn't nearly as caught up on this thread as I thought I was when I posted that. Sorry for the time-shift.

As long as I'm commenting on stale posts: Dave, I didn't figure I could be the only one who heard "Stay out of the shadows" and immediately crowed, "And don't blink!" We've watched Ep 8, enjoyed the heck out of it, and I think I need to watch it a second time, actually. I was multitasking too much the first time.

(Weirdly, I had a Doctor Who dream this morning. He brought me a globe that wasn't just a representation of the Earth - it was the Earth. I hugged it and cried my eyes out, it was so beautiful. It was like getting that big hug from the Goddess that part of my soul has been yearning for forever. I woke up feeling very out of synch with waking life.)

Off to catch up on the thread now.

#429 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:50 PM:

It's been bandied (the McCain Lieberman). I've heard explanations that it shows his "maverick" status that he can reach across the aisle and take someone so liberal (after all he was going to be Gore's VP).

The mind reels; but I've gotten better at keeping my jaw from actually falling open.

#430 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:52 PM:

Louisiana is complicated, complex and fluid. Always was, still is.

Re French as she is spoke in that state -- spoken in more than one dialect.

Recall there was a collision among more than one French dialect.

First, the Cajun French, which never even began up in Canada as French-French as spoken by the French elite.

Then the French dialect as spoken by the two-diaspora San Domingue refugees from the slave revolution of what became Haiti, going first to Cuba -- which essentially governed Louisiana and New Orleans during its formative decades so there's that collision of French + Spanish. Plus you have the San Domingue Kreyole French. Both of these were then brought to New Orleans in 1809, doubling the population of NO, which was already majority African descent -- who also had their own dialects that were in turn influenced by then, Spanish and English.

For more on this fascinating subject, see Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall's works:

Social Control in Slave Plantation Societies: A Comparison of St. Domingue and Cuba (1971) [paperback 1996]; Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro- Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century (1992) [paperback 1995]; Africans in the Americas: Continuites of Ethnicities and Regions (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), and Ethnicity and Race: Slavery and Freedom in French, Spanish, and Early American Louisiana, 1720-1820 (in preparation).

Love, C.

#431 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:52 PM:

Cat: cghtt could also be "cough" + something; "cough at it" works?

#432 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:57 PM:

Cat @400: "caught out"?

#433 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:57 PM:

That pattern is also seen sometimes in the French-influenced Louisiana dialects of English, although they may also put the same emphatic pronoun at the start of the sentence instead. I don't know that's as a common as it was when there were more people there for whom French was the cradle language.

Indeed, I first came across it via Justin Wilson's book of Cajun humor. In addition to observing the emphatic extra pronoun at the end of sentences ("I'm going down to the store, me"), he also pointed out a tendency to put an extra affirmative or negative on the end ("Don't you do that, no!" or "I like me some okra, yeah!").

Caveat: My memories of this, and of hearing actual Cajun speech patterns, are rather dim, and I never could do a credible Justin Wilson imitation.

#434 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 12:59 PM:

Terry Karney @ 427... he can reach across the aisle

When I was in high-school, people never reached across the aisle except to try and bully me, not to pass on some note from that girl I had a crush on.

#435 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 01:18 PM:

Paul @420: I get that reaction when I re-read Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun tetralogy, wherein the narrator, Severian, claims that he's writing out his memoir the night before he voyages to meet his fate. Granted that Severian has an eidetic memory and doesn't have to make it all up like Gene Wolfe does, I'm just boggled by the idea that anyone could physically write, what, half a million words in a single night? That would be something like a thousand words a minute. Even if he'd written it out in his head beforehand....

Latro, from Soldier in the Mist and so on, is similarly blessed, in that he has time to write a chapter every night before he forgets it all. And have that day's adventure, and read the rest of his diary, which gets more improbable as he fills in more of his scroll.

Good books, all, but with familiarity the necessary conceit gets a little harder to accept.

#436 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 01:19 PM:

The politics of disenfranchisement....

Not LOSING voters is important. The people who voted for Sen Clinton in primaries, are people who were voting for someone who was female. Are those people going to go out of their way to vote for a ticket with two males on it? Who would Sen Obama pick for candidate to the Supreme Court? Has he personally ever been in the position of being pregnant without wanting to be pregnant, or of being asked obnoxious questions about being pregnant when trying to get medical treatment

(was it here or someone on LiveJournal, where someone was reporting an instance where someone was trying to get medical treatment, was dazed, in shock, and the medical "professionals" futzed around asking pregnancy questions instead of treating the condition the person came in for....it was on LiveJournal. And other people responded with their own appalling experiences of similar handling, where walking-womb-for-baby-production-on-feet seemed to be more the view of them than of them as people...)

or of being shoved aside for consideration due to being female--yes, there is discrimination on the basis of skin color, and all sorts of noxiousness that is corollary to that, and the Repukes have been enjoying the spectacle of and contributing to promotion of vicious competition regarding who's gotten the shorter end of the stick and had had the most outrage perpetrated agains the, BUT, in the case of discrimination against women, it can get very lethal very quickly. Toxemic pregnancies only happen to women, and nobody ever killed a male for being pregnant as a "disgrace to the family" or force a male who was raped to bear to delivery a fetus conceived by a rapist, and then punish the bearer for child abuse....

Much of the issue is emotional and not "logical," particular when the people doing looking at the situation don't have the particular -personal- attunement.... There are enormous feelings of betrayal involved--women feeling betrayed that someone who's a minority candidate jumped in to try to push out a female candidate, when women are the majority in the country and are the victims of so much complete and utter shit from the current regime's agenda to remove all rights and progress that women have made in the past 50 years for self-determination financially and emotionally, for healthcare, for self-determination as regards reproduction, for promotion and position in public life, and to roll back the clock to the day that women got pushed out of the jobs they had had when WWII was over and the troops came back.

I am NOT saying that minority males have had an easy time of it... on the other hand, Thurgood Marshall was a Supreme Court Justice long before Sandra Day O'Connor got on the Supreme Court. Women are more than 50% of population, but one-ninth of the Supreme Court, down from two-ninths. Note that the Democrats in the Senate didn't even attempt to filibuster the appointments of Samuel Alito and Anton Scalia and Clarence Thomas and Mr Roberts to the Supreme Court.... women's right repressors generally, who don't have an iota of reluctance in their minds to damning women to die from toxemic pregnancies and pregnancies with non-viable fetuses, who spite women who sue for discrimination in pay and promotion because "you waited too long to file a claim" when the evidence wasn't even available to file a credible claim with, in the period allowed by the Bush regime.

The Repukes have taken the divide and conquer approach... but as someone who was angry at the age of four at being female because what I wanted weren't aspirations girls were ALLOWED though boys were ENCOURAGED to pursue, and who has seen SOME change in the world (women in the astronaut corps--they were banned from it when I was four, and that was a contributor to my anger, and yes, I was precocious....--, women flying military planes in the service, one woman on the Supreme Court, women graduating from Harvard and Caltech and Princeton and Dartmouth, female presidents at Harvard and MIT as opposed to maybe a couple percent of the tenured faculty being female when I was a college student--but there has also been change such the the women of Afghanistan and Iraq who had public lives and weren't shrouded when I was a child, were been driven into seclusion and anonymity and powerlessness) but seen much of that change in the process of being eradication (the availability of legal pregancy termination in the the USA is very limited, something extremely high figure, I think I've seen 86%, of US countries it is unavailable these days and under extreme pressure from organized religious groups and their associated political apparatus to eradicate in the entire country, the misadministration abolished collection of statistical data which had been used as evidence in labor discrimination lawsuits particularly class action ones involving discrimination in pay and promotion and benefits against women.... ).

Sen. Obama has never been pregnant. Sen Obama has never had a "pregnancy scare" that he might be pregnant with an unwanted fetus. Sen Obama has never had the threat of being pregnany with a severely malformed, "non-viable" fetus and the heartbreaking decision regarding abortion because that's a life-threatening condition to the woman carrying the non-viable fetus (it dying inside her and putrefying is life-threatening);.

No President of the United States has ever had such things be up close and -personally- threatening. Sen Obama is a member of a class that there is discrimination again, yes. But is Sen Obama someone who the women of the USA whose rights have been systematically eroded and shat all over by the Republicans, can depend on to redress the vilenesses perpetrated on women by the Repukes? Or will he make deals with them closing the ranks of the men's clubs... a lot of women seem to have the view that skin color is irrelevant regarding such things, it's not HIS body and his experiences that relate to the concerns of shoved-aside women.

Sen Clinton's not a hardscrabble case, but she is female, she HAS been pregnant and delivered, had the experience that McCain, Sen Obama, the Chief Thief, Karl Rove, etc. never had and never will at least in this lifetime have, of all the hopes and fears regarding pregnancy and the personal impact and the hormonal stews and the -attacks- for being female for DARING to say that women shouldn't be restricted to the domestic side and life, and the temerity to be in public life as a woman.

There is a HUGE emotional issue there, and I think that a large percentage of the males particularly here, Do. No. Get. It.

I've been in too many situations where I was the ONLY woman present... and got very tired of being iconic for it. It didn;t matter WHAT I said or did, the ONLY woman in a roomful of men, gets noticed for being Other. Automatically. Relentlessly.

There is a perception of brotherhood, which as long as someone is regarded as human, skin color, race, creed, ethnic origin, etc., don't matter to the perceptors, "we are all MALE animals and we are a brotherhood." They don't extend that to women. The fact that military bonds can and have and DO extend across gender, is something that certain people don't recognize, until and unless it's in their face, MAYBE. But to those with "you are a womb-carrier, I am a sperm-bearer, we are organically DIFFERENT" there is a chasm that absolute...

It's that perception and the consequences and mindset of it, that forms part of the anger at Sen Obama, that he seems to not be giving any consideration to the feelings and experience of women who feel disenfranchised and are feeling more and more disenfranchised and dismissed as invisible and dispensable over the past decade plus. The same women who have over history in the USA done the basic scut work and grass roots organizing, getting dissed again and again and again, and not reached out to, not appreciated, not recognized, but rather pissed on and suppressed by the Bushies, and dismissed apparently by Sen. Obama's campaign, pushed aside rather than any attempt made to be brought in and valued and courted for votes and support...

And then the talk of White Male for ticket... yeah, sure, that really is going to make women, who vote in rather large numbers, come out and vote for Sen Obama, as opposed to vote for McCain, or stay home and boycott what might look farcial...

#437 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 01:59 PM:

a lot of women seem to have the view that skin color is irrelevant regarding such things

A lot of white women do. I have not noticed that to be the case among women of color, many of whom have expressed great exasperation at white feminists who wonder (at best, and cast aspersions at worst) how they could possibly support Obama over Clinton.

#438 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:06 PM:

Nicole @ #431, that additional affirmative can also be found in the pidgin spoken out here in Hawai'i. Naturally I can't think of a sensible example at the moment, but it's common.

#439 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:07 PM:

Paula: This is where I have the problem:

The people who voted for Sen Clinton in primaries, are people who were voting for someone who was female.

Yes, they were, and the people who voted for Obama voted for someone who was black.

He was also male, she is also white.

Those are what they voted for, what we don't know is, why they voted. It might be they liked her stand on health care. It might be they didn't like his, "inexperience". It might be they went to a rally and had, "a moment."

There are some other, painful, assumptions in the rest of your post. Whom the next president chooses for the court matters. I want the best jurist. If that's a Transgendered filipino immigrant... good.

If it's a straight white guy... that's fine too. Just belonging to a group doesn't mean much (Clarence Thomas, Harriet Myers).

The judges who wrote Brown v Board of Education were white.

The judges who wrote Roe v Wade were men.

And why do you think Clinton is more likely to appoint female justices?

women feeling betrayed that someone who's a minority candidate jumped in to try to push out a female candidate, when women are the majority in the country and are the victims of so much complete and utter shit from the current regime's agenda to remove all rights and progress that women have made in the past 50 years for self-determination financially and emotionally

Rot. "jumped in to try to push out... thats you taking the "she's entitled to it idea and applying it to her; and worse, not that Clinton deserves it on her merits, but just because she's a woman.

It sounds dangerously close to you saying Obama thought she was entitled to it as well, and is trying to, intentionally rob her (and if she is such the overwhelming women's candidate, how it is, with that majority, and the men who have also been voting for her, that she's not winning; handily?)

I don't know why he might think this, but it's an accusation of sexism, and I don't know it can be supported.

I've never been pregnant. But I've never been black either (and this adminstration has been shitting on them too...)

I think, all in all, there are women whom you would far rather less have in robes than you would have me (who do you want on the bench, Schlafely, or me?). The idea of "sisterhood" only goes so far. People are people, and what they do matters as much (probably more) then their plumbing.

Hell, just look at the people (like Lieberman) whom NARAL have endorsed. Sisterhood seems to make some pretty strange political bedfellows.


And honestly... divorcing emotion from the equation... would you vote for McCain/anyone before you'd vote for Obama/Gore:Edwards:Richardson,. etc.?

Because that's what you are implying if Obama gets the nomination (usurping it from the woman who, "deserves" it, and refuses to put a woman in the number two spot on his ticket... those women (who care so much about those women's issues) are going to either refuse to vote for him, or go so far as to vote against him.

Which would be a stupid thing for them to do, and I don't think they are stupid.

#440 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:10 PM:

joann @ #418, I guess I meant in my #393 that I couldn't see the Edwards family expending all that effort for the #2 slot again when they're encumbered with her illness. As you say, when the Presidential slot was a possibility the effort was judged to be worth the candle, but for VP? I have my doubts.

#441 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:14 PM:

Crap: Some of my edits in preview got lost.

It's applying the idea that she's entitled to it to women, not to Clinton.

I also wonder if you really think the differences between Obama and McCain are so trvial (even on "women's issues") as to make a choice between them truly farcial.

I think I might want to re-preview when making edits.

#442 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:37 PM:

Paula @434--
Not LOSING voters is important. The people who voted for Sen Clinton in primaries, are people who were voting for someone who was female.

For some, that may have been the main reason. But suggesting that that was the only reason for all of HRC's voters does both her and them a disservice.

and not reached out to, not appreciated, ... and dismissed apparently by Sen. Obama's campaign, pushed aside rather than any attempt made to be brought in and valued and courted for votes and support...

That hasn't been on my radar yet. Can you point me to some instances where Obama, and/or his campaign, have pushed women aside?

#443 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 02:55 PM:

Terry #437

I'm not a Manichean.

What I was trying to do was explain what some of the emotional basis involved is. It's emotion and has its own types of logic, which isn't Aristotelian and isn't linear and isn't bounded input/bounded output.

I've started poking around the www.barackobama.com on the data hunt. It is NOT a particualarly friendly site on entry, the first thing it has is a splash page looking for financial and bandwagon support.

I see "technology" as an issue, but not "science and technology," and it look like its mostly concerned with privacy issues and with educating kids... not with anything about science policy and innovation. This is a huge negative to me--no space policy stuff, no R&D support stuff, no innovation other than as part of applied development for e.g. energy policy and education.... looking a bit more closely I see something about "support for basic research" way down under technology.

There is a disconnect for me here--technology is the application and outcome of stuff, it's engineering, which is an end result--that's not policy level and direction and goals, that's focusing on, it's 1910, and the Army puts in a spec for a better mule, instead of asking what its actual need is, which is for a better form of tranporting people and equipment and materiel.... for which the answer is the development of the truck and replacing the mules with trucks, which have greater endurance and carrying capacity, and don't bite and kick....

Eisenhower had science policy, Kennedy has science policy, even Tricky Dicky had science policy... technology is not direction.

#444 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 03:16 PM:

That "see" above refers to, there is a menu item for "Technology" but not one for science. There is not menu item for "defense" -- I see nothing about defense policy and orientation for what the military should be used for, if anything. Under "foreign policy" there is a limited amount of material saying the military services should have their number of people included and that the Guard and Reserve should be strengthened. I don;t see anything about mission statements or policy, which is not encouraging to me.

"A Record of Results: The gravest danger to the American people is the threat of a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon and the spread of nuclear weapons to dangerous regimes. Obama has taken bipartisan action to secure nuclear weapons and materials:"

That's BS. I have a lot more fear, actually, of a CBW attacks and its their effects, than a terrorist detonating a nuke, and even MORE fear of the mindsets and memes of cultures and existences which instigate mass murder and perpetrate mass atrocities and advocate them, and/or use the -threat- of weapons of mass destruction and of mass atrocities as reasons to suppress Bill of Rights rights, as threats to the American people and the rest of the population of the planet and their wellbeing....

I do not know the answer to which attack caused the greatest amount of death and devastation -- the detonation attack on Hiroshima, the detonation attack on Nagasaki, or the firebombing of Dresden--but the type of attack I personally fear the most, is mass attack with biological weapons, and no, I am NOT going to provide my bases for assertion of that. But even more than apprehension about biological warfare, it's the mindset what would apply them for mass attack, that is the greatest threat.... intent is the thing that generally proves to be the deadlist component in an attack.

While there have been enormously deadly accidents, including the Coconut Grove fire in Boston, the explosion in Halifax harbor, ertc., , generally deadly attacks in warfare have been the most deadly directly human-caused events.

#445 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 03:28 PM:

Apropos of the latest Particle:

I once stayed home from a Bo Diddley concert.

Yes, I had the flu, but still: Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

#446 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 03:41 PM:

Since All Knowledge is Contained on Making Light:

A friend is dealing with the (incredibly complicated) estate of a parent who had a hoarding disorder. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Said disorder was aided and abetted by QVC. Why oh why do they get away with this?

#447 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 03:43 PM:

www.hilaryclinton.com

Opens on splash page looking for money and support.

Has issues page
http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

First listed issue is strengthening the middle class. Second is providind affordable and accessible healthcare

.... restoring Amercia's Standing in the world (a few issues down) opening the page http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/security/

Material on that page indicates a policy of holding meetings with leader of other countries and supporting worldwide education as means to promote security and suppress terrorism.

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/innovation/
innovation agenda:

has more specific prescriptions in it that Sen Obama's plank. Has specific language for increasing NSF fellowships and for requiring that federal grants come with strings demanding projects that have federal funds address "diversity" and increase the percentage of women and minorities in science and engineering R&D.

No space policy stuff, but there is more policy orientation on Sen Clinton's issue here than on Sen Obama.

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/women/
Sen. Clinton's page on this material get to more specific items with specific examples of legislation Sen Clinton has been involved in and specific programs she's advocated (microloans for women to start businesses with) than Sen Obama's material does. Neither addresses the situation that so few women are in corporate board rooms of large companies, however. Both note as issue inequality of income for women versus men issue.

#448 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 03:49 PM:

NelC @ 433: the narrator, Severian, claims that he's writing out his memoir the night before he voyages to meet his fate.

I think this is a clue that you shouldn't believe everything Severian says.

Latro, from Soldier in the Mist and so on, is similarly blessed, in that he has time to write a chapter every night before he forgets it all.

In fact there are many times when he fails to do this (sometimes for weeks at a time).

And have that day's adventure, and read the rest of his diary, which gets more improbable as he fills in more of his scroll.

Wolfe is quite good about making Latro's self-knowledge vary depending on circumstances. When Latro is travelling with someone that can explain his situation, or when he has enough leisure to read, it's relatively solid; when not, it's fragmentary. Occasionally he'll specifically mention that all he read was the first page or so.

#449 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:07 PM:

Apropos of nothing prior:

I have just found occasion to use a hammer on a screw. In fact, on 20 or so screws.

OK, ok, I'll explain: I'm attaching the cardboard backboard to a particleboard (sorry, "engineered wood" ;-) ) cabinet I'm assembling. The packet that was meant to hold "back panel nails" contains what are indisputably screws, but are pretty thin in the shaft. There is no way those are going to screw into undrilled particleboard, but on examination, I decided they would serve as serrated nails.

#450 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:09 PM:

Paula:

Democrats have not been generally pro-space since Johnson. Once we got past the Reagan years and the Cold War, the science money has mostly dried up, unless there are obvious practical results. My brother just got a nice gov't grant for entomology (he teaches at Queens College), but that's pesticides, which means agriculture (specifically potatoes).

But space? Who needs to throw billions of dollars into the sky, just to collect some more rocks. We got plenty of rocks here on Earth, why go to Mars to get more?

And energy policy has not translated into science funding, the way it did in the Carter era. 25 years ago, the Princeton Plasma Physics people said they were 50 years from "scientific breakeven" - getting as much energy out of a controlled fusion reaction as was used to create it. Now, with the energy money gone, they're still way out.

#452 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:13 PM:

Ronit @444: Does this mean there are unpaid bills? (And possibly not enough money to pay them?)

Or are they looking for a way to get rid of all the stuff?

I recommend getting an auctioneer and sell the stuff the heir doesn't want to keep.

#453 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:15 PM:

Ronit: Cleaning service? My late uncle didn't throw much away, and like us, keeps gathering books. We found piles of 15-year-old newspapers (my aunt had died about then) still waiting to be rolled up and tied for firewood for the Franklin stove. The book heaps had gotten huge in the second story, so he put shelves up in the attic along the end-walls. We were looking for his set of the Anchor Bible, and finally found them on a plank, set up as a shelf, across the crosspieces of the roof joists. Well, I just happened to look *up* in the attic, and there it was.

Also, if you can find a library that is willing to take their books, they can do a lot of that work. My uncle's college library took care of that, after my brother & I pulled out a few boxes each.

#454 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:30 PM:

Ronit:

No suggestions, but sympathies.

I and my siblings are dreading this with my mother's estate when the time comes. She's had mild OCD tendencies and hoarding troubles for years, which have gotten worse as she got older and a bit worse still after her stroke. Before her late 60s, her tendencies were channeled into collections of specific stuff, including some very high-quality antiques, silver, and art, and a vast book collection. At some point that expanded into teddybears and children's toys, and then into any random weird kitsch that caught her eye.

And yes, QVC has been a big part of the recent problems. After the stroke she went from ordering lots of QVC junk, to ordering things from QVC which she'd already ordered, and not even opening the boxes as they arrived.

We have not wanted her to start using the Internet because once we realized she had a hoarding problem, we realized eBay would be a catastrophe for her. Fortunately she's decided she doesn't want to deal with learning how to use the 'net.

In our case, because she does have some valuable collections, we have talked about presorting stuff into categories (junk, collectable categories, antique) and then getting in some auction house, preferably one that works with eBay, to put up auctions of the material with actual collector interest. It's going to be a huge slog to sort through a whole house of stuff, though. And it feels weird to try to plan it; I hope her health continues well enough that we don't need to do it for a long time.

#455 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:38 PM:

#448 Jon
They wouldn't have any of those digital cameras, no microprocessors, no no-stick frying pans (just to find one that's all metal that's not an expensive Gourmet Cookware pan...), a lot fewer cable TV stations, no storm warnings and a lot more inaccurate weather prediction, none of those devices which people have in their cars that tell them where they are located and the route to take to somewhere... loss of weather satellites is a dire emergency, and people are getting more and more dependent upon satellite receivers for directions....

#456 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:41 PM:

Look, you don't have to sell *me* on the value of the space program. Why, just last Sunday I was sitting in the coffee shop at Balticon as two different views of the Phoenix landing were being watched, on MSNBC on the coffee-shop TV, and someone's laptop hooked into NASA TV.

#457 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:45 PM:

On the candidates policies--

Back in December, Popular Mechanics put together their "Geek the Vote" guide to candidates' science and technology ideas.

While the guide is limited by what PopM found then, it shows that both Clinton and Obama were on the record with ideas and specifics in various areas, and McCain wasn't.

i.e. that Clinton will restart the Office of Technology Assessment, or that Obama will stop the FFC from defining 200kbps as 'broadband'. Clinton had a 'Ending the War On Science' paper, and Obama had a Plan for American Leadership in Space. They both had detailed auto plans within their detailed energy plans, back at the end of 2007.

They've both got geek cred, in my view*. They're both lightyears ahead of McCain. I'd expect that either of them could define a lightyear, and would be surprised if McCain could.

On the Supreme Court--neither Clinton nor Obama voted for Roberts and Alito, and neither would put another one like that up for nomination. McCain did, and will.

If there are people who'll punish the Dems (party and voters) for taking away their candidate of choice by putting in a president who'll nail the SCOTUS to the far right for the next decades...I don't think those punishers are all that empathetic to women, whatever their sex.

The 2009-2013 SCOTUS nominee may still be on the Supreme Court when today's babies are old enough to run for president in 2044**, tipping 5-4s to 4-5s for everything from wage discrimination to voting rights to rule of law, and, of course, on abortion. If someone wants more Ledbetters in order to punish the Dems...I don't see the empathy with women, whatever their sex.
---------------
* Obama had a larger count than Clinton did wrt specific points then, but PopM finding 13 of this from one vs. 10 of that from the other isn't nearly as important as that McCain had 1 or 2 ideas for each of their much larger numbers.

**2044--gosh, didn't that used to be a sfnal year?

#458 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 04:49 PM:

Paula Lieberman... I recently watched the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. Most of it anyway because it became too depressing to watch the post-Apollo 11 episodes. My favorite episode was "1968" because it showed the best and the worst about our species.

#459 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 05:31 PM:

I wish for "life changing experiences" to happen to Mssrs Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas, preferable ones to made them decide to vacate their judgeships.

As for Mr McCain, may some of those disgruntled veterans of the current misadministration had large amounts of muck on him that gets aired very publically and very loudly.

Keating 5 I doubt was isolated.

#460 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 05:36 PM:

Thanks, guys.

Lori @ 444: Yes, no and yes.

An auctioneer? That's a useful suggestion; thank you. Is it worth getting stuff appraised first?

Jon @451: Unfortunately, a cleaning service wouldn't work for them: the family doesn't want strangers going through their stuff, and frankly, wouldn't trust them.

The college library came and foraged for books? Wow. Good to know.

Clifton @452: Thank you for your sympathies. The preparations may be weird, but you'll be glad you made them when the time comes.

In this case, after untold years of profiting off a hoarding elder to the tune of 5 figures worth of sales, if not more, QVC sold a 3 figure unpaid bill to a collection agency within weeks of the death. I'd compare them to vultures, but why insult honest carrion eaters?

Lessons I've learned: if you think you need to take control of your parents' finances, you almost definitely need to, probably should have done so a few years ago, and you'll find that there are some nasty surprises in store for you once you do so.

#461 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 05:39 PM:

David Harmon #447:

Wasn't it J. Baldwin who said that if you didn't know at least two ways to abuse a tool, then you didn't know how to use it? (or WTTE)

#462 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 05:39 PM:

Paula, #434: The people who voted for Sen Clinton in primaries, are people who were voting for someone who was female.
This is a severely flawed argument for two reasons:

First: voting for someone who is female !=> voting for someone because they are female. You can't automatically assume that these people will vote against a man.

Second: How many of those people were voting for Clinton (1) because she's white and the other candidate wasn't, or (2) because they were crossover Republicans voting for the candidate they thought McCain has the best chance of beating? There's plenty of both of those factors going on. Your ascription of motivations is far too narrow and simplistic.

I will say it again: STOP PLAYING THE GODDAMN GENDER POLITICS CARD. It's not helping your cause one little bitty bit. Yes, I get that you're mad about all the discrimination women have to face. Guess what? I have to face it too, and I still think you're full of it. You, and other women in the tiny minority who talk and act like you, are part of my problem, and you get no sympathy from me for making MY life harder.

#463 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 05:52 PM:

Paula@434: There are enormous feelings of betrayal involved--women feeling betrayed that someone who's a minority candidate jumped in to try to push out a female candidate

Paula, there really isn't much room to have a conversation with that statement. I mean, we could take a step back and try and figure out if all women feel betrayed because Obama tried to "push out" Clinton, but I get the impression that isn't going to go anywhere.

I would instead try to make a metastatement about your post at #434, plus or minus a few posts. You employ dissassociative language in most of your post. You allude to some things that happened to you personally, but any time you talk about the actual pain around something, any emotional cost, you resort to the collective "we", or the collective "women", or you resort to using passive voice such that there is emotion or pain, but there is no subject in the sentence to feel the pain.

"there are feelings of betrayal"
"women feel betrayed"
"Much of the issue is emotional"

And part of the disassociative language is that you use "formal" language. You talk about the issues around pregnancy as if it were a purely statistical issue, listing all the different ways in which a pregnancy could be a danger to the woman, etc.

The thing about disassociative language and formal language is it disassociates the speaker from the emotions of what they're saying and it disassociates teh speaker from the listener. It makes it difficult for me to have a conversation with you. It's more like I'm having a conversation with all women, and all those women, apparently, feel betrayed. It's hard to engage in a conversation with a list of the dangers of pregnancy.

And a couple weeks or so ago, I had a conversation over on BoingBoing about how formal language can be a fallback position for when a person is hurt, that the person may turn to formal language when they're too angry to write anything personal, so they resort to formal language, language that can allow them to remain in the conversation, without dealing with the fact that they were hurt. And then if things cool down, the person can re-engage in teh conversation on a personal level. If they are able to gain some personal insight into their reaction, after they've cooled down, they might even be able to say something like "That hurt me".

So, I mean, we could go into a discussion about whether or not Obama is trying to "push out" Clinton because she's a woman, whether or not all of Obama's supporters are misogynists, whether or not "all women" feel betrayed, or whether or not Obama will treat the presidency as part of the "mens club". But that just reinforces a disassociative conversation. And then we (you and I) are not talking with each other at all.

Terrible things have happened to you, things which hurt you, things you have every right to feel angry about.

But that doesn't mean disassociating from the hurt by talking in the collective "we" or collective "women" or the collective "males" is going to forward the conversation in any way.

"There is a HUGE emotional issue there, and I think that a large percentage of the males particularly here Do. No. Get. It."

That doesn't mean dissassociating from the source of the emotional issue and assuming MALES don't "get it", is something that qualifies as 'engaging in conversation'.

If you want to engage in conversation with me, start talking about what's true for you, stop presenting it as somethign that is true for all women. If you want to engage in a conversation with me, start responding to what I specifically said, stop taking conversations from the ether, bringing them here, and responding to them as if someone here posted it.

If you want to engage in conversation with me then stop saying things that include phrases like "large percentages of males particularly here".

If you want to talk about the emotional issue you keep referring to, talk about the emotions that you feel. Stop referring to it in passive voice, stop referring to it as something that all women feel.

Talking in collective terms is a way to disassociate from yourself and from nearby individuals.

If you were to actually engage an individual on this thread, even some specific MALES on this thread, for example, me, you would find I'm adamantly pro-choice. Talking about pregnancy statistics and saying MALES "Do. Not. Get. It." is telling me you don't want to actually have a conversation with me. You want me to shut up and simply nod in agreement with whatever you're saying.

And to that, I. Am. Not. Interested.

I'm actually trying to have a conversation with you specifically. Not with "women". Not as seven of ten, some part of a borg-like hive mind of "males". But you and me. And it's clear to me that you've got some hurt around this issue that has caused some of this formal language you've adopted around the topic. If you want to talk about you, or if you want to talk about me, or if you want to talk about some specific person like Obama or Hilary and how you feel about them, then you and I could actually have a conversation.

But if you want to stick with making statements about "women" as a collective whole, if you want to continue to make your pronouncements about "males" as a whole, then you really aren't engaging with me in any way. And if you and I aren't really having a conversation, then I should probably stop talking.

#464 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 05:52 PM:

How have I made your life harder?!

Have I stood around telling you "you;'re a woman, women can't be pilots?" or "You can't be a pilot, your tits are too big," or written specifications otherwise that put you outside the physiological range allowed for pilots based on the fifth to ninety fifth percentile of male height?

Have I built bank and rental agency counters and mounted credit card swipe units on supermarket checkout counters at heights comfortable for a 5' 10" male but at the height of MY nose so that every time I do any sort of transaction it is a LITERAL pain in the neck and I literally can't SEE some of the information sometimes!?!

Have I built airplane seats that have the head/neck rest situation so that it protrudes into the back of MY head making me want to vandalize entire airplanes full of seats because of the discomfort and pain sitting in the damned things?!

Have I forced you to have to sit on briefcases, cushions, phone books, etc., when trying to fly an airplane because one again the stinking damned designers were tall males designing for their own damned comfort and leaving out a large percentage of women in their design considerations as regards size of people who fly? Or US car designers? There are reasons I have a Hyundai and they include that I can see over the damn dashboard!

#465 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 06:01 PM:

Additional note--I -have- when designing things, gone out of my way to try to include human factors considerations such as "can someone had color vision impairment see these controls?"

And at Noreascon II there was someone on staff of whom it was said that he ignored women... the actual situation is that he was quite tall, and didn't -see- short people--who mostly were female... I had little difficulty getting his attention, my solution was that I stuck my arm straight up to get his attention, raising my hand high enough to get into his field of view.... His non=-noticing of people below a certain height was quite annoying, but I did find a work around.

(Additional note--I HATE being short. I have ALWAYS hated being short... and the consequences regards things being out of my reach. There are times I've felt VERY tempted to knonck things in stores from high shelves off, deliberately, as opposed to falling as a consquence of the powers that be having no consideration/respect whatsoever for people who are not tall....)

#466 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 06:03 PM:

NFW Greg. NFW.
The dissociative language was deliberate, because there is a LOT of fury involved. A LOT of it.

#467 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 06:05 PM:

B. Durbin @ Way Up Thataway:
Congratulations! Dudes are great fun. (I suspect girl dudes are as well, but can't speak to it personally.)

Lee @ 460:
It goes both ways, though; I voted for Clinton, and I get tired of hearing that it's because I'm either racist or a Republican. I looked at two pretty similar candidates and decided she was the better choice. So did a lot of other people.

I think that saying that "plenty" of her supporters don't actually support her is just as disingenuous as saying that no one who voted for Obama was sexist or Republican. There was probably some of that going on in both cases. I happen to think it's a minimal amount, but I'm having an optimistic day.

David Harmon @ 369:
And your last few sentences suggest why "we the people" would much rather have Obama than Hillary!

I doubt you meant this the way I read it, but it really isn't helpful. I'm a person, too; the "real people vs. other" rhetoric is, for lack of a better word, icky.

And, to move away from politics before I lose my optimism:
Can anyone offer a recipe involving black truffles? I bought some on a whim, and I have no idea what to do with them.

#468 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 06:06 PM:

Paula @462: You have not made Greg's life harder, and in fact Greg never said you had. Conversely, it is not Greg's fault that many counters are at inconvenient heights for shorter people (of which, I note, I am one).

Greg's #461 was pointing out, in his typically rather verbose way, that he'd like to have a conversation with you, specifically, about issues that have affected you, specifically, rather than sitting and listening while you tell him how Women are mad at Men. This is not an unreasonable request.

Not to mention that you've repeatedly ranted at people for saying, "Clinton has been the target of misogyny, which is bad, but we would like to discuss the non-gender-related issues we have with her anyway".

#469 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 06:41 PM:

Ronit @ 444

About 4 years ago Eva and I had to close up her parents house after they moved out to an assisted living facility. Her mother had been a hoarder for decades, and we had to clean the house up because it had already been sold, and the new owners move-in date was set and firm.

Now her parents lived in New Jersey at the time, and we live in Oregon, so Eva had to go out to live in the house for a couple of weeks until I could take a week off from work, fly there, and help. Our older son, who was living in DC, also drove up for a few days to help. And the real estate agent handling the sale spent several days helping us.

It took all of us working all that time just to clear out the house. Large amounts of stuff (eleven dumpster loads) was thrown out because many of the places we called needed more notice to come and look through the stuff, and we didn't have time to sort through it all ourselves. We did find a college drama department to take a lot of the clothes for costumes, so that's one possibility to look into.

#470 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 06:41 PM:

Greg:
Datum:
I got at least one phonecall a few weeks ago from a woman urging me to contact the Hilary Clinton campaign and say I supported it and to contribute money to it.
=

As for "what you do want?" those things include:
1. to not have the default height for counters for banks, car rental agencies at airports, supermarket checkout stands, etc. be where there are a literal pain in the neck/piss me off every time I'm at one

2. To have cars designed so I can see over the damn dashboard, instead of e.g. the situation of after driving ten miles from an airport on a limited access road in the San Francisco Bay Area, pulling over to the side of the road and telling my 6' male coworkers, "one you you drive, I'm tired of not being able to see over the damned dashboard."

3. To have the world be a place where short women are not MARGINALIZED as above -- or rather, where where short -people- are not marginalized, and -women- are not marginalized. Note that Mr Obama is NOT short.

So, yes, there is transferrance at work, an anger transfer that involved, "I have been marginalized my entire life. FINALLY it looks like someone who looks more like me and shares more of my experience because both of us are women who have been in professional situations where women are -scarce- than a Standard Statistical White Male, looks look she like might get nominated, and what happens, there's this rush to embrace this MALE candidate and a huge push to tell the woman to get out of the race, you're hurting the male candidate!"

That's what it -feels- like to me. It feels like a betrayal.

Barack Obama is a whole lot less like me, and less sympatico IN MY EMOTIONAL GESTALT, than Hilary Clinton. She's had to deal with her husband' sexual pecadillos and the humiliating public examination and of them; I had to deal with harassment by male assholes, including some who disliked me but were chasing my ass ANYWAY, oh, how WONDERFUL (NOT!) it feels to have someone who seems to want to treat you like a disposable tampon... that sort of behavior is a lot more common from males acting that way towards women, than women acting that way towards women.... and while there are "man-eating women" the social power structure means that noxious golddigging females, are a lot less common a problem for the AVERAGE man, than jackass males hitting on women, are for the average woman.

I could probably dredge up lots of stories from my past, here's one, from Cheyenne Mountain. The programmers gave program names to the software for the 427M system, which was to run the Space Defense Operations Center, that include BUST, PIMP, PIECES,[W]HORES, something else pronounced "sex"... I said I considered the names objectionable, and it was made clear to me that my input was not appreciated and that I was an annoying pest for having brought it up. Another female Air Force officer also found the terms offensive and objectionable, she brought it to the attention of her boss, who was a two or three star general. He declared that the names were going to be changed. The difference was that she more more directly-reporting to a fellow of higher rank, who considered the names objectionable, than the people I was working with directly, who were not so highly ranked and were not so regarding of such terms for program names that users would see, as offensive and unprofessional....

Anyway, I rather dought that Mr Obama got subjected to that sort of crap.

Every day of my schoolkid life from first grade until I graduated from high school I was either bullied or under the threat of bullying--beaten up, spitwadded, insulted, etc. Yes, it happens to boys, too, but when I was a schoolkid it was much more open season on girls... I got beaten up mostly by boys, actually, there were three or four girl goons who were physically abusives, and there were additional snide comments from girls, but the most continuining abuse was from the male asshole contingent, because they felt ENTITLED to be asshole abusive bullies, by a society that valued boys much more than girls and told girls to shut up and be proper submissive doormats and not object to boys just having fun being boys....

You want personal stuff, there, have personal stuff. Yeah, yeah, you got beaten up and spitwadded too yah-dah-yah-dah-yah-dah. But was it because you were a boy?!!! I got it because I was a girl and gurrllls weren't supposed to be the best math and science students, they were supposed to burn their brains and publically act stupid opr at least submissive to make boys feel good (maniuplative bitch behavior was socially acceptable however... something I didn;t for for reasons that included I realized when I was six I would never remember what I had told to whom and would never be able to keep the storylines intact that I was telling to people, to manipulate them with....), and not to make girls who were pretending stupidity to look bad....

Changing topic back to Sen Obama--he's got a certain degree of charism. I don't trust that. I just read the speech that he gave to evangelicals, it doesn't give me warm fuzzy feelings--I admire deeply religious people's devotional and dedication levels, I don't necessarily admire what they achieve --sometimes I do, sometimes I don't--but there are things that he said that I am not comfortable with, I want a stronger degree of church/state separation than he believes is appropriate.

Working with people who are deeply devotional is wone thing, requiring a pledge of allegiance and putting God in there as a civic thing, I strongly object to. He seems to support it, however....

#471 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 07:03 PM:

Paula #464:

There's enough fury there that I, a woman who has spent decades in and around the technical field, apparently don't Get It either, and indeed am blinded by your anger. You cannot speak for me, only for yourself. *You* are angry; let's keep that personal, shall we? Because you're not describing me, because you may or may not be describing the reactions or histories of any of the other women here, and because such polarized generalizations are not helpful.

#472 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 07:04 PM:

Some of you shorter people need to come over to Scotland and live in a towerhouse or suchlike. In many of them the doorways are only 6 foot high or less, and there are funny bits on the stairs where I (6ft 3in) have to duck.

And cars! It is hard to find a car I can fit into, and much as a small more efficient care would be good, I need a larger one so I can fit into it without any trouble. I tried a small car out 5 years ago, and my head was touching the roof even with the seat lowered all the way down.

#473 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 07:05 PM:

Bruce @467

My sympathies: that must have been really tough for Eva and for your family.

From what you're telling me, it'll be easy to underestimate the number of workweeks required. That's jiving with what my friend's done so far: 1 week of several relatives filling a dumpster, 1 week alone, and still so much to do. They've donated to the local college library, to charity shops and yard sales, etc etc.

#475 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 07:30 PM:

I'm not going to try and confront Paula's frustration here, but my problem with Hillary as The Female Candidate can be summed up by riffing on a Lily Tomlin line:

We always wanted to see a woman running for President. In retrospect, we should have been more specific.

#476 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 07:47 PM:

Jon #448:
Thus giving rise to the joke that practical fusion power is always 50 years in the future.


Kathryn #445:
I have my doubts about whether the candidates will feel especially bound by those promises, but it's good that they've at least made some kind of statements about them.

#477 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 08:24 PM:

I don't begrudge anyone their personal anger. I have my own anger issues with this culture, personal issues, and in my opinion, for me, it's nobody's effing business, at least not in a public forum, where my personal anger issues come from. But I don't begrudge others airing their personal anger issues here. I only wish I felt safe in airing mine.

But in the meantime, I think it is important for all Americans to at least acknowledge the fact that in a little less than two hours, one of the two major parties in the United States of America is going to nominate a mixed-race, half white, half black American to be its candidate for President.

No matter what personal issues anyone of us, as individuals, might have with this culture, that's a milestone in the history of the country. I personally, will raise a glass of one alcoholic substance or another to this country when it happens.

There will be a woman president soon. I hope soon enough for most of us in here to still be alive when it happens.

Though I completely understand the anger, I'm sorry that we, as a culture, can't find a way to celebrate at least this much progress which, for those of us who remember the civil rights movement of the sixties, is one fuck of a lot of progress indeed.

#478 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 08:30 PM:

Tim @446: I get the feeling that Severian's reliability as a narrator is generally down to his idiosyncrasies of perception and thought, rather than down to him consciously lying about stuff. I'd certainly prefer it that way.

As to Latro, I'll concede that Wolfe handles the conceit better there, making the narrator realistically unreliable in the mechanics, as it were, of his narration. But still and all, I occasionally stumble over the length of a chapter that might take me the better part of an hour to merely read. How long would it take to write, I wonder, considering it describes a day so full of events?

But they're both good stories; I wouldn't re-read them otherwise.

#479 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 08:39 PM:

Paula@468: stories from my past, here's one, from Cheyenne Mountain ... my schoolkid life from first grade until I graduated from high school

Thank you sharing something about you and your personal experience. You suffered some really terribly shitty things that no one should be forced to live through.

I rather doubt that Mr Obama got subjected to that sort of crap. ... Yeah, yeah, you got beaten up and spitwadded too yah-dah-yah-dah-yah-dah.

OK, so I get dinged a lot for being verbose, but I'd like to add just one other request: When talking about stuff that happened in your past, especially stuff from way back when you were really young, I'd ask that you try not to link it or compare it to current events or current people.

So, if you're talking about something that happened to you when you were, say, 6 years old, then you might have some feelings about that now, and that would be something that you could share and we'd be engaging in one on one conversation.

But if you start comparing something from when you were six to, say, Obama, or, say, me, then you're no longer talking about something you personally know. I mean, I could tell you what happened to me when I was 6, but that would irrelevant to your experience when you were six. You don't know my childhood, or Obama's, so you could only compare your experience to an imagined childhood that seven of ten, a member of the borg-like hive mind of "males", might experience.

NFW Greg. NFW. The dissociative language was deliberate, because there is a LOT of fury involved. A LOT of it.

Yeah, but at least now you and I are actually having some kind of real conversation, aren't we? You're talking about real things that really happened to you. And there's enough room for me to be the real me, rather than having to be one of the borg-like "males". Being a borg is pretty boring.

Real life may be messy but at least it's real.

#480 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 08:40 PM:

Paula, #462: Okay, I'll spell it out for you. With a few analogous examples first, just to make sure the point gets across.

Every childfree person who sneers about "moos" and "breeders" makes MY life harder as a childfree person who doesn't hate kids or parents -- because people hear the word "childfree" and think that I am like that.

Every instance of Cat Piss Man makes MY life harder as a science-fiction fan, gamer, and comics reader -- because people hear those words and think that I am like that.

Every woo-woo NewAger who won't make a decision without consulting her astrologer, her Animal Guide, and three crystals makes MY life harder as a pagan -- because people hear the word "pagan" and think that I am like that.

And, in particular, every raving man-hating gender-politics soi-disant "feminist" makes MY life harder as a woman AND as a feminist, because people hear the word "feminist" and think that I am like that.

How much further along would we be toward getting genuine respect for women if a few raving loons on the fringes hadn't managed to misdefine "feminism" and "women's rights" for EVERYONE in the public discourse? Every time you go off on one of these tears, you play right into the hands of sexist men who want to take away MY rights.

I renounce you, and everything you stand for. Don't you DARE pretend to speak for me as a woman ever again.

Have I made myself clear?

#481 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 08:43 PM:

Guthrie @470: I grew up in a house that was built in Elizabethan times. By my late teens my hair brushed the ceiling in some rooms. Alas, sometimes my forehead failed to clear the ceiling beams. And the doorways.

And counters, I find I often have to lean down on a counter to order to make eye-contact with whoever's behind it. Which some seem to feel is either refreshingly informal or an affront to their dignity, depending.

Not that I'm trying to play misery poker with Paula; I'm agreeing that there's a certain tyranny of the norm in a lot of design that is more visible from an angle off the horizontal.

#482 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 08:57 PM:

Sarah, #465: Sorry. I was addressing the claim that everyone who voted for Clinton did so because she was female, and didn't mean to imply that no one had voted for her for reasons other than the ones I cited. I don't have a problem per se with people who found Clinton to be their first choice; but I do wish that some of them would grant me the same courtesy of having a different opinion, without calling me a traitor to my gender.

Re hoarding: Anyone who has to deal with this has my deepest sympathies. I have supported one friend thru cleaning out her parents' old house when they were moving to an assisted-living facility, and another friend thru cleaning out a basement apartment that was... let's just say that there were cats involved as well as newspapers and kitchen trash, and a third in cleaning out a storage unit after the owner died. It is seriously Not Fun. I have the packrat gene myself, but those instances were a real wake-up call for me; ever since then, I have tried to go thru at least one serious throwing-out phase every few years. FreeCycle has been a blessing during the most recent bout of decluttering.

#483 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 08:59 PM:

Michael Weholt @ 475

Give me about 45 minutes to wrap up this build and drive home and I will gladly raise a glass with you.

I'll say again, we've come far since the civil rights marches and the sit-ins and the boycotts, but one of the reasons I want to see a black person run for president is that this country needs to admit to itself just how entrenched racism still is before there's any chance of a dialog that can change it. And the only way that's going to happen is if all the loonies come out of the woodwork and parade down the street so the average citizen gets it rubbed in hir face that those racists are their friends and neighbors and relatives.

So I'm ready to celebrate, because I know it's going to be really grim for the next few months. This will be the nastiest presidential election in history.

#484 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:04 PM:

#481 Bruce Cohen: Michael Weholt @ 475...Give me about 45 minutes to wrap up this build and drive home and I will gladly raise a glass with you.

You'll have to be quick about it, I'm afraid. Polls just closed in South Dakota, MSNBC called at least 6 delegates for Obama, which puts him over the top.

#485 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:13 PM:

We had to deal with some hoarding when my maternal grandfather died... he did keep it confined to the basement... but it was a big basement! Boxes of switches, electrical cords, and such that he was going to fix someday, old wristwatches that he'd improvised bands for, and so on. (When I took a couple of the watches home as keepsakes, I found out why Grandpa was always late to everything. :-) )

Perhaps the saddest were the boxes and boxes of magazine clippings and pictures he was planning to draw or paint from someday. Now, he was a fairly accomplished amateur artist, but he'd have needed to live another eighty-odd years to have painted from half those clippings!

#486 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:28 PM:

BTW, the cabinet is up and starting to absorb clutter. As part of finishing it, I briefly used a power drill borrowed from my stepfather. This tool is rather older than me, but still working (and looking) fine. (Its wooden box does look a bit battered.)

#487 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:29 PM:

As I write this, AP, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS have called the Dem nomination for Obama. (Fox has done so indirectly, saying AP has called it.)

Quite a historic moment. (Of course, it would have also been a historic moment, for somewhat different reasons, if Clinton had ended up the nominee. It didn't turn out that way this time, but I'm hopeful that there will be other viable opportunities to elect the first woman president before long.)

I'm glad there's now a definite nominee, and hope that Obama can live up to his promise, and that those who were supporting other Democratic candidates (whoever they've been) will unite and support the nominee. I'm looking forward to having someone in office that can start undoing the damage inflicted on this country over the last 8 years.

#488 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:48 PM:

NelC @ 479 -
Not that I'm trying to play misery poker with Paula; I'm agreeing that there's a certain tyranny of the norm in a lot of design that is more visible from an angle off the horizontal.

That tyranny of the norm in design is, however, often there for a reason, and it is not because designers and ergonomics engineers are lazy, or don't care, or, heaven forfend, are trying to keep women (or short people) down and in their place, or some such nonsense.

The old adage of "fast, cheap, good, choose two" is well known in coding and IT. At an AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Consulting) firm, it's not "choose two" it's "weight these hundred factors, and these twenty must have a value of at least two or three by code. You get one hundred twenty points, plus one point for every 2% you're willing to go over initial estimate. Oh, and did we mention that some of these factors are mutually exclusive, or cost double if those other ones are above a certain value, or can only be raised above three by lowering this other one, or..." And the building owner, once you get past the basic "must do this" factors, gets to make the final decisions in a lot of those questions - the architect and interior designer can suggest (or walk away - and I've seen firms do that) but at the end of the day, they are working for a client, and it's that person's money.

The current edition of the Architectural Graphic Standards - the tenth - is 1107 pages, and weighs nearly as much as a loaded M-16, at seven pounds. There is a separate CD-ROM with the 8500 illustrations stored in various graphic formats, including CAD formats for inclusion directly into technical drawings. Combined, these two reference works are over six hundred dollars - and one of the cheaper technical references that an architect or design engineer will have on their shelves.

Much of it is concerned with ergonomic impacts - how much space there has to be for a desk chair to be pushed back, how high countertops should be, how far away cabinets and drawer units should be on average.

But in most cases, those ergonomic impacts are weighted more towards employees than customers - because the employees are the actual users of the environment. The customer is at the teller's station for 3 - 5 minutes, on average, in a given encounter. The teller is there all day - the workstation has to be ergonomically correct for the user not for those who are briefly interacting with the user.

There are often other environmental considerations brought into play. How likely is it that someone is going to want to hop the counter - and how do you prevent that (make it raised up compared to the floor the putative jumper is standing on). Are you going to need to run cables, water lines, or other services runs under the user's feet - and possibly later upgrade or change those runs? (raised floor again). What environment are you trying to develop for your customers - cool and professional, warm and inviting, cold and clinical, harsh and authoritarian? Different design standards in each case. How much space do you have to work with, and is that a hard limit, or can you expand if needed?

And yes, there is a tyranny of the majority that gets involved. You can't (without a lot of money) spend huge amounts per workstation building them (and then rebuilding) around each individual user - the best you can do is make them adjustable to a greater or lesser degree. So you design for a range that covers as many people as possible, with those at the outside edges being the most discomfited, and those outside the environmental parameters being actually hindered, to a greater or lesser degree.

Design for an average of 5' 2" and you will jack up everyone who is 5' 10" or higher (5' 10" is approximately average for human adult white males in the US) and make everyone from 5'6 to 5'9" uncomfortable. RSI and other motion injuries, knee and back problems, slips and cuts from working on surfaces not-quite-too to quite-a-bit-too short.

There are things that can be done, in some environments, and frequently are - Steelcase and other modular workspace systems are designed with a great deal of variability in work surface height, etc. But other spaces simply aren't as forgiving, or as customizable, at the present time. Architects, design engineers, ergonomic specialists, etc. work with the tools they have available - until cars can be customized at the individual level, they are going to come in certain shapes and sizes because those are the ones that fit the largest number of prospective customers*.

(additionally, there are all the problems with miscommunication with contractors, lazy oops that finishing contractors can make , mis-thinks and design flubs, contradicting regulatory requirements, part availability problems, etc. - anyone who thinks designing a building and getting it actually built exactly to spec needs to spend some time in an engineering firm - doesn't work that way, at all).

*A friend of mine is 6'4" and heavyset. He drives a minivan not because he likes the poor gas milage and performance (he doesn't) or because he enjoys the room (he does, sometimes - but it has also turned him into the packhorse of my circle of friends, because he has something with a rear hatch and substantial cargo space - and most of the rest of us drive 2-door hatchbacks, or (less commonly) sedans) or likes the repair bills (definitely not). He drives it because it is the only vehicle he ran across while car-hunting that actually would fit him comfortably in his price range.

#489 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 09:57 PM:

In #485, John Mark Ockerbloom writes:

As I write this, AP, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS have called the Dem nomination for Obama. (Fox has done so indirectly, saying AP has called it.)

As I write this, Senator Clinton has given a rip-roaring concession speech surrounded by supporters in New York. Now she's hugging Bill and Chelsea.

She sure gave it a good shot. My womenfolk (former neighbors of the Clintons) approve.

#490 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:02 PM:

Scott, my uninformed understanding was that cars were designed for the average male (5'10"), which makes the average female (5'3" or 5'4") the wrong size.

#491 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:07 PM:

BBC and AP are saying that Obama has clinched the nomination.

#492 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:09 PM:

Clinton's speech was a helluva good speech, but I wouldn't have called it a concession speech.

#493 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:12 PM:

Uh, Clinton hasn't conceded.

#494 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:14 PM:

BBC calls it a "non-concession concession speech." I didn't hear it, so I can't say. But I'd be surprised if she gives up. Her single-mindedness is legendary.

#495 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:17 PM:

On hoarding:
As someone with packrat genes (but not that bad), it apppears to be a combination of OCD and 'whoever dies with the most toys wins'. (Me, I have far too many cross-stitch patterns to ever do all of them - so did my mother, and she intended hers for me; I have no idea what my esteemed siblings did with them.)

#496 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:20 PM:

Obama is really gushing with praise for Hillary. I really like the guy. I just hope he can win.

#497 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:24 PM:

From a couple hours ago

The advisers said Clinton has made a strategic decision to not formally end her campaign, giving her leverage to negotiate with Obama on various matters including a possible vice presidential nomination for her.

"leverage"?

Is that something like "Nice nomination you got there. It'd be a shame if something terrible happened to it"? With friends like these...

Seriously, can she officially continue her campaign and still call herself a democrat? At what point would she have to run under a third party ticket or something? Dont the superdelegates decide whether she can continue or not? Isn't that the fricken point of the nomination process? Does the process mean anything?

I think I need to raise an alcoholic beverage as well.

#498 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:37 PM:

Greg @ 495:

Naw, Clinton is a powerful, powerful force in American politics. She has proved that with her campaign. She has proved it in any number of ways. She is a powerful force in the Democratic Party, but it's not the Clinton party anymore. That doesn't mean she isn't a powerful force within it. That doesn't mean she will desert it. She is a Democrat through and through. She speaks for a powerful constituency, a constituency the Democrats not only need, but also for whom the Democrats best speak. She wants to do right by them, and she knows she can best do that as a Democrat.

She will do fine by her party, as will her supporters.

Now is the time for all good Democrats to come to the aid of their party, as they say. She knows that. We are going to be fine.

#499 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:37 PM:

I think the beeb's right. What I'm seeing tonight are two leaders working to unite their supporters.

Darn their sneaky oratory. I know neither is the left candidate of my dreams; I'm nonetheless deeply moved.

#500 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:41 PM:

1. Sondheim song, brought to mind by Obama:

This is our time, breathe it in;
Worlds to change and worlds to win.
Our time, we're what's new:
Me and you pal, me and you.
2. Damn I want Michelle Obama to be First Lady!

#501 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 10:57 PM:

Serge @419, that pattern is also all over Delia Sherman's "The Porcelain Dove," told by an 18th-century French lady's maid. Now that I think of it, the menials all used it, and I don't think the aristos did.

#502 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:18 PM:

McCain's speech was...animatronic. There's only three places he looked. And he switched between them as if a timer was going off.

And doesn't he look kind of tired?

#503 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:26 PM:

Michael Weholt @ 475:
...one of the two major parties in the United States of America is going to nominate a mixed-race, half white, half black American to be its candidate for President

I'll raise a glass to your larger point, but I want to address this specific bit - given the quality of my TV reception, I believe we've just nominated the first fully green candidate for president.

Come, join me in The Lathe of Heaven.

#504 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:30 PM:

McCain's Speech.

He has the smile of an appliance store owner stuck with a warehouse full of HiDef DVD players.

#505 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:33 PM:

I am a woman, a liberal, a feminist, Clinton's age, actually, a bit older, and have been an Obama supporter all along. I would very much like to see a woman be elected President of the U.S. in my lifetime, but I think my generation (Bill Clinton, Bush) has mucked it up long enough -- time to give way. I'm drinking a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to celebrate Obama's victory. Michael at 496, from your lips to God's ear. May it be so.

#506 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:33 PM:

McCain talked in Metairie, the home of David Duke and white supremacy. Does this look as though that new LA gub is his choice for vp? There's been lots of talk about it.

Love, C.

#507 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:34 PM:

Caught part of Senator O's speech.

Fleeting thought: "this guy is actually working like he is living in the early days of a better nation."

#508 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:38 PM:

#501 Sarah: ...given the quality of my TV reception, I believe we've just nominated the first fully green candidate for president.

Oh, gawd, does that take me back... when I was a squirt and we got out first color tv, my dad was constantly remarking on how every black or blackish person on the tube looked green.[1]

I always used to think... well, why don't you adjust the "Tint"? I think it didn't even occur to my dad, rest his soul.

[1] This was not a matter of reception. Our reception was fine.

#509 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:39 PM:

Terry, #385, I had a memorial listen.

Ronit, #444, there are clutter specialists who can be hired to work through the stuff and sell or whatever as they think appropriate.

#510 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:49 PM:

Xopher, he looks like he's been reanimated. Assuming he's real and human, Spike and Angelus would refuse to take a bite out of him.

#511 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2008, 11:55 PM:

Lee, Paula, stand down and sit down and breathe, dammit, because this is not right and this is not necessary and this sure as hell is not the moment to wind each other up in an endless argument!

Either one of you love John McCain that much?

Are you guys listening to your candidates talk about unity, and their respect for each other, and how great this campaign has been? It's all true. This has been an extraordinary race. It makes us all winners. That's a principle we've lost track of: one candidate is elected, another isn't; but whichever way it goes, it's still a victory for democracy.

I don't know about you, but I've been hungry for some real democracy, and it soothes my heart to see it happen.

Let's be clear about this: there are responsible, intelligent, well-informed people of good will in both the Clinton and the Obama campaigns. Both candidates have long and honorable records, and a deep commitment to public service, and I don't want to hear a word to the contrary from anyone.

For one thing, it isn't true. For another, there's no honor in it. For a third, it makes us vulnerable.

We're heading into the general election. All kinds of money and energy are going to get spent on all kinds of nonsense, and some of that is going to turn up here. If you don't believe me on my own, the moderators of McClatchy's national news site and of Boing Boing can explain it to you in stereo. When astroturfers and provocateurs turn up on Making Light, trying to breed cynicism and dissent, I want them to stand out like sore thumbs.

Can you help us on this? We can really use your help. We're all going to need each other's help in the months to come. Can we all cry peace for now, and untangle the strands of your argument later? I swear, our world will be the better for it.

#512 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:02 AM:

joanne #469
The editorial "we" is NOT something which is an emollient, it comes off as condescending.

You cannot speak for me, only for yourself. *You* are angry; let's keep that personal, shall we? Because you're not describing me, because you may or may not be describing the reactions or histories of any of the other women here....

a) Greg asked for personal anecdotal/evidenciary type stuff, which is why I provided it.
b) My cohort in college, there was a LOT of anger attached to the women in math and science and technology who were my contemporaries where I went to college, and a lot of feeling marginalized by society--the anger was almost a necessity and prerequisite, to have averted funnelling into one of
o clerical/secretarial/administrative channel,
o Career-SAHW/M (Stay At Home Wife/Mother) channel,
o clerk/teller channel (one of the more opportunity-offering channels for women, as it turned out--newly graduating high school seniors hired by banks, sometimes got to become bank executives over time, promoted from original position as clerk-teller all the way up to as high as vice presidencies--it wasn't really a channel in the sense that there wasn't I think actually a tracking in high school for it, but it was something that graduating young women could go into)
o fine arts college major channel seen ironically as "feminine" (yeah, sure, turpentine and messy paints and pastels are nice clean tidy "feminine" things?? and music and theater arts,
o teacher track (nurturer perceptions) into low ambition lower paid parts of the educational establishment
o nursing channel (also nurturer perceptions)
o general busines/sales clerk channel (staying in the low salary sales clerk positions and not offered the positions of sales percentages earnings)
and instead stuck through despite all the direction of high school guidance counselors (against women going into non-domestic technology) and discouragement in society, from majoring in math and engineering and physical sciences and such.

The anger in many ways was -necessary- for psychic survival for most of the women....
There was a line that someone I talked to when I was doing technology market research said, "You can tell the pioneers not by the arrows through their backs, but by the cannonball holes through them." And it's occurred to me over the years that I was one of the pioneers--my college dormfloor had a reunion last year. One of the people there was a colonel in the Army, her husband was there with her, he was the one who went off active duty and turned homemaker. The Colonel had graduated from MIT and gone through ROTC there, years after Marthan and Brenda and I were the first three women commissioned as military officers out of MIT ROTC back in 1975. There were women who graduated MIT decades before we did; there were none who were in ROTC there before us.

Guthrie #470:
Cars might be designed for larger people over here.... and I've heard that what really tall folks do, is get compact cars and pull the front seat out! However, supposedly GM's Saturn line was comfortable for people who were 6'3", and also for much shorter people.

Albatross #474
Look up "Project Sherwood" ....

Michael #475

"There will be a woman president soon."
I rather doubt it. I think that the high water point got reached a while back, and the efforts of the neocons and their buddies and spiritual allies over the past decade and a half plus, have poisoned all sorts of different wells for years to come.

Greg #477
Probably the only person around here who gets amused at the thought of me losing my temper is Seth.... and that's not supposition that me losing my temper amuses him, it's factual.

There are a few people around, ones I despise, that I with retroactive miserable childhoods on, along with alternate universes that would have effected them becoming different people in different positions in society!

I've known males who had miserable childhoods--various of my college contemporaries had had the "euuw, GEEK!" treatment in public school done to them, too.

#478 Lee

You don't speak as a woman for ME, either, and

Your views are YOUR VIEWS. I was stating what my perceptions are/were about why there has been so much kerfluffle, and you have been proceeding to make a bunch of extrapolations and interpolations and assumptions which are NOT necessarily accurate.... there is a concept called "subtext," and what you were reading into what I wrote, is stuff that a) I didn't write, and b) is of rather low accuracy!

Your ascription of attitudes and belows to me that are YOUR perceptions of my views, is every bit as offensive to me as your misintrepretations of what I've been saying, are to you..... and you even left out, "played right into the hands of hypocritical females such as Michelle Malkin [etc.] !"

What in the world is Cat Piss Man, I haven't a clue what you're referring to there.... What you you mean by "moos" I haven;'t a clue about that!

And who made YOU a speaker for what's reasonable? Long ago in less sensitive times, so the quote is more offensive seeming now, someone said that true equality for women would be reached when "a fat ugly stupid woman could get as far ahead in society as a fat ugly stupid man" -- the point being that men of appearance and mannerisms and tact that were all non-positives, were nonetheless getting good jobs at good wages, getting good promotions, and competent women were having trouble just getting hired.... women had to be better-looking, more tactful, and much more competent and smarter than men, to get hired, and then less qualified men got promoted and the women didn't. That was the background for that line, which today is, again, socially a rather offensive line to use. I can't of a more cogent less offensive replacement that carries the same concept compactly, that equality shall have been reached when women who are lacking appeal physically and socially and intellectually, have the same opportunities and salaries and promotion rates as physically and socially and intellectually unappealing men.

#480

I did NOT claim that everyone who voted for Sen Clinton voted for her because she was a woman, I said they voted for a woman. There is a GIANT difference: it's a fact that Sen Clinton is a woman. They voted for Sen. Clinton, therefore they voted for a woman.... I assumed the people in here were intelligent enough to figure that out, and recognize that if I had in any way, shape, or form, MEANT that "everyone who voted for Sen Clinton voted for her because she was a woman" I would have SAID that. But since that was so obviously to me NOT true, it didn't occur to me that it would be incumbent upon me to actually type out, "The people who voted for Sen Clinton voted for a female candidate, this does NOT denote that they were necessarily voting for her BECAUSE she is female, Michelle Malkin is supposed to be be female, but I expect that most of the people voting for Sen Clinton would NOT vote for Michelle Malkin, and those who would vote for Michelle Malkin, would NOT vote for Sen. Clinton!"

Is THAT clear enough for you?!!!

Perhaps there might be people who would vote for Michelle Malkin because she is female, I am not one of them!

#513 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:04 AM:

I take it we cross-posted?

#514 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:25 AM:

I think this paragraph:

I think this narrative ESPECIALLY has a lot of power for Boomer women, who are used to being told to wait their turn: Wait for your kids go grow up, wait for your husband to finish law school, wait to pursue your dreams until everyone else has had a turn, etc. And like so many women in real life, who “wait their turn” only to find the opportunities have dried up, I think a lot of women in my mother’s generation see Hillary as “waiting” only to have it taken away from her by a younger male. While I absolutely don’t think Obama beating Hillary is sexist, and I strongly believe no one, no matter how long they’ve waited or how hard they’ve worked, is entitled to the presidency, I CAN see how lots of boomer women do. And, feel free to disagree (not that you wouldn’t :) I think a lot of women crying sexism at Obama aren’t actually referencing him or his campaign itself, they’re referencing this situation in and of itself: that an older woman can work hard her whole life, and get passed over for a younger man.

(from this comment: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/06/01/young-hillary-clinton/#comment-178953 )

explains some of the frustration that some women feel with the whole Clinton/Obama race. I don't have that frustration, but then again, I'm young (33) and grew up in a different world than my mother did. My grandmother was proud that my mother was a schoolteacher- I'm going for a PhD in Engineering.

#515 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:26 AM:

#510 Paula Lieberman: Michael #475..."There will be a woman president soon."....I rather doubt it. I think that the high water point got reached a while back, and the efforts of the neocons and their buddies and spiritual allies over the past decade and a half plus, have poisoned all sorts of different wells for years to come.

Well, possibly, guess we'll find out, but I was pretty impressed with Senator Clinton's campaign though the jury is certainly still out on how she would have done in the general. But I mostly think that the political landscape has shifted beneath us, not because of Clinton or Obama or any other candidate, but because the young ones coming up see the world a great deal differently than people my age see it. Thank gawd.

I will note for example that even though I didn't vote for Obama in my state's primary because he is an African-American, I am nevertheless impressed that he has received the nomination "in spite of" the fact that he is mixed-race. I suspect, though I don't know for sure, that many of the younger voters don't actually see why it's such a big deal.

Which I am glad about, by the way. But it doesn't take away my sense of amazement that it actually happened.

You could be right, but I feel that the notion of a woman running for President and actually winning the office isn't such a remarkable notion anymore. I feel like to a lot of the younger voters it would be "What? What's the big deal?"

I see something like this in younger gay people who take the acceptance they encounter in much, not all, of their daily lives as pretty unremarkable. It's hard for them to understand that what they have now is not what gay people have always had in this country.

And again, that's actually just fine with me. In general, I would much rather see "what's right" be regarded as pretty unremarkable, and don't think there's any great inherent value in The Younger Ones Appreciating What The Older Ones Went Through. It's great for historical appreciation purposes, but generally, hopefully, it ought to be kind of irrelevant to the living of our daily lives. At least in my view.

#516 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:34 AM:

#510....
appending, "Michelle Malkin is not someone I would vote for, other than e.g. to occupy the cage in a dogcatcher's office, so long as the dogs were removed first to avoid cruelty to four-legged animals.

===

Perhaps McCain is patronizing Darth Cheney's necromancer and bionicist assistants, or Cheney has loaned them out to McCain, along with specialists from the ex-USSR who attended to cosmetic touchups on Lenin's corpse?

Meanwhile, it sounds like lovefest kumbyah time among the Democrats is arriving, time to close ranks and muster and mass together the forces versus the evil-doer necromantic types above....(I haven't had the TV set on to hear and see firsthand.)

(Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, etc., as necromantic dark lords--that would explain a LOT.... Duke Cunningham and others went down on massive corroborated corruption charages, any chance of that regarding McCain? And are there any more books coming out in the near term by disenthralled former team members of the misadministration?)

===

On a completely different front--Sen Edward Kennedy has has brain surgery and will be undergoing cancer treatment--both radiation and chemo? I wonder if this is the opportunity to push for medical marijuana as treatment for appetite stimulant and anti-nausea medication for cancer patients whose appetites go listless and who when they are able to force themselves nonetheless to eat, have problems avoiding vomitin when came down into them, up and out of them. I seem to recall that the American Medical Association developed a backbone on the matter recently and had been calling for legalization as medication.

#517 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:43 AM:

Re McCain's age and physical condition -- FerGodssake the guy is 71 and he already looks pretty tired, as well he should. Frankly, I can't imagine how he's going to survive 6 months of campaigning, especially considering that it's an uphill battle. What do the Republicans do if he can't do it?

#518 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:49 AM:

Teresa #511
Yup.

Nancy #512

Yes! That has a crystallization, there, with the additional resonance of "older woman passed over for younger male" that resonates to the woman not getting a promotion and pay increase who gets required to train the young debonair fellow being promoted over her, again and again and again. That trope is a VERY painful and infuriating one. (It never happened to me personally, but it was an icon of generations of treatment of women in the workforce.)

#519 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:53 AM:

#515: I guess McCain's chosen Veep will finish the campaign. I figure the GOP will chose a proven young conservative figure.

Like Dan Quayle.

#520 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:12 AM:

Lee @478:
I find myself torn between "you Get It" and "you're making darkness".

#521 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:24 AM:

517 — *snorfle*!

#522 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:31 AM:

Greg London @ 495: "Is that something like "Nice nomination you got there. It'd be a shame if something terrible happened to it"? With friends like these..."

Imagine if Edwards hadn't dropped out--imagine he had continued all the way to the convention. Say he had a couple hundred delegates at that point, enough to tip it towards Obama or Clinton. Would he be obligated in any way to drop out, just because he had no chance of winning? If not, then why is Clinton, who has attracted far more delegates?

Clearly, Obama doesn't need Clinton's delegates anymore; he can get the nomination without them.* That doesn't mean he doesn't want them. His entire candidacy is built on a theory of uniting behind change, and if he can't get half the Democratic Party on board, then what chance does he have with Independents, much less Republicans? No, Clinton has lost, but that doesn't mean she is powerless. She can still use her delegates to get some concessions out of Obama, and what's more, she should. Almost half the nation preferred her plans to Obama's, and this is her chance to bargain for their sake. I wouldn't be half-sad to see Obama trade his healthcare plan for Clinton's, to give one example.

It's not demanding protection money. It's called cooperating: I give up something, you give up something. Hopefully, we both end up stronger for it.

*After eight years of Bush, I'm not thrilled by the idea of a leader willing to take a bare majority as a mandate.

#523 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:32 AM:

General:
In re the whole race/gender card thing: I take a certain amount of pride in the fact that I literally did not understand either racism or sexism when I first ran into them. ("Wait, what are you complaining about? WTF?! you care about that?!)

I am deeply hopeful that that reaction is common in "kids these days".

Michael Weholt @506:
Tint controls don't always help: you'd be surprised how many people think the captain's tunic in the original Star Trek was gold. (It was in fact green.)

Many of us geeky types refer to the NTSC color broadcast system as "Never The Same Color" because of such peculiarities.

#524 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:41 AM:

Lizzy L @515

Funny you should ask. I was speaking tonight with someone who used to work with Republicans.

What if, they said, at the convention, McCain bowed out in favor of someone else? It would be dramatic, the media would love covering it, and it would give them a good excuse for losing this year. If the New Exciting Candidate was a woman or a general, the drama would only be greater.

You're crazy, I said. But think about it, they replied.

After all, if you're a party elder like G.H.W.Bush, or James Baker, you're looking at dreadful numbers. This way you can blame your loss on a candidate who only had 2.5 months to campaign nationally, rather than on ideology or a candidate selection process that produced McCain.

If the New Exciting Candidate is from a swing state and carries it, or is Hispanic and wins a significant percentage of that demographic, the Republicans might even succeed in making the electoral college count look close. (Further pluses - since Republicans, unlike Democrats, actually reuse their presidential candidates, this would be a great opportunity to vet a potential candidate for 08 or 12.)

But McCain wouldn't give up his one last chance at this, I said. Imagine this, they said:

What if Bob Dole, who gave up his beloved Senate job for an equally long shot presidential run, goes to John McCain and asks him to do this for the good of the party?

I could see that.

Republicans fall in line. McCain's done so before. And by the convention, he might be so exhausted he'd be glad to do it.

#525 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:50 AM:

Michael Weholt @ 513

In general, I would much rather see "what's right" be regarded as pretty unremarkable, and don't think there's any great inherent value in The Younger Ones Appreciating What The Older Ones Went Through. It's great for historical appreciation purposes, but generally, hopefully, it ought to be kind of irrelevant to the living of our daily lives.

I will be overjoyed if that turns out to be true*. I really don't want anyone to have to remember what it's like to live in a society so barbaric it oppresses some of its members on the basis of their skin color, religion, gender identity, sexual preferences, or any of the other thousand or so irrelevant details of their lives. It's just ... we got to our current political climate because a lot of us couldn't believe that it could happen here, or just didn't believe that good people could behave like that. Sometimes it's important to remember the nasty lessons.

But, yeah, I know, "The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history." Oh, hell, let's be grateful things have gotten better; the future will have brand new problems we can't even conceive of, not just reruns of ours. Why no, I wouldn't say I'm conflicted on this question; why do you ask?

* Hell, I'll be overjoyed to live long enough to find out whether or not it is true.

#526 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:33 AM:

Teresa, #509: I've said all I want to say on the topic.

geekosaur, #521: It depends a lot on what they've been taught. Rodgers & Hammerstein nailed it way back when they wrote South Pacific.

Ronit, #522: I don't think he'd do it, no matter who asked. But yeah, that would be... interesting.

#527 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:10 AM:

For the record, I'm very happy with this primary has done for us--as a party, as a nation.

Why? Two things. First, because as bad as the sexism and racism have been—and they’ve been bad—at long last, they have been brought into the light. These things weren’t invented especially for this primary: they’ve always been lurking in the shadows. Now, they’ve been exposed openly in a way that they haven’t been before. The cyst must be lanced before it can heal, and as gooey as this primary has been, it has taught us things we desperately needed to know about ourselves. We needed to know about the filth locked away within us—not just across the aisle, but within the liberal coalition.

As tempers fade with time, there are going to be a lot of liberals looking back at this primary shamefacedly. A lot of people have crossed lines they never thought they would cross; a lot of people who said things they never thought they’d say. With distance, those unpleasant truths are going to become harder and harder to ignore.* I’d bet many learned a lot just from seeing the excesses of their so-called allies—how many Hillary-haters saw an uncomfortable resemblance when Chris Matthews started foaming at the mouth? How many feminist Hillary supporters cringed when they read Ferraro’s comments? Self-knowledge is never a bad thing, and this has been quite the learning experience. After this, it’s going to be a lot harder to forget how easy it is to slide into racism- and sexism-reinforcing behaviors.

And here's the other thing: the racism, the misogyny flew fast and thick these past months, and the black man and the woman still raised more money and attracted more voters than the rich deadold white guy. Hillary Clinton, the ‘manipulative bitch,’ won New Hampshire on the strength of her emotional appeal. Barack Obama turned the uproar about his dangerously angry black pastor into an history-making speech about race. Both of them have been shattering turnout records—plenty of people have shown willing to vote for them both, regardless of their skin color or genitalia. The misogynists and the racists gave it their best shots, and Clinton and Obama still ran two of the most successful campaigns in recent memory. The takeaway lesson here isn't the enduring power of misogyny or racism. It's how weak they are.

*Except for the pundits, of course. They never learn. I’m talking about normal people here.

#528 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 05:12 AM:

442:That's BS. I have a lot more fear, actually, of a CBW attacks and its their effects, than a terrorist detonating a nuke

You really shouldn't. I mean, you shouldn't fear either.
Here's an entertaining article about CBW:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/09/my_last_wmd_swing_the_lantern/

Short form: It's really very difficult to kill people with chemical weapons, which is why terrorists and armies tend to prefer explosives.

For example: the most recent chemical terror attack (outside Iraq) was Tokyo. They used a fairly sophisticated agent, sarin, released in five places simultaneously in a confined space (tube trains) - the ideal environment - and killed just twelve people. Four men with improvised home-made bombs killed many more in London in 2005.

And there are almost no cases of successful biological attacks, anywhere.

As for nuclear attacks:

1. There is no case in history of a nation transferring a nuclear weapon to a non-state group;
2. There is no evidence that any nation has ever planned to do so (for example, as a contingency plan in the case of war);
3. There is, for that matter, no case of a nation ever transferring control of a nuclear weapon even to another nation;
4. There is no case of any non-state group ever constructing its own nuclear weapon or even coming remotely close to doing so.

#529 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 06:18 AM:

Rikibeth @ 499... the menials all used it, and I don't think the aristos did

I'd be curious to know if that sentence structure is also still in use by the countryside people of France too. I'd ask my friend Elisabeth, who's from that country, but, alas, she currently is in that country and may not have access to her usual email account.

Again, this whole thing is funny because, again, I didn't recognize this as a pattern that I used to use until this came up here.

#530 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 06:47 AM:

heresiarch @525,

I myself have been quite interested in what comes out with regards to "Americans who are not themselves the children of two Americans."

btw, how many Presidents or nominees have been the children of immigrants--not including the first ones? (And how many have had a living grandmother at the time they ran--that also seems like it could be rare)

The folks who implied that Obama was missing something* were implying that "being a full American" is a recessive trait, only obtainable if received from the genes of both parents. it is...useful for that attitude to be made visible.

-----------
* mostly I'm thinking about that WashTimes article.

#531 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 07:12 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 528... "being a full American" is a recessive trait, only obtainable if received from the genes of both parents

Willing to take a bet about how long it'll take before the Republicans start intimating that we can't have a leader who has one parent who's a foreigner and so whose loyalties are questionable? As you know, Bob, one can't possibly be a True American under those conditions.

#532 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 07:36 AM:

Serge @529,

yes, I'll take that bet. I'll take "wasn't it last month I saw that article?" Linking to an analysisby Greenwald of a Kathleen Parker editorial:
KP 'We love to boast that we are a nation of immigrants — and we are. But there's a different sense of America among those who trace their bloodlines back through generations of sacrifice.'

GG: "It goes on and on like that. So according to Parker, what makes McCain a "full-blooded American," but not Obama, has to do with "blood equity," "heritage," "rapidly changing demographic[s]," and "bloodlines."

So Americans by choice, and Americans by their parents' choices, aren't really*. K. Parker & this way of thinking needs to get more sunlight, ugly as it is to contemplate.

--------
* digression into that whole M. Arar case. In justifying that he was 'deported' to Syria, they had to assume he wasn't a Canadian. Even though he was.

#533 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 07:59 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 530...

Americans by choice... Yup. That reminds me of the time we visited one of Sue's relatives, a John Bircher Society member. At some point, his wife made a comment about how she didn't understand how someone could give up one's original citizenship. I could have asked her what she thought her ancestors had done, but we were guests, and my question might have come off as a tad derisive, if not outright rude.

As for bloodlines... One side of my wife's family counts Benedict Arnold and George Washington in its family tree(*). The other side though came to America in the mid-19th century when the Kaiser tried to draft him.

(*) Presumably not the tree that George admitted having chopped down.

#534 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:34 AM:

Kaja & Phil Foglio have put on eBay some art that Phil had once done for Good Omens. All the money will go to the Alzheimer's Research Trust in honor of Terry Pratchett.

http://kajafoglio.livejournal.com/139487.html

#535 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:36 AM:

I would not be surprised if the GOP swapped out McCain at the last minute for someone less "target-rich" -- but I doubt it'll help them much. This year, the GOP's problem isn't their candidate, it's their record. And ShrubCo has methodically purged the party of anyone who could plausibly claim to be a reformer.

Xopher and Ronit: I've been muttering for a while that a rash of demonic possession would explain an awful lot about ShrubCo and the Rethuglicans.

Hillary: despite her prominence, I'm quite sure there are other potential VP candidates who are not only female, but have at least as much experience, better progressive records, and less baggage. And if she strong-arms Obama too hard over the VP slot, she may well blow her (otherwise sure) chance at a Cabinet position.

One option, funny but actually plausible, would be that while Hillary gets the cabinet position, Bill gets exileambassador to Saudi Arabia.

#536 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:57 AM:

Kathryn #528:

I would be very careful interpreting any anti-Obama arguments from Republicans as reflecting deeply-held beliefs. If the Republicans were running Colin Powell, having immigrant parents would be something to celebrate, accoding to Kathleen Parker, a demonstration of true American-ness. And being black would not be divisive, but rather a chance to heal the long-festering wounds of racism.

By contrast, were the race Colin Powell vs. Hillary Clinton, I'm having a hard time seeing why Hillary and her people would refrain from using race as an issue when they thought they could get away with it. What evidence for that should I take from the Clinton/Obama fight for the nomination?

There really are important differences between the parties, and substantial differences between candidates within the parties. But a huge amount of rhetoric used in elections is purely situational, and will be reversed the instant it becomes expedient. For example, during the Clinton years, the Democrats were usually arguing for executive power and deference to the executive branch's decisions, while the Republicans were usually arguing against that. When the presidency flipped sides, so did those positions. (This was used repeatedly by Bush's people in political debate, by quoting Clinton administration positions regarding executive powers to support more extreme Bush administration positions.) Similarly, Republicans hated judicial activism and Democrats believed in overturning precedents as needed when the courts were more liberal than the congress and people. I wouldn't bet on that pattern continuing in the future, as we get a big shift toward Democrats in congress, a Democratic president, and judges still largely appointed by Republicans. (For example, if judges overrode the expressed desires of the people and overturned a long-running local ban on handguns in DC, that would be judicial activism, right? So it would have to be done by liberals, right?)

Honestly, I wish very much that Powell hadn't had his credibility expended on the f-----g war, because otherwise, he'd be a hell of a running mate for McCain, and this would both guarantee a black president or vice president, and make attacks based on race unproductive for both parties. Because a really divisive, racially charged campaign could do tremendous damage to the country.

#537 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:57 AM:

I have seen speculation that far right religious types don't mind McCain failing, if it gives them a new spur in fundraising and committed volunteers. They plan for the long term, and letting a Democrat clean up after Bush for 4 years can be fit into that plan.

#538 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:05 AM:

David #533:

Yeah, also Hillary doesn't really have much experience in government, so if it's experience you're wanting, she's not the ideal VP. This is even more true for Edwards. ISTM that Bill Richardson would do fine for that, but I'm not sure whether having two "nonwhites"[1] on the ticket would work out well. But the guy does seem to have the kind of resume you'd expect for the top job, though I don't know enough of his detailed record to be sure he'd be a good match.

[1] In the bizarre sense of American racial categories.

#539 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:08 AM:

The "who's a real American" debate reminds me of Blackadder, spy-hunting during the Great War...

"For God's sake, Blackadder! I'm not a German spy, I'm as English as Queen Victoria!"

"Aha! So, your mother's German, you're half German and you married a German, eh?"

Churchill, of course, was never suspected of dual loyalties despite his American mother... but as you say, Americanity is clearly recessive.

how many Presidents or nominees have been the children of immigrants--not including the first ones?

Chester Arthur's father was an Irish immigrant. Woodrow Wilson's mother was born in England. I'm sure there are others.

#540 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:14 AM:

Nancy #535:

That sounds like whistling through the graveyard, to me. The Republicans know that, if something big doesn't change, they're going to get another "thumping" in the 2008 elections. (They will have earned it.) Given that, trying to put the best face on things they can is natural. But this isn't someone saying "aha, our deep strategy involves letting the Democrats win in both houses of Congress and the white house, so we can raise more money," it's saying "well, we're pretty sure to lose both houses of Congress and the white house, but maybe we can find some benefits to pull out of this f-----g disaster."

#541 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:25 AM:

I started out as an Edwards supporter, but Obama has won me over. Si, se puede.

I think Sam Nunn might make a good VP.

#542 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:55 AM:

I don't see Nunn's appeal: he hasn't held elected office for 12 years, he's old, he's unexciting.

He's just a year or 2 younger than McCain. Picking him as VP undercuts the age differential that favors Obama.

It's also worth remembering that he's largely responsible for Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Besides being lousy policy, his strenuous efforts to keep gays out of the military really weakened the Clinton administration.

#543 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:56 AM:

Scott Taylor wrote @ #486:

That tyranny of the norm in design is, however, often there for a reason, and it is not because designers and ergonomics engineers are lazy, or don't care, or, heaven forfend, are trying to keep women (or short people) down and in their place, or some such nonsense.

When the "norm" is "average male" rather than "average person", then yes, it is laziness, and a refusal to consider the needs of women and shorter people. You can't drop half the population from your average, and still honestly call it any type of "norm."

And "average male" has been used as a dishonest substitute for "average person" in all sorts of areas - medical testing, design engineering, safety standards, etc. With dangerous results - remember the problems for shorter women when air bags were first introduced?

Statistics for "average human" have been available for as long as such statistics have been measured. The choice to substitute "average male" can't be anything but a deliberate disregard. Everyone knows that roughly half the population is female.

#544 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:58 AM:

Teresa @ 509, you've just made me cry. I didn't think I was going to hear anyone say that today and I needed to hear it so bad.

*goes to get tissues*

Now can you please tell that to the rest of the internet?

#545 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:04 AM:

#540: Picking Nunn would make Obama look like he needs a Cheney figure running things. It's not a good idea.

An even worse idea is the one I've seen (and I wish I knew who came up with it) to have Chuck Hagel as Obama's VP. If anything could guarantee a serious third party run, that would be it.

#546 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:12 AM:

ajay #526

And there are almost no cases of successful biological attacks, anywhere.

At least one of the devastating plagues got to Europe as a result of biological warfare--European forces with Mongolian Empire or some such city under siege, plague broke out in the city, city defenders hurled the bodies of plague victims out into the European forces, European soldiers went home and the plague came with them....

What else, deliberate transmission of smallpox:

Jeffrey1 Amherst and Smallpox Blankets
Lord Jeffrey Amherst's letters discussing germ warfare against American Indians

Carl Waldman's Atlas of the North American Indian [NY: Facts on File, 1985]. Waldman writes, in reference to a siege of Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) by Chief Pontiac's forces during the summer of 1763:

... Captain Simeon Ecuyer had bought time by sending smallpox-infected blankets and handkerchiefs to the Indians surrounding the fort -- an early example of biological warfare -- which started an epidemic among them. Amherst himself had encouraged this tactic in a letter to Ecuyer. [p. 108]

" the Journal of William Trent, commander of the local militia of the townspeople of Pittsburgh during Pontiac's seige of the fort. This Journal has been described as "... the most detailed contemporary account of the anxious days and nights in the beleaguered stronghold." [Pen Pictures of Early Western Pennsylvania, John W. Harpster, ed. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1938).]

Trent's entry for May 24, 1763, includes the following statement:

... we gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.
Trent's Journal confirms that smallpox had broken out in Fort Pitt prior to the correspondence between Bouquet and Amherst, thus making their plans feasible. It also indicates that intentional infection of the Indians with smallpox had been already approved by at least Captain Ecuyer at the fort, who some commentators have suggested was in direct correspondence with General Amherst on this tactic (though I have not yet found such letters).

That there has been relatively little if any use of lethal biological agents as above in recent times, reflects that unlike "standoff weapons" and rifles, guns, tanks, airplanes dropping bombs, missiles, etc., the side which employs the biological weapons, is often at just as much, or more, risk of epidemic than the targeted enemy: working with smallpox, Ebola, etc., is dangerous, and a potentially fatal threat to anyone who comes into contact with anyone working with something that's highly transmissible--I think the records are that a lot more soldiers were killed by the flu epidemic than by direct enemy action in WWI.

I happened to hear an NPR interview about the flu epidemic, and descriptions of its effects at Ft Devens, the first site in the USA affected, are utterly appalling. Apparently the flu started in Kansas as something annoying but not lethal, went overseas to Europe with troops, and turned virulently lethal in the trenches. The lethal mutated virus came back to the USA with troops coming back from Europe, hitting Fort Devens first because it was the closest US Army facility to Europe in the United States, travel time to other locations was longer.

The contemporary situation is that one person going to an airport, traveling around, can in one day infect thousands of people, in places thousands of miles away, and in multiple countries.

#547 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:16 AM:

albatross @ 534

Because a really divisive, racially charged campaign could do tremendous damage to the country.

True, it could. OTOH, a continuation of the current state of endemic, in fact, institutionalized, crypto-racism will IMO do far more damage. I like heresiarch's way of putting it: The cyst must be lanced before it can heal. It will be very messy, but it won't get further infected.

@ 538
The Republicans are better controlled as a party than the Dems, but they're not a monolithic group. In fact, I suspect a lot of the powerful ruling clique at the top of the party organization is more than a little peeved at how much power the Bushites have usurped (and then screwing up; success is usually a good enough excuse), and would love to clean house. It wouldn't be the first time a party, or some powerful group within one, threw an election as a way to better prepare for the next one. On the other tentacle, I simple can't imagine anyone with sufficient hunger for power to run for President in a major party stepping aside for any reason, up to and including an attack by the Boskonian 4th Fleet, throwing dirigible planets.

#548 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:19 AM:

From Matthew Yglesias, today. I think he's identified something very important.

"The fact that Obama's had this kinda sorta wrapped up since March 5 has tended to obscure the fact that his primary victory has got to be the greatest upset in the history of American presidential politics. In retrospect, whatever happens looks obvious and somewhat inevitable, but back in the day all that was obvious was that Clinton had the party locked down. Obama's entire meteoric ascent from the State Senate to the cusp of the presidency is just a very, very, very unlikely story. And it's a story driven by the fact that unlike a lot of other promising young politicians, Obama's been consistently willing to take risks. In both his 2004 Senate campaign and his 2008 Presidential campaign, Obama would have to count as a longshot. And, indeed, he was a longshot in his failed challenge to Bobby Rush. A lot of "promising" guys horde their promise so jealously that they never manage to actually deliver. It took a good deal of luck for Obama to make it to the top of the pack, but nobody succeeds without some luck, and nobody gets lucky unless they're in the arena.

"It's a fundamentally bold, hopeful brand of politics. And I think it's no coincidence that that theme's been at the center of his campaign. Relative to Clinton, you see two people with similar policy agendas. But Clinton comes from a school of politics that says liberalism can't really win on the questions of war and peace, identity and authenticity, crime and punishment. It says that we live in a fundamentally conservative nation, and that the savvy progressive politician kind of burrows in and tries to make the best of a bad situation. It's an attitude very much borne of the brutally difficult experience of organizing for McGovern in Texas and running for governor in Arkansas at the height of Reaganism. Relative to McCain, Obama thinks it's possible to accomplish things in the world. He thinks the United States faces a lot of serious international challenges, but doesn't see them as primarily driven by menacing and implacable foes. Obama thinks that a combination of visionary leadership and shrewd bargaining can greatly improve our ability to tackle key priorities without any great expenditure of our resources.

"All in all, the pessimist in me sees it as an approach to politics designed to set us up for a hard fall when it fails. But in a deeper sense I find it incredibly appealing. To me, it's incredibly frustrating to hear that ideas "can't be done" not because they won't work, but because people know -- just know -- that they're not politically possible, even though they're things that have never been tried. I think almost every worthwhile accomplishment of progressive governance -- from the UN and NATO and the NPT to Medicare and Medicaid and Title I school aid to the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act to the ongoing feminist revolution that's completely transformed American society in a generation and a half with no sign of slowing down -- is the kind of thing that before it happened, a lot of people would have said that it couldn't happen. And of course sometimes the pessimists are right, but unless you sometimes assume they're wrong then nothing's ever going to happen."

#549 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:22 AM:

Brian Schweitzer, the Governor of Montana might make a good choice for Obama - it might help him swing some western states. (I figure the South and Appalachia are lost to him.)

I still think the R ticket with be McCain/Lieberman. As I've said before, the media would orgasm at the fake unity. The Old and the Scold might just be a winning combo.

BTW - here's a good projection site which is calling this a pretty close race right now. http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

The author's pretty clearly an Obama supporter, but his data shows Clinton to be the stronger candidate in terms of electoral college performance. (Personally, I'll take Obama anyway, and I'd really love to see Edwards as AG.)

#550 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:33 AM:

Larry #547:

McCain/Lieberman would be a very strong ticket; I'm not sure how much better McCain could do while remaining consistent with both sticking to the Iraq war and running as a bit of a rebel from his own party's discipline/bipartisan leader/whatever.

#551 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:37 AM:

White Male Guys aren't necessarily generally going to appeal to the voters who

The VP running mate is supposed to broaden the appeal of the ticket. The disgruntled substantial in size female vote (see the material quoted by Nancy C Mittens #512) is NOT likely to find Sam Nunn, etc., as "appealing"/a reason to vote for, as opposed to against, or for some third party candidate, or sit out in protest, a ticket with Sen Obama as Presidential candidate.

There are feelings of betrayal involved, and if the Democratic ticket doesn't put someone on who has fought against the "initiatives" of the Republicans the past decade and a half plus to eradicate Title IX, remove "diversity" requirements, stop the tax policy changes which rewarded the ultrarich and furthered their concentration of wealth at the expense of the have-nots getting less and less of the pie and less and less access to tools to make pie and harder even to get access to the pie, stop the dismantling and put back federal programs for monitoring fairness and for enforcing fairness laws and redo legislation to put back protection laws which were penned out of existence by the Schmuck, watered down, etc., change healthcare laws and regulations in the USA to make it affordable and universal--note that Medicare and Social Security are nationalized health and income programs, but only for retirees and their dependents and the permanently disabled, no out of work depressed unemployed, etc., allowed, no -temporary- social welfare net for those beggared by medical costs or continuing support for people whose health isn't bad enough for permanent disability but isn't good enough to stay employed longterm, no support for people dumped into unemployment by downsizing/offshoring/greed/business cutbacks who can't get jobs because the jobs have evaporated and the factories in Chengdu and the call centers in Malaysia and the Phillipines and India and the coding houses in Romania and the car factories in Korea aren't hiring US nationals as workers to make the goods and provide the services they provide to customers and distribution channels in the USA.

For that matter, the latest offshoring is of medical care, US citizens being flown to India and other countries for operations at savings of thousands of dollars per procedure, even with all the travel expenses.....

#552 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:37 AM:

albatross: Re whistling and graveyards. I've heard people... died in the wool reactionary types (some who have been minor movers and shakers in the past) 1: admit BUsh screwed the pooch, 2: Say they'd like the Democrats to win in 2008, 3: when it all comes home to roost they will get blamed and 4: be kept out of reall office for at least 20 years after that as a result.

Scary stuff.

#553 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:42 AM:

The thought of a McCain/Lieberman ticket makes me want to hurl. But I agree, it'd be a good move tactically. Not, I think, good enough. On the other, uh, hand -- I can easily imagine John Kerry (who DID win the popular vote, you recall) campaigning across the Eastern states for Obama and against McCain/Lieberman.

I wonder if Ted Kennedy is going to feel well enough to campaign for Obama? One good speech, UTubed...

#554 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:45 AM:

Re Paula's 549: I am currently involved in raising money for a friend with no health insurance so that she can pay $30,00 to get hip replacement surgery in Thailand. She can't afford to get it here -- where according to the Republicans we have "the best medical care in the world." The best medical care for rich people...

#555 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:01 AM:

@ geekosaur #521:

General:
In re the whole race/gender card thing: I take a certain amount of pride in the fact that I literally did not understand either racism or sexism when I first ran into them. ("Wait, what are you complaining about? WTF?! you care about that?!)

I am deeply hopeful that that reaction is common in "kids these days".

Oh, hell yeah. I was gobsmacked to learn at age 8-10 or so that my friend Joey would not be allowed to attend my birthday party if I held it at the New Orleans Country Club because the Club would not permit him to enter because of the color of his skin. I had no idea that such a thing would even enter into one's thought process. This would have been in about 1984, so at the time I was being taught that the Civil Rights Movement was in the past, and had been successful.

Apparently not as successful as advertised.

That opened my eyes and ears in a big way, and I started to learn what "white privilege" meant, and that I was benefiting from it in a big way. I got closer when I realized later on in college that there was a huge bit of cognitive dissonance in my head when I derided the drivers of BMW's and Mercedes' and the like - yet my Dad drove one and I didn't deride him, so WTF was going on up there in my brain?

My parents and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but I value the tolerance they taught me even if sometimes it becomes painfully apparent that they don't always practice what they taught.

My learning, as ever, is incomplete and ongoing, but I at least know that I have blindspots in which prejudices live, and I work to counter them.

(OBdisclaimer: I only know about me, I cannot presume to know about others, and I try not to presume that I can infer about others.)

I hope with every cell of my being that my 15mo daughter will grow up knowing she can do anything she puts her mind to, and that those of us who precede her will have bulldozed as much of the remaining non-merit-based obstacles in her path as is practicable, and that she will have the strength of mind to resist the corrosive effects of people who would have her believe otherwise.

No, I don't want to pave her path, or have her path paved for her. I want to annihilate unnecessary arbitrary restrictions/obstacles that would prevent/discourage her from choosing her own path on any basis other than actual ability.

The thought of anyone trying to deflect my daughter from her chosen path out of malice, spite or willful/malign ignorance leads me to thoughts of violence against those that would perpetuate such. My untested capacity for violence as a modern tool-using human scares me more than just about anything else.

I don't know if I'm making sense anymore, so I'll close here.

Later,
-cajun

#556 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:09 AM:

Bah, the point got away from me on excursion.

Lizzy's quoting's in #546 pertains, but not in the way the author of the material intended.

The constituencies referred to by the material Nancy quoted in #512 are NOT young hopeful promising guys looking at heights to ascend, they're emotionally exhausted frustrated annoyed marginalized-feeling women--that is, frustrated in the sense of having aspirations stomped on, scarification from discrimination, short-end-of-stick-except-for-the-ones-stuck-in-eyes recipients, the ones historically excepted to do the scut work and receive no reward except not getting hit so hard for doing the work, denied promotions and benefits and higher pay, denied redress for discrimination (that case of the male bigots Supreme Court telling the woman it didn't matter that she was denied promotion and pay unlawfully and that every male in the facility was treated better and paid more than she, she wasn't getting any redress because....)...

Who's on the ballot for such people to identify with? I certainly don't identify with Sen Obama--if is the Democratic nominee likely I will vote for him. I will NOT be happy about it. I do NOT trust ambitious relatively young men, I got/get assaulted by them, some deliberately, some because they couldn't/can't be bothered to NOTICE a short woman--I think I've told the story of males walking rapidly into a feet-out wrought iron fireplace grate I was carrying in Burlington Mall, because they didn't -see- anyone who was under at most 5'4" tall--and simply strode into/over me--cases both physically, and metaphorically, of attack and collateral damage because to them I did not exist.

And once again, I point out it is an emotional issue, one involving visibility, or lack thereof, lack of recognition, lack of appreciation, lack of consideration, lack of listening, lack of interest in listening--and I am seeing it here, watching all the suggestions of White Males as running mate, despite that fact that the demographic that Sen Obama is least compelling to, is women who feel marginalized--women were key constituents in Sen Kerry and Al Gore being kept out of the White House, the Chief Thief's campaign played upon their fears and what aspirations they allowed themselves (getting your hopes and dreams shredded makes one fearful and reluctant to dream and aspire mightily... Sen Obama is frightening to me that way and offputting, in the sense of "what are you going to do for ME, who does not see a place for -me- in those speeches of yours? -- ironically, at the moment, there is more room for me in the McCain universe, since I work for a defense contractor, how's THAT for irony?! And no, again, I am NOT going to vote for McCain... The Chief Thief's policies and actions contributed to me becoming unemployed and stayed unemployed for years, but the situation with me has changed, having current employment makes more more attractive as a prospective employee, and the categories of jobs lost most of a decade ago here with the collapsed of the computer telecommunications industry have been slowly coming back in this area, and the leading edge of the baby boomers are retiring, meaning a decline in the workforce of highly experienced people (as opposed to looking for less expensive entry level newbies who are less expensive but lacking in experience).

Oops, wandered off in an excursion there.

Anyway, what does Sen. Obama have to offer cynical women who feel marginalized and unappreciated and unwanted except, to use Susan Shwartz' line, "to be a pocketboot on feet" or to do do the scutwork as either unrecognized taken for granted volunteers, or marginally paid non-recognized workers, and/or be the ones doing all the domestic chores....

Suzette Haden Elgin's Ozark trilogy, consisting of Twelve Fair Kingdoms, The Grand Jubilee, And Then They'll be Fireworks, is a touchstone.... But, feminist novels are in major eclipse, and what is selling to women as romance literature is mostly full of abusive asshole so-called Alpha Males....

#557 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:24 AM:

544: well, quite. The most recent example you came up with is from 1763. And it's pretty uncertain whether it even worked.

Similarly, while I wouldn't particularly want to handle a bubonic plague victim's corpse myself, I'm not sure how effective the famous "chucking the corpses over the walls" tactic would be as a method of spreading the disease - fleas don't tend to hang around on corpses very long. And, incidentally, the story was the other way around - Mongols outside the walls of Caffa, Genoese inside.

#558 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:28 AM:

Michael #475... "There will be a woman president soon."....

Depends on your definition of soon.

With Obama likely to win the Democratic nomination this year, there won't be one in 2008. If he wins the presidency, he'll be running for reelection in 2012, and I don't see the Republicans putting a woman at the top of the ticket, so there won't be one then. If Obama has a man as VP, and wins 2008 and 2012, then that man will probably be the Democratic nominee in 2016. If Obama looses in 2012, then 2016 is open, and the Democrats might have a woman nominee then - but they might not.

This was the best chance we've ever had for a woman for president. And for any minority or opressed group in the US, having one of your own as president is a big emotional sign of equality. It's the trite old saying "anyone can grow up to be president." But not anyone can - you've had to be white, had to be male, etc.

For the women in their 30s or 40s, who got the feminist movement moving again in the 1960s and 1970s, living to see a woman in as president is a big deal. Giving up on Clinton now isn't just giving up on this one election cycle - it's postponing, once again, lifelong dream, just when it seemed to be reachable. Someone who was 30 in 1970 is 68 now - living to see the next best chance for a woman president, in 2016, would put them at 76. That creates a sense of urgency - if not now, when, and will it be soon enough to live to see it?

#559 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:35 AM:

I hope, pretty much, the VP of Obama doesn't run.

Bush pere pulled it off. Prior to him one has to go to Martin Van Buren to find a sitting VP who moved to the Oval Office (this is why I am always amazed when someone of political aspiration takes the VP slot).

It looks as though a lot of VPs have made the jump, because we think of people like Truman, and Kennedy and Roosevelt, who were VP and ascended to office on the demise of the President.

So, depsite a lot of them running, they don't win (Humphrey, Mondale, Nixon... all lost. Gore is an outlier, and even then the race was really close, and with some very minor differences he might have lost the election).

#560 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:44 AM:

(Probably digging myself in deeper, but...)

I think I'm looking for the word "champion" -- who's championing the women referred to in Nancy's #512 post?

Sen Clinton was someone to identify with--someone abused in the public eye as the wife of a philandering husband, someone attacked for being female and having dared to not be a "traditional" wife--for having had a high-powered career, for having had political ambitions and not been merely content to be a hand rocking the cradle and standing in the shadows behind her man putting all her effort into his career instead of having a career in her own right as a professional, attacked for daring to be in public life as someone whose role wasn't limited to female adjunct goodwill ambassador but rather was working trying to develop legislation instead of pushing Good Works stuff as a promotional inspiration mouthpiece and booster person...

She's not ideal, but she stood/stands in effect as a champion of what women can -achieve- in their own right--she's a US Senator, as opposed to e.g. Teresa Heinz Kerry, political wife/hostess, a modern counterpart in some ways to Dolly Madison, whose political participation is not in her own right, but is a Senator's Wife. She's been the betrayed sinned against wife, humiliated and emotionally betrayed, and THAT is something major regarding identification and mistreatment and -understanding- what it feels like to get sexually emotionally used and abused. Not gonna get that with Sen Obama, or Sam Nunn, or any of those males unless they've been publically cuckolded by their past or present wives!

Sen Clinton's been through childbirth with all the hopes and fears and hormonal shifts of pregnancy... one of the Chief Thief's appointees told women they should pray to God for relief from menstrual cramps.... men don't get menstrual cramps, I wish them on all the Bushies, but alas only Dr Rice and some others, have had the physiology to have had them.

My point is that there is =experience- that women have, that men don't get or very rarely experience. Some of it is purely biological, some of it is social treatment. And it's invisible to most men, particularly politically powerful ones. And often they even disdain such things as menstrual cramps--witness Thief's appointment of the fellow with the scornful (he probably didn't think it was, but he's a quack as far as I'm concerned) comment about relief for menstrual cramps.

I was out of patience long ago with the marginalization/invisibility/dismissal/lack of perspective. The Democratic party did field a ticket, eight years ago, with a women, Geraldine Ferraro, in the VP candidate slot. The fact that over half the population is female, and yet the suggestions so far popping up here for running mates being male, statistically demonstrates that there is a systematic bias at work....

Somewhere at http://www.mit.edu is a section about women at MIT, and the systematic bias that was at work, a subtle, emotionally insidous one, in which the few tenure female faculty got to talking one day and discovered that each one of them thought that she was an isolated case as regards petty discrimination and that it wasn't general.... wrong. It was general and systematic, but proving it... the impartial proof turned out to be measuring the sizes of their office and comparing them to the average sizes of offices of their male counterparts... in all cases, the average office size of a male professor in the same department, same number of years of experience, similar publication record, etc. was substantially larger.

There was endemic discrimination from selection into grad school all the way through to selection for tenure, for funding of projects, for office size... but proving things where criteria are usually subjective and qualitative, rather than directly measurable (the office size was a quantitatively measurable metric)....

That's why the data collection that the Schmuck exterminated is so important, it provides a quantitative basis, that's unarguable... remove that data, and there is no basis for credible measurement and analysis which provides -proof-.

There are some countries in the world (Iceland is one, I think) where by law half the seats in the legislature have to be held by women. My point is that bias can get really sneaky--that any one individual gets picked perhaps on the individual merit, but looking over the population, when half the population is female, and the percentage of women in a legislature is far far far from 50%, there is usually some form of bias involved effecting that....

There are lots of gating factors to getting into public office--they include financial ones for collecting funds to mount a bid and willingnesso of people to provide funds, they involve ambition, they involve time and energy to mount bids... all those are gating factors, the lack of any one of them can torpedo a prospective candidate. The barriers for credible candidacy for President for a women, have been almost insurmountable. Sen Clinton had to have a drive far far greater than the typical male politician, I feel, to have gotten to where she's gotten to--and that sort of drive/ambition in and of itself, renders a woman "unladylike" to a huge percentage of the US population... yes, it's a Catch-22, for her to have gotten through the gates, she had to be someone who organically was offensive to a large chunk of the US population, otherwise she never would have had the energy and stamina and persistence and determination and ability to get through those gates.

And the barriers/gates are still there, much more hostile to women, than men.

#561 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:57 AM:

Ursula #556

For the women in their 30s or 40s, who got the feminist movement moving again in the 1960s and 1970s

I think your math is off. Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963, which was 45 years ago. The women in their 30s and 40s today, weren't born yet or were in single digits of age, then, they weren't working in the Women's Movement, other than a precocious few whose mothers were in it who were involved as children in the early 1970s.

It's women in their 60s, 70s, and a few in their 50s, who were the drivers in those times.

I want a woman as President or at least VP, to help guard against what's happened to the women of Afghanistan and Iraq... It can't happen here? What about those brainwashed females in that Texas LDS splinter group and their lord master husbands, then? Pakistan and India!! have more social structure safeguards than the USA--both of them have had women as Prime Ministers, that's a sad state of affairs, that the former, a country infested with Taliban, women have had more credibility for top elected office in the country, than here in the USA.

#562 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:58 AM:

*shouting* Open thread! (That's yer warning that I'm introducing a new topic...)

Is fresh spinach more filling than other greens?

I only recently branched out from iceberg lettuce into other lettuces. Spinach is the newest addition to my "I'm brave enough to eat it" list.* It seems like the salads made with spinach are more filling than the ones made with spring mix, even when everything else is the same. Is this my imagination, or has anyone else noticed it?

And heck, while I'm at it - anyone got any favorite summer food you'd like to describe/rant about/share recipes for? I didn't seem to register the change until last week, when it hit me rather sharply**, and now I'm craving summer food.

*I know, I know. I got the idea from somewhere (trying to eat it in the fall, maybe?) that it was bitter.

**This could be because Atlanta had what seemed to me to be an unusually cool May, and the heat finally started a week or so ago.

#563 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:02 PM:

@geekosaur #521: Speaking as a "kid these days", early twenties, I should think anyone who didn't understand racism was either particularly sheltered, ignorant, or in denial -- and probably White.

I'll be over in that corner, feeling cynical...

#564 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:07 PM:

#560
Spinach helps prevent macular degenerative disease.

#565 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:10 PM:

Paula at 559: Having a woman as President would be no guarantee that issues of women's rights and dignity would be taken seriously. We have a woman Secretary of State now, and if she cares about these issues, she's sure keeping quiet about it.

R.M. Koske at 560: good for you for trying new foods. My favorite lettuce is red leaf, with Romaine a close second. Sliced raw zuccini is great in salads, better than cucumber in my opinion.

My new favorite vegetable is red Swiss chard. I stir-fry it with sliced red onion and chopped garnet yams. Use chicken stock for the liquid and try a little curry seasoning -- or not, if that seems too exotic for you. Yum.

#566 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:15 PM:

Paula #510: joanne #469: The editorial "we" is NOT something which is an emollient, it comes off as condescending.

[Paula quoting me]You cannot speak for me, only for yourself. *You* are angry; let's keep that personal, shall we? Because you're not describing me, because you may or may not be describing the reactions or histories of any of the other women here....

I was not being condescending; I was following my own advice to keep it personal--as in you, Paula, and me, joann (no "e"), together make a small "we". (Very small, height-wise; I'm only 5'3" myself. Should have taken ballet for the stretching and standing on toes; maybe I could reach the second kitchen shelves without wrenching something.)

It looks to me that you have become so caught up in your own sense of injury that you see hurt, deliberate malice, condescension and wilfull inconsideration everywhere; from where I sit, it is not there in even a tenth of the places that you believe it to be. I'm not going to say "trust me," as that would be stupid in the extreme, but I will say, "trust some other part of yourself," the part that can see the good or the humor in things. For I know that it is there.

#568 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:29 PM:

#556 Ursula L: Michael #475... "There will be a woman president soon.".... Depends on your definition of soon.

Yes, the actual math is a little sad since, at best, it's a 4 year wait in between chances. This is one of the problems I have with the pesky human life span. I often think of things in terms of "soon" that don't really bear thinking about in terms of "soon". I think "soon" the typical human life span will start lengthening to an impressive degree. If I stop and think about the actual math, though, I have to admit that my ashes will have long since been dispersed to the four corners of the Earth before that "soon" actually arrives. "Soon", but far too late for me, I'm afraid. And, yeah, I'm a little pissed off about that injustice (or, more precisely: the complete indifference of the Cosmos to my particular notion of justice).

#569 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:30 PM:

Lizzy L #563:

I try to ignore the existence of the current SecState as much as possible, if only because she's incompetent and sets a bad example. (I think I would have fired her as security advisor by the beginning of October 2001.) But sometimes you have to wonder WTF, as in the incident the other day where it was the Secretary of Defense who criticized the Myanmar government for humanitarian unhelpfulness. Wasn't this State's job? Or am I just missing something?

#570 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:32 PM:

#562, Paula Lieberman -

I knew it was a good source of calcium*, which became important to me when I realized I was at high-risk for osteoporosis.

Nice to know it helps the eyes too!

#563, Lizzy L -

I'd try more new things on salads if the salad bars I frequented would cut things up smaller! I like my bites to be fairly mixed, not just one flavor, especially if that flavor is new. The massive slices of mushroom and cucumber make me avoid adding them even though I like them.

I've tried zucchini a few times, and I'm still not sure about it. I put it on, eat about half the salad, and then start picking it out. *grin*

I may be a while getting around to Swiss chard - I'm still very nervous about cooked greens in general. Eventually I hope to get braver with them. I really need to eat more veggies, hence the salads.

*I've heard conflicting stuff about this, actually. Lots of sites and articles want to point out that it has more calcium than dairy (so you should eat more spinach and less fatty dairy!), but I've seen other info that says the calcium can be inaccessible to the body depending on what you eat it with. *toddles off to Google*

#571 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:38 PM:

Serge, if you don't read the NYT's Tuesday science/health section, a three-year followup on Jane Brody's knee replacements here. Your wife will definitely want to read it.

Apologies that the site's gone graphics-heavy slow and that they may ask for a login.

#572 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:38 PM:

RM Koske @560 - I second trying swisshcard, only I don't care what color it is.

Here's what I do:

Finely slice 5 or 6 cloves of garlic

In about 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil, gently (low heat!) sautee the garlic until it just starts to turn golden. Remove the garlic from the oil or it will burn.

Turn the heat up to medium-high.

Add two bundles of well - washed swisschard, trimming the toughest bit at the bottom of the stem. (Don't bother to dry the leaves - the water will help them cook.) Cover.

After a couple of minutes, the leaves on the bottom will be wilted. Using tongs, lift up the wilted leaves to the top of the pan. Cover again.

When all is wilted, add one large can diced tomatoes, packed in juice, and add back the cooked garlic and add salt (sparingly - the tomatoes may be salty) and black pepper to taste.

Cook until the stems are just tender.

Serve in a bowl (like soup) with crusty bread and butter for a main dish, or in smaller custard cups as a side dish.

This keeps well and reaheats very nicely.

#573 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:42 PM:

R. M. Koske: one way to get used to the tastes of new foods -- that is, foods you are not accustomed to eating -- is to go to good restaurants whose cuisines have been cooking these foods for decades, if not centuries, and try stuff out. I recommend Chinese and French for veggies, especially if you can find a French restaurant which offers simple recipes, i.e. not massive amounts of cream and sauces.

But as my friends know, I'm the last person to be offering advice on cooking! *grin*

#574 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 12:48 PM:

The essential component to the success of the Voting Rights and Civil Rights movements was the contemporary documentation, as the nation and the world saw it, in the pages of Life, Look, Time and other magazines. And on the daily 6 p.m. news clips.

The hate distorted faces of the opposers of little black girls being walked into a school under armed escort. The faces of those women in New Orleans. The missiles they hurled. The nation and the world saw the ugliness of racial thinking for just how ugly it made the souls of a people.

We won't be seeing that, one fears, in the next few months, since the media is now an entirely different dawg. And you can put the responsibility for a lot of that on Bill Clinton and his telecommunications bill.

Love, C.

#575 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:09 PM:

R.M. Koske @560:

A couple of my favorite summer recipes...I like to cook small shell macaroni, drain it, and add some mayonnaise* while it's still warm. After the pasta is cooled, throw in the veggies you'd normally put in your favorite tossed salad, and season some more to taste.

Recipe #2
dressing: 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tb lemon juice, 1 Tb curry powder (or less), 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
Mix dressing ingredients and toss together with
1 3-oz. can of tuna, drained
1 pkg. frozen peas, cooked**
1 cup celery
1 head lettuce, torn in small pieces (or spinach; why not?)
Chow mein noodles and toasted almonds can be added directly before serving.

*If you hate mayo, you can use an oil-based
dressing. The idea is to keep the pasta from sticking to itself as well as provide flavor.
**I generally just thaw them and don't cook them any further.

#576 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:10 PM:

@Tlönista #561:

@geekosaur #521: Speaking as a "kid these days", early twenties, I should think anyone who didn't understand racism was either particularly sheltered, ignorant, or in denial -- and probably White.

Per me @#553: I resemble that remark. No offense taken - I had to learn that I was those things, and accept them, before I could consciously factor them into my worldview. My perspective gets pretty weird sometimes, what with all the "corrective lenses" I sometimes need to apply and/or apply incorrectly.

I'll be over in that corner, feeling cynical...

A bit of unsolicited advice: Please don't let that fester too long, I've found that the long-term effects are rather corrosive.

Later,
-cajun

#577 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:13 PM:

Scientists have discovered that iceberg lettuce consists of 90% water and 10% the color green.

#578 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:26 PM:

Lizzy 515: Exactly what they did when Jack Ryan had to drop out due to a sex scandal: put up some bozo to lose to Barack Obama.

Lila 539: Ronit 540 is right. If Obama wants to keep the LGBTs on his side, he won't use Nunn, whose name is anathema to us. (Not that we won't vote for Obama if he picks Nunn...we just won't WORK for him.)

R. M. 568: I've been told that while spinach is rich in calcium, the calcium in it is bound in such a way that it's inaccessible to human digestion. So it's not a good source. Broccoli is better.

Also, spinach is a rich source of oxalates. Calcium oxalate is a common compound that forms the big sharp crystals known as kidney stones. Other rich sources of oxalates are coffee, tea, cola drinks, peanuts, and chocolate. Having had kidney stones once, I avoid coffee, tea, cola drinks, spinach, and peanuts.*

Of course I GOT the stones after 6 months of having saag paneer (spinach and cheese) for lunch three times a week, with lots of snacking on peanut-butter cups, and lots of Diet Coke drinking.

Perhaps this isn't of concern to you, since a common mnemonic among endocrinologists is "stone disease or bone disease"—meaning hardly anyone gets both. (I "lucked out" on that one...cracked a rib leaning over a shopping cart(!) and they found the kidney stone on the x-ray. Improbable things do happen, just not as often.) But if the calcium is being bound up with oxalates, even if the crystals never get big enough to cause you trouble, it's not helping your bone mass.

And now...
MY ONE-WORD REVIEWS OF THE CANDIDATE SPEECHES

Obama: Presidential.
Clinton: Statesmanlike.
McCain: Animatronic.
(Yes, I know I said that before about McCain, but I wanted it to be quotable along with the others.)
___________
*Note omission for quality-of-life reasons.

#579 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:47 PM:

R. M. Koske (568): I'd try more new things on salads if the salad bars I frequented would cut things up smaller!

You can cut them up smaller yourself, once they're on your plate. I always do that.

#580 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:50 PM:

#570, Larry Brennan -
Hm. The tomatoes actually bring that a lot closer to my comfort zone. I'll have to keep that one in mind.

#571, Lizzy L -

I'm getting better about it, but I'm a food coward all around, so whether I'm the one cooking or not, trying new things isn't easy for me. I'll keep in mind the recommendations for Chinese and French, though.

#575, Stefan Jones -

Hee.

#576, Xopher -

Yes, it didn't take much googling for me to turn up the info that spinach is generally a terrible source of calcium. Now I need to work on liking broccoli in more dishes. :)

I don't know if I'm at risk for kidney stones or not. I have the idea that osteoporosis is a common complication of gluten intolerance and my GI is still quite new to me, so it is much on my mind. Plus I have a couple of other risk factors of indeterminate importance, so that's where I was focusing. I'll have to investigate the kidney stones thing. Thanks for the warning.

#581 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:51 PM:

Xopher, I don't know if you've seen it, but the Obama/Keyes race was treated as a controlled experiment to determine the Crazification Factor of the US, or at least Illinois. (Turns out it's 27%.)

#582 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:56 PM:

geekosaur @521: you'd be surprised how many people think the captain's tunic in the original Star Trek was gold.

I thought that until, oh, two seconds ago.

#583 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:57 PM:

Kathryn, #530: Reading that pullout in isolation, what strikes me is that all of the words Parker uses are code for "race".

Lizzy, #546: Condensing that down to soundbite format: "If you try, sometimes you lose. But you'll never win if you don't try."

albatross, #548: McCain is still running on his "maverick" image from 2000, and no one in the MSM is seriously questioning it. Lieberman as VP would fit right into that; the question remains, can McCain attract more "moderates" from the Democratic side than he loses hard-liners from the Republican?

Lizzy, #571: Good point! I was a notorious veggie-hater for a long time, which came largely of my mother's Southern-style cooking (aka "cook it until all the flavor and texture is well and truly GONE"), and it took discovering Chinese food to get me eating any significant amount of vegetables. I still joke that if it weren't for Chinese food, I wouldn't eat any vegetables at all; that's an exaggeration, but not by much. You'd think that I would like a lot of raw veggies by contrast, but that's not the case either -- especially with leaves. The only leafy thing I really like is bok choy, and it has to be cooked. But it was Chinese food that got me eating things like bamboo shoots, snow peas, and water chestnuts.

Stefan, #575: Which is weird, because it still manages to leave a bad flavor on everything it touches!


#584 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 01:58 PM:

Xopher @ 500: Yayz! Spread that meme, spread it!

Constance @ 504: Oh, Gods, FFS no. I dearly hope that when it comes to write the annals of history, my hometown doesn't merely get noted as "Home of David Duke and white supremecy" as if the city vindictively spawned him to unleash him upon the world and as if everyone there wholeheartedly supported his KKK views. Please do not blame me, my family, etc. for where Duke lives, or tar us with the "white supremecy" brush. Also? If you want the cops who shot at black people and said "No Superdomes here," you've got the right parish, but the wrong city. That was Gretna. And that action apparently did have Joe Schmoe Citizen of Gretna's support, if the letter-writing campaign during the indictment is any indication. So, sure, call Gretna home of white supremecy - lots of my fellow Metairie-ites came out of that thinking we'd dearly like Jefferson Parish to disown the damn town - but calling Metairie "home of white supremecy" on, apparently, the strength of David Duke's living there, it not fair to the majority of good, absolutely non-racist people I grew up with in that town. And unfairness hurts, even when it ends with the sign-off "Love."

*grumble*

Paula throughout: Staying out of the specific arguments at this point, and picking on you only because yours is the most prevalent example - you use a lot of insult labels such as "Repukes" and "Chief Thief" and such when you talk politics, repeating each several times throughout each post. It reminds me of friends here in the Denver area who refer to the energy company as "Ex-hell" (Excel) as prices go up. Calling names like that makes it harder for the argument to get taken seriously, giving it the appearance of schoolyard immaturity, as though the arguer had more spite than logic on their side. And that's a real shame when I agree with the argument, because the name-calling takes a lot of power away from an argument I'd like to see carry weight in the public discourse.

The effect, of course, depends a lot on the ratio of name-calling to compelling logical points. Also where in the argument the name-calling happens. If at the end, it sounds like a conclusion drawn from the foregoing argument. If at the beginning, it unfortunately sounds like the arguer was biased against the person/people they're insulting regardless of the facts.

So, while I agree that Excel raises its prices more than is reasonable in a monopolistic environment, and that Bush is a thief and criminal, I also think cutesy insult names for either lowers the level of discourse and undermines any valid points that could be made about them. I wish we could leave the ad hominem out; the facts are damning enough without needing the invective "boosted" by calling names.

(This is all Just My Opinion, though I think it's a well-supported one. Again, I am aware that this isn't just you - a lot of people use "Rethuglicans", for instance, including our hosts. I'm not telling you or them to stop using certain language; I am pointing out the effect it has on me as a sample listener.)

Geekosaur @521: I think it is getting commoner, kids not understanding racism because it doesn't occur to them that anyone would care about skin color. I also try to be optimistic about white friends who say, "I don't understand why my black friends are so angry," because even though such a sentence is a clear indication of white privilege, it also indicates that in their circles racism isn't apparent enough to clue them in. This is an improvement over days when overt racism wasn't yet considered impolite, evil, or non-PC, and so people heard racist language and saw overtly unjust situations regardless of whether they were its victims.

Terry @ 550: "Died in the wool"? Would that be a title in that knitting murder mystery series?

Re: Having a female President soon - I think Clinton's race for the candidacy has already done a lot of good towards that: she is a vivid example that a woman can seriously run. It's examples like that which break down people's assumptions about what can or can't happen, or what the default gender of the President is.

#585 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:01 PM:

#573, Debbie -

Missed your post earlier, oops.

Those sound fabulous. I'm in the mood for salads like these for some reason. Your directions for salad #1 are especially helpful, because many times I've tried to figure out what the heck I should put into a pasta salad, and thinking in these terms never occurred to me. Thank you.

#586 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:13 PM:

Nicole #582: Terry @ 550: "Died in the wool"? Would that be a title in that knitting murder mystery series?

Ngaio Marsh has been before you. New Zealand, WWII. No knitting, IIRC, just a lot of shorn sheep.

#587 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Clean water and improved sanitation revolution in progress?

Understanding Electrolyzed Water
Our electrolyzed water technology converts tap water into a disinfectant known as hypochlorous acid which has been proven to be 80% more powerful at 50 ppm than chlorine bleach at 200 ppm, yet it is harmless to the environment and people. Our technology simultaneously produces a second stream of water in the form of sodium hydroxide that can be used as an effective detergent and grease cutter. Our multi-purpose, anti-microbial system is so safe, effective and affordable that it is changing the food industry's approach to public health....

There was an article in the Boston Globe earlier this week, hotels are using it in Boston for cleaning and sanitizing, no more toxic chemicals, hooray! The material on the company's website focuses on it killing e coli, salmonella, etc., and killing bacteria that turn food rancid and edible and harmful.... The supplies needed consist of highly purified table salt, used with the company's equipment.

========

Lizzy L #563
I meant by precedent, having a woman elected President would stop the "women don't belong as head of the country" talk and provide the precedent that since it HAD happened, it's not unthinkable. Dr Rice's positions in government have been appointed ones, not elected ones.

joanne #564

I wrote it comes off as condescending very intentionally--that was how it appeared to me. Your intent in writing in that style was not was I was reading, I was reading the words you wrote.... and they to me felt condescending. That is emphatically not accusing your of an intent to appear condescending....

Communications theory--there is the original thought. There is the translation of the thought into words = encoding, there is the transmission of the words = them being posted to Making Light and appearing in phosphor in front of readers, and there are the filters applied by the readers reading and interpreting and decoding the words on Making Light.

The same words in the same order do NOT necessarily denote, much less connote the exact same things to different people. If I write, "the big gavel clanged down on the metal block in Cambridge, Seth and Chip are likely to have the same mental image as the one I am thinking of, other people who are or were MITSFS members are likely to, and the rest of the readership of Making Light probably won't. There is context that Seth and Chip have that most of the readership of Making Light doesn't have regarding a specific big gavel hitting a specific metal block, in Cambridge.

The neocons and the Religious Right have encoded terminology in the words they use; the Dutch masters encoded information in the animals and objects that appeared in their paintings, that were a language of information encoded visualling, for what each type of animal and the various objects, represented symbolically.

Essentially all language, be it visual, aural, tactile, or visual, is metaphoric. Different people have different metaphor and encoding/decoding based on any and all of perceptual idiosyncracies (people with "deficient" color vision literally don't see the same things as people with "normal" color vision), experiential filtering and assumptions and filtering, domain knowledge of lack thereof, emotional triggers, training, etc.

The perceptions of a reader, and the intent of an author don't necessarily match--and the larger the differences are in things like culture, experience, interests, etc., the less likely it is that the same words, denote and connote the same things to them.

My specific purpose in the phrasing I used was to denote that what my perceptual feeling of tone, was I strongly suspected NOT authorial intent--but that that was the feeling it elicits in me as reader, that what I was reading has a condescending tone, whether or not the author intended to have a condescending tone or not.

Perceptions on the receiver, rather than intent of the generator, are what elicit reactions..... much of the discrimination around is not conscious and consciously intentional, and quite often the victims of discrimination internalize it and pass it on, as in the steretypes of the Japanese mother-law to her daughter-in-law, the appalling treatment gets passes on longitudinally and generationally, with the previous generation's victims seeing an obligation on the part of their daughter-in-laws, to pander to them as they were forced to pander to their mother-in-law, it's a social meme.


#588 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:21 PM:

bacteria that turn food rancid and edible and harmful

should be
bacteria that turn food rancid and inedible...

Regarding spinach--some stuff I've seen said it should be eaten with cheese or some other source of calcium, for proper absorption of vitamins and minerals and such, and that for proper absorption of calcium, Vitamin D is necessary--and almost everyone one in on the Anglophone and Francophone North American mainland, is walking around majorly deficient in Vitamin D.

#589 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:21 PM:

bacteria that turn food rancid and edible and harmful

should be
bacteria that turn food rancid and inedible...

Regarding spinach--some stuff I've seen said it should be eaten with cheese or some other source of calcium, for proper absorption of vitamins and minerals and such, and that for proper absorption of calcium, Vitamin D is necessary--and almost everyone one in on the Anglophone and Francophone North American mainland, is walking around majorly deficient in Vitamin D.

#590 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:34 PM:

Speaking of bacteria that turn food rancid and inedible and harmful...

Should I stay away from 2005's remake of The Quatermass Experiment?

#591 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:39 PM:

#521, geekosaur -

you'd be surprised how many people think the captain's tunic in the original Star Trek was gold.

I was surprised when I found out*, then I promptly ignored it. It doesn't matter to me what color the tunic on Shatner's back was. What matters is what color it looks. It's possible they chose a color that wouldn't render well in the film they used, or it is possible that the green was needed to get it to render in the color they wanted. All the skin tones are normal as far as I can tell, the reds and blues, so if they let the command tunics go out looking gold, then as far as I'm concernced, they are gold. Shatner's costume, on the other hand, was green.

*It does explain why he has two different styles of tunic in two different colors, though.


#592 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:41 PM:

Paula @586/567: Regarding spinach--some stuff I've seen said it should be eaten with cheese or some other source of calcium, for proper absorption of vitamins and minerals and such

I grew up with exactly the opposite advice, to *not* eat dairy products at the same time as spinach because the latter's excess oxalates would bind up much of the dairy calcium and make it unavailable. This article has a note to the same effect.

#593 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:54 PM:

Lee #581: The 'cook the vegetables until they are twenty times dead' approach wasn't just Southern. It was the hallmark of traditional English cookery for many years.

#594 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 02:59 PM:

#535, Paula Lieberman - That electrolyzed water sounds similar to something Waterpik came out with in 2001*. I have no idea why there isn't more news about either of them, because they both sound fabulous.**

#590, Julie L -

Ah! Now it makes more sense. That was what I'd heard, not to eat dairy with spinach, but I thought the dairy bound up the spinach's calcium, not the other way around.

*Very superficially. I don't have time to read carefully to see if they're using different words for the same process or different processes. Sorry.

**Which in turn makes me nervous. If they're so great, why haven't I heard anything? What's wrong with them?

#595 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:01 PM:

Nicole @582:
Calling names like that makes it harder for the argument to get taken seriously, giving it the appearance of schoolyard immaturity, as though the arguer had more spite than logic on their side. And that's a real shame when I agree with the argument, because the name-calling takes a lot of power away from an argument I'd like to see carry weight in the public discourse.

I agree entirely.

Another thing that name-calling does is to make agreement more difficult. It is intended to anger the target (if the target is reading the comment; I doubt George Bush reads Making Light). This is great, if you never want your opponents to see the wisdom of your arguments and change their minds. In persuasive speech, though, it's self-sabotage.

I understand that it can be a form of venting, but it certainly doesn't cause me to respect the user more.

#596 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:04 PM:

the iclandic rotted shark we read about a few sidebar posts ago is an example of bacteria turning something rancid and edible.

#597 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:04 PM:

Nicole #582: This is an improvement over days when overt racism wasn't yet considered impolite, evil, or non-PC, and so people heard racist language and saw overtly unjust situations regardless of whether they were its victims.

I know what you mean, but I wonder sometimes if it really is an improvement.

#598 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:04 PM:

Julie L., 590,
I grew up with exactly the opposite advice, to *not* eat dairy products at the same time as spinach because the latter's excess oxalates would bind up much of the dairy calcium and make it unavailable. This article has a note to the same effect.

Indirect personal experience says that nausea from ingesting iron-laden stuff (like prenatal vitamins*) can be nicely canceled by drinking milk (or yogurt, or ice cream), since the calcium binds to the iron. Some people have a very sensitive threshold for iron compound induced nausea - makes eating certain greens (spinach!) really unpalatable, much to the dismay of parents.

*slow release iron supplements were used to compensate for this, so it's okay.

#599 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:18 PM:

abi @ 593...

"You fool! You idiot! You incompetent!"
"Incompetent, my lord?"
(Typical exchange between the Sherriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisborne.)

#600 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:20 PM:

Fragano #591: It still is. I live in London now, and one evening witnessed my landlady take some fine dark greens, which had never done anything to her, and steam them for -- honest to God -- fifteen minutes. They were yellow at the end. OH JOHN RINGO NO.

Nicole #582:

This is an improvement over days when overt racism wasn't yet considered impolite, evil, or non-PC, and so people heard racist language and saw overtly unjust situations regardless of whether they were its victims.

Yes...but sometimes, it just gets so frustrating, because the better part of the battle is convincing someone that they are actually being (albeit implicitly) racist. Well, whatever. Things will get better. Though, as Charles of Diesel Sweeties says, "I'm Canadian."

#601 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:21 PM:

R.M. Koske, 583 -- you're very welcome, hope you like them. (And I've seriously been thinking of trying to teach myself to use database software by capturing some ML recipes. There are soooo many good things in here!)

Switching to politics -- I was thinking about using Project VoteSmart's "Political Courage Tests" as a basis for discussion for one of my ESL classes. I was irritated to note that neither McCain nor Obama (nor Clinton, for that matter) have submitted theirs for 2008. That seems a shame.

#602 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:24 PM:

Serge @597:

Shorter me: Anyone who uses namecalling in an argument is a great big poopoohead. Nay verily, a poopoostinkybutt.

#603 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:26 PM:

Geekosaur 521: if Kirk's tunic wasn't gold, why was the MEGO toy Kirk's tunic gold?

Maybe it was green=to-read-as=gold the way that Bette Davis's dress in "Jezebel" was brown=to-read-as-red in black and white?

#604 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:50 PM:

abi @ 600... Nyah nyah.

#605 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:54 PM:

Charles Moskos, the sociologist who proposed the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy' on gays in the military, has died.

#606 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 03:56 PM:

Rikibeth @ 601... green=to-read-as=gold

... and red=to-read-as=dead(*)

(*) unless you're Scotty. Otherwise you can't say "Better dead than Red."

#607 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:00 PM:

I am quite sure that the original Star Trek uniforms were shades of gray.

Oh, wait . . . B&W TV set.

Never Mind.

#608 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:01 PM:

Serge @604:
Better dead than Red.

One year my mother in law gave me two Christmas presents: the Star Trek Season 1 box set, and a red long sleeved T-shirt.

When I stopped laughing long enough to explain, she was mortified. As if I thought she meant anything by it!

#609 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:02 PM:

R.M. Koske @ 560:

Indian cooking treats spinach pretty well. Look at recipes for palak poori/puri. It's a really wonderful flatbread that's easy to make.

Also, google on the word "saag" and see if anything that pops up looks appealing. I'm a very picky eater, but I like to cook, so I'll try new foods as long as I know what's going into them. Hmm. That might be a control freak issue, now that I think about it.

This is making me hungry. 10 minutes to lunchtime.

#610 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:07 PM:

There are interesting recipes involving spinach in the Middle East, too. Some of them also involve yogurt. (Borani esfenaj comes immediately to mind. Think spinach dip, which is similar.) I'm fond of gormeh sabzi, which is a sauce-stew involving green vegetables (and beans) with meat or chicken, eaten over rice.

#611 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:08 PM:

Tlönista #598: Ugh! Takes me back to my schooldays, that.

#612 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:12 PM:

"The 'cook the vegetables until they are twenty times dead' approach wasn't just Southern. It was the hallmark of traditional English cookery for many years."

I thought it was to cook twenty times dead then batter and deep fry or is that just pub food?

#613 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:14 PM:

@Fragano Ledgister #603:

Charles Moskos, the sociologist who proposed the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy' on gays in the military, has died.

I had the pleasure of attending his "Introduction to Sociology" class at Northwestern University back in, oh, 1996 or so, one of the last years he taught it. He was an amazing professor. His class was so popular they had to schedule it in the largest (non-sports) auditorium on campus - in the Tech building. 300+ person capacity, always filled up, every semester. Those who sat in the balcony were the "excluded minority" for any in-class participation exercises, based on Moskos' joking that he can't see them very well up there. Useful tool for a sociology class, that.

Can't say I agree with the DADT policy (in comparison to the better alternative of something like "no able bodied intelligence turned away"), but he was a great prof. and the class was a lot of fun.

My notes from that class are probably still extant, buried in a notebook in a crate somewhere in the basement, but for now I cannot recall whether he discussed the DADT policy at all in class or not.

Later,
-cajun

#614 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:21 PM:

abi @ 606... my mother in law gave me (...) a red long sleeved T-shirt

Hmm. Red shirt + abiveld = being called Jinx by all other redshirts.

#615 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:27 PM:

Today is the 40th anniversary of Robert Kennedy's assassination. (As I recall, he actually died about 24 hours later.) Still hurts.

#616 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:31 PM:

TW #610: That's just pub food.

#617 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:44 PM:

Fragano #614:

But a great improvement over the non-pub (read "grey mush") variety of Brit veg.

Actually, about 30 years ago I found this marvellous object called _The Covent Garden Cookbook_, which gave any number of things to do with what you'd bought at the veggie stalls. None of them involve overcooking or otherwise disguising the fresh nature of the produce.

That said, this week's all-veg main dish is the veggie gratin from the latest "Cook's Illustrated". Lots o' zuccchini.

#618 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:49 PM:

BTW, I just had to explain "steampunk" to two baristas who'd never heard the term before. (I'd used it in reference to my speculations about the insides of the giant espresso machine.) I swear I don't know what the younger generations are coming to (or from).

#619 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 04:54 PM:

cajunfj40 #611: Wow! That's one for the small world department.

#620 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 05:08 PM:

joann @ 616... Speaking of steampunk (really retro-SF)... Is THIS neat or what?

#621 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 05:10 PM:

In the interests of peace and veggies, a great dish with mixed greens (quantities are very approximate, choice of greens can be varied):

One medium onion
Couple bundles of spinach
A couple bundles of assorted dark/bitter greens, including one or more of:
Dandelion greens (mmmmm... good...)
Red chard
Swiss chard
Collard greens
Maybe kale
One cup or more of feta cheese, chopped into little bits.

Wash and chop greens coarsely, just enough that they're not giant pieces. The spinach is fine, just wash it. Chop onions and saute in olive oil or butter to suit over medium-high heat until translucent or just starting to turn golden. Add the greens and cook until thoroughly wilted. Add the cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is about half melted and mixed into the sauce; some lumps of unmelted feta are good.

Serve over pasta or egg noodles.

It looks a bit ick, if you're sensitive to appearances, but is very very delicious. I've had particularly great results with dandelion greens, but the last batch I made was with half collard greens and half red chard and that was also great. The cheese moderates the bite of the stronger tasting greens.

I no longer remember where I got this recipe from, but it's clearly a long-lost cousin of Xopher's spinach paneer.

#622 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 05:17 PM:

Paula, I see you were MIT '75. Had my parents been enough richer or enough poorer, I would have been class of '80. As it is, the six years between us makes a huge difference. When I went off to UMCP in 1977, four out of Maryland's eight house reps were women, a ratio that was roughly maintained for about a decade. You want dimorphism: when Tom McMillen and Barbara Mikulski were both in the house, he was two feet taller than her. They are thought to have been respectively the tallest and shortest reps ever. Anyway, the point is that it didn't take long for things to change a lot. And Hillary Clinton is certainly a beneficiary of that change.

BUT

Her husband was, in many ways, a beneficiary of the more relevant side of her. By now, she's another member of the political establishment. Female, to be sure; but there has to come a point where the one outweighs the other, even though prejudice continues to be found.

#623 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 05:22 PM:

Serge #618:

Beyond neat. Way way cool, in the same way as the chap that makes retro keyboards and stuff.

It looks like Stephen Martiniere had a hand in it somewhere, along with Richard Powers (artist, not writer).

#624 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 05:26 PM:

joann @ 621... Actually, Waldrop's inspiration was 1961's Master of the World, but who cares?

#625 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 05:32 PM:

@Fragano Ledgister #617:

cajunfj40 #611: Wow! That's one for the small world department.

I suppose, but it doesn't feel that remarkable compared to the number of authors of books I've really liked that have posted to or are known by posters to ML. Shows my priorities, at least, in that I find fiction more remarkable than politics... At the time, I thought it unremarkable other than "Awesome, I got into Intro Soc.!" and that I managed to cram it in around a Mech Eng. curriculum that looked like the Engineering Department perused the various curricula published by the other "schools" on campus and deliberately chose to schedule required courses whenever an interesting course in another school was available...

Other trivia: Tech was at one point in the top three of "largest building by total hallway length" (with The Pentagon and The Kremlin, IIRC), and was purported to have been designed to house the Manhattan Project, and then had the safety factors doubled, and then the building was built. That Other University got the project, though.

The near-mythical "tunnels" and "secret sub-basement" were inaccessible by the time I got there, unfortunately. Apparently I only missed guided spelunking tours (unauthorized, no less) by a different Professor by a few years.

You know, I miss being at NU. It was never the same once the wacky group of people I hung out with dispersed to the four corners of the Earth after graduation, but I always remember the utter shock of "This is so wrong!" when I compared the door-lined cinderblock hallway of the first apartment I lived in on my first Internship to the door-lined cinderblock hallway of the Residence Hall I lived in at NU. The former: All doors closed and locked all the time, little or no evidence of inhabitants other than occasional sounds/TV/music/foodsmell. The latter: Most doors open most of the time, plenty of sound/music/etc and almost always somebody out or around to hang out with. Sometimes I feel like joining a commune-type-place just to get that feeling of community back.

Later,
-cajun

#626 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 05:35 PM:

If you are planning to grow Swiss chard, be advised that the variety "Lucullus" has big flat tasty ribs.

#627 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 06:01 PM:

I looked over the skyline from the top of MIT's Great Dome (Building 10) and the top of the Cecil and Ida Green Building (Building 54) when I was an undergraduate--that was before the N/i/g/h/t/w/a/t/c/h Homeland Security hysteria and before alarms and such went on them... it used to be a challenge to get up on them, not a crime....

One way to tell inheritance from MIT is going from one connected building into another and finding yourself on a different floor number.

#628 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 06:43 PM:

Reason not to answer the phone # CDLXXIII: So I pick up the phone hoping it's the polling company that's been ruining our dinner hour, so I can put the fear of Cthulhu into their supervisor, only to get a taped message trying to sell me burial insurance via the fear, uncertainty and doubt route.

("Yes, I *know* I'm gonna die. But if you *ever* call me again, it's gonna be you needing the insurance.")

#629 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 06:46 PM:

Paula #625:

Where do floor numbers start? On top, at ground level, at the (probably buried) bottom, or some combination of all of these?

(There's one buiding at Utexas that has ground level on the fourth floor. Various things that physicists do happen in the basements.)

#630 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 06:55 PM:

Paula at #559:

I think your math is off. Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963, which was 45 years ago. The women in their 30s and 40s today, weren't born yet or were in single digits of age, then, they weren't working in the Women's Movement, other than a precocious few whose mothers were in it who were involved as children in the early 1970s.

It's women in their 60s, 70s, and a few in their 50s, who were the drivers in those times.

Sorry about that, I ment to say "women who were in their 30s or 40s when they got into the feminist movement in the 1960s or 1970s" - using a woman who was 30 in 1970 as my hypothetical, to explain the frustration a woman who has been an active feminist since that time would be feeling when seeing Hillary told to step aside for a younger man.

I deliberately chose my hypothetical to be at the younger end of that age-group of feminists - any sense of urgency would only be greater the older one is.

#631 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 07:20 PM:

cajunfj40 #623: I know what you mean with regard to ML. This is a truly amazing community.

#632 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 07:32 PM:

Clifton 619: that's almost exactly the recipe I call Shauna's Collards and Feta, because I learned it from a former co-worker named Shauna.

The only differences are, because we did this sort of thing for a living, we cut the greens in a rough chiffonade, and the onions in half-moons so they would form long strands like unto the chiffonade, and we would caramelize the onions a little past golden.

We didn't even bother with the pasta. We just ate it.

#633 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 07:43 PM:

joann got the Ngaio Marsh story I was going to reference at 584 (and a fine bloody mystery it is, too); otherwise I'm not sure enough of anything to put forward an opinion.

Except I suspect that many things would be different if Robert Kennedy had not been shot that night in the awful year I turned sixteen. Even if he had not got the nomination, imagine if he had been able to campaign for Humphrey. Imagine if, even after a single Nixon administration, he'd been around to run in 1972, after speaking to and for his constituancy for another year.

What's struck me most strongly during this primary season was how very late the presence of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the contest seemed, compared to my expectations at the beginning of 1968. Maybe some of the bitterness around has to do with the tactics used by the besieged establishment to keep themselves in power, the conflicts between various sorts of the disenfranchized carefully tended to keep us from seeing the ways we are all equally screwed.

#634 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 07:48 PM:

Another case of a fictional television thing being "in fact green":

In the old black-and-white days of 'Doctor Who', the control console of the TARDIS was all shiny and high-tech and white. The actual prop, though, was pale green; this appeared as bright shiny white on screen while avoiding some of the disadvantages that would have resulted from the prop actually being bright shiny white.

That didn't mean that the control console was green, though.

(And if that doesn't persuade you, consider the case of an early 'Doctor Who' episode set in Egypt: the pyramids in the background were done in purple, because that was the colour of the available material and it looked fine on screen.)

#635 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 07:48 PM:

My Mom recently served me swiss chard, of which I said flat out, "you cooked it into oblivion!" Her response was essentially that she doesn't actually like swiss chard, so she turns it into "generic vegetable dish".

The contrast was heightened for me because she'd given me a batch of the same (from her farm-share), and I'd nicely steamed it with some sliced squash, topped with a bit of brown sugar and butter.

PS: Spring in Charlottesville seems to mean lots of evening storms, with a few all-day storms for a change-up. I just had to dash out to get the garbage out to the dumpster, and I could easily see both sheets and columns of rain. The columns were mostly shaded against the sky, while the sheets were visible at ground level.

#636 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:06 PM:

I guess the NY Times is reporting Clinton will suspend her campaign on Friday and endorse Obama.

#637 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:10 PM:

Wow, if you're right, you're a good guesser!

#638 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:14 PM:

Rikibeth: I know I got it from some vegetarian cookbook ages ago, I just don't remember which one, so your friend Shauna probably found it there too and then improvised on it. Your variations sound really elegant. Yes, we too have been known to just spoon up the extra straight out of the bowl, or straight out of the frying pan.

#639 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:20 PM:

And here's the god damned shame... there is thinking now that Clinton pretty much can't be offered the VP slot because... get a load of this... her husband's financial dealings and the covert contents of the Clinton Library would have to be made public... and he would not pass muster.

In other words, Bill Clinton cost her the VP slot.

I tell you, she should've dumped that guy as soon as he was out of office[1]. She got her Senatorship on her own, by leaving him out of it. She should've left him out of her Presidential campaign... he never did anything but cause her damage (well, mostly)...

Amazing.

[1] Of course, this leaves out the entirely mundane possibility that she actually loves the guy and would have no desire whatsoever to break her family apart.

#640 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Paul A @ 682... Regarding color being chosen with black&white in mind, there's Patrick McGoohan's attire in The Prisoner.

#641 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:45 PM:

Michael @637

She'll be a lot more productive in the Senate.

#642 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:52 PM:

This Is Just To Say

I am changing
the url
that is in
my name-line

which was
kathryn.sunnyvale@yahoo.com
and will

#643 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 08:53 PM:

instead be
my LJ page
id linked here
with the old

#644 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:08 PM:

Shall Kathryn from Synnyvale from now on be known here as Kathryn Ironically?

#646 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:42 PM:

I recall discussions that one of Ginger Rodgers' dresses being in reality orange and purple because the tone contrast looked divine on the b&w film. That sort of design is a lost art.

#647 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 09:53 PM:

T.W., #610: That's Scottish. They'll deep-fry anything.

Serge, #612: No, Jinx is a silver-tabby Sivaoan, later known as Another Starfreedom to-Eiauo.*

JESR, #631: Hmmm... ruminating on the reasons I prefer Obama, I wonder if one of them isn't that I self-identify more with the generation behind me (today's thirtysomethings) than I do with my own.** In any event, I've been disappointed in the way many of my political peers have turned out; perhaps it's time to let the next age-group have a shot, before they get burned out and/or corrupted in turn.

* Extra points for identifying that reference!

** This also tends to come up in issues relating to SF fandom, where I have little patience with the Old Phart Phan attitude-set that's common in people of my age group.

#648 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:04 PM:

Lee @ 645... I cheated. I googled.

As for the Old Phart Phan... You kids get off my lawn! That being said, do the fans of your generation (which is also mine) really say that fandom was so much better in their day? Of course, the generation that came before ours probably thought the same thing about us. And the generation before theirs... And our Fathers's Fathers... And our Fathers's Fathers's Fathers... And...

#649 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:05 PM:

Serge @642,

Naw, I'm still going to be d'Solarcity, but just not using the older address, the one I just used*, so future electroarcheologists, if they can't simply recreate the internet circa 2008, can delve backwards into my comment sets.

#650 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:06 PM:

Paula@554: I do NOT trust ambitious relatively young men, I got/get assaulted by them, some deliberately, some because they couldn't/can't be bothered to NOTICE a short woman--I think I've told the story of males walking rapidly into a feet-out wrought iron fireplace grate I was carrying in Burlington Mall, because they didn't -see- anyone who was under at most 5'4" tall--and simply strode into/over me--cases both physically, and metaphorically, of attack

Paula@558: She's been the betrayed sinned against wife, humiliated and emotionally betrayed, and THAT is something major regarding identification and mistreatment and -understanding- what it feels like to get sexually emotionally used and abused. Not gonna get that with Sen Obama

Hilary Clinton doesn't "understand" you. She will never come into your home and console you about the feelings of humiliation, emotional betrayal, being sexually used and abused. At most, she would have been *President*, and the potus has certain powers, being head of the executive branch, commander in chief of the military, able to nominate federal judges, and able to veto legislation, among a few other things. The president can't make humiliation illegal. The president can't make it illegal to use someone sexually. The president can't make *understanding* mandatory. The president can't make infidelity a federal crime, at least not without stepping on a lot of state laws. The president can't make "ambitious young men" notice you in the mall.

There are a shitload of gender problems in this country, and whoever is president can have a certain level of impact on them over time. But that would be limited to what can be given force of law. What you are describing are mostly things that no president, no matter how much they might understand you, can address in any meaningful way.

The president can't make up to you all the shitty things that happened to you in the past because you were a woman. The president can't make up for the fact that woman couldn't be military pilots when you were young. The president can't make up for all the things that happened to you at college. This is another reason why I said don't link or compare stuff from your past to current day people.

These things are, in a way, sunk costs. They are not a debt which the election of Hilary as president would offset. These things which harmed you have nothing to do with whether or not Obama is the best candidate for president or not. These things which hurt you have nothing to do with the feminist movement in the US.

If the feminist movement were to succeed in gaining full equal rights for women in America, then a natural outcome of that would be that women are elected President. But it is not true that the election of a woman to lead a country neccessarily is a reflection of feminism succeeding in establishing gender equality in that country (i.e. Margaret Thatcher*), NOR is it true that the NONELECTION of a woman as national leader must indicate that feminism has failed to make progress (Hilary Clinton).

But if Hilary became president, you might feel a sense of vindication, but that wouldn't make the pain from your personal past go away. And as soon as one ambitious young man ran into in the mall, it would stir up all your emotions from the past again. Your relationship to your past is purely internal. No external event today or tomorrow is going to change the way you relate to your past. That's the illusion that drives disassociation. Push the emotion away and focus on something external. The only thing that's going to change your relationship to your past is you.

I don't know the specific reason your holding onto these past pains, these negative images of yourself. Surprisingly, a lot of times it comes down to the person believes them on some level, believes the negative view of themself that they perceived someone was projecting at them. In your specific case, i wouldn't know without spending a bit of time talking with you to get at whatever is underneath this.

But I know the easy way to tell if someone is holding onto the past is that they're talking about it as some score that is unsettled even today, some wound that hasn't healed. All the lousy things that happened to you? Hilary becoming president wouldn't make that pain go away. And Obama didn't inflict that pain on you.

This presidential race has stirred up a whole lot of emotional things for a lot of people. And most of those emotions have nothing to do with either Hilary or Obama. People who have unresolved emotional issues from their past need to deal with those issues personally, not look to the potus to be some kind of salve to make the pain go away.

what does Sen. Obama have to offer cynical women who feel marginalized and unappreciated and unwanted except, to use Susan Shwartz' line, "to be a pocketboot on feet" or to do do the scutwork as either unrecognized taken for granted volunteers, or marginally paid non-recognized workers, and/or be the ones doing all the domestic chores....

I don't think Obama or Hilary would be able to make it legally mandatory that all domestic chores be split equally between spouses.

As far as the things that potus can do, I would say that Obama got high ratings from the pro choice group, high ratings from separation of church and state group, high ratings from aclu, and that those ratings would reflect the faith these groups have in Obama doing the right thing as a leader.

Will that make women feel appreciated and wanted? I don't know. Hilary might make some women feel more appreciated and more wanted than they feel now, but if they're feeling unappreciated and unwanted because of old wounds that have never healed, then Hilary (or any president) would be a lolipop to the personal pain that person feels. A short distraction that might even feel good momentarily, but doesn't actually fix the underlying, and ultimately personal, issue. i.e. whatever that thing from the past that hurt them, that hurt from the past that they're still holding on to now.

So, yes, a lot of this is emotional. But more importantly, a lot of this stuff is personal to you and your past, and you're hurling your anger around these personal pains at "most males" and at Obama as if they were the cause of the pain itself. Deal with the pain from the past separately, and then look at Obama (or any man in your life now), and I would guess that you would have a different take on him.


(*) "I owe nothing to women’s lib." -- Margaret Thatcher


#651 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:11 PM:

R.M.@560: Is fresh spinach more filling than other greens?

Having recently made a habit of eating spinach, I'd say it feels that way to me too.

But then I started cooking it, and it didn't have quite the same feel, so I'm not sure if it's more filling, or if it has something to do with the fact that uncooked spinach is about ten times more chewing* than cooked spinach.

(*) ten times more volume too. First time I cooked a serving of spinach, I went to do soemthing and left the pan unattended for a while and came back thinking the wife must have helped herself to some.

#652 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:14 PM:

Greg London @ 648... I'd like to suggest that it'd be better for us all if this subject were left alone for some time. That's just my opinion, mind you.

#653 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:16 PM:

Televisions: I didn't realize we had a black and white TV until one day we were watching some police show and the cop called on the radio that they were in pursuit of a "blue van". And I was like, "but it was white". I think I was 4.

Kirk's shirt wasn't gold or green, he was a light shade of gray.

#654 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:25 PM:

Kathryn @ 647...

Kathryn d'Solarcity?

That sounds like the name of a character in a space opera set one thousand centuries into the Future.

I like it.

#655 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:27 PM:

And the 2008 "Not Remotely Helpful" Award goes, by unanimous vote of the judges, to GREG LONDON!

#656 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:43 PM:

Greg, may I respectfully suggest that "shitty things that happened to you because you were a woman" are not just individual one-off personal things that politics can't change, but are symptoms of systemic inequalities. Having a female president would actually strike a blow to these systemic inequalities -- both symbolically and pragmatically. Nothing can change the past, but some things can change the situation that led to painful past events. That's not only healing on a personal level, but it's morally good.

Your response sounds pretty condescending to me, and I'm not even arguing for Hillary Clinton.

Paula, may I point you towards a discussion on Shakesville that you may find interesting and/or useful? In fact, I'd like to point everyone towards the post there, although some may find the comments more or less useful than others. (Some of the comments make me angry, for example. You may wish to choose not to read them if you do not want to read angry things directed at Obama and his supporters.) The post might explain some things. Melissa McEwan has been a model of reason and sanity about the whole primary; would that all political bloggers thought and wrote as carefully as she.

#657 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 10:51 PM:

As far as Kirk's uniform on original Star Trek goes, saying "it was green, not gold" is an over-simplification. There were several designs. Even leaving aside the green dress uniform he wore in several 2nd season episodes, they changed the design of the main tunic over the course of the show.

The Memory Alpha entry for Starfleet Uniforms describes the "original" command-rank uniform as "greenish-gold". It looks a sort of olive color in this photo from "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the first filmed episode. They say it looked more greenish away from studio lights. Also see this photo; I don't know when it was taken, but Kirk's tunic looks greenish.

But they changed the tunic later on; Memory Alpha says the new uniforms show up in "Friday's Child", which was an early 2nd-season ep. I'm not sure of the details, but I've got a copy of the Star Trek Sketchbook: The Original Series, and it has photos of Kirk's tunic (not stills from the show; these are photos of the clothes hanging on a mannequin), and it's very definitely a warm orange-tinged yellow, like this.

#658 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:11 PM:

The Starfleet Technical Manual referred to that color as 'tanne' (English 'tawny' is related). Sort of a golden-tan. I can tell you that in color some were green and some were gold, so it really isn't consistent.

#659 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:18 PM:

By the way. I voted for Barack Obama (1) because he was right about Iraq when Clinton and Edwards weren't, (2) because his people solicited Lawrence Lessig for input on tech policy, and (3) because he won in Iowa, demonstrating an ability to engineer wins in states where black people are exotically tiny minorities.

If Hillary Clinton had voted against Iraq and the PATRIOT Act, and had demonstrated any awareness of the importance of tech and IP issues, I would have not only voted for her, I would have worn a button the size of a dinner plate.

Anyone who wants to cast me as a misogynist over this is cordially invited to kiss my ass.

Anyone who wants to trash passionate Clinton supporters over this stuff is likewise invited to osculate the other buttock. Because as far as I'm concerned, most of them are people who agree with me on 97.3% of the things that matter. Right now they're hurting. You know something? Been there. Done that.

These attempts to reduce the entire story of the 2008 Democratic primary election to a tale of crude, simplistic identity politics are unworthy, and their perpetrators should hang their heads in the company of decent women and men.

#660 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:35 PM:

Patrick @657, you speak for me in every word.

#661 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:44 PM:

R.M. Koske: Spinach is a vegetable one needs to eat in moderation, esp. for women, and people in who've made it to middle age. It's very high in oxalic acid, which locks up free calcium, and has the effect; when eaten in large quantities/with great regularity, of increasing bone loss.

Summer food: fava bean and bacon salad. Fresh fava beans are work (they have to be shucked, and then peeled) but they are really tasty (you could do it with fresh limas too). Mixed green salad (use your spinach, arugula, mâon;che cucumber, tomato; if you want you can add some fruit (pineapple, mango, or tangerine/mandarin sections, something with a bit of bite/counterpoint) romaine, or redleaf as the main lettuce, but some bibb, or boston is also nice; but give a very differnt mouth-feel. Get some thick bacon, crisp it, reserving the fat. At the same time get some water on the boil.

Cook the beans until they are done (like fresh peas, they should yield to the tooth, but not crunch). dress them with the bacon grease, toss them with the bacon, and while both are still warm toss into the salad, and dress with basalmic, no need for oil. Serve immediately.

Paula: at the risk of upsetting you... I don't see those things in Clinton. I understand that 1: you do, and 2: my opinion doesn't mean much to you in this context (and for a number of reasons). Aside from being female I haven't see her doing anything to champion women.

I note that you quote comm theory, but you also get upset when people (like me) read what you wrote and see it as saying things you didn't thin you said; snarkily telling us you thought so obvious there was no possibility of confusion; but the confusions have been steady.

perceptions on the receiver, rather than intent of the generator, are what elicit reactions..... which is precisely what joann was saying

Lee: My problem is that, at 41, my generation isn't really in line to do much yet. Obama is seven years older than I am, so I don't see him as behind me.

#662 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2008, 11:45 PM:

Hilary Clinton isn't the only woman who could be considered for the VP position. What do you all think of Arizona's Janet Napolitano, Michigan's Jennifer Granholm, or some other woman governor? It seems to me that choosing a governor for this spot has several advantages:

  • Someone who has executive as well as legislative experience;
  • Regional appeal;
  • Doesn't subtract 1 from a potential Democratic majority in the Senate.
#663 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:03 AM:

Allan #660 -- Also, the possibility of getting votes from Concrete Blonde fans who aren't paying close-enough attention.

#664 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:30 AM:

Patrick, you speak for me too.

I also think that both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama have done their best to run a hard but decent fight, gaffes by each notwithstanding, and this election would have gone a whole lot better if more of their supporters had tried to do the same.

661: Snrk!

#665 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:33 AM:

i think that eating salad made with raw spinach resulted in some abrasion on my teeth once.

#666 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:46 AM:

Patrick @#653: Amen, and thanks. When Paula first lit off, I thought about responding at length, but I realized that it didn't really matter what I might have said -- I just wasn't the person to say it, and I wasn't too sure that such a person existed. Looks like Greg missed that memo.

I will comment that there's a third divide here besides gender and race, which is generation -- roughly, Boomers vs. GenX.

Michael Weholt @#637:

... her husband's financial dealings and the covert contents of the Clinton Library would have to be made public... and he would not pass muster.

Funny, back when Bill was President, the Rethuglicans did a full audit of both their financial dealings, and couldn't find anything, which is why they threw the centipede at him. Has there been anything new since? And how would her getting the VP slot break the seal on a prior President's sealed records, let alone expose them to public review?

I still think taking her as VP would be a mistake for Obama -- just not for that reason. Cabinet, sure. Heck, Hillary as Attorney General would make for a helluva show! But not VP, not after this campaign. And yeah, Bill needs to be parked somewhere safe (and kept busy), or he's liable to become a loose cannon.

#667 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:48 AM:

I need to mention this; it's been driving me crazy this whole conversation:

HiLLary Clinton

Please make a note of it.

And now I'll be good, I promise.

(Serge? A pun, perhaps? I just watched an old Buffy episode and finished knitting a mindless scarf, if it helps to get things started.)

#668 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:52 AM:

And also, PNH, thank you. The blogosphere's been a little ugly recently. Thank you for reminding me that this piece of it is still good.

#669 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:54 AM:

Open thread!

On a mostly-unrelated subject I'm looking for some commentary or an essay on the nature of 'fair fights', probably by some philosopher.

The premise was that if you're more inherently talented or strong by nature, then the fight is not fair, as you have an advantage you didn't earn.

If you are better trained, then you've just beaten someone inexperienced, which is just what's expected, and hardly fair.

If you are somehow matched against someone of similar inherent strength and training, then luck will determine the outcome, so that's hardly satisfying.

A friend of mine brought this up and I find it fascinating, but it's somewhat frustrating that I have no idea where the concept came from. Maybe this will be familiar to someone, though I know it's terribly vague.

#670 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:15 AM:

Leah Miller @#667: You're having trouble finding a definition, because as actually used, the phrase doesn't mean what it looks like. In this context, fighting is a means of establishing a dominance hierarchy. In practice, a fight that gets condemned as "unfair" is one that either (1) breaks the locally "usual and customary" rules for such a fight (usually designed to make fights survivable for both parties), or (2) reaches too far across the dominance hierarchy.

More detail on the latter: The underdog is expected to work their way up the ladder, not try to leapfrog the betas by taking out the top guy right off. Conversely, the top dog is expected to settle most of their conflicts with minimal or no actual violence -- that's what the hierarchy is for. If they need to get too rough with the lower ranks, that casts their dominance into doubt.

Note that sports contests and tournaments are stylized dominance hierarchies, so they inherit the implicit rules thereof. Weight classes and the like are basically a means to skip the "boring parts" where we know damn well who's going to win.


#671 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:21 AM:

abi @ 600

Thus doth parenthood make kaka of us all.

#672 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:25 AM:

Alan*, #660:

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas has already been floated as a possibility. I think she'd do well; OTOH, given that it's Kansas we're talking about, I do wonder if we don't need her worse there...

* cf. #665 :-)

#673 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:40 AM:

geekosaur @ 521: I grew up thinking that Martin Luther King's dream had become reality. Come to find out when I got older that I just happened to grow up in one of the most racially intergrated (not diverse) cities in the nation, where it was not uncommon to be friends with somebody of two or more racial types (such as my brother's friend Jaime Wong, his "slightly Oriental compañero.")

It was pretty appalling to move somewhere else for college and find newspaper stories talking about "blacks and whites trying to understand one another." As though skin color determined a monolithic viewpoint.

The really funny part is I have been known to say, in all sincerity, "You're black?" Of course, at least one of the people I said that about had just finished playing one of the white supremacists in the play God's Country*, so you can see why I might have missed it.

*excellent, very scary play, based on actual events in the Inland Northwest (eastern Washington and northern Idaho.)

Ronit: My parents had to deal with a similar estate— not precisely the result of hoarding but very, very full of stuff. It took them over a year to clear that house. They had at least one massive garage sale where the prices were rock-bottom "get it out of here." They also filled several dumpsters and had a used-book person take boxes of books away, and a similar person taking furniture.

I think the hardest part for them was the computers— the guy was a hardware tech and boy, it showed.

Whatever you do, just remember it's a trade-off between money and time; you can clear stuff faster by pricing it cheaply but if you need its value, price it accurately.

Incidentally, this was a friend of the family, and my mother saved for me a Sluggy Freelance T-shirt. Someday I'd like to be able to wear it with a sign that says "A family friend died and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." I think he'd have loved it.

#674 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:44 AM:

R.M. Koske, #560, thank Ghu. I happen to like raw spinach better than most other greens, and it does have more vitaminks and such, but I don't know about filling. Cold food is what I like on many summer days -- salads, cold soups (like gazpacho or lettuce soup), sliced zucchini with dip, etc.

Ibid, #583, if you have gluten intolerance, you should be leaving the pasta out of the pasta salads.

#675 ::: Carol ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:46 AM:

Leah @ 667:

Kurt Vonnegut did a riff on this concept with "Harrison Bergeron", where equalization was enforced by making physically gifted people wear weights, brainy folks wear headsets that periodically gave noisome bursts of static, etc.

Not quite what you asked...

#676 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:46 AM:

Lee @ 645

I identify with younger people politically because I spent so much time when I was younger trying to get people my age to get off their fat arses and change the world, if only a little. These days the boomers sit around and congratulate themselves on how they changed the world. Yeah, right! Get off the lawn, geezers!

#677 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:15 AM:

I can remember a time when PBS pledge drives were full of musical specials starring Lawrence Welk or performers of his style of music.

Tonight as part of the local pledge drive I can watch Jimi Hendrix performing at Monterey Pop circa 1967.

#678 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:17 AM:

I think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have set the tone for the post-primary era: they've been complimentary to each other, respectful and praiseful of each other's positions and statements. That sounds to me like both of them saying to their followers and the nation in general, "The friendly part of the competition is over and we need to unite together now to defeat the forces that have made a mockery of the principles of our country for the last seven years." I think we should heed them.

As for Clinton's role in an Obama administration, I agree that making her the candidate for VP doesn't make sense for Obama from a political perspective. But what makes one hell of a lot of sense, something she might really be interested in, is to appoint her Secretary of Health and Human Services, and charge her with writing the administration's health care policy, and advising Democratic congresspeople on the writing of a bill to implement it.

#679 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:51 AM:

Linkmeister @ 675 - Ye Olde Musick of whatever generation isn't too bad, but what I can't stand are all the fake medical shows during pledge week, like that wrinkle doctor who uses PBS as an infomercial.

These days, pretty much all I ever watch on PBS is Nova, Nature, Secrets of the Dead, and America's Test Kitchen.

#680 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:20 AM:

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little @ 582: "So, while I agree that Excel raises its prices more than is reasonable in a monopolistic environment, and that Bush is a thief and criminal, I also think cutesy insult names for either lowers the level of discourse and undermines any valid points that could be made about them. I wish we could leave the ad hominem out; the facts are damning enough without needing the invective "boosted" by calling names."

A thousand times agreed.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden @ 657: "Anyone who wants to cast me as a misogynist over this is cordially invited to kiss my ass. Anyone who wants to trash passionate Clinton supporters over this stuff is likewise invited to osculate the other buttock."

Likewise fervently agreed.

#681 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:23 AM:

That's Scottish. They'll deep-fry anything.

(hmmph) Yes, well, we're sorry we didn't have time to come up with a sufficiently interesting national cuisine in the time we had spare from inventing the entire modern world. (mutters Gaelically)

#682 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:18 AM:

Lee@645: The late lamented Janet Kagan's Uhura's Song, of course. "Star Freedom" is a translation of "Nyota Uhura", if memory serves me right.

P.J. Evans@656: "tenne", actually, not "tanne".

#683 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:22 AM:

Gentlebeings.

Can we please have a thread without the American politics. It's getting boring.

I know your election is important. I can see how your current administration has destroyed the good name of the USA, and sanded the delicate gear-wheels of civilisation.

We need you to be rid of the scum.

But, please, can we try to talk about something else, somewhere.

#684 ::: distraxi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:23 AM:

ajay@679

You're suggesting that haggis is not sufficiently "interesting"?

#685 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:27 AM:

Sarah @ 665... A mindless scarf? Is that another name for a knitwit?

#686 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:29 AM:

distraxi @ 682...

Ramirez: Haggis? What is haggis?
Connor MacLeod: Sheep's stomach, stuffed with meat and barley.
Ramirez: And what do you do with it?
Connor MacLeod: You eat it.
Ramirez: How revolting!

#687 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:26 AM:

Haggis?

Uh, can we talk about something a bit less revolting, like the election maybe?

#688 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:44 AM:

Yeah, we probably need an American Politics thread and a Haggis thread...

#689 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:13 AM:

On the other hand, if Obama's VP search committee chair Caroline Kennedy were to pull a Cheney and recommend herself—that's not what I had in mind.

#690 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:33 AM:

You want something different? I got something different.

Do any of the New York denizens (especially those in Brooklyn) know anything about the status of the preservation campaign for the Eberhard Faber plant buildings, over in the Kent and West Streets part of Greenpoint? If the council did come through on ths hsitoric preservation designations, any word on what will be done with the properties?

See the tile decorations on one of the buildings! Giant pencils--how cool is that?

#691 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:37 AM:

#659, Terry Karney -

That salad sounds good!

#672, Marilee -

I don't have to avoid pasta salads as long as I make them with gluten-free pasta. It was a huge relief to find a good brand of GF pasta and realize that I didn't have to discard quite so many "regular" recipes as I thought.

#692 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:58 AM:

Am I the only one who thinks that the particle about the child swallowing thirty pieces of a magnetic toy is not a story about a poorly designed toy?

I'm a bit annoyed by the story, actually. My husband has a similar toy and adores it. For a child old enough to not swallow pieces, I would think it would be fabulous. Of course, I also would have thought an eight-year-old would be old enough to not swallow pieces*, so what do I know about kids?

The toy company points out that swallowing thirty pieces of any toy is likely to cause severe problems, and I agree. I think this isn't a case of "poorly designed toy" but a case of "wow, people will do some crazy things." It annoys my sense of justice that they're reportedly redesigning the toy to make this less likely to happen. It feels as if they're admitting a fault that I don't think is rightfully theirs.

*Apparently her parents thought so too - they were in the room when she did the swallowing and didn't think the toy required supervision to keep her from doing such a thing.

#693 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:03 AM:

R.M.Koske @ 690... Hey! Let's have MagnetoGirl duke it out with ElectroGirl, aka Abi's daughter.

#694 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:07 AM:

#691, Serge -

I'd forgotten about that! How old is Abi's daughter? Am I grossly overestimating when "swallowing random things" ceases to be a problem?

#695 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:11 AM:

joann...

Back to steampunk/retroSF...

Did you notice that Tor's latest newsletter has something about The Court of the Air, by Stephen Hunt? I may decide to ignore my rule against buying hardcovers when this book comes out this month.

By the way, I wonder what caused the rebirth of retroSF. Quite a few such books of that sort were published after The Difference Engine came out, about 20 years ago, but that sort of petered out quickly. Me, I've always loved retroSF, especially in movies, so of course I'm happy at this situation. Still, I wonder where this came from. Agatha Heterodyne may have something to do with this, but I have this feeling that the graphic novel of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is the prime suspect.

#696 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:14 AM:

R.M.Koske @ 692... I think ElectroGirl turned four recently, and had requested a MythBusters-themed birthday cake for the occasion.

#697 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:25 AM:

#693, Serge -

"RetroSF" is a new one on me (I tend to live under a rock wrt written SF, so that's not necessarily a surprise.) How is it different from steampunk? My first guess would be that it is all the other periods that steampunk isn't. Could you (or someone) elaborate on that a little for me?

My first thought when you mentioned the twenty-year gap was to wonder if there was a difference in our relationship to tech during that period - did we feel more or less in control of it, more or less alienated by it? But then I did the math and realized that twenty years ago was the eighties*, and I'm not sure I see that kind of shift.

*One of the places my age shows is that I'm frequently surprised by that realization.

#698 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:29 AM:

Aah, now a three- or four-year-old is in what I'd think was the prime swallowing stuff years. Glad to know that maybe I wasn't as far off as I feared.

#699 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:33 AM:

Patrick@653: the 2008 "Not Remotely Helpful" Award goes, by unanimous vote of the judges, to GREG LONDON!

Well, either it isn't really unanimous:

Lee@383: (Greg), My gender (personal, not collective) and I thank you.

Or you're talking about something more specific than the conversation as to whether Paula is bringing her own personal stuff into the presidential debate.

joann@564: caught up in your own sense of injury that you see hurt, deliberate malice, condescension and wilfull inconsideration everywhere

Otherwise, the next time Paula angrily makes blanket statements about "a large percentage of males" or starts speaking for the collective of all women, I'm not sure how I can point out said blanket statement without winning another "not remotely helpful" award.


Caroline@654: symptoms of systemic inequalities. Having a female president would actually strike a blow to these systemic inequalities -- both symbolically and pragmatically.

Oh gawd. I'm talking about the cost of the war, and you want to twist it so that I hope we lose the war. I'm talking about Paula making blanket statements about all women and about all men, and you want to twist that to the point that I'm arguing against feminism.

I'm addressing something very specific, and I'm not the only person who noticed it:

joann@469: (to Paula) You cannot speak for me, only for yourself. *You* are angry; let's keep that personal, shall we?

Is joann arguing against the idea that we "strike a blow to these systemic inequalities"? Or is she talking about something else entirely.

Lee@478: (to Paula) Don't you DARE pretend to speak for me as a woman ever again.

Is Lee arguing against women's rights? Or is she addressing something specific about Paula's statements.

Your response sounds pretty condescending to me

I pointed out to Paula that she was using disassociative language which usually means the speaker is trying to distance themselves from some personal pain. I invited her to separate the presidential election from the stuff in her past. She acknowledged I was right, but at first declined to go into her past

Paula@464: NFW Greg. NFW. The dissociative language was deliberate, because there is a LOT of fury involved. A LOT of it.

A little while later, she starts discussing some stuff from her past. And she and I were discussing that. At which point, Patrick gives me an award and you call me condescending.

Paula's bringing some personal pain into the conversation. She turned it outward into anger. She started making blanket statements about all men, and she started making collective statements for all women. To the point where I objected to the blanket statements about men, and a couple of women told her to stop speaking for all women as a collective.

So that leaves Paula with the pain from her past, which is what I was trying to address. She was, at least for a while, engaged in that conversation, and I was going along for as long as she would talk about it.

You want to turn that into condescension or that I'm against "striking a blow to systemic inequalities"? Patrick wants to give me a "Not Helping" award?

You know what? Not every angry person is angry because they're trying to right some systemic injustice in the world. Sometimes people are angry because they're hurt. And me trying to address that hurt doesn't mean I'm trying to keep the systemic injustice in place. If you can't separate those two concepts, then I can't help you understand what it is I'm doing.

#700 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:35 AM:

#686: So, is a political campaign in Scotland the "rubber haggis circuit"?

#701 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:38 AM:

R.M.Koske @ 695... Oh, what I call retroSF is what is now known as steampunk. That last name, I think, was cooked up when The Difference Engine came out, and it had been written by two cyberpunk authors, so of course this came to be known as steampunk. Which doesn't really make sense because those stories are more likely to be about the wonders of electricity, not steam. Bah. This is just me splitting hairs. Steampunk it is.

#702 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:46 AM:

I tend to refer to it as "Victorian SuperScience", which isn't entirely accurate, as it tends actually (e.g. in Agatha's case) to be Edwardian SuperScience. "Steampunk" doesn't do it for me as a term because it implies a grittiness which I'm not consistently seeing; in steampunk all the illustrations would be by Lewis Hines.

#703 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:47 AM:

ajay @ 679

No, no we admire the Scots for the courage of their cuisine. Many's the time I've stood at the Tomb of the Unknown Haggis contemplating the deep love of counry that ... erm, no, that didn't come out quite right.

#704 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:10 AM:

Greg, sometimes, even when we mean well and are trying to say things that are generally helpful and useful, it has a less positive effect than we'd like. There are lots of reasons why this may be the case, but all the same, sometimes we're better off letting something go instead of trying to make it better, clearer, and so on.

Whatever issues Paula may have with regard to life, the universe, and everything, including the Clinton vs. Obama primary campaigns, just wanting to be helpful and having what may be good insights does not mean that you are the best person to help her with them, let alone her personal choice as a good person to help her.

Please note that this has nothing to do with whether you are right or wrong. This is about "You aren't the person who can help here." So stop, please. I suspect you aren't helping Paula much, and I know it's annoying as all get-out to watch you when you get the bit between your teeth like this.

Please quit trying to Make Things Better By Typing More. That trick rarely works.

Here, go look at this delicious-sounding healthy recipe instead of trying to argue further.

#705 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:15 AM:

fidelio @ 702... I had hoped your link would lead to some haggis recipe.

#706 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:21 AM:

Serge @ 683:

It's all gone wrong, I tell you! I'm trapped here, and that woolly horror is out there, waiting. It already got Wilkins. You can't reason with it; there's nothing it wants except to feed! And it's flame-retardant!

*cough* I meant it for the best - save yourselves --

#707 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:23 AM:

C Wingate @ 700... The only problem with calling it 'Victorian' (or 'Edwardian') Superscience is that people like Jules Verne would have been greatly irked at this slight against France's contributions to science & technology. Still, I understand what you mean.

#708 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:25 AM:

Sarah @ 704... What's the title of that tale? The Horror at Woolworth's?

#709 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:29 AM:

Serge @ #703--You got something against cole slaw, mister?

Besides, I decline to be a haggis enabler. My people emigrated to escape such horrors. They heard there was a place where they could find such delights as purple-hulled peas, hominy grits with cheese, watermelon, fresh tomatoes, and peach cobbler. Of course, they had no idea what these things were like, but they sounded better than haggis.

#710 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:37 AM:

fidelio @ 707...

A sheep's stomach filled with cole slaw.
And with potato salad.
Yum.

#711 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:40 AM:

#707

I don't know about the grits with cheese, but the rest is good. (Hominy I've met, but only in the 'whole' form. Tasty.) They also beat out oatmeal, the breakfast of Calvinists.

#712 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:44 AM:

fidelio @ 707: "Of course, they had no idea what these things were like, but they sounded better than haggis."

Doesn't everything?

(And I think you're dead on @ 702.)

#713 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:55 AM:

Serge @ #705:

On the most recent occasion that the Hugo Awards ceremony was held in Europe, the proceedings opened with a presentation on the life and career of the man after who the awards are named: Victor Hugo, author of such classics as The Jet-Pack of Notre Dame.

(Among his other listed achievements were "his 1862 dystopian vision, Les Misérables, in which everyone lives unhappily under the jackboot of the tyrannical Frère Énorme" and, of course, the famous Three Laws of Automata: "A homunculus, automaton or other artificial being shall not serve a human red wine with fish, must always alert a human to shortfallings in the quality of his cuisine with a mechanical cry of 'sacré bleu', and shall not (through inaction) allow a human to be seen in public with mismatching gaiters and cravatte.")

#714 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:58 AM:

Terry #550: I can guess where you've heard that. But it's still not like this is a preferred strategy. Perhaps if things tank even worse under the Democrats, the Republicans will be made even stronger. But that argument can always be used to explain why losing an election might be a benefit, and it's often the case that a seriously rocky future is plausible. Nobody makes that argument when they look to be about to win the next election--instead, they forsee how their deft handling of the upcoming hard times will ensure that the people will finally recognize them for the farsighted statesmen that they are.

Perhaps Obama's America will tank so hard that both parties lose credibility, and the Libertarians and Greens will become the contenders for nationwide elections, too. But that ain't the way to bet, and it doesn't make the certainty of a hopeless loss for the Libertarians into good news for that party.

#715 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:59 AM:

Considering how deeply in the pockets of the health care insurance industry Clinton is, do you really want her anywhere near health care?

Just asking because, I am, you know, curious.

Love, C.

#716 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:03 AM:

fidelio #702

Euwwww, it has mayonnaise in it! Euwww!

(translation--I strongly dislike mayonnaise, it's why I hate most cole slaw. fidelio wrote "delicious-sounding healthy recipe." Since it has mayonnaise in it, it definitely seems unappetizing, not delicious, to me!)

(note on some other stuff--Greg was trying to get more information out of me... what came out was information to him, noise to various other people.... I was not saying "all women" or "all men" when saying "women.." and "men..." that's applique/interpretation/gloss by others. Yes, I was using them as class-generality stuff, but then I had some very hard science training training early in my adult age years, which included that almost everything has exceptions. The general case, one has to realize doesn't tend to be universal. Speaking probabilitistically, the probability of something is almost never 1, which is complete certainty and no exceptions.

Meanwhile, radio news this morning, the reporters were saying such things as Sen Obama not being appealing to middle class women and various other constituencies that Sen Clinton had... note that the news media is reporting about such matters as generalities.

#717 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:07 AM:

PJ @ #709--Hominy grits with cheese* is the southern US version of polenta with cheese, except that the typical cheese is something like cheddar, and the corn meal comes from hominy, which, asyouknowBob, is treated corn. Then there's that Charleston favorite, shrimp and grits.

heresiarch @#710--the true haggis lover would not agree, but I think we have them outnumbered here. (And thanks.)


*I don't feel, myself, that the entire stick of butter is necessary, but YMMV. Clearly, Paula's does.

#718 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:07 AM:

Michael Weholt@686

We COULD combine the two. Have a thread about the implications of Haggis in American Politics...

#719 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:14 AM:

Paul @711

I do hope you know that the Hugo award is named after Hugo Gernsback? Don't want to confuse any newcomers to fandom.

#720 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:15 AM:

Wow Greg, who is twisting whose words? I did not say nor did I mean that you were against righting injustice.

In fact my entire comment was predicated on the assumption that you are FOR it, otherwise you wouldn't have cared. What I said was that your comment sounded to me like you were reading Paula's statements as personal one-off events. That is a frequent response to women recounting issues that were sexist in nature, and although this was not your intent (and it is rarely the intent of the person who responds that way), it ends up dismissing the reality of sexism. Because it was just you, that one time, that one guy, that one boss, that one job -- except that it keeps on happening.

And when you realize there's a pattern you get angry. When you get angry you start making generalizations. They are almost certainly not rigorously, 100% fair or true generalizations. But the context means you read them a little differently, and understand them as a mild form of hyperbole, rather than as something that the writer/speaker is asserting to be literally true at all times and in all situations.

#721 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:16 AM:

Paula @ #714, I won't go so far as to say mayonnaise is Vile, but you do have to use it with a light hand. As sauces and dressings go, it's mainly fat, and great globs of it--*shudder*. I like vinegar dressings on slaw better myself.

Also, where did the notion that hamburgers "must" have mayonnaise on them come from? That's just Wrong.

#722 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:23 AM:

Speking from experience, haggis is not so terribly different from the English concept of sausage,

The problem is that most sausages in England are made with pork (which my brother is under long-standing medical advice not to eat), and the most plentiful ingredient in a tupenny sausage is water. Such horrors: if they couldn't fill the sausage-skin with water, the supermarkets might have to change a whole thruppence!

#723 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:31 AM:

I resent all this trash talk about mayonnaise. There is nothing on Earth better than mayonnaise. I used to hate Europeans, but then I found out one country over there puts mayonnaise on their Freedom Fries.

Mayonnaise... real mayonnaise is the best. Hellman's is my favorite, but sometime soon I'm going to try making it myself so that I can attain the Godhead and/or, as a non-religious alternative, Touch The Stars.

#724 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:38 AM:

Magenta #717

I think you got gotcha'ed... I almost got caught, then realized that nope, Victor Hugo had not written those things and that if the presentation existed it involved parody/hyperbole/fictionalized entertainment.

#725 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:40 AM:

710: oh, I agree. Almost everything sounds nicer than haggis. Nothing to do with how it tastes, of course.

707:You got something against cole slaw, mister?

[JOHN WAYNE] There's only one kind of law out here, Major. Coleslaw.

#726 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:44 AM:

Paul A @ 711... "A homunculus, automaton or other artificial being (...) shall not (through inaction) allow a human to be seen in public with mismatching gaiters and cravatte."

Quelle horreur!
It shames Paris.

#727 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:50 AM:

Michael @ #721--Word in North Carolina is that you should try Dukes, which is supposed to be even more better than Hellman's. It's based on the recipe of a Mrs. Duke, who used it making sandwiches to sell to the troops stationed at Ft. Bragg during World War I.

Rumor (with her snaky locks and thousand tongues) has it that the Secret Mayonnaise Masters are still fighting amongst themselves over whether you can claim to be a True Master if you use a blender and drizzle the oil through the hole in the lid, instead of whisking it all together by hand, which means you either need to have to bolw anchored somehow, or a third hand for the oil.

I still say that while mayonnaise has its own role to play in the world, big globs of it are not nice.

#728 ::: JimR ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:51 AM:

I'm sorry to interrupt the haggissing (shudder), but I was wondering if I could invoke the power of the open thread, and ask for some advice.
I'm kind of butting my head against a big, spiky wall with my writing, and writing in a vacuum of sorts* isn't helping. I was thinking that getting some interaction with other writers might be a good idea, and in my search for answers I discovered the Online writing workshop. It seems interesting, and it's certainly not at all expensive. But before I get too excited, I was wondering if any of you had any experience/thoughts about the subject?
I tried Critters, but frankly the feedback I got was...well...useless is a strong word, but at times strength is called for. And, of course, there's the whole ABurt thing. Does anyone know, is the OWW worth it at all? Are any workshops worth it?
Anyway, any input you all might have on ways to get some meaningful feedback and help myself become the best writer I can be would be greatly appreciated.

Thankee kindly.

---
*I don't have anyone around me who reads, at least not in English, so I get no feedback at all except rejection letters. I know I like what I write, but I have no idea about other people.

#729 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:09 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ #722:

I think, to be fair, that Magenta knows what's what, but is worried that less historically-aware readers (if there are any on Making Light) might not. Which is a reasonable worry, although I tend to think that the bit about the jet-pack is something of a giveaway.


if the presentation existed it involved parody/hyperbole/fictionalized entertainment

If you think that from the small bit I quoted, you should see the whole thing. The Worldcon 2005 web site has video evidence and a link to the transcript.

The presentation not only existed (written and performed by Paul McAuley and Kim Newman), it was nominated for Best Short Dramatic Presentation in the following year's Hugo Awards, which alas for it turned out to be the first year of Doctor Who's current winning streak.

#730 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:11 PM:

R. M. Koske @#690: Of course, I also would have thought an eight-year-old would be old enough to not swallow pieces*

She definitely should have been. That "looked like candy" line rings entirely false -- I wonder about hidden currents in that household. (Pica, anyone?)

It's worth noting that multiple magnets (with or without the steel balls) are particularly nasty when swallowed. As I understand the problem, they tend to clamp together bits from different sections of the small intestine, which is far too fragile for such abuse. Thus, the article's description of "gunshot-like" perforations.

#731 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:15 PM:

fidelio #725

FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who gets the coconut cream pie covered with whipped cream?

#732 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:16 PM:

ajay 679: Oh, it's not that it isn't interesting. It's that it's repellent. The very concept of haggis turns my stomach, he said sheepishly. And it did even before I went vegetarian (so say the historians, though it be lost in the mists of time). (Keep in mind that my ancestral cuisine includes gems like Irish Blood Pudding, which is at least as repellent as haggis, and that my national cuisine includes American Fast Food, which outdoes them both together.)

It's fascinating to hear golf described as "the entire modern world." Oh, and penicillin, I guess. </tongue-in-cheek snarkery>

Jon 685: The election is just barely less revolting than haggis, but American politics in general? Much more so.

R. M. 689: A GOOD—oops, sorry for shouting—a good brand of GF pasta?!?!?! What? Where?!?! (I'm not gluten-allergic, but a good friend of mine is, and she can't eat my famous pasta casserole.)

fidelio 707: Of course, they had no idea what these things were like, but they sounded better than haggis.

fidelio, "being hit in the head with a tire iron" sounds better than haggis. It's not really strong praise.

Serge 708: Yuck. Now, a Xopher stomach filled with cole slaw and potato salad sounds like a good idea, but only if no one then tries to eat it.

Michael 721: Hear, hear! Mayonnaise is one of the greatest things ever (though I might put sour cream up against it for THE best ever). A couple I know, one from California and one from New York, had an argument in Michigan about which mayonnaise was the best; he claimed it was Hellman's; she claimed it was Best Foods. When they got to the grocery store only Hellman's was available, so that settled that...until they read the label, which said "West of the Mississippi, Hellman's Mayonnaise is known as Best Foods Mayonnaise."

#733 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:22 PM:

Paula @ #729--
You bring that coconut pie right over here and set it down before it gets damaged. I think I have a pie server in my bottom file drawer from the last time we did Food At Work.

I do prefer it with meringue (or is that meringuegueguegueguegue?) but it'll do as it is. I think there are some paper plates around here somewhere, too.

#734 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:24 PM:

David@664: "Funny, back when Bill was President, the Rethuglicans did a full audit of both their financial dealings, and couldn't find anything, which is why they threw the centipede at him. Has there been anything new since?"

There have been some questions raised about some of Bill's dealings after he was president, related to his presidential library and foundation. I haven't looked into it enough to know how much, if any, concern they warrant, but they do at least count as "something new since".

Some mentions in the news media: Wall Street Journal today ("Clinton unlikely as No. 2"-- financial aspects towards the end); New York Times in December ("In charity and politics, Clinton donors overlap").

#735 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:25 PM:

Sarah, #704: OMG! Are you talking about Fenton, the Death Sheep From Hell?

P J Evans, #709: Grits is one of those dishes I think of as a Pratchett-style "local delicacy".

Fidelio, #719: IME, you can tell whether a place is a "greasy spoon" or a "fast-food joint" by the default condiments on its hamburgers. The fast-food joint will give you a burger with mustard, ketchup, and pickle; the greasy spoon will give you one with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. One particularly memorable greasy spoon near Pulaski gave me a grilled-cheese sandwich with mayonnaise on it!

#736 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:37 PM:

#730, Xopher -

I've been using a brand called Tinkyada. I've found it at my nearest Harry's Farmer's Market as well as the local grocery co-op (which has a better selection, actually.) I think it tastes exactly like the random wheat pastas I bought before. Bear in mind that I'm no conoisseur, so you might think it is a lot like a not-very-good wheat pasta, but I think it performs like a wheat pasta quite well.

The first time I made it, it cooked up perfectly. Since I couldn't do that consistently with wheat pasta, I was impressed. I think it is fairly easy to overcook rice pasta, so I tend to use the "boil it three minutes then let it sit for 20" method I found on the packages as being a bit of insulation against that problem. I still overcook it occasionally, but I've done worse to wheat pasta in the past.

What, if any, brands have you tried and hated? The groceries that carry Tinkyada are out of my way, and I'm eyeing the DeBoles at my close-in grocery store, but I'm not sure I want to give up my tried-and-true.

#737 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:39 PM:

re 723:Almost everything sounds nicer than haggis.

If you want to be disabused of this notion, watch Iron Chef reruns. Or for that matter, run down a reasonably complete list of Japanese ice cream flavors.

#738 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:40 PM:

For that matter, it would be right up their alley to make haggis ice cream.

#739 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:41 PM:

Xopher @ 730:

I have eaten lots of different GF pastas and, by my tastebuds, Bionaturae is way the best.

It still isn't anywhere near as yummy as real wheat pasta (which I haven't tasted in years, nor in my mouth, but for which I still pine), but it's the closest I've found.

#740 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:46 PM:

I realize that I'm a picky eater, but I hate surprise ingredients. I especially hate it when a menu will, say, list the sauce and onions and meat and cheese that go into their enchiladas, but neglect to mention the green peppers.

And don't get me started on surprise pickles.

#741 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:47 PM:

JimR @#726: Waitasec... now the haggis is singing? ;-)

#743 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:51 PM:

#728, David Harmon -

"Looks like candy" rings false to me, but I don't really imagine anything deep in the act, oddly. It strikes me as being the kind of foolish thing someone would just do without thinking about it too carefully.* If you don't think about the "how is this going to get out" (I can imagine an eight year old having great faith in her digestive system and no serious experience with difficult bowel movements) and "magnets can pinch in your gut and do serious damage" (which I think might slip past many adults) then it boils down to swallowing a large quantity of something that isn't food. Maybe I'm foolish myself, but I can imagine the mindset that might lead to that. When it was pointed out that it was monumentally stupid for reasons she could have figured out on her own, I can see that "it seemed like a good idea at the time" isn't going to be what she'd reach for, but she'd come up with something pretty lame all the same, because she simply didn't have a good reason.

I suppose pica is also a possibility, though. Thirty instances of stunning foolishness is a *lot*, even if you allow that stunning foolishness is in human nature.

Because the toy is a building toy, it has slightly stronger-than-usual magnets on it. I've been wondering if refrigerator magnets (which no one expects to be particularly not-swallowable) would be equally dangerous, or if the magnetism would be too weak to pinch tissue in that case.

*Really, the kind of thing one does expect a child to do. Most children that age just don't choose "swallowing things" as their foolishness.

#744 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 12:56 PM:

Also, JimR @ #726--Elizabeth Bear speaks well of Online Writers' Workshop in her blog, although I can't find the exact posts where she does so on short notice. I notice she has a link to the workshop site on her blog, though.

#745 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:02 PM:

#737, Michael Weholt -

I don't know if the fact that I can't tell Tinkyada from the wheat stuff I bought before means that Tinkyada is better than Bionaturae, or if it means that your palate is more discriminating than mine. (I'm betting on the latter.) Have you tried Tinkyada?

#746 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:13 PM:

Lee #733: The fast-food joint will give you a burger with mustard, ketchup, and pickle; the greasy spoon will give you one with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.

What sort of establishment does that make my household? The last hamburgers I made came with lettuce, tomato, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise and jalapenos. Not to mention Velveeta. (Please don't tell either of our doctors!)

#747 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:15 PM:

ajay @ 679: What's wrong with being the people who introduced the concepts of deep-fried Mars bars (and deep-fried pizza) to the world? It's culturally more exciting than tea, which is all that my Irish ancestors could come up with.


Of course, there's nothing wrong with tea. I'm drinking it right now.

#748 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:16 PM:

Serge @ 706:
The Island of Dr. Short-Row

Lee @ 733:
I wasn't, but am I allowed to retcon the thread so I was? Because that is made of 100% pure awesome.

#749 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:24 PM:

Re particle, 728, 741:

Eight is not the age to mistake toys for candy, but it is an age at which games of imagination can become overwhelmingly absorbing. It may not really have been "looks like candy" so much as "I was playing candy store and these were the candy..." which is harder to explain in short to an ER or a journalist.

In any case, it's their being magnets that made it dangerous. If a child had swallowed as many as 30 small rocks it would might have led to some uncomfortable moments on the toilet later, but nothing worse.

#750 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:26 PM:

#743 R. M. Koske: ...or if it means that your palate is more discriminating than mine. (I'm betting on the latter.) Have you tried Tinkyada?

I'm not sure my palate is more discriminating. It's just that Bionaturae seems to come closest, for me, to what I remember real wheat pasta is like. Part of it, I'm sure, is that Bionaturae looks more like real wheat pasta, of all the brands I've tried. This seems to matter to me. I don't like the darker colors of the other brands.

I had to look up a picture of the packages of Tinkyada because, generally, I'm one of those guys who recognizes products not by their brand names, but by their package designs. (I think this is related to my inability to remember names of movie actors, but I always remember the face of every movie actor I've ever seen.)

From looking at the packages, I believe I have tried Tinkyada. But to be certain, the next time I see it I will pick up a package and try it (again, perhaps). But it does look like it has the "wrong color", so that's probably a strike against it in my book.

#751 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:27 PM:

Sarah @ 746... The horror! The horror!

#752 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:35 PM:

Disconnected thoughts:

Haggis is interesting, in much the same way that dead whale at Kalaloch was interesting when we last made it out to that perfect beach.

2008 is really quite sufficiently full of honors and does not need to add "Coldest June On Record" to "Coldest April on Record" although it seems to be determined to make a run for it.

I have been trying hard to learn, but still have not gotten the hang of Thursdays.

Just as I have now previewed and proofed this comment four times but will, inevitably, post it with one egregious typo or grievous violation of grammar or usage.

#753 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:41 PM:

Jen Roth (738): I'm with you on the surprise ingredients. The worst case I've encountered was the dish that was described as being a mix of sausage, peppers, and onions (in some kind of sauce, I think). They neglected to mention that it was served over pasta (and it was *not* in the 'pasta' section of the menu). That wouldn't have been so bad (although I knew I was having spaghetti for dinner and had deliberately avoided the dishes labelled pasta), but they also neglected to mention that all of their pasta came with parmesan cheese on top. I detest parmesan cheese. To me it smells--and tastes--like something died last week.

#754 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:42 PM:

JESR #750:

"Coldest" June on record? Looks like we're already headed for "hottest" down here.

#755 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:46 PM:

Has anyone but me begun to examine the political filk-related possibilities of Bach's B Minor Mass? Specifically, the "Osanna" section? (To give you an idea, it was once set to "Lasagna", but I think there are other, more topical rhymes.)

#756 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:48 PM:

Xopher: A couple I know, one from California and one from New York, had an argument in Michigan about which mayonnaise was the best...

LOL!

Jen Roth @#738: Amen! I've known people with deadly allergies to bell peppers, and others with serious reactions to cucumbers, including pickles. (And then of course, there's the whole "Chinese restaurant problem"....)

Lee @#733: My new hometown of Charlottesville spawned Five Guys, which has since grown into a nationwide chain. They offer more toppings than some pizzerias(*), and I love me my hamburger-and-fried-veggie sandwiches! ;-)

(*) Dang, that word looks wrong no matter how I spell it! I had to consult Google.

#757 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:51 PM:

joann @752, yep -- potentially record-breaking heat here. So hot and humid that I'm having trouble drawing enough breath, or that's how it feels anyway. Although that might be the pollution.

#758 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:52 PM:

#747, Clifton Royston -

Yes, I can see that explanation easily.

I think the danger of the magnets is part of my frustration with the story*. Complaints about that seem akin to being surprised that a car explodes into a fireball when you hit it in just *this* way with a sledgehammer. You're not supposed to do that, so the fact that the car is more dangerous than you thought is a bit of an odd thing to complain about, like those stories of someone suing a company because they used the product in a boneheaded way and got hurt.

But children swallow things. So my knee-jerk reaction of isn't at all useful. I suppose it won't take much to make the toy less friendly to swallowing. Sharp, square corners on the magnet pieces** might be enough. Which the manufacturer seems to plan to do.

*Well, that and the fact that it is a *really fun* toy.

**Something that it would hurt to step on. Yay.

#759 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:54 PM:

joann @752, I've often said that these things need evened out some. It's been pretty much 53F/12C plus or minus two degrees for the past 72 hours.

May, now, May was also fun: it rained at least part of 28 days for a grand total of .86 inches (around 2cm, I believe). It got up to the low 90sF a couple of days, but mostly stayed at the kind of temperatures good for storing lettuce or growing moss as a commercial product.

#760 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:54 PM:

Wordcount, Greg.

Also:

We're none of us neutral characters, making neutral arguments in a vacuum. I normally have little patience with gender-polarized politics -- but on my honor, Greg, you are not the right person to be making those points to Paula. Not this week.

You know me. I didn't have my heart set on either candidate. I've been edging toward Obama for some time, but I would have been happy to have Hillary. I respect her as a politician and public servant, and I'm in awe of the strength she's shown in the face of all the noisome sht that's been thrown at her.

But I tell you truly: over the last few days, I've been experiencing startling flashes of hatred for pundits like Keith Olberman. Last night there was a moment when he and two other male commentators were discussing Hillary and laughing dismissively, and their three faces on my screen suddenly looked monstrous and loathsome. Their laughter was so coarse and trollish that it didn't sound human.

I'm an old connoisseur of hallucinations. This wasn't one of those cute hypnogogic ones where the outlines of objects go fuzzy/crawly and reshape themselves. This was the serious kind where the reprocessing happens in your awake and thinking mind, and shifts your usual interpretations into strange new shapes.

Right now, I'm running on the memory of being someone who (for instance) thinks that Hillary made a big mistake in not repudiating her vote on the Iraq resolution. It's unfortunate that I'm having to run on memory, because right now I'm literally having trouble remembering what my normal opinions are. I'm assuming they'll eventually resume something close to their former shape, but I also acknowledge that it's possible they never will, and that I may have just gone through that variety of conversion experience that's known as "becoming radicalized on that issue."

Here's something I wrote yesterday but didn't post:

The established power structure has always been adept at setting women and blacks at odds with each other. Women fear that if we concentrate on achieving racial equality, rather than ending sexism, white men and black men will make common cause to suppress women. Blacks fear that if we direct our energies into the fight for gender equality, we'll end up with white women being equal to white men, and blacks being equal to neither.
At the time, I was thinking about historical precedents like the split (later mended) between Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony over exactly that question.

I couldn't write that neutrally today. Now, my head is full of a furious notion that women seldom discuss in clear: we are forever getting tricked into years of patient overwork, managing far more than we ever get credit for, on the promise that someday it'll be our turn to get promoted. Instead, what happens is that some younger man comes along, reaps the advantages of everything we've worked to create and organize and maintain, and he gets promoted.

(Have you ever noticed that Alice is the only competent manager in the Dilbert universe? They all suffer under the pointy-haired boss, but Alice is the one who deserves to be on the executive track. Any sane organization would put her there. Instead, they hire some younger guy who has executive hair.)

The biggest threat to party unity isn't anything Hillary's done or might do. It's the misogynistic crap and plain godawful condescension that gets thrown at her by people who are theoretically on the same side she is. Those people have no idea how angry we get when they do that. New Hampshire wasn't a one-time fluke.

Here's the point, Greg: Some of us are really hurting right now. We're so touchy we're practically raw. And whether or not this is the way the world should work, you are not someone who can make the points you want to make when we're the people you're addressing. Even I, who know perfectly well what a good guy you are, and who could probably parse arguments correctly if I were not only dead but halfway through being embalmed, am having trouble coping. I am 100% certain that in your case these flashes are troll-hallucinations, and I can correct for them; but having to correct for them is hard on my nervous system.

Mercy and restraint are also virtues.

I'm sorry. This state of affairs is neither fair nor unfair. It's just reality. We need time to get our equilibrium back.

BTW, something else I like about Obama: he understands that. He and his organization have not been pushing Hillary to concede and endorse now, rather than later. The real pressure has come from the media, and from other Democratic politicians who need to have the question resolved so they can sort out their own positions. The politicians I can forgive. Reconfiguring allegiances is one of the things they do. I just wish more of the punditocracy could follow Obama's lead.

#761 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 01:59 PM:

Michael Weholt #721: There is nothing on Earth better than mayonnaise.

Truer words have never been spoken.

I have no idea how widely available it is (it's only sold around here at the upscale Jewish market, which I guess is odd), but my favorite brand is Otto Seidner's. And I also make my own pretty regularly (by hand--blenders are for barbarians who've read less than 100 of the 1001 books you must read before you die, plus I don't have one), but I tend to think of that as an entirely different species.

#762 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:03 PM:

R. M. Koske @#741: Good points.

I've been wondering if refrigerator magnets (which no one expects to be particularly not-swallowable) would be equally dangerous, or if the magnetism would be too weak to pinch tissue in that case.

Maybe not "equally" dangerous, but it's a pretty fragile membrane. Of course, one magnet (and no other bits of steel) isn't a problem that way.

#763 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:09 PM:

Ginger (745): I'm not sure your Irish ancestors can claim tea, either. When it first came to Ireland (washed up after a shipwreck, iirc), the locals used it as a dye, not a beverage.

#764 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:10 PM:

TNH @ 758

I was impressed by his behavior after his speech in St Paul: he invited a number of the local Clinton supporters to a reception afterward, and thanked each one of them for their work. (This was reported over at Kos.)

#765 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:15 PM:

#748, Michael Weholt -

Ah, okay, I can see that appearance would also be a factor.

Don't necessarily try it again on my account. Even if you say, "No, no Bionaturae is *far* closer to wheat," I'll probably stick with Tinkyada because *I* can't tell the difference.

That's true visually too. The second time I made spaghetti with it, I hadn't labeled my containers and I couldn't tell the dry Tinkyada from the wheat stuff I had for my husband. But I think that batch of wheat pasta was whole wheat, which is darker than the regular kind, so your impression that it is darker is probably right on.

#766 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:17 PM:

re: mayonnaise by hand:

A dishtowel twisted into a rope and formed into a circle will anchor a bowl for whisking, if the one you've got isn't conveniently sized to be cradled between your elbow and your ribcage.

#767 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:18 PM:

Teresa @758

Thank you. Just -- thank you.

#768 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:27 PM:

Teresa @#758: Another awesome post. Pity the punditocracy is headed the other way.

I am really hoping that President Obama isn't too conciliatory to work in some payback, for both of them. ("Oh, you still have freedom of speech. But not freedom of the White House Press Room.") For that matter, I'd love to see some of the nastier bloviators facing federal hate-crime charges.

#769 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:28 PM:

Exactly, TNH -- and I've not been a Clinton supporter since she got her second term.

I had to leave a very well-known sf/f online community because of how the guy talked about women in the political newsgroups, starting with Condoleezza Rice, and how they like to etc., speculating on her personal sexuality, etc., and then how they talked about Clinton -- even those who stated they supported her. These are mostly guys who think they are supporters of women -- we have wives and daughters! -- but if they really were they wouldn't talk about them in that way, particularly in this context.

It's the same with Ann Coulter. I cannot bear that horrible person, but to denigrate her in gender terms is just not on.

Love, C. -- Obama supporter, as far as it goes, since my preferred candidates were kicked off the bus before it ever left the garage.

#770 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:30 PM:

Re: haggis

You are all, every one of you, barbarians, to diss the Great Chieftain o' the Puddin' Race. I forgive you all only because your shameless propaganda means there is more haggis for me.

#771 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:47 PM:

Abi @#768: more haggis for me.

And welcome to it! ;-)

#772 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 02:59 PM:

Xopher @ 730 - Best Foods/Hellman's usually wins tastings because it's what mayonnaise is supposed to taste like - to American's anyway.

Personally, I buy the smallest jar to make tuna salad and months later throw 75% of it away.

Mustard (yellow mustard-like-substance excepted) is the best condiment ever.

#773 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:01 PM:

erik nelson @663: i think that eating salad made with raw spinach resulted in some abrasion on my teeth once.

How long ago was this? ISTR back in the 70s/80s that whenever we cooked spinach, it always required a careful pre-washing process to rinse off a lot of fine sandy dust, and even after that, there was still a small amount of unpleasantly crunchy mineral sediment at the bottom of the cooking liquid. When I resumed cooking again in the past 5-10 years after a long semi-hiatus, I noticed that spinach no longer seemed to have that problem, but OTOH I'm now living in a completely different part of the US. So I don't know whether to ascribe that more to differences between regional factors where the spinach was grown (soil types? farming practice? pre-market prep?) or a historical shift in those factors.

Cautiously semi-generic political comment: listening to NPR talk radio the past few days, I've been hearing a lot of callers who sound IMHO suspiciously astroturfy. They claim to be disappointed supporters of Hillary Clinton, which is certainly a legitimate position per se-- but then they start piling on certain stock phrases like "lifelong Democrat" and "don't need a president with on-the-job training", culminating in a declaration that they're planning to vote for McCain.

#774 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:07 PM:

Julie, it was mentioned on BoingBoing recently that the McCain campaign has set up a program where their "volunteers" can go forth and troll and astroturf for redeemable points. Seriously. Sounds to me like you may be hearing the initial fruits of that.

#775 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:07 PM:

We don't need a president with on-the-job training? Where were these stalwarts when George was up for election?

They're astroturfers. "Disappointed Hillary supporter" has of late been as diagnostic as "lifelong Democrat."

Spinach grows well in sandy soil. I assume it still does. They must have changed something about the way it's handled.

#776 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:15 PM:

Teresa #758

a) Echoing Ronit's Thank You.

b) I think there are generational differences. Small children in the USA for the most part (the Other being e.g. the children in that Texas sect community, whose exposure to the universe is very controlled and very limited) grow up seeing women who are astronauts, in the US Congress, who are lawyers, bankers, athletes and school athletes (the fruit of Title IX, but for collegiate and professional sports what predominates overwhelmingly is male-only football and baseball, followed by almost entirely male-only professional hockey and basketball, and then college mostly male basketball and hockey), women who have made it to senior officer rank--though vanishingly few at the most upper ranks and not in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or on TV as current or former Experts/commanders of theaters....

The sense of being locked out overtly seems to not be there for the girls and women who came to adulthood in the generations after women got into military flight training (1976) and became military pilots, first in transport and trainer planes only, and later also in some of the varieties of combat aircraft, in the times after Title IX greatly expanded athletic program availability and prominence to supporting girls and women in sports (though the backlash is continuing and the neoconservatives had never stopped trying to exterminate Title IX), who've seen Hewlett-Packard be headed up by a woman (though she got removed.... putting a sales person in as head of the company in the first place was a really bad move to start with....), and now both Harvard and MIT have female Presidents, arguably the two most prestigious institutions of their types in this hemisphere, and two of the most prestigous universities in the world.

So, yes, the world did change and the younger generations of girls and women, don't see the dynamics that the older cohorts not only see, but feel. Experientially there are a different world and set of influences and assumptions and organic perspectives.

How much, if any of that, is permanent, is a different question. How much is reality and how much illusory in the sense of opportunities being as present as perceptions at the surface level might indicate, is another question. The results of Roe v. Wade was the striking down of laws prohibiting abortion and one of the achievements of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s was the striking down of laws prohibiting available of contraceptives--Bill Baird was actually arrested and jailed in either the 1960s or the early 1970s for standing in public holding a birth control pill....

But a lot of that's gone into the illusion bucket--abortion not necessarily being illegal in most of the USA, but the restrictions placed on it so limiting that most of the counties in the USA, it's essentially unobtainable for someone without the wherewithall to take trips of up to hundreds of miles with duration of a minimum of at least one overnight stay. The wages-of-sin-are-babies-sex-is-for-procreation-only brigade (what don't they understand about the Song of Solomon....) want to ban anything that provides fertility control that is not "abstinence" and aggressively pushes their platform for imposition upon everyone else on the planet regardless of local conditions and cultures and status of women regarding having any control even to say no.

Elaine Donnelly with her bogus think tank (I have never seen any evidence of academic competence in it...) the so-called Center for Military Readiness is out there called in as "expert" any time there is anything in the news regarding women in the military, to promote her agenda of removing women from everything but clerical and nursing support positions.

Other females whose apparent credentials apparently consist of being Queen Bees pushing for locking all other women except their particular selves, associates, and proteges in the Christian equivalent of purdah are Media Personalities regularly given airtime and promotion and attention as alleged experts otherwise by the same news media doing all sorts of other information slanting (Thinking of e.g. Ann Coulter, whose name was escaping me until just now.)

#777 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:18 PM:

abi @ 768... How easy is it to get haggis in Holland? Or do your in-laws in the Land of Scots mail it to you?

#778 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:18 PM:

abi @ 768... How easy is it to get haggis in Holland? Or do your in-laws in the Land of Scots mail it to you?

#779 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:24 PM:

Much as I like IMdb.com, its sexism annoys me. No, I'm not talking of the sexism in having an actress's bust size listed along with her height. Just type in any actress's name, and you'll get a list of all the men associated with that actress in their database before you get to the little woman herself.

#780 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:31 PM:

Teresa #773

I think that the spinach handling includes pressure washing prior to being packaged up.

Meanwhile, tacky comments to make about McCain:

1) Of course he hit his head getting out of the airplane, the ones he flew didn't have doors!

2) Just because he liked carrier landings, doesn't mean the rest of the country does!

3) He's on the side of the financial services industry, not consumers burned by them--remember the Keating Five?!

4) Abu Ghraib versus the Hanoi Hilton -- didn't the Red Cross get to visit the latter? (McCain caving regarding torture, that one in-bounds....)

#781 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:42 PM:

O Chorus of Serges:

Haggis is easy to come by if your better half goes to Scotland once a month on business. And it freezes admirably, so a single trip can supply a family for some time.

Edinburgh Airport actually has shops that sell haggis pre-packaged for air transport, but that's mostly just flim-flam. It's sold in nicely sealed bungs anyway.

#782 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:44 PM:

Teresa, did you see this: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/06/for-record.html post over at Shakesville?

As a feminist who likes both Obama and Clinton, it really pulled together a lot of the emotions tied with the end of this primary season.

About half the comments are good, the others are some really good examples of why some women feel this way.

#783 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:46 PM:

abi @ 779... Edinburgh Airport actually has shops that sell haggis pre-packaged

This sounds way too much like the setup for a Monty Python skit.

#784 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:56 PM:

abi, I can well believe a single trip can supply a family for some time. In fact I believe that my freezer contains all the haggis I will ever want or need.

In fact, it did when I bought it.

#785 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 03:58 PM:

With the following words, Joss Whedon ends his telling of the story of the X-men.

Everything is so fragile.

There's so much conflict, so much pain...

You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize this is it.

The dust is your life going on.

If happy comes along, that weird, unbearable delight that's actual happy --

I think you have to grab it while you can.

You take what you can get.

'cause it's here and then...

Gone.

#786 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:03 PM:

Xopher @782:

Have you tried haggis? Or is this just discrimination?

And why the vehemence? Are you a secret potential haggis lover in desperate denial? Like one of those ostentatiously masculine men who loudly declares how Awful gay sex is...?

#787 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:12 PM:

"Et voila, le haggis aeronautique!"

"Ce bien, mon chere. Les sanglots longs des violons de l'automne,"

"Mais oui. Blessent mon cœur d'une langueur monotone."

(exuent, bearing a haggis.)

#788 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:15 PM:

Dave Bell @ 785... (exuent, bearing a haggis.)

The scene then turns into a Terry Gilliam cartoon, at which point the haggis sprouts legs and a head, turning into Basil, the Killer Sheep.

#789 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:20 PM:

Sarah @#665:

I just watched an old Buffy episode and finished knitting a mindless scarf

This justaposition makes me wish there was an old Buffy episode featuring a scarf that is NOT mindless. A demon scarf, preferably. Perhaps one that continually knits itself from its owner's entrails! AIEEE! The Defarge demon!

[see also]

#790 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:31 PM:

Paula Lieberman #714:
Having never 'got' mayonnaisse either (for me, it's an unctuous, and not in a good way, condiment, which when omitted, invariably improves a recipe), would someone care to enlighten me?

fidelio #715:
"...the true haggis lover would not agree, but I think we have them outnumbered here."

Haggis lovers are really insightful sheep lovers (they can see the inner beauty). I should know, I'm from New Zealand.

Dave Bell #720:
I always thought that the main ingredient in sausage was breadcrumbs (to bind the various pig bits together). Hence the old joke about not knowing whether to grill or toast a sausage.

#791 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:41 PM:

I've never been overly fond of mayo; a Miracle Whip fan, here. Mayo's just too slimy and bland.

However. It is the secret ingredient in the best cornbread muffins ever.

(And also, for those of you who keep extra food on hand for emergencies? It's a very viable substitute for raw eggs in baking. About 2 heaping tablespoons equals one egg; subtract a spoonful or so of oil/butter/grease from the recipe to compensate for the oil in the mayo.)

-- Leva

#792 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:46 PM:

Leva Cygnet @ 789... I've never been overly fond of mayo

Virginia Mayo never did it for me.

#793 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:49 PM:

I can't help but think that if Hillary Clinton had been a guy, at this point the pundits would have been expressing at least grudging praise for her never-say-die spirit and her willingness to fight to the last ditch.

(And I say this as someone whose feminist rage is a bit of a damp firecracker at the best of times; so I'm not surprised at the reactions of those whose temperament in such matters is more reliably incendiary.)

#794 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:54 PM:

Greg London @#697:

Patrick@653: the 2008 "Not Remotely Helpful" Award goes, by unanimous vote of the judges, to GREG LONDON!

Well, either it isn't really unanimous:

Lee@383: (Greg), My gender (personal, not collective) and I thank you.

Or you're talking about something more specific than the conversation as to whether Paula is bringing her own personal stuff into the presidential debate.

Oh, for fuck's sake, Greg. He said "the judges" not "every single person in the thread," and anyway, you're quoting a supporter from upthread of your explanation of Pain and How it Works at #648.

I'm just one person so unanimity isn't relevant, but I think that your pet tactic of asking someone to open up about specific parts of their life story, and then presuming to tell them about how feel about those things, is NOT HELPFUL.

People who have unresolved emotional issues from their past need to deal with those issues personally, not look to the potus to be some kind of salve to make the pain go away.

Leaving aside how extremely irritating it is to be told what we collectively need to do, you're missing the point entirely. When you've suffered because of prejudice, seeing someone triumph over that particular prejudice on the national stage IS a salve. It DOES make some of the pain go away.

Suddenly, this week, we live in a country where a black boy can grow up believing he can become the president. But we don't live in a country yet where girls can necessarily believe that. That fact is tragic for any feminist--even one like me who voted for Obama.

#795 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 04:58 PM:

Thinking some more about the magnets thing...

Most parents (not all!) are pretty good about identifying poisons and keeping them away from their kids, and repeatedly warning their kids about them. By age 4 or so, most kids (not all!) are pretty good about staying away from the things that their parents have identified as poison and flipped out about. But nobody thinks of magnets as being poison - yet for all practical purposes, they can be if you eat more than one.

Maybe the real answer is that parents need to start treating magnets as "poison", and teaching their kids the same. Sure, the danger is not chemical, but it's just as real.

#796 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:00 PM:

Forgot to respond earlier -

#699, Serge -

Okay, got it. Thanks!

#797 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:03 PM:

#793, Clifton Royston -

Treating magnets as poison seems like an excellent idea. I'm going to suggest it to my sister (whose kids are still young enough to swallow many things) tonight.

#798 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:07 PM:

Clifton @793:
Our lesson to Battery-Powered Electric Girl:

If it's not food, DON'T EAT IT.

I suppose we should differentiate between various types of "don't eat", but we haven't done.

#799 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:09 PM:

#784, abi: And why the vehemence? Are you a secret potential haggis lover in desperate denial?

I hope to Christ we're not working our way round in here to "man-on-haggis" gay sex.

I don't have many limits, but I think that might be one of them.

#800 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:10 PM:

abi @ 796...

"Mom, if I eat it, doesn't that mean it is food?"

#801 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:14 PM:

Coming back to speed after wallowing in French Open tennis (Paris is just so much more fun, and will be till Sunday), some thoughts:

On mayo -- Best Foods Lite will do for me, and it tastes sublime on fresh-cooked artichokes.

On political hallucinations -- the shark on the cover of the June Smithsonian bears such a resemblance to McCain, it's almost enough to make me question my fondness for sharks! (Check out the beady eyes and mirthless smile.)

On political discussions -- if they get much more heated, I encourage our moderators to break out the disenvowelers, just to allow everyone* time to cool down.

* or those who can't escape via Parisian tennis matches

#802 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:18 PM:

Soon Yee@ #788: Mayonnaise is basically spreadable (emulsified) fat. But different cuisines favor different sorts of fat!

I use olive oil for most of my fat-related purposes, except when butter seems called for. It doesn't "do" deep-frying, but then, neither do I. I do use mayo for salad dressings, but for sandwiches I'm as likely to use mustard. I even feed olive oil to my cat (with a shake of salt or garlic powder) for her hairballs.

PS: If you want really kick-ass mustard, grind or crush the seeds yourself, put in a glass jar with your vinegar of choice, and let sit in the fridge for a day or two. That simple.


Julie, Clifton & Teresa @# 771-773: Looks like GrrlScientist got fooled by the astroturfers too.

#803 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:20 PM:

R. M. Koske & Clifton Royston:

From the comments on the magnet article (which presumably reference the video, which I skipped), it sounds like the girl spent her early life in an orphanage, which means that she probably has developmental delays of one kind or another. So an average 8-year-old would know better, but a kid with some challenges around eating might not--and her parents wouldn't realize that unless they'd already had an incident that showed she didn't have age-normative behavior about swallowing stuff.

I agree that teaching kids that magnets are dangerous is a good idea, and doesn't make them less fun as a toy. My brothers and I knew that mercury was dangerous when we were kids, so we would only break a thermometer to play with it in a well-ventilated area.

#804 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:20 PM:

http://dpsinfo.com/pbt/worldcons/95prog.html

Baird184 Why is So Much Crap Published?. If SF readers are so discerning,
why is there so much rubbish in print? Ellen Datlow, Harry Harrison, John
Jarrold, Patrick Nielsen Hayden Fri 1800 Argyle 2/3185 Glasgow Gay Society.
The Glasgow Gay SF Society's 1st birthday party. With haggis! Andy Nimmo....

#805 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:21 PM:

Serge @798: and what did you ingest as a child? Haggis?

#806 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:21 PM:

#797, Michael Weholt -

Are haggis by default male, or does it depend on the gender of the sheep?

"Are you gay with haggis? Only your butcher knows for sure."

#807 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:23 PM:

Ursula L @ 780, I'm glad someone read it. I'm afraid my recommendation of it got lost since it was at the tail end of an argument comment.

#808 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:27 PM:

Michael Weholt @797:

I hope to Christ we're not working our way round in here to "man-on-haggis" gay sex.

That assumes that it's a male haggis...

But seriously, I was just feeling, I don't know, a little discriminated against. As though eating haggis was the last acceptable grounds for sneering.

But it's been a long week or two, and I'm just grumpy.

#809 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:29 PM:

abi 784: When I was a child, I heard nothing but how horrible haggis was. When I found out the ingredients, it was pretty much "Ewww, sheep stomach!"

I never had the opportunity to try haggis before July of 1978, at which point I became a vegetarian, and have been ever since. So even if haggis is, in fact, delicious, I will never know. If I were still a meat eater I would try it, just to know for sure, but those days are...omigod it's thirty years...gone.

I was just enjoying ranting about how repellent the very idea of haggis is. If it's grown tiresome, I will stop.

Soon Lee 788: Much as I've pronounced things vile or wonderful in absolute terms elsewhere (including elsewhere in this very comment), in all seriousness I think it's a matter of taste, and if you don't like it, there's no way to explain it so that you will, or even so that you'll understand why we do. I could go on and on about how its presence "enhances the flavor of other ingredients" or some such thing, but I honestly doubt it would help. De gustibus non disputendem est, though we certainly seem to be disputending a lot of gustibuses here.

Leva 789: Indeed, any recipe that calls for both eggs and oil might call for the two already emulsified, i.e. mayonnaise. I once made an incredibly rich chocolate cake that had mayonnaise as an ingredient.

I grew up on Miracle Whip. To this day the very smell of it makes me sick. Vile, vile substance.

abi 796: Extremely obvious haggis joke omitted here.

#810 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:30 PM:

fidelio #707: And some of my people (well, my father anyway) moved from the warm, sunny Caribbean to England to get away from stereotypes relating to watermelon. Some people are never satisfied.

#811 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:30 PM:

R M Koske #804- Haggis come in 2 sexes, male and female. But once you've caught, killed and prepared them, there isn't much left to tell apart.

#812 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:31 PM:

Miracle Whip is also the secret ingredient in "low fat" chopped liver and lite matzo balls.

I happen to like good mayo, preferably home-made, but most commercial mayo is too sweet. Mix some curry powder into your mayo for a tasty artichoke dip.

#813 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:31 PM:

Caroline, Ursula, I went over and read it.

Excellent post and a lot of good comments (along with a more than adequate set of infuriating and patronizing comments to prove the point of the original post.)

#814 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:35 PM:

Ronit @ 803... what did you ingest as a child?

No haggis, no. Just boring French-Canadian food with lots of cholesterol in it. To tell the truth, I am now quite curious about haggis. Maybe I could ask Abi to bring one next time she flies to the USA. (No doubt she'd have a fun time going thru airport security.)

#815 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:36 PM:

#804 R. M. Koske: Are you gay with haggis?

I just assumed the primary activity had to involve teaba--

Oh, Jesus! Who the hell made me almost say that? Who the hell put that image in my mind?!

#816 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:37 PM:

Xopher @807:
There is also vegetarian haggis, which has much the same flavor and none of the dreadful ingredients...

#817 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:37 PM:

abi 806: As though eating haggis was the last acceptable grounds for sneering.

I eat tempeh from time to time...and LIKE it. Sneer away if you wish.

#818 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:39 PM:

Something tells me Abi wouldn't have lasted long in the good old days of bread and dripping.

#819 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:40 PM:

Why, guthrie?

#820 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:41 PM:

From politics to haggis....

"Those who respect the law or like sausage...."

#821 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:42 PM:

Michael Weholt #797:

We know haggis are by default male because Burns tells us so:

'Fair fa' thy honest sonsie face
Great Chieftain o' the Pudding race'.'

#822 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:43 PM:

abi 814: OK, a person who eats haggis and likes it just told me the vegetarian version is pretty convincing. I am gobsmacked, because ordinarily meat eaters are not at all convinced by various fakemeats (nor am I, usually; I just don't care), and people who are big fans of whatever-it-is tend to regard making a vegetarian version as grounds for pitchforks and torches.

That I will try, should the opportunity present itself.

#823 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:47 PM:

I don't care if people want to have sex with haggis in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

But marriage? Marriage should be between two LIVING beings, and in my opinion they each must have a brain (and yes, I've heard the arguments that that would invalidate the Bushes' marriage and on and on). Call me old-fashioned, but that's just the way I was raised.

If we let a man marry a haggis, what's next? Indeed, what's left?

#824 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:47 PM:

Serge @ 786 Not quite...

Helga: Who were those strange Frenchmen, Herr Flick?

Herr Flick of the Gestapo. "I do not know Helga, but with the thoroughly trained mind of a Gestapo offer, I deduce that they are itinerant street-mimes. driven from their usual haunts by the ravages of war. More cognac.

Helga: Thank you, but no. Street mimes? But I distinctly heard them speak.

Herr Flick: It is the war, Helga. We must all make sacrifices.

Helga: Yes, there did seem to be something painfully inserted into that poor haggis. The French sometimes seem so cruel.

Herr Flick: You say this to Herr Flick of the Gestapo?

Helga: They are, of course, amateurs.

Herr Flick smiles and preens himself.

GRAMS: A large explosion, with many sounds of fallying mechanical debris, including a cuckoo-clock.

Enter Leutnant Gruber, he and his uniform disarrayed and covered with soot. He coughs.

Gruber: Rene, a not so small drink, at once. Somebody has blown up my little tank."

Rene: So I see. You must be much disturbed. Mimi, a drink for our valiant German guest. [whispers] Use the cheap vodka."

Mimi: M'sieur. Shall I poision his drink?"

Rene: Not tonight, we have few enough customers already.

Herr Flick: Leutnant Gruber. What has happened?

Gruber: Somebody has tried to blow up my little tank, and I fear General von Klinkerhorren's new cuckoo clock is irreparably damaged.

Herr Flick: This is indeed serious. Did you see anyone suspicious?

Gruber: Nobody but two street-mimes, Herr Flick, and they carried nothing more than a single empty plate.

Helga looks horrified.

Herr Flick: No doubt they had just finished their frugal peasant supper. Helga, please accompany my to the Gestapo headquarters.

Herr Flick places his broadbrimmed black hat firmly on his head, and stands. As he walks between the cafe table and the door it becomes apparent that he is wearing black fishnet stockings and stiletto-heeled court shoes with pretty litte swastika decorations.

Helga: Oh, Herr Flick!

Helga follows, almost swooning.

Mimi: He did not pay, again.

Rene: What can we do. No, don't answer that. Where did you get the choclate for the Mole sauce we served?

Mimi: I used a block of your wife's mother's laxative chocolate

#825 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:48 PM:

re 758: Dilbert is a caricature. In the real world, being passed over for bright young things happens to men too. It's just not socially acceptable for them to express their resentment, as a rule.

Also, Hillary Clinton is a card-carrying member of the "established power structure". So is Katherine Jefferts Schori and any number of other women in official positions of power. I would be sorely tempted to include graduates of Ivy League colleges and prestigious prep schools, except that my own experience as one of the latter shows that those certificates aren't accurate signs thereof. That sort of privilege only takes one so far. At any rate, the message I get is that establishment power isn't enough power, and that the places it can't reach, the places that constitutional rights acknowledge, have to somehow be placed under the control of that establishment power. How else are the troglodytes going to be brought into line?

#826 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:51 PM:

David Harmon #800: & Xopher #807:

On reflection, my problem is with the texture of mayonnaise, specifically the sort you buy that comes in a jar.

I don't have a problem with other oil emulsions like hollandaise, bernaise, aioli etc. especially if they are home-made or restaurant-made - those really are just fancy mayonnaises. But there's something about the consistency of bought* mayo that feels wrong**.

*or maybe I've not ever bought good mayo in a jar
**like having cold vomit in one's mouth.

#827 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:52 PM:

As though eating haggis was the last acceptable grounds for sneering.

I'm fine with eating haggis and other people eating haggis.

Making haggis is another kettle of puddings (still not to sneer at, but lungs are strange things to handle). Recipes for vegetarian haggis look a lot easier.

Michael Weholt @721 I used to hate Europeans, but then I found out one country over there puts mayonnaise on their Freedom Fries.

If it's the country I think it is, I'll note that if you go the right parts* of some other European countries** you'll find mayonnaise being smothered on your frites.

* in some cases these are the wrong parts; there's an especially unsanitary friterie down a dodgy alley in Bruges that springs to mind. Fantastic chips though.
** To avoid naming these countries where Europhobes might hear them I've used ROT13 to make them sound more exotic

Abegurea Senapr
Orytvhz
Yhkrzobhet
Treznal

#828 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:52 PM:

*plants an explosive-laden haggis under C.'s chair*

#829 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:54 PM:

Faren #799: the shark on the cover of the June Smithsonian bears such a resemblance to McCain

I've been admiring McCain's resemblance to Voldemort, as played by Ralph Fiennes. Which makes the "Republicans for Voldemort" sticker all too apposite.

#830 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:55 PM:

Dave Bell @ 822... Coming soon, 20th Century Vole's production of John Sturges's The Great Haggiscape...

#831 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:57 PM:

Neil @825:
Forgot one.

Gur Argureynaqf

#832 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 05:59 PM:

Looking for haggis photos on flickr* I found this oddly lovely photo and this completely goofy one.

*and initially finding some startling non-haggis images** by someone called haggis-chick. here's a link to my refined, non-chick search, sorted by "interestingness."

**not bad images, mind you, just not haggis and NSFW.

#833 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:00 PM:

Neil #825:

What, then, do they put on frites in Fbhgurea Senapr?

#834 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:04 PM:

Soon Lee 824: Hmm, that particular comparison you raise makes me think that perhaps you picked up an aversion somewhere. My sister associated the smell of french fries with vomit for years after a brief and disastrous stint working at McDonald's. If that's the case, no mayonnaise is going to work for you.

#835 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:06 PM:

Mary Dell @ 787:
You're right, that absolutely should have been in there. Maybe it will get a stand-alone issue in the comics.

The blood scarf is disturbing, and it makes me think of livening up transfusions or enticing blood donors with bendy straws. Which actually would be kind of funny, for the donors at least - you could let them arrange their own tubing, maybe spell out their names or something.

#836 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:12 PM:

Abi #817- I was probably geting confused, but read the "dreadful ingredients" bit as suggesting you might not like all the ummm, spare parts, shall we say.

Is it traditional that a countries "traditional dish" is cheap peasant food, what is left over once you've eaten all the real meat?

#837 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:16 PM:

Mary Dell @ 830... A sheep stomach coiffed with a woolen sock? That's sick.

#838 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:17 PM:

guthrie @834:
After my lone defense of haggis in this thread? I was referencing everyone else's perception of "dreadful". And still I'm not in with the cool kids.

Sigh. I cannae win. I cannae even break even.

#839 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:20 PM:

Open thread non sequitur:

Does anyone know where I might be able to get a replica gas mask similar to those used in the "The Empty Child" & "The Doctor Dances" episodes of the new Doctor Who (first season)? It's set during the Blitz; I assume the gas masks are period-appropriate.

#840 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:23 PM:

Hey, I just ran across the name of fellow Making Lighter, John Mark Ockerbloom, in my professional capacity. Cool.

He was last month's guest on a podcast that our director of development is on this month. Neat.

#841 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:29 PM:

Abi @829 - that's where I thought Michael was obliquely refering to, but not naming for reasons which, despite being completely unknown to me, were undoubtedly good.

Joann @831 - Hmm. Throughout the country mostly they just come as they are, maybe with salt. It's only isolated pockets in gur abegu where mayonnaise comes as standard. In fbhgurea senapr
I can only remember geting take away frites from campsites; most of the time I was sitting down and eating chips in a cafe or restaurant is different.

On the other hand the furthest south I've been for quite a few years is Abeznaql; living within a stones throw of Calais (assuming I can throw a stone 40 miles or so) I'm a more familiar with that region.

On the other hand I grew up in Scunthorpe; I don't know if it's still the case but you used to have to tell the fish and chip shop near the market NOT to put gravy on your chips if you didn't want it.

#842 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:46 PM:

Serge @ 812

Maybe I could ask Abi to bring one next time she flies to the USA. (No doubt she'd have a fun time going thru airport security.)

Cory Doctorow's next novel: Little Haggis.

#843 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:47 PM:

Ah, Scunthorpe! Now famous world-wide among spam fighters due to the Scunthorpe Problem.

#844 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:48 PM:

guthrie @#834: You're apparently still confused. ;-)

Abi @# 836 and prior: My sympathies on the week, and you most certainly are one of the cool kids! I think that haggis, or its stereotype, is serving as a metaphorical sin-eater just now. Or at least a "target of convenience" for stress. As far as "last acceptable grounds for sneering", I assure you, this crowd will never run out of silly teases.

#845 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:58 PM:

#839 Neil Willcox: ... that's where I thought Michael was obliquely refering to, but not naming for reasons which, despite being completely unknown to me, were undoubtedly good.

You're damn right they were good.

I couldn't remember which country.

#846 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 06:59 PM:

Debra #791: I can't help but think that if Hillary Clinton had been a guy, at this point the pundits would have been expressing at least grudging praise for her never-say-die spirit and her willingness to fight to the last ditch.

Maybe, but I suspect that would be a fate reserved for Republican candidates. The punditocracy seems to have no trouble describing male Democrats as unhinged in various ways.

#847 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:06 PM:

Xopher @ 815: Me too! Let us unite and eat tempeh. It's got a lovely nutty flavor. (It's particularly good on a green salad with a lemon-dijon dressing.)

Personally, I think eating natto is the last acceptable grounds for sneering.

#848 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:10 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 841: Ah, Scunthorpe! Now famous world-wide among spam fighters due to the Scunthorpe Problem.

Scunthorpe also features in my favorite British football joke:

D: Jung guerr Ratyvfu sbbgonyy grnzf unir bofpravgvrf va gurve anzrf?
N: Nefrany, Fphagubecr, naq Znapurfgre Shpxvat Havgrq.

#849 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:17 PM:

Jen, #738: Hear, hear! And it always seems that the ingredient they leave out is the one that would have made you order the other dish instead. OTOH, I consider myself lucky in that at least I only have to worry about surprise-it-tastes-bad rather than surprise-you're-allergic-to-it.

joann, #744: That makes you an individual, fixing your burgers to your personal specs. I rather doubt that you have a default -- if you had a dinner guest, you'd ask them which of those things they wanted.

abi, #784: I've tasted haggis (free samples at a Highland Games event), and didn't have any problem with it. Remove some of the hot spicing from my partner's chili and mix in some steel-cut oats, and I imagine the results would be similar.

C. Wingate, #823: It's perfectly socially acceptable for men to complain about being passed over for someone younger as long as they phrase it as either "age discrimination" or "she slept her way to the top".

Soon Lee, #824: I really, seriously did not need that image. :-)
I already don't like mayonnaise (except as a binder in chicken salad), and I already have texture issues with a couple of other things that I do like (jello, hard-boiled egg whites); combining the two is something I don't even want to contemplate!

#850 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:18 PM:

Caroline @ 845:

I nominate Beefamato Juice as the last acceptable grounds for sneering.

How should we decide this? I refuse to taste-test all the entries.

#851 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:22 PM:

I have the old Nova Scotia instructions for making haggis from scratch. Any one want?

#852 ::: Distraxi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:27 PM:

abi@836 "After my lone defense of haggis"

You're not alone, just alone in your time zone. Haggis is wonderful stuff*,** it's just, as I said way upthread, "interesting"***. But then I also love blood sausage, and think the Argentine version is better than any European version because they eat it half-cooked, so my opinions on this sort of stuff may not be representative.


* as is the deep-fried Mars Bar, and its predecessor the deep-fried slider , which IMHO is the contribution to world cuisine for which the Scots should be eternally remembered
** and I know this deep in my bones because my Glaswegian mother beat it into me with a Glenlivet bottle
*** as witness the fact that this subthread refuses to die despite spending quite some time at depths which contain absolutely no oxygen

#853 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 07:37 PM:

Serge at #812:

Maybe I could ask Abi to bring one next time she flies to the USA. (No doubt she'd have a fun time going thru airport security.)

At my bachelor party, which had a Scottish theme, Barry Gehm served canned haggis, which he had persuaded a colleague to smuggle into our country. I enjoyed it, but I suppose the freshly-made version is different, even uncanny.

At the same party, Jo Gehm served a Scottish whiskey oat cake, from which a short string protruded. She urged me to pull on it. Out came a pair of wire strippers, fresh from the hardware store.

She wanted to be able to tell people that a pair of strippers had popped out of a cake at my bachelor party. And so she has, ever since.

#854 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:05 PM:

Xopher: Seems a bit inhospitable, you might want to lay some up should abi come to visit.

abi: I can't say I a a huge fan of haggis, but I had some when I was in Inverness, and it wasn't bad. I am not certain, however, I had a very good haggis. I suspect it was merely passable. I certainly have no aversion to trying it again. We can sit in the corner and ponder the cruel ways of the cool kids together.

Soon Lee: Different sorts of sausages. German (and Italian) sausages use fat to bind the meats.

Mayo... used to hate it (oily, nasty and a net loss to any dish). Have come to appreicate it, but it has to be fresh; some of the jarred stuff is adequate for things like tuna salad, but that's about it. If the taste is to be tasted, has to be fresh.

I will differ that those sauces are, "fancy mayonaise" and argue rather that they are either different (hollandaise family, bearnaise, bordelaise) or, "primitive" (aioli is a very soft mayo, with a lower/oil water ratio; and no egg).

Ginger: Have you ever had colcannon (made with lovely pickle cream o/")? Lovely stuff, and very Irish.

Mary Dell: Yeah, I like haggis chicks's stuff. Some Mapplethorpe and late '80s fashion influence, and almost all her pictures feel a bit removed from the subject but she has a nice eye.

I like A Summers Day, for one of her safe for everyone images (though the photos to the left and right are a slight risk at work [for those who don't know flickr, they show thumbnails of the photos before, and after the one being viewed]) which has that sense of isolation. Its a scottish landscape with child, and a feel to photographs I can't seem to/don't want to do.

I've never been quite sure what to make of most of them (in terms of trajectory/message) as they are self portraits, and often idiosncratic.

But it's a name one doesn't forget.

#855 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:09 PM:

abi@838: Wow! Between your comment and Patrick's Particling one of my blogposts ("Happy First Sale Day!"), I may start to get a swelled head around here.

I'm about to head off to Saskatchewan for a much-needed vacation and family visit, but I'll look forward to hearing your development director on this month's Library Gang podcast when it comes out.

I've always found it cool to run across friends and likable acquaintances in new or unexpected settings. I hope there will be more chances to have that happen with folks here, whether online or in RL.

#856 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:15 PM:

P J @ 709: As far as I am concerned, the true breakfast of Calvinists is chocolate-frosted sugar bombs.

#857 ::: B.Loppe ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:20 PM:

We had a lovely dog when I was growing up, a scottish deerhound, and we often said that she had as many lives as a cat. One instance when she was a puppy involved her chewing off the zippers on her covered bed because she loved pulling out the stuffing, after which we used diaper pins to hold it closed. She worked out how to open the diaper pins, and every once in a while there'd be one less when we put the bed back together.
One day, she ate a magnet off the fridge, and at some point later vomited up:
-the magnet
-at least 4 *open* diaper pins
-several other small objects.
She was fine. Apparently no perforations from the weeks of carrying open 3" pins around in her stomach, or from retching them up en masse.

*sniff*. I miss that dog. She was a good girl.

#858 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Fragano @#808--
Honestly, I think the principal reason was attempting to farm rocks in western Scotland during the cold of the 18th century while dealing with the post-1745 "let's civilize the Scots" legislation. The thrill of eating something besides potatoes, oats, and the occasional bit of pork, or mutton from a sheep that managed to find a new and interesting way to get itself killed, even if they had never heard of it and had no idea what it tasted like was just icing on the cake. Even if it meant learning to drink alcohol made from maize as part of the deal.

I find it very hard to get upset over illegal immigrants--nearly all of my ancestors came here for economic reasons themselves, and some of them had to deal with No-nothings into the bargain.

#859 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:36 PM:

Teresa@758: Here's the point, Greg: Some of us are really hurting right now. We're so touchy we're practically raw.

My deepest apologies to everyone for taking a bad situation and making it worse.

#860 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 08:46 PM:

Michael Weholt #721: There is nothing on Earth better than mayonnaise.

The smell of rancid mayonnaise is a sign that a demon is near, and that precautions should be taken. I learned this from having read Frank Miller's Electra: Assassin.

Sarah #848: I nominate Beefamato Juice as the last acceptable grounds for sneering.

Do you know if beefamato is sold pre-mixed with beer like clamato is? Clamato beer creeped me out the first time I saw it for sale at a convenience store.

#861 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:03 PM:

T.W., #849: Does it begin, "First, kill your sheep"?

#862 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:07 PM:

I am pro-tempeh also (I make a mean barbecue-tempeh pizza), and scared of natto. I'd probably like Beefamato juice, not sure about Clamato juice, but WTF Clamato beer? Seriously? People are weird.

#863 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:10 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 851... At least, strippers did come out of a cake for you.

#864 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:13 PM:

MSNBC reporting Obama is having a nice sit-down visit with Clinton at this very moment in Clinton's home in D.C.

Wait'll you hear what the Obama campaign did to its press contingent to keep their noses out of it. LOL!

#865 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:14 PM:

Earl Cooley III #858: if they sold it pre-mixed with vodka, it'd be a Bloody Bull. (I thought it'd be a Bullshot but the Net tells me that a true Bullshot only has the beef and not the tomato.)

#866 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:19 PM:

Sarah @ 837: According to Dr. Who Confidential, they ended up making their own gas masks for those episodes because they couldn't find period masks to buy.

If color isn't critical, though, you could try something like a "Russian Military Gas Mask".

#867 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:34 PM:

Greg, if you are okay with hugs, I'd like to offer you an internet one. If not, a heartfelt internet handshake.

Earl Cooley III, Clamato beer? *jumps around going ew* Vodka yes! Beer no! Beer by itself is lovely, but tomato-beef juice and beer?

Rikibeth @ 863, I can has Bloody Bull? Or Bullshot or Bloody Mary, or whatever you've got handy -- I'm not picky at this point.

#868 ::: Carol ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:39 PM:

#836 ::: abi

Sigh. I cannae win. I cannae even break even.

And you cannae get out of the game.

#869 ::: Carol ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:41 PM:

#849 ::: T.W

I have the old Nova Scotia instructions for making haggis from scratch. Any one want?

Yes! Yes, please!

#870 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:44 PM:

Caroline #865, I have spicy V8, vodka, and limes all in the house. And a cocktail shaker. Now, if only I knew how to upload drinks over the Net...

#871 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:46 PM:

Carol @ 866... you cannae get out of the game

The only way to win this game is not to play.
Bwahahahah!!!

#872 ::: j austin ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:47 PM:

Chiming in late on the Magnetix story, but I actually had to look at the date of the article. There was a huge recall on those kits at least a year ago, for just this reason (I had to box all of ours up and send them back.) My second thought was "How old is this kid?"

Then, I remembered, when I was eight, I used to punch tiny holes in my diet 7-up cans, so I could suck the soda out like a vampire. One time, I didn't get my mouth over a hole quick enough, and the pin was forced from my grip in a stream of pressurized uncola. Unable to find it, I assumed I had swallowed it, lay down on the couch, folded my arms over my chest, and prepared to die quietly.

I can also see an eight-year-old girl glaring at her parents as she very deliberately swallowed them one by one, neither party realizing the damage that might occur. Plus, some of them are perfectly spherical like little ball bearings, and would feel kinda groovy swishing around in the mouth.

#873 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:52 PM:

Alan @ 854

Yours, maybe. My grandparents wouldn't let us near that sort of thing. Or soft drinks or card games, either (Scrabble was okay).

Fried corn-meal mush?

#874 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 09:56 PM:

Sarah @837: Ebay?

#875 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:03 PM:

P. J. Evans @ 871: I think Alan means Calvinists, as opposed to Hobbesians, whose breakfast would be tuna fish sandwiches, or Calvin's-Dad-ists, who actually do like oatmeal, ungarnished, after bike rides in foul weather.

#876 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:18 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 761: Well, I'm sure they had good reason to use it as a dye. Now that there's cheaper dyes available, we can save it all for our cuppa. ;-)

Catching up on the rest of the food topics: never had haggis, learned to tolerate grits, found out that good cheese grits are yummy, love mayonnaise, especially the kind my mother made, but never put it on my hamburger. As an aside, my son "invented" a sandwich in one memorable day camp; it was a peanut butter, jelly and mayo sandwich. He's tried to make it here. We haven't been able to overcome our revulsion to let him do it.

#877 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:18 PM:

And Calvin's-Mom-ists, who eat boring ol' toast and tea for breakfast.

#878 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:30 PM:

Carol,
The instructions seem to assume the cook knows about certain things so there are a couple of fill in the blanks to fuss with.

Clean the stomach bag of a sheep as well as one of the smaller bags(Knight's hood bag). Wash with cold water until perfectly clean. Then turn inside out and scape with a knife. Leave the bags over night in salt and water. Next day boil the pluck(?) and the small bag for about an hour and a half. In the process leave the windpipe hanging over the edge of the pot, so that impurities may escape, over a saucer to catch the drippings. When boiled enough cut away and discard the windpipe. Remove and adhering fat and gristle. Grate the liver and mince the pluck with the small bag and half a pound of suet. Toast cupfuls of oatmeal and add to the mince with two onions grated and salt and pepper. Stir in half a pint of the liquor in which the pluck was boiled and mix well. Put mixture into the large bag leaving space for contents to expand. Sew up the bag. Put it into a large pot of boiling water on a saucer, pricked in several places and boil slowly for three hours.
Serve hot with a cross cut and with clapshot(tatties' n neeps) with butter and whiskey.

Cold leftover haggis is chopped and fried in dripping for breakfast. My book tells you how to cook tripe, headcheese, sweetbreads and turtles in shells to.
I think I'll stick to my Acadian tourtieres.

#879 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:32 PM:

That would be 2, two cupfuls of oatmeal.

#880 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:41 PM:

Ah sorry had to look it up, but the pluck is both the lungs and the heart and sometimes the liver but not the kidneys.

#881 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:44 PM:

Just looked up 'pluck' - I've met the term but wanted to make sure I got it straight - it's the heart, liver, windpipe, and lungs of the critter.
(These days, you'll probably have to know the farmer in order to get the lungs and windpipe. The USDA doesn't approve.)

#882 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:45 PM:

Clamato juice and beer is delicious--indeed, it's one of those alchemical combinations that's far better than the sum of its parts. It's tragic that Clamato juice is, in fact, full of high fructose corn syrup. (Or, as Elise Matthesen calls it, Highly Fucked-Up Corn Syrup.)

#883 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:47 PM:

ethan @ 875... And what of the Suzie-ists?

#884 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 10:48 PM:

Terry Karney #852:
German visitors to our country throw their hands up in horror when confronted with the local version of a 'standard supermarket sausage' which I believe owes more to the British culinary* traditions.

I've eaten & relished many delicacies & would be willing to try beefamato & natto. Not so sure about hakarl and would probably draw the line at balut.

*broadest sense of the word & meaning no offense to the Brits.

#885 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:02 PM:

Balut is readily available in my neighborhood, but I doubt I'll ever have the pluck for it.

#886 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:05 PM:

That sounds like the recipe they used as their base in Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, except that they go on to warn about the horrid impurities that will drip from the windpipe as it boils, and the icky condition of the fat, gristle, and unappetizing black spots that must be cut away.

I love Lobscouse and Spotted Dog's recipes. The Christmas pudding is actually very, very good.

#887 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:05 PM:

I have an urge to call windbag Fox personalities plucks now.

#888 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:06 PM:

Apparently, homemade versions of La Combinacion Perfecto also include hot sauce with the beer and clamato. Haven't tried it, but that might actually work for me.

#889 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:11 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 858:

I don't know whether they sell it pre-beered; I was shopping for cranberry-juice-without-a-bunchacrap-in-it last weekend, and I looked up to the top shelf and there it was, in all its freakish glory.

I didn't actually know that clamato came pre-beered either, and I don't think my life is enriched now that I do. (Is there some sort of evil eye sign specific to really terrible-sounding food?)

Sharon M @ 864 & NelC @ 872:

Thank you both for the pointers. I love that the ebay seller lists them as "rare" even though they're made to order.

#890 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:23 PM:

I had forgotten about balut.
I was all prepared to defend Japan's supremacy in the realm of Foods That Should Not Be, when out came the duck fetus.
I still think that the practice of eating still alive (or Dancing, as they say in Japan) things is truly disgusterating.
Cause if it's still alive, it's still got all it's pluck in it, you see.

#891 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:29 PM:

I make my own "beefmato" -- a can (46 oz) of V-8, and a can of Campbell's condensed beef broth, into a big pitcher.

And I'm not ashamed of it. ;-) Seriously, it's great when I'm having trouble with eating properly.

#892 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:31 PM:

My eldest, when at Cheeburger Cheeburger, is wont to order something involving A-1, black olives, and pineapple.

Lee, all I can say is that you travel in different circles than I do.

Changing the subject: for those in the Maryland area, I'm going to end up with a lot of perrenial plants. I'm still trying to sort out exactly what I have, but if anyone is interested in getting some, I'll put together a list of what's available.

#893 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:48 PM:

Jim @ #888: I guess you don't eat a lot of salads, then? ;-)

Raw vegetables and fresh fruits are alive -- most of them haven't even realized yet that they've been cut away from the rest of their plant. When they die, they wither and/or deliquesce.

Heck, onions, garlic, and potatoes are well-known for sprouting in closet or fridge, and even after being cut into (largish) pieces. (I've seen carrots do that too.)

And then of course there's raw oysters....

#894 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:55 PM:

And now your daily cute.

Charlie the coyote gets a belly rub.

Resume foodie discussion.

#895 ::: Lindra ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:57 PM:

Mmmm, fresh oysters.

#896 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2008, 11:59 PM:

I totally wiped my mind about thinking about what Balut is. I think the whole idea is repulsive.

Haggis 'lights' are lungs, they're light and spongy. i've had good haggis, I would try any haggis before rejecting it. (personal note, I also have that fishy Viking thing going in my tastes, I like pickled herring and some other stuff that others would look on in horror and go 'eeuw."

We start the prolonged torture of Roanna tomorrow, she has the first of four chemotherapies that will be administered over eight weeks, then she'll have 25(working) days of radiation.

The odds are very good that the course of treatment will prevent the breast cancer from coming back (93%) but she's probably going to have a really crappy summer.


#897 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 12:15 AM:

Mary Dell @ 787: That's a Buffy ep I would have loved watching! But the blood scarf idea is chilling on multiple levels.

Michael Weholt @ 813...haggisbagging? Perhaps slightly redundant, if one looks at a sheep's stomach as a bag. But nonetheless...mental pic = egad.

Dave Bell @ 822: Much laughing ensued. Thank you.

I had a pun in mind, based on one of the other comments, but 'tis gone now. The pun, not the comment. Leads me to believe it was particularly heinous and my subconscious is trying to save you all.

#898 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 12:20 AM:

Serge @ 869, re: Carol @ 866...

Shouldn't that be "Baaaaaaahhhhh!"?

#899 ::: JimR (somehow the R disappeared before) ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 01:33 AM:

David @ 891;
Yes, but fruits and vegetables don't try to escape, or look at you as you try to eat them.
Or, in the case of octopus, try to climb back out of your mouth.

the list of "foods" that make me question their "foodness" over here includes:
Raw Sea Cucumber (Why? Just...WHY?)
Crab brains.
Odorigui (a bowl of water with lots of tiny fish swimming around, to be drunk so that you can feel them wrigglng around in your throat)
Sliced raw goat dipped in raw egg yolk.
And, of course, the one where they nail the fish to the board and slice it into sashimi while it's still flipping and quivering, leaving the slices on the body so you can eat it right from the source. They pour lemon juice on it at the table to make it more lively, so the customers know it's *fresh*.

ugh.

#900 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 01:58 AM:

Serge @861: At least, strippers did come out of a cake for you

Thanks to all the haggis-on-dog banter, I am now oppressed with the terrifying image of a festive bukkake fountain.

#901 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 02:14 AM:

All this discussion of haggis, and no mention of lutefisk or poi? Hmmm...

(And I sort of like 3-finger Poi. Mind you, the last time I had any was in that cake John Singer baked for me years ago, but still...)

#902 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 02:16 AM:

Adding to the conversation on foods that are not undubious in some opinions, as I mentioned in OT108's discussion of "foods," the short but sweet book Fierce Food: The Intrepid Diner's Guide to the Unusual, Exotic, and Downright Bizarre covers the eggs, the tentacles, the beached shark, etc.

Sadly no one has made an online list of those foods, yet: I count 15, and have no desire to go much above 20, of her 70.

And if that book isn't enough, then there's the longer Extreme Cuisines.

#903 ::: Kayjayoh ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 02:18 AM:

Michael Weholt @862

Wait'll you hear what the Obama campaign did to its press contingent to keep their noses out of it. LOL!

Do tell!

#904 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 02:21 AM:

JimR #897:
Re: the raw sea cucumber.

It's the texture? Much like shark's fin, bird's nest, white fungus. I class these in the category of 'status symbol' dishes; it's about the status rather than the flavour. Closely related are the 'stunt foods', foods that are eaten to exhibit machismo - e.g. eyeballs or testicles of critters.

Julie L. #898:
Are we back to mayonnaise?

#905 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 02:48 AM:

JimR, #897: That last one absolutely squicks me out, but it's from the torture aspect as much as anything. "Fresh" is one thing; "still capable of registering pain" is something else entirely. I think this is what you were driving at in #888.

Soon Lee, #902: I wouldn't think that testicles would be any more (or less, for that matter) repulsive than other soft organ meats. I say "soft" because I have a taste for chicken hearts and gizzards -- but those are muscle meats like a haunch or breast. Anyone who enjoys liver, brains, or sweetbreads shouldn't have a problem with Montana oysters.

#906 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 02:52 AM:

You know, I knew that haggis was made from sheep bits. I also knew (the giggly urban conception) of the popular rural pastime involving sheep. But would I ever have put them together? Not in a million years. See, this is why I so value Making Light: it helps clear away those last cobwebs of my innocence.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 758: "But I tell you truly: over the last few days, I've been experiencing startling flashes of hatred for pundits like Keith Olberman. Last night there was a moment when he and two other male commentators were discussing Hillary and laughing dismissively, and their three faces on my screen suddenly looked monstrous and loathsome. Their laughter was so coarse and trollish that it didn't sound human."

More and more, I think my rosy view of the primary is only possible because I get my politics from the internet, thus largely missing the spectacle of mainstream media coverage. Still, I think I'll stick to my optimism, if only for the novelty value.

"Now, my head is full of a furious notion that women seldom discuss in clear: we are forever getting tricked into years of patient overwork, managing far more than we ever get credit for, on the promise that someday it'll be our turn to get promoted. Instead, what happens is that some younger man comes along, reaps the advantages of everything we've worked to create and organize and maintain, and he gets promoted."

The reason I've kept mostly silent in this conversation is that I know that that is true, and it's a narrow line between arguing that that isn't what happened in this particular case and denying its truth entirely. Further complicating things is that while I don't think Clinton lost because she's a woman, I'd be a lot more confident about it if there weren't so many smug sexist assholes insinuating exactly that. I think Obama won this one on the merits, but it's proven awful hard to convince anyone else of it, sexist and feminist alike. The misogyny wielded against Clinton was evident enough, and it's impossible to say if it was the deciding factor. The only way to settle the question would be to get some hard data, and hard data is scarce--it's kind of difficult to run a double-blind trial on a presidential primary.

The Arrogant Young Man Snatching the Older Woman's Hard-earned Promotion has just as much basis in fact as the Hero Taking On the Corrupt Establishment--more, probably. How can I argue that they're totally wrong? What proof do I have? Is it more persuasive then watching Keith Olbermann, Hero of the Liberals, cackling at Clinton's loss?

(FWIW, if you ever get back to a place in your head where you can write the rest of that essay you mentioned, I'd love to read it.)

#907 ::: Kayjayoh ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 03:29 AM:

I've eaten & relished many delicacies & would be willing to try beefamato & natto

Maybe combine them into beefanatto?

#908 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 04:00 AM:

I'd like to apologize for being quite so grumpy last night. I should not read inconsolably angry threads on the internet late at night.

Although it is always an honor to be part of clearing the last cobwebs of heresiarch's innocence.

Kayjayoh @901:
According to the CNN article I could find, the reporters on his press plane were not told that he was not on board until it had already taken off.

Nice one.

John Mark Ockerbloom @853
I've always found it cool to run across friends and likable acquaintances in new or unexpected settings.

I dreamed I met TNH last night; does that count? It was a very pleasant conversation, substantially about jewellery-making.

#909 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 04:37 AM:

Paula Helm Murray, #894, best wishes to Roanna.

#910 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 04:59 AM:

What's wrong with being the people who introduced the concepts of deep-fried Mars bars (and deep-fried pizza) to the world? It's culturally more exciting than tea, which is all that my Irish ancestors could come up with.

The Irish invented tea? I would have expected the Chinese or the Indians. Apart from anything else, they actually have tea. Or was it some sort of triumph of Irish theoretical cooking? ("Right, Seamus. First, assume a tea bush...")

And why is it that, when the Scots deepfry everything that can possibly be deepfried, they get laughed at, while when the Japanese do it it's admired as "tempura"? Hmmph.

Making good mayonnaise is never easy; I learned at one of the finest culinary institutions in the US, the Mayo Clinic.

#911 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 05:45 AM:

#906 abi: Kayjayoh @901: According to the CNN article I could find, the reporters on his press plane were not told that he was not on board until it had already taken off....Nice one.

That's about it, yeah. I didn't say that last night because the media seemed to be having a terrible time confirming anything at all about this Secret Meeting.

Obama spent yesterday campaigning in Virginia, everybody headed out to the airport to fly back to Obama headquarters in Chicago, they loaded the reporters and everybody else on the plane, closed the door, Blackberries were shut down, plane took off... then somebody noticed the candidate himself was not on board...

#912 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 06:19 AM:

Paula Lieberman @625:
Actually, Carnegie Mellon also does the buildings-joined-at-different floors thing... because they are. The building I work in has entrances on 5 different floors. It is, however, something of an extreme case even for Pittsburgh buildings. (The land in and around Pittsburgh is best described as "corrugated.")

#913 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 07:17 AM:

Abit @#906: Cool... Sounds like Obama's already making a start on putting the press in their place.

#914 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 07:33 AM:

#909: The B ark?

#915 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 07:49 AM:

Abi #836- welcome to Scotland, where every game is a losing one...

Actually its my fault for skim reading the thread rather than going through it properly. Ah well.

TW has let the lights out of the bag though, but I suppose most people on here know what haggis is. Certainly it was fun at university running into English and Americans who didn't know what was in haggis and the important thing was to not tell them until after they'd tried it.


#916 ::: JimR ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 08:12 AM:

#903、lee
Yeah, it's always the last one that gets people. I think it's the torture-porn aspect of it (I will eat you, bit by bit, while you watch in horror...)
Even though, if you think about it, the Odorigui is probably much, much worse. I mean, dozens of cute little baby fish are dying in you.
It's like this post on Roast Beef's blog.
Way too heavy for me, man.

And Ajay at #908;
Is tempura a term of admiration now?
I'm frying to know why you take offense. If sizzle make you feel better, tempura is actually a European import to the land of the rising crumb.

#917 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 08:30 AM:

They didn't have this when I was in college.

#918 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 09:46 AM:

Guthrie #913 - the Wild Haggis stories are probably a help.

One of my brother's cuddly toys when he was was little was a haggis, who he named Haggis. As he was soft and round (Haggis, not my brother) he would often get involved with games of indoor football. None of this put my brother off eating haggis.

#919 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 09:57 AM:

ajay@ 908: All right, it was a wee bit of exaggeration on my part. So the Indians and the Chinese invented the drink -- and look where it got them, eh? The Irish at least added milk and biscuits to the consumption of the liquid.

More seriously, Irish cuisine is way better than colcannon (still good stuff), corned beef and cabbage, or potatoes of every kind/manner known to humans. They've got fresh fish and shellfish, breads, and such -- just stay away from the beef. They don't know how to properly cook beef over the pond, and I don't know why.

I'm still drinking my tea, though. ;-)

#920 ::: Sica ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:14 AM:

I live in Edinburgh, I've had haggis multiple times. It's a bit too spicy for my liking but apart from that it's fine.

I am also Icelandic and we have a long tradition of the "We need to eat anything that can possibly eaten of this animal because otherwise we'll starve" - style of cooking.

In fact there's an Icelandic brand of a haggis like sausage called Slatur (translates as 'Slaughter') which I really like and when I was kid my mother and her sisters used to gather in the kitchen of one of them once a year and turn it into an impromptu meat processing plant. It eventually made for very cheap but filling and tasty meals.

My favourite bit was getting to sow the sheep stomachs together with a big needle once they'd been filed with the meaty goo. Least favourite bit.. the smell of the raw fat and offal.

However the Scots I ran into who tried to gross me out by going into what Haggis is made out of were spectacularily unsuccessful.

#921 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:20 AM:

Ginger @ 917... Tea and milk... So you're the one to blame for this abomination.

#922 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:24 AM:

T.W. @876 -- that was very...educational. "Grate the liver and mince the pluck" has just the right cadence for a [stage*] witch's spell.

There's a very similar dish to haggis in Germany called Saumagen, that was the particular favorite of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. He served it to Thatcher, Reagan, Mitterrand, and Gorbatschow, among others.

*No offense to Wiccans!!

#923 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:33 AM:

@ajay #908:

Or was it some sort of triumph of Irish theoretical cooking? ("Right, Seamus. First, assume a tea bush...")

{snort!} Reminds me of the physicist's method of figuring how fast a cow would fall: "First, assume a spherical cow of uniform density..."

@Ginger #745:

ajay @ 679: "What's wrong with being the people who introduced the concepts of deep-fried Mars bars (and deep-fried pizza) to the world?"

That was the Irish? I thought it was the Minnesota State Fair that introduced the "anything and everything you can think of deep fried"? Of course, at the State Fair, it doesn't count unless it is On A Stick. Every year someone tries something new. The fried Twinkie on a stick isn't bad, but have a cold beverage handy - it is rather hot and rather rich. I'm always disappointed in the too-small number of things I get to try at the fair before I'm uncomfortably full. Last year's new treat: Mocha on a Stick.

Of course, I did catch a short TV spot where some formerly "ordinary" fry-up place got famous for frying and serving all kinds of things... I think that's where I saw the fried Mars bar. Was that an Irish restaurant? I dunno.

ObSNL: "If it's not Scottish it's CRAAAAP!"

Later,
-cajun
P.S. I cannot find a good list of what can and cannot be put in a comment box that will show up correctly once posted, other than knowing that em and strong tags work, as do simple links. Is there one here somewhere? Or should I search for a howto on Movable Type?

#924 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:39 AM:

On another subject entirely:

I noticed that this week's free Tor ebook is "Orphans of Chaos" by John C. Wright. Odd coincidence, as I had picked up that book in the bookstore this past weekend and liked it so much that I bought - and read - the entire trilogy this week.

Thoughts: Fantastic trilogy. The first two books were a bit stronger than the third, which I found occasionally muddled (and slightly inconsistent with the magical paradigms established in the first two).

PS: Teresa, are you aware of the cover misprint on "Titans of Chaos"? At least in the paperback copies I saw, the spine read "Fugitives of Chaos" (which was the title of the second book).

#925 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:43 AM:

geekosaur #910

The irony is that the main campus of MIT is on filled land, that is, it's -flat-, not hilly! It't the buildings which have different heights of stories and different elevations above the ground for their alleged ground floors! (Building 9 has a subbasement, down below the basement)

=======

Meanwhile, the conversation in here went from politics to grossout foods....

#926 ::: paal@gis.net ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:47 AM:

The extreme of frying is the Persian? Arabic? dish, "The Imam Fainted."

#928 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:53 AM:

Malthus @#922: Yeah, the Orphans of Chaos trilogy is pretty impressive -- but where did you spot a muddle in the paradigms? I thought they were doing pretty well as far as connecting the dots to their goal, and that involved stretching their limits and learning a bunch of new things. (That "castle in space" trick was hilarious -- and an impressive combination of their powers!)

This one is also the first of the Torbeta freebies that I have in hardcopy, having bought the trilogy a few weeks (months?) ago. And yeah, folks noticed the misprinted cover early on (but not me -- I looked right past it! ;-~ )

#929 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 10:55 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 923... the conversation in here went from politics to grossout foods

Is THIS gross enough for you?

#931 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 11:02 AM:

fidelio #856: That's certainly what drove my own Scots ancestors (I have a few of those, plus another kind of Scots connection*) to the very far southwestern isles -- plus the desire to make alcohol the proper way, out of sugar cane.

Connections can be weird. Colin Powell is related distantly to Carlos Mencía.

*When my family moved to Jamaica, I lived in a house part of which dated back to the 18th century when it was built by a gentleman named Forbes.

#932 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 11:02 AM:

Hmm. Clicking on the very most recent poster's name on ML's main page isn't taking me to their post (to the correct thread, just not to the end). I'm using Firefox, and just noticed this within the last quarter-hour or so. Once a post gets further down the list, it's OK (I checked). Anyone else experiencing this?

#933 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 11:13 AM:

I've never had haggis, but I have frequently had, and liked, scrapple, another "cut up all the otherwise unusable bits and mix them with seasonings and some kind of starch for a binder" recipe.

#934 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 11:19 AM:

Rikibeth @ 868, thank you for the internet drink!

Patrick @ 880, all right, I'm convinced to try it. (There is practically nothing that I won't try at least once, especially if someone I trust promises that it's better than it sounds. That is why I tried natto. It was as bad as it sounds, although I am very sensitive to salty flavors and that may be the trouble.) The HFCS is a bummer, though.

#935 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 11:40 AM:

Note to self... Charlie Jade begins on the SciFi Channel tonight.

#936 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 11:46 AM:

cajunfj40 @#921: The deep-fried part belongs to the Scots. Although they were once Irish, we won't fight over that. ;-) The Irish do fabulous things with potatoes.

The sad thing is, (speaking as a second-generation descendant of Irish who emigrated to America), I cannot eat potatos. In any form. They give me heartburn of the swift and severe kind. I've had to shift over to sweet potato chips and yuca fries. At least I still have me tea.

Serge @ 919: Indeed we are, and proud of it too! Nothing like a hot cuppa tea (pronounced "tay") with good milk in it, and it's healthy for ya. Of course, there are the times when a body needs pure tea, and we'll leave the milk for the wee man.

I bring a thermos of hot water or hot tea to work, and pour myself a cuppa with or without milk. That's what keeps me from stressing out, particularly this week.

#937 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 11:49 AM:

Ginger @ 934... The Irish do fabulous things with potatoes

"Time for a Spuds!"

Is vodka an Irish invention too?

#938 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 11:51 AM:

JimR 897: It's things like the ones you describe here that make me think that not all cultures should be preserved. (Well, OK, not all traditions of all cultures.) Deliberately torturing a fish...I hope they have vivid nightmares of a fish doing the same to them, or of being fish themselves, and that they have "phantom pain" in their fins all their days.

And I mean the diners even more than the torturers themselves.

Soon Lee 902: If your boy's "essense" looks like mayonnaise, he needs to take care of business more often, and possibly drink a lot more water. Either way, it's a health issue. If you want something that really DOES look the part, I can refer you...but I won't mention it here, lest it squick others.

Lee 903 reyrct JimR 897: Hmm, I thought 'squick' was used for things that creep you out for irrational reasons, but that you don't have any principled objection to. I think fish torturing is sadistic and evil and should be stopped. I'm not saying your usage is incorrect, just that it's different from mine...not even that, since I may have used the word that way myself on occasion.

Debbie 920: None taken. Thanks.

#939 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 12:06 PM:

#930, Debbie -

It works fine for me (Firefox on the Mac).

#940 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 12:36 PM:

Paula Helm Murray (894): My sympathies to Roanna. That's a whole bunch of No Fun.

#941 ::: Carol ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 12:41 PM:

#931 ::: Debra Doyle

I've never had haggis, but I have frequently had, and liked, scrapple, another "cut up all the otherwise unusable bits and mix them with seasonings and some kind of starch for a binder" recipe.

Scrapple, or headcheese, was enjoyed by many of my friends in south central Nebraska where I grew up. Boiling the head and using the brains usually produced enough gelatin as a binder. Two factions bitterly debated whether or not to "dress" it with Karo (white corn syrup) when you sliced it for sandwiches on Wonder Bread spread with mayo.

I knew a marriage between these Capulets and Montegues, which took a lot of work around fall butchering time.

#942 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 12:54 PM:

Carol @ 939... Boiling the head and using the brains usually produced enough gelatin as a binder

That reminds me of the X-files episode where a man gets decapitated then the corpse walks away from the morgue.

#943 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2008, 12:57 PM:

Imam isn't a deep-fried dish, though, at least as I've had it. Damn good, though.

I just realized that since I like Scrapple, I'd probably really like haggis since it's pretty much Scrapple in a bag. Huh.

#944 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) :::