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September 25, 2008

Open thread 114
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 12:43 PM *

Psalm 114, King James version:

1 When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
2 Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.
3 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
5 What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
6 Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
8 Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

I would just like to remind all readers of this blog that if the skipping of mountains like rams and hills like lambs is followed by a sudden retreat of the sea, it’s time to find some higher ground.


I am not a exegetist. I can neither interpret nor analyze. This post is presented for entertainment purposes only. Nothing here is meant to be advice for your particular translation or denomination.

Comments on Open thread 114:
#1 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 12:44 PM:

The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.

Good. I always thought that actor Louis Jourdan was icky.

#2 ::: Avedaggio ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 12:49 PM:

The absurd mental image of geographical features bouncing around really makes me wonder what the original text read. How amazing would it be if we could look at, side by side, every copy of the Old Testament wherein there were changes from the one previous to it, and see the transformation? Even if the core message, the 'real meaning', remained unchanged, it would be fascinating to see the words.

Of course, that would only work for scholars who could read Aramaic and Hebrew, then Greek and Coptic, Church Latin, etc... It would also be fascinating to me to see what was lost and gained in translation.

But wouldn't it be cool?

#3 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:06 PM:

Avedaggio, this is why textual criticism is fun. I'm no Bible scholar (my work tends to the medieval), but I love finding odd changes from text to text.

Once I took a class with a textual critic who was, at that time, editing the Satyricon of Petronius. He told us how he absolutely horrified the librarians at Paris's Bibliothèque Nationale by bursting out into loud laughter in the manuscripts room. Apparently, in a section where most manuscripts of the Satyricon read "with many pens" (or something like that), the BN manuscript read, "with his penis in his hands." (I wish I could remember the Latin, but I do remember that there were only one or two letters different between the one reading and the other.) The Satyricon being what it is, this was a peculiarly appropriate misreading.

#4 ::: Vance Maverick ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:09 PM:

The elided verb in the first line threw me for a bit. It's a prozeugma.

#5 ::: Tracey S. Rosenberg ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:20 PM:

Good heavens, I suddenly I heard my dad talking. Thankfully, this is neither impending brain damage nor a surprise visit from Pa [not that I wouldn't be glad to see him], but a flashback to the Passover seder, in which this psalm is read.*

Now I have the urge to go sell that hamburger bun in the fridge to the nearest goy, and do all the verses of Chad Gadya in one breath.

*Rabbi Nathan Goldberg, Passover Haggadah: A New English Translation and Instructions for the Seder (New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1966), p. 25.

#6 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:25 PM:

Tracey, can you manage to do all the verses in one breath? That's more athleticism than I'm capable of after four cups of wine.

#7 ::: Tracey S. Rosenberg ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:34 PM:

Rymenhild @6 - I stick to grape juice, which I realize defeats the purpose.

Who Knows Thirteen? in one breath was my real party piece, but I do it in English which means I'm cutting out the singsong repetition of verse one, so it's much easier.

#8 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:41 PM:

Tracey @ 5: Thank you! I was wondering where I knew that verse from. I haven't been to seder in about 15 years, maybe more, but now I can hear my family reading it (we took turns).

#9 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:43 PM:

One of my professors in college said that the real reason the Sages prescribed four cups of wine on Passover is because you're spending the whole evening with your relatives.

#10 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:46 PM:

In honor of Viable Paradise:

Dinosaur: Win!

#11 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:52 PM:

Avedaggio @2The absurd mental image of geographical features bouncing around really makes me wonder what the original text read

Sounds to me like an earthquake.

#12 ::: SylvieG ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 01:53 PM:

Skwid @ 10 - Wow, dinosaur sodomy has its own action figures now!

#13 ::: Alter S. Reiss ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 02:04 PM:

2: Sorry to disappoint, but this is one of the cases where the KJV isn't very far from the Hebrew text. I'd disagree a bit with the second and seventh line -- the second line should be something closer to "Judah has become his sanctuary, Israel his inheritance", and in the seventh, "tremble thou earth" simply isn't there -- it's just "Before the Lord of the sands of the Earth, before the God of Jacob."

But the landscape skipping and jumping is in the Hebrew, basically as the KJV has it. This isn't the first time that an archaic metaphor has tripped up a modern reader, of course, but it's really there.

#14 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 02:09 PM:

I would just like to remind all readers of this blog that if the skipping of mountains like rams and hills like lambs is followed by a sudden retreat of the sea, it’s time to find some higher ground.

The Andaman Islanders seem to have understood this a few years ago. I reckon Pericat has it right: earthquake. Or Santorini going ker-blooey.

#15 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 02:12 PM:

That's earthquake, then tsunami.

If you're at the shore, and you look out and think "Hmm, that's weird. The water's receding."

Run. Uphill. Possibly in a car. The earthquake may have been on the other side of the world.

There's a bay near us called Useless Bay, mainly because It looks great but it's maximum depth is 10 feet or so when the tide is out. Big, flat, and a nice gradual runup, so that tides go waaaaay out and in.

But that also enhances tsunamis. We keep that in mind in our earthquake enhanced side of the world.


#16 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 02:47 PM:

I'm not a bible expert by any means but there are some absolutely beautiful passages in there.

(How do you hide money from a Catholic? Hide it in a bible. - A Baptist joke I heard many times when I was in college)

I too would love to be able to see the different translations side by side. If that information was ever gathered together in one place, the fundies would poop their pants.

#17 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:08 PM:

Oooh, time to go find my "Open Thread on Making Light" Post-its.

Is it bad that I have those? Every time google fails me on some subject*, I make a little note to ask the Fluorosphere the next time the opportunity presents itself. Usually it's in an open thread.

I brought this up in a thread that had mostly petered out, but I'm looking for books or audiobooks that have good representations of Northern English accents. I'm working on a project that requires dialect writing for a fantasy universe. I've got a general handle on a lot of the stuff, but I'm looking to give individual characters more variety within the dialects. One of the sample pieces I was looking at has "You know where you are with a good ____" as a line, and that immediately brought my mind to Pratchett. I was also given Fred Dibnah as a good starting reference, but I don't know where to go from there. I'm looking for something that reads like Pratchett's middle-to-low class, both Lancre and Ankh. I know he's riffing/modeling off of some real world dialect or set of speech patterns, but I don't know what. (If Pratchett's stuff isn't strictly North Country influenced but has other clear influences or you know of other writers with similar dialogue style, I'd like to hear about those too.) With the amount of British comedy I've watched in my lifetime, you'd think I'd have a better handle on regional accents, but alas, I am a babe in the woods.

The second question is a textiles one: does anyone know how to determine the composition of unlabeled fabric? I have a lot of fabric scraps and remainders and recyclable old clothes I've been meaning to do something with, but I'm often stymied because I don't know the composition of it - is this blue broadcloth 100% cotton, or 50-50, or 35-65? Is this red scrap even cotton poly at all, or is it linen or rayon? Is this old dress silk, or an artificial blend? Any method is fine, but I can't seem to find a good list of them. I've heard of burn tests before, but they seem pretty limited. If anyone knows a good reference, or at least a few simple tests, I'd be grateful.

*Technically, I guess it's my Google-fu failing, not Google itself.

#18 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:12 PM:

Serge #1: On the contrary, the verse clearly was bad news for Chicago basketball fans.

#19 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:12 PM:

Bible Gateway is my preferred website for biblical passage look-ups, primarily because it's got a whole lot of versions available. Including Hebrew, if that's of any use to you.

Biblecc.com offers the ability to see a single verse in multiple English translations all on the same page.

#20 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:14 PM:

eric 15: And it doesn't have to be the ocean, either. My father told me of the seiche in Chicago in 1954, though I remembered him citing the death toll as rather higher than they say in that Wikipedia article. Lake Michigan is big enough to act like an ocean in some ways, yet small enough to act like a bathtub in others!

#21 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:18 PM:

So much to do, and so much more to fear,
words limit us and do not give us ease.
On this, and this alone, the world agrees
as day follows day, and year succeeds year,
the twists and turns of each normal career
seem but the leaps of ignoramus fleas
or else the palpitations of disease
and we are pushed to the far edge of care.
Those are the choices of an age of crime
when every speaker utters a new lie,
word after word oppressing human hearts
until we seem to have run out of time
and nothing's left beneath the hateful sky
that will respond to our remaining arts.

#22 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:22 PM:

Leah Miller @ 17 ...
The second question is a textiles one: does anyone know how to determine the composition of unlabeled fabric? I have a lot of fabric scraps and remainders and recyclable old clothes I've been meaning to do something with, but I'm often stymied because I don't know the composition of it - is this blue broadcloth 100% cotton, or 50-50, or 35-65? Is this red scrap even cotton poly at all, or is it linen or rayon? Is this old dress silk, or an artificial blend? Any method is fine, but I can't seem to find a good list of them. I've heard of burn tests before, but they seem pretty limited. If anyone knows a good reference, or at least a few simple tests, I'd be grateful.

Hm. Unhelpfully, I usually use "my fingers know" first, followed by a burn test. Generally I do a rough split for fabrics of "artificial stuff melts", "animal stuff smells like burning hair" and "cotton & cellulose smells sweet".

There's some information here, here and here, fwiw.

#23 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:32 PM:

Me too for the AKICIML Open Threadiness!

My father (who decided to visit me at Denvention...) is looking for a story he read as a kid.

Published prior to 1960
Family on Mars, and Mars has to be evacuated. Protagonists are a father and son. One of the moons of Mars is discovered to be an alien spaceship.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyone at all?

#24 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:36 PM:

Bible translations: possibly an apocryphal* story, but in the language debates in Congress, a member** taking the 'English only' side was supposed to have said: "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me".


* Given the topic, an especially appropriate word.

** A representative, I hope. The senators are supposed to have more smarts.

#25 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:37 PM:

Yes, Tania, I remember that.

"We're from the other moon," he spat. "Phobos!"
Unfortunately I don't remember the details. But damn that's familiar. Don't the Martians come back at the end and save everyone or something?

#26 ::: Vance Maverick ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:40 PM:

Rob #24: apocryphal, traditionally attributed to Ma Ferguson.

#27 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:42 PM:

chris, #14: This paragraph out of the linked article gave me an attack of the giggles:

Jirkatang police have had a love-hate relationship with the Jarawas. In 1997, a year after the tribe made its first-ever contact with government authorities, they stormed the Jirkatang police outpost and shot a guard dead with their arrows. Relations have since improved.

I had to look back to the top of the page to make sure it wasn't the BBC News!

JJ Fozz, #16: Well, for (some of) the Baptists, you'd only have to hide it in the New Testament...

#28 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:44 PM:

Did somebody say Phobos. I wish somebody would write that story sketched by Mike Ford.

Obviously a novel by a dilettante, as Zeppelins of Phobos would by signification be an alternate-history novel, not sciencelike fictionism. Tech period would be somewhere between Victorian and Edwardian brasstech,* probably with pre-WWI imperial politics. Lowell grass** a distinct possibility. Plot must involve airship assault on something, somewhere, probably to include aero-infantry wearing personal gasbag/hang glider combinations, and of course leather helmets with goggles, armed with rapid-fire small arms (product of Vickers or Krupp, depending). No trenches; battle is fast-moving and fun for everybody who doesn’t die.

Names for Martian cities chosen for easy national identification: Tombstone, New Grinstead, Ploetzlich bei Stumpf, Novaya Ladoga.

Book concludes with Romantic Couple standing in cover-painting pose as moons hurtle like all get-out and full Earth hangs large enough in sky to create Roche limit problems, while discussing future of Mars (promise to rebuild Olympus City sealed with handholding).

Pulp is like Legos. You can build really swell things out of it. Or not.

*The shiny fittings and decorative plumbing of steam with the operating qualities of internal combustion, i.e., none of the cantakerous complexity of actual steam power.

** Plant, genetically engineered by Old Martians or Upstart Humans, intended to concentrate water and drip it on Martian soil, releasing bound oxygen, meaning that martiforming is in progress and people can do without helmets (impediments to kissing) in low-lying areas. Traditionally planted along lines of canali.

#29 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:47 PM:

Fragano @ 18... I thought it might also have been a reference to Jill Hennessy's TV series Crossing Jordan.

#30 ::: Vance Maverick ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:49 PM:

#24, 26 -- And the joke was around before Ferguson (Language Log, of course, via Wikipedia).

#31 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 03:56 PM:

Serge #29: You are clearly on a roll.

#32 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:00 PM:

Wallace & Gromit

TV series such as The Last of the Summer Wine and Heartbeat are definitely Yorkshire accents. Fred Dibnah is from Lancashire: the accents on t'other side of the Pennines are more influenced by Norwegian vikings.

This side, it was the Danes.

For written Yorkshire accent/dialect, the magazine Dalesman is the obvious starting point.

#33 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:07 PM:

Fragano and Serge - you guys are swingin' low with your references.

#34 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:10 PM:

Vance Maverick @30: Thanks for the follow-up!

#35 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:17 PM:

I love "end of the world" fiction: my most recent read was Earth Abides. I enjoyed Swan Song and The Stand, even though one is a rip off of the other.

If anyone has any suggestions, fire away. I'm no stranger to science fiction, but it's been awhile.

#36 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:23 PM:

JJ Fozz @ 35 Check out Wastelands, edited by John Joseph Adams. Not only does it have a kick-ass collection of post-apocalyptic short stories, it has a suggestions for further reading guide at the end. It's a fabulous book.

#37 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Thanks Tania - I bought that book two months ago and have only read the one short story by Cory Doctorow "When Sys Admins Ruled the World" - the kids have been taking up my time. I'll check out the recommendations.

#38 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:29 PM:

JJ Fozz @ #35, well, there are the dated but amusing tales of the apocalypse "When Worlds Collide" and its sequel "After Worlds Collide," both written in the 1930s by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer.

Premise: Planet smashes Earth, but brave nucleus of American civilization escapes on rocketships, then discovers other countries managed to get off doomed planet too, and they have existential conflict on smaller fragment of colliding planet after landing there.

#39 ::: Lynn C ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Leah Miller @ 17

Um - I too do the "my fingers know" but besides the burning test there is the water test. The way in which a drop of water affects particular fabrics of similar weaves is fairly distinctive. I'll take a crack at describing it.


You dip your finger in water (well, really you spit on your finger, but you can't say that in public, except I am) and apply it to the back of the fabric. Poly and artificial blends the water doesn't come through the same way (or at all).

If you are trying to make a cotton/linen determinations the water distribution is fastest on linen.

Silk changes texture when you moisten it in a way most artificial fabrics don't.

They also taste different, but I can't begin to describe how.

#40 ::: Hmpf ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:35 PM:

Neither book nor audio book, but a tv show: Life on Mars, for a Manchester accent. My advice would be to keep to the first series, though. The second one was of somewhat spotty quality, and the ending was an insult. (Actually, the second series would have been okay - if the ending hadn't completely robbed it of any sense it could have made.)

I should perhaps mention that with that opinion I am part of a tiny minority; nearly everybody else absolutely loved the ending.

#41 ::: Praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:47 PM:

Pratchett's Ankh Morporkers speak a kind of cockney, not Northern, I reckon. Certainly that's true for C.M.O.T. Dibbler. The CMOT is very much part of the argot of a cockney market trader.

#42 ::: Lynn C ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 04:51 PM:

Differentiation Tests
Fabrics made of cotton and linen do not have the full properties of pure linen. Doubtful material can sometimes be tested by dropping water on it and noting way the water spreads and the material dries. Moisture spreads rapidly on linen and soon dries but a drop of water will often lie some time on the cotton before being absorbed and the material will remain wet for some time afterward. Ink can also be used as a test. It must be remembered however when cotton and linen goods are heavily dressed with sizing water does not spread as easily. Glycerin is considered more successful test than water It causes linen to appear transparent but has not this effect on cotton.
Textiles A Handbook for the Student and the Consumer By Mary Schenck Woolman, Ellen Beers McGowan
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZM4oAAAAYAAJ

#43 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 05:00 PM:

I sure could use an ecumenical dogma checklist spreadsheet, just to keep straight on what heresies I'm committing at any given time. Color coding by type of punishment would be nice, too, as well as a way to check for practices required by one religion and simultaneously punishable by death for others.

#44 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 05:15 PM:

Element 114 (Ununquadium, for the nonce) is smack in the middle of the Island of Stability.

Could use a little of that (stability, that is) right about now.

#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 05:16 PM:

Tania @ 33... How about Jordan Collier, for an obscure reference?

#46 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 05:29 PM:

There are several Psalms with some interesting alternate looks at the Exodus (e.g., YHWH fighting the great chaos monsters in the course of passing through the sea.)

It's probably a good thing Hollywood isn't aware of them, or the next Egypt movie would feature some really interesting CGI that unfortunately made no plot sense... oh, wait.

#47 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 06:34 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 43:

I am intrigued by your idea, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

(Why yes, I am aware of all internet traditions.)

#48 ::: Zora ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 06:42 PM:

One way to test for natural fiber versus polyester (or so I'm told) is the burn test. If you burn natural fiber, it turns into ashes. When you burn polyester, it forms little nodules of plastic.

Can't do this in a fabric store. Also, not sure if it would apply to fibers like Tencel.

#49 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 07:38 PM:

I'm not nearly anonymous enough to actually publish a heresy checklist; I'd rather not get any death threats from fanatics with the will and resources to actually carry them out. Also, by discussing it in a place that is indexed by Google, I've blown my chance of establishing a strenuously anonymous way to do it; even if someone else does it, it is traceable back to me as instigator, and I may be punished for inspiring whoever actually does the work of making such a list. I can't win. Dooooommmmmed....

#50 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 07:43 PM:

My grandmother's favorite psalm. Not terribly religious, but brought up so, went to synagogue now & again to chat with her sister, but Grandpa would never join a synagogue. After he died, she had forgotten most of her Hebrew, so she joined a Reform place, which did services in English.

But she had big family meals on Rosh Hashanah (coming up next week), Thanksgiving, and full Seders on Passover.

That's part of the series of psalms (114-118) called Hallel, or Praise, which we say on holidays and New Moons.

End of Jewish Minutia for now.

Have a good and sweet year, y'all.

#51 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 07:43 PM:

I intend to write a book about an alien attack on Dave Langford, in which the tripods, moving towards that noble town in which stands his residence, are distracted by an ingenious deception scheme, involving a very large painting, that is kept in front of the artillery as they move to their firing positions.

Confused by the apparent movement of the city, they are then utterly destroyed when the guns open fire.

The book shall be entitled Advance, Reading Copy.

#52 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 07:49 PM:

Serge @ 4400 45 - Making obscure references around here is like carrying coals to Newcastle. ;)

#53 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 07:50 PM:

Zora @48 ...
Can't do this in a fabric store. Also, not sure if it would apply to fibers like Tencel.

I have done this in a fabric store :) It's one of the reasons why I, a non-smoker, carry a lighter.

Tencel is functionally a 'natural' fabric, just highly processed in the process of becoming fabric. It burns to ash, and has a slight sweet smell, a bit like burning sugar (go figure, given what it's made of ;) )

#54 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 08:11 PM:

Ooh, an open thread where I can tell you all what classes I'm taking this semester and it's on topic too! I've started my PhD work officially this Fall, and I'm taking 16th century British Lit, Old Irish (the language, but also the literature), and auditing a Latin class on Cicero and Caesar. (We're reading the Gallic Wars right now, and let me tell you how odd that is against the Old Irish.)

Anyway, one of our readings for 16th c Brit Lit this week was a side-by-side presentation of a few passages of the Bible: Tyndale's translation (which got him executed, of course), the KJV, the Geneva Bible and the Douay-Rheims Bible. Translation theory is one of my interests, and for these four, what was most interesting to me about them was how the later 3 all took their lead from Tyndale. Certain choices he made have persisted through most English translations. My favorite would be the word "firmament."

#55 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 08:11 PM:

Tania at #23:

I think that's Wollheim's Secret of the Martian Moons

#56 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 08:13 PM:

I've used the burn test before, but usually to determine if a given piece of fabric was silk or a high-quality synthetic blend (the most recent one was silk). Growing up around all kinds of fabrics*, I've gotten pretty good at determining fabrics by touch.

Does anyone know how rayon reacts to the burn test? I would assume it would produce a powdery ash like cotton, but I've never tested it.

*Mom's a quilter, mother-in-law is a quilter, grandmother made a lot of clothes for me.

#57 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 08:15 PM:

Bob @ #55 - Thanks! I'll see if I can find it, and send a copy on to pater.

#58 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 08:41 PM:

Earl Cooley III at #43 etc: I sure could use an ecumenical dogma checklist spreadsheet...

I've had a similar idea - I've long wanted a flow chart that shows the history of Christianity as it schisms (is that the correct verb?) down through the years, and to note the theological landmarks.

IF (Nicene Creed) THEN (mainstream western?...)
.
.
.
IF (95 Theses) THEN (Lutheran)
.
.
etc.

#59 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 08:42 PM:

I'm not sure how many Christian churches other than the Catholic enumerate their heresies, but here's an alphabetical list of heresies and heretical groups (by Catholic standards) that have articles in the 1910 New Catholic dictionary.

And here's a collection of online books about various heresies.

A few books of special note in that collection: Belloc's The Great Heresies has a readable overview of the concept and some of the major types (again, from a Catholic perspective). Hippolytus' Refutation of All Heresies lists a lot of heresies popular in the early days of the church, from the perspective of an early church writer.

There are also some books specifically on some of the better-known heresies further down the list.

#60 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 09:20 PM:

kouredious:

How cool! I've noticed a tendency in engineering like this--the first person to tackle some problem sometimes establishes the baseline assumptions and approach to solving it, and many years can pass before anyone changes it. I wonder how similar this is.

It seems like there are a couple parallels, though I probably can't do them justice. First, on a simple level, once you've seen some Greek or Latin word translated to "firmament," it's easier to just stick with it. That was an acceptable choice, and even if there are other possibilities, they take work and aren't better. But on a more interesting level, reading a translation of the Bible that uses the word "firmament" in that place might be one of the only places you see "firmament" being used. It could change the meaning of the word over time, so that most everyone's definition of firmament is basically drawn from "the way it's used in the bible."

That seems parallel to the way the engineering/inventing thing works. Once someone has defined the problem of, say, building a steam engine in a certain way, most other people may start from that sort of definition. Their meaning of "steam engine" is "like the thing that guy over there built." It can take awhile before someone else realizes that the set of ways to build a steam engine is much larger than that. In my own field, public key cryptosystems, hash functions, and block ciphers all have this going on. A lot of hash functions designed in the last 10 years look like they were done by people whose internal definition of "hash function" was "something that looks like MD4, only wider and stronger."

(This is all making me wish I had more time to study translations and the history of technology....)

#61 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 09:23 PM:

Fragano #21:

Man, you're capturing my mood today. (Too much weird and unsettling national news!)

I like the poem, but I can't make that fourth line scan. (I suspect this is a difference in accent or something, but I can't work out what.)

#62 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 09:26 PM:

This was wandering around in my head today, with thoughts of people being both impoverished and annoyed by the bailout.

unwashed hands waving pitchforks
stinking mass of sweaty rage
the peasants are revolting!

Alternatively, watching the latest crazy of the McCain campaign:


toward the puppy farm
the burning piano falls
the puppies are us

#63 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 09:52 PM:

John Scalzi called it:
We find ourselves living in
What-The-Fuckistan.

#64 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 09:57 PM:

#56 ::: Singing Wren

Does anyone know how rayon reacts to the burn test? I would assume it would produce a powdery ash like cotton, but I've never tested it.

Rayon burns slowly, smells like rope, and the ash tends to retain the shape of the swatch.

#65 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 10:08 PM:

Here's a comment from a librarian in another forum that would certainly be on-topic for an open thread at Making Light.

Overheard: "It's the publisher's way of saying, 'This book sucks so hard that we're not even going to put a synopsis here, and instead use the back cover to rave about completely unrelated books so you'll go read them and save yourself from this one.'"

#66 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 10:09 PM:

MTania @ 52... Serge @ 4400

I figured you'd recognize that reference. Now, without peeking at imdb.com, do you know which SF movie he was the star of?

#67 ::: Michael Martin ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 10:22 PM:

Albatross: Bravo! Though, if I recall the rules for predicate nominative correctly, the puppies are actually we, not us.

#69 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 10:34 PM:

Serge (#28) Was it synchronicity, coincidence or something more sorrowful sparking that thought on this day?

#70 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 10:45 PM:

Bob Oldendorf @ #58: I've long wanted a flow chart that shows the history of Christianity as it schisms (is that the correct verb?) down through the years, and to note the theological landmarks.

You mean something like this?

#71 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 10:56 PM:

JJ Foss @ #35: "Malevil" by Robert Merle is another collapse of civilization novel. First published in French in 1972, and (not surprisingly) out of print. I liked it back when I read it as a teenager, which may not be much of a recommendation. It does have the virtue of being set in a small village in France, and therefore not the common All-American SF view of the world.

#72 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 10:57 PM:

albatross: Indeed! And it's often the basis for interesting analysis of translations, to reevaluate how appropriate that first translation was, and what impact it had on later versions. I think my project for that class, actually, is going to be a close look at Jane Lumley's first translation of Iphegenia at Aulis into English in that same era. She was a Catholic in a dangerous time and made translation decisions that elevated the sacrifice of Iphegenia to saintly matryrdom.

#73 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 11:11 PM:

Singing Wren, #56: I remember when I was little, I used to be amazed at the way my mother could identify the fabric content of a piece of clothing just by touching it. Forty years down the road, it seems that I've developed the same ability -- and I don't even sew! I'm not sure whether to be pleased or terrified.

Allan, #65: Now, that's an interesting hypothesis. I think I'm going to have to see how true it holds by personal experience.

#74 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 11:26 PM:

Bill @68, A quick guess: mebbe they are confusing US-style billions (aka milliards) with UK billions?

#75 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 11:28 PM:

Serge @#28: Zeppelins of Phobos

Does Phobos or even Mars have an atmosphere dense enough to support bouyant aircraft? (indeed does Phobos have an atmosphere at all?)

#76 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 11:47 PM:

#75 - Erik - Phobos is a very small rock. Fairly high-grade vaccuum is its atmosphere. You could just barely fly various things in the Martian atmosphere, according to some SF writers who're probably careful about these things.

#77 ::: Lynn C ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2008, 11:55 PM:

Rayon is almost all cellulose and burns to almost nothing-- fine ash. Although a lot of rayon is treated to reduce flamability. Smells like paper.

#78 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 12:10 AM:

Let me tell you a story...

On the Events Surrounding My 21st Birthday

My university was a "dry campus." The joke ran that this meant "don't spill" but in practice this meant that there wasn't supposed to be any liquor on the premises.

There were notable exceptions. The Chancellor's Dinner was one; the champagne brunch following graduation was another. But what university can resist casually bending the rules it sets for its students? And truly, the rules were easily broken by the students as well, especially with the ambiguity involved as to whether a building were "on" or "off" campus. My apartment at the time was "off-campus", yet it was tied into the "on-campus" telephone system, and the patchwork of houses owned by the school were similarly ambiguous.

Such a house was that of the Honors Program. It was an actual house, though nobody lived there. The door was key-coded and everyone had a passkey. And often the attic floor— Olympus (nobody said we were modest)— was used for gatherings when the person hosting had no location to otherwise use.

That Friday was Passover, and Mike had decided to hold a Seder meal. The fish mostly fell through the grill, to the delight of the raccoons, so we ordered New York-style cheese pizza, as this Passover also was Good Friday and we were being good Catholics by going meatless. This is how I discovered that New York-style cheese pizza goes very well with White Zinfandel.

We were downstairs, washing up, when a knock came at the door. There was a security guard there, and his friend from the city police. We politely invited them inside, and asked what the issue was. Apparently, somebody had called and said there was a raging alcoholic party on the top floor. They looked very confused by the lack of said party, but took our names regardless and left, at which point we got angry.

We knew who was to blame. B— and J— were froshlings in Honors who were, to put it mildly, jerks. Apart they were fairly harmless but together they had managed to piss off most of the rest of the program, which is pretty talented. One of them had popped his head up into Olympus, had been invited to share the meal, and had declined. And apparently had gone off to invoke the dry campus statutes.

Something you should understand about me is this: I don't handle anger well. Not in me, and not around me. I find it actually painful to sustain it, and this is a classic example. I called the mentor of the Honors Program and left a message, saying that I wanted to speak with him, but I couldn't let it go.

This was a holiday weekend, and I was spending most of it in the editing room on the top floor of the Ad Building. Anyone in Broadcast Studies could sign out the keys at any hour that the room was not otherwise in use, and I was using the time to edit together the spring musical. Yes, analog post-production editing of a musical with no in-camera sync. And I wanted it done before Sunday because I wanted to show it at the cast party.

That's probably why I ended up on the phone with Mike at 2 in the morning when I just couldn't handle the anger. I knew his roommate was out of town, so hey, what the hell. He finally managed to calm me down, keep me from throwing things. I finished the tape.

(The production itself garnered very little attention, but when we got to the credits— where every actor had a face credit— they watched it, stopped it, rewound and called everybody else in. I got requests for copies of the credits for the next year. I've never forgotten how much actors love credits.)

My birthday was Easter Monday that year, so at midnight a couple of friends took me to a bar for my obligatory free drink. (I had hard cider. I don't much care for alcohol.) I went to bed knowing that I had a meeting with Fr. K—, the mentor of the Honors Program.

So I showed up bright and early on my 21st birthday to meet with Fr. K—, only to find that he'd brought along Fr. S—, who was the substance abuse counselor.

It was a horrible blow. First off, I'd wanted the meeting so Fr. K— would hear what really happened before hearing rumors. Secondly, I was still emotionally raw from being so angry over the weekend, and feeling that I'd already been judged was terrible. I can't stand being accused of dishonesty when I'm dealing fairly.

And mostly, it was a hell of a way to start off a birthday.

So they questioned me, and one of the questions that came up was how much alcohol was consumed. I honestly couldn't say— at that time, I didn't know what a fifth was even. (Told you I don't much care for alcohol.) So I went to the recycling bin and brought back a bottle, whereupon Fr. S— snorted and said that nobody would try to get drunk on Manischewitz.

So I won, but I had to go to a friend's place and fall apart all over her bed for a while.

I hated holiday weekends. Almost everybody left the campus, and extraverts hate being alone. So I moped for a while. It happens. I don't think I wrote any bad poetry that day.

And five guys took me to dinner. They showed up, gave me the front seat of the sedan (which meant four adult males in the backseat. Ah, college), and took me to the Old Spaghetti Factory, where we ordered the obligatory bottle of chianti and we all got carded. Then the birthday spumoni came and everybody sang.

The servers looked fairly astonished and said, we've never heard it sung that well before. I pointed, saying, "Choir, choir, musician, chorale, choir." Not everyone gets "Happy Birthday" sung in key, and this was the first time it happened to me.

The next time was with an orchestra, but that's another story.

#79 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 12:11 AM:

Point? There was no point! I said I was going to tell you a story... :D

#80 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 12:37 AM:

B. Durbin @ 79 ...
Point? There was no point! I said I was going to tell you a story... :D

What about the fat lady? The story can't be over yet!

#81 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 12:40 AM:

marilee,

ready to talk about meeting some locals around the Small Press Expo in Bethesda 10/4 & 5?

what works for you?

#82 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 01:21 AM:

Epacris@74:

Bill @68, A quick guess: mebbe they are confusing US-style billions (aka milliards) with UK billions?

No, sorry, the author of the message spells out the zeroes explicitly.

#83 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 01:46 AM:

B. Durbin, #78:
1) My sympathies on your 21st birthday being rendered unpleasant by a couple of jerks and an unwarranted assumption.

2) The Old Spaghetti Factory! There's one in Nashville which I remember fondly; it's in a restored warehouse on 2nd Avenue, and the decor is palatial in a 19th-century-wretched-excess sort of way. If you're ever there, I particularly recommend that you make a special trip to the ladies' room. I like the food, too; Spaghetti Warehouse is NOT even close, despite the similarity of names. Sadly, when I finally got to take my partner to the one in Seattle last year, his reaction was "I don't see the big deal." But I wish we had one in Houston.

Singing at restaurants reminds me of my junior year Concert Choir tour at Vandy. We went to DC and Williamsburg, and ended up having a lovely dinner one night at a restaurant whose name I can no longer recall. It so happens that we were doing a lot of arrangements of spirituals that year, and somehow we got started singing a cappella in the restaurant... and the waitstaff loved it. We ran thru every spiritual in our repertoire (I think the upperclassmen even did one from the previous year), and the staff had us all autograph a menu for them. It was a really nice impromptu moment, and a memory I still enjoy.

#84 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 02:08 AM:

Earl Cooley @ 43

Maybe you could use Microsoft InExcelsis?

#85 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 03:04 AM:

Serge @ 66 - Make it difficult, after all, I did work in a comic shop.

Rocketeer with the young and lovely Jennifer Connelly.

Also, he was the obnoxious American in one of the Dracula films. The one with Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins.

#86 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 04:37 AM:

Leah Miller @17(a) -- Would old episodes of "All Creatures Great and Small" work? That was distinctly northern England.

I also heard (somewhere once, a very long time ago), that British stage actors use Devonshire accents deliberately as a sort of indication of, um, the opposite of urbanity.

(Dang, it's hard to keep up with ML these days. Sooo much good stuff, too little time.)

#87 ::: Alex G ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 05:35 AM:

The first two verses here are those chosen by Dante to illustrate the many forms of allegory, in his letter to his patron Cangrande della Scala, as a guide to the interpretation of the Divine Comedy.

He writes:

"You must know that the sense of this work is not simple, rather it may be called polysemantic, that is, of many senses; the first sense is that which comes from the letter, the second is that of that which is signified by the letter. And the first is called the literal, the second allegorical or moral or anagogical. Which method of treatment, that it may be clearer, can be considered through these words: 'When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a barbarous people, Judea was made his sanctuary, Israel his dominion'. If we look at it from the letter alone it means to us the exit of the Children of Israel from Egypt at the time of Moses; if from allegory, it means for us our redemption done by Christ; if from the moral sense, it means to us the conversion of the soul from the struggle and misery of sin to the status of grace; if from the anagogical, it means the leave-taking of the blessed soul from the slavery of this corruption to the freedom of eternal glory. And though these mystical senses are called by various names, in general all can be called allegorical, because they are different from the literal or the historical. Now, allegory comes from Greek alleon, which in Latin means 'other' or 'different'.

Now that we have seen this, it is obvious that the subject around which the two senses turn must be twofold. And therefore it is to be determined about the subject of this work when it is taken literally, then about the subject when it is understood allegorically. The subject of the whole work, taken only from a literal standpoint, is simply the status of the soul after death, taken simply. The movement of the whole work turns from it and around it. If the work is taken allegorically, however, the subject is man, either gaining or losing merit through his freedom of will, subject to the justice of being rewarded or punished."

#88 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 05:50 AM:

Earl Cooley III, Bob O., etc.: my partner, who's a canon law aficionado, has a decision-making flowchart for when, in the Middle Ages, it was permissible to have sex.

"Are you married?" --[yes]--> "To each other?"...

It's online somewhere, if only I could find it.

#89 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 06:02 AM:

Tania @ 85... And Billy Campbell (not to be confused with Willian Campbell, who played a Klingon as if he were Liberace) was Mouse's lover in Tales of the City.

#90 ::: Kévin ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 06:19 AM:

Hello everyone,

This is my first comment here so let me introduce myself.
I'm a long time reader of Making Light from France, areas of interest: politics, sf/f, computer science, RPGs. Yes, I'm a geek.

I started reading blogs in the fall of 2003, to try to get an understanding of what the f**k was happening with US politics. Let me say it's been quite an education! I'm so glad I live in such a secular country as France, even though we have our own issues (Must...not...rant...about...Sarkozy).
ML is now on my daily reading list. I stayed, as they say, for the jurassic buggery.

Anyway, I'm de-lurking because I'm looking for intelligent conversations about sf/f books and authors but I've noticed that TOR authors are not (often) discussed here. It might be an official ML policy, for understandable professional reasons, but I have not been able to find it on the front page. Do you have any recommendations for sites where such conversations can be had?

And, Teresa, take good care of yourself. Some people you don't even know felt very concerned by the news about your health trouble.


#91 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 06:52 AM:

Greetings Kévin! Jurassic buggery, what a great description!

I'd recommend Tor.com for discussion of Tor authors and books, as a great place to start. The conversations section might be just what you're looking for.

Good luck, and congratulations on de-lurking. It's a rather stressful act, isn't it?

#92 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 07:09 AM:

albatross #61: Thanks. I see what you mean about the fourth line. It's a matter of accent, I think.

#93 ::: dido ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 08:01 AM:

Leah Miller @17
Reginald Hill's Dalzeil and Pascoe novels are set in Yorkshire, and Andy Dalzeil has a lot of characteristic speech patterns. And Hill writes really great dialogue.

Tamsin, by Peter S. Beagle is set in Devon and some of the night people have strong Devon accents.

And then, of course, it's old and I don't know how accurate it is, but the Yorkshire "dialect" is a major component of the the Secret Garden.

#94 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 08:03 AM:

"I didn't know I was going to be the referee for the internal civil war of the Republican Party" --Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts (there are so many ironies....)

#95 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 08:19 AM:

JJ Fozz @#35: You might try Dies the Fire et seq. by S.M. Stirling.

But get them from the library, because Steve's turned into a bit of a whackjob lately.

#96 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 08:43 AM:

So I've just received the third in a series of notes left on our door informing me that our being up and about and generally inhabiting our apartment between 11 at night and 8 in the morning produces an unacceptable amount of noise for my neighbors downstairs.

Since the receipt of the first two notes, we've already stopped wearing shoes in the apartment, and structured our clothes storage to minimize the opening and closing of drawers in the morning and evening.

I at least take comfort that Miss Manners is firmly on our side, saying iirc "It is reasonable to ask your neighbors to remove their shoes at home, but not their feet." And it is only the thought of the disapproving looks that would be cast at us from that quarter that has put the kibosh on our plans to engage an Irish step-dancing troupe for nightly command performances.

So, does anyone have good advice for dealing with passive aggressive neighbors with unreasonable demands? Or just good stories to make our situation not seem so frustrating by comparison?

#97 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 08:52 AM:

Thanks for all of the reccomendations - I see many purchases in my future.

B Durbin - that's a bummer of a story. One way to get back at those two jerks, without being really mean, is to shove pennies in between the door and the doorframe of their room. They can't get out until you let them

#98 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 08:59 AM:

Chris W @#96: You might try going full-out passive aggressive in return. Like, keep asking them if they've called the landlord to insist that the relevant floor/ceiling be inspected as it is obviously unstable. Every morning, stop in and ask (or leave a note asking) if you were too loud last night. If you have a little extra money, buy thick carpets and make sure they see you carrying them in. Etc.

#99 ::: SylvieG ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 09:00 AM:

I've been foisting myself on various discussions lately so I thought I'd do the polite thing and introduce myself, too.

My name is Sylvie, I live in Ottawa and I'm a French/English writer/editor for the federal gov't up here in Canuckistan. Though I also have aspirations to someday turn the jumble of words in my head into a novel or two.

I've been lurking here for ages trying to get up the nerve to dip my toes in; I've been known to pun, but my poetry is deplorable (I'll spare you the details of the poem I wrote with a friend in grade 7 in which we re-told the plot of the fourth Star Trek movie in rhyming couplets. cough.)

I'm far more interested in your upcoming election than in our own (I'm afraid the Conservatives will get in, here, but I'm terrified the Democrats won't, there). Though whenever I see Palin's name mentioned I keep expecting her to break into a rendition of the Lumberjack Song...

#100 ::: martyn ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 09:00 AM:

Dave Bell @ 32 - Last of the Summer Wine is West Yorkshire, Hearbeat is North Yorshire. A character from each would need a babelfish to be understood in t'other. Yorkshire is a big country.

Now I'm off to have a surgical procedure to remove my tongue from my cheek.

#101 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 09:11 AM:

Kévin and SylvieG... Vous êtes la bienvenue!

#102 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 09:17 AM:

Chris W

I lived in an apartment for many years, and the people who lived above me were a mother and her son. The son was the creepiest dude I have ever seen, and I'm not being mean. He had the look of your average mass murderer. He was also a night owl and his bedroom was right above mine.

So I wake up night, around 3 am and I'm laying there, listening. And I say out loud, to no one, "I know what a power saw sounds like. That's a power saw running. At 3 in the morning." I think he was slicing up his latest victim.

Sad to say, he freaked out one day and tried to kill himself and was committed.

A second story: freshman year in college, I didn't have class until noon and would sleep in. Every Tuesday, like clockwork, I would wake up to this clicking sound above my head. I could not figure what it was. About a month later, I'm walking out of my dorm and this slim, Gregory Hines looking dude walks past me, wearing TAP SHOES, and I yelled out, "That's what the fuck it is!"

I scared him pretty bad, and then explained myself. He apologized, but I was basically at fault for laying in bed until 11 every Tuesday.

#103 ::: SylvieG ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 09:41 AM:

Serge @ 101 - Merci!

#104 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 09:55 AM:

martyn #100: Surely you mean 'Yorkshire is a broad country', do you not?

#105 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:12 AM:

SylvieG @ 99: Another Ottawa person here. And I feel much as you do: for the Conservatives to win a majority here would be very bad; for McCain and Palin to win the U.S. election would be catastrophic -- probably literally.

#106 ::: Sajia Kabir ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:24 AM:

104: You mean Yorkshire is famous for wisecracking, gumchewing women of a forward disposition?

#107 ::: Kévin ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:25 AM:

Tania @91
Stressful? You got that right!
Especially as English is not my mother tongue and some people here make a living with their mastery of that language.
I am hopeless at poetry in French already, so forget about English.

Serge @101
Merci mon ami!

If I may presume to correct you, you mean "Vous êtes les bienvenus!" (plural masculine form).
The wonders of sexist language: in French, when addressing one thousand women and one man, you have to use the masculine form...


#108 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:31 AM:

Sajia Kabir #106: Not that kind of broad.

#109 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:32 AM:

Kévin @ 107: Serge is from French-speaking Canada, and there may be some subtle language differences between your country and Québec patois.

#110 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:41 AM:

#96, 102
I had an upstairs neighbor who decided to vacuum its apartment. At 11pm, on a weeknight. (I don't know about the rental agreement it signed, but mine clearly stated that it was Not At All Okay between 10pm and 7am.) And it couldn't hear me knocking on the door to tell them to turn it off, either. (I left a note on the door, at that point, but I don't know if it could read.) The management had changed the previous summer, and the new people didn't care about anyone who was already there.

#111 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:50 AM:

B. Durbin @ 78:

My campus was not technically a dry one. It was a public one, meaning that no alcohol could be served at public events or in public spaces, so any drinking had to be done either off-campus, or in one's room. However, you were not allowed to store alcohol in your room, and you were not allowed to drink it in the presence of anyone under 21. (Most people who lived on campus were under 21. Seniors tended to move to apartments.) This meant you had to drink everything you had purchased, alone in your room. Very healthy.

RAs tended to look the other way at people coming back drunk, as long as they didn't create a disturbance. But they would bust you for underage possession. One day, I was coming back from a communal grocery trip (as all of them were -- I lived in the kind of dorm where you would go out in the hall, yell "I'm going to Walmart, who wants to come?" and leave with a carful of people). All of us were freshmen or sophomores, 18 and 19 (maybe 20). One of my friends was carrying a six-pack of rootbeer in glass bottles, and a very large glass bottle of cream soda.

We passed our RA in the hallway, greeted him cheerfully, and tried to continue to our rooms. He whipped around and, pointing at the cream soda, said "WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING INTO MY DORM?"

Eventually we were able to show him the markings on the bottles and prove that it was cream soda and root beer, not Miller High Life and brown ale.

However, I think that even he would have turned a blind eye to a bottle of Manischewitz at a Passover seder. It's practically grape jam.

#112 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:51 AM:

No one must see where tired phrases go
what truly matters is the broadcast lie,
our motives are as pure as day-old snow.

Nobody cares what stubborn breezes blow,
nor what the colour of the morning sky;
no one must see where tired phrases go.

Tomorrow comes the radioactive glow,
for now we punish those who dare to pry;
our motives are as pure as day-old snow.

We gave our bank accounts a chance to grow
and watched as all the numbers mounted high,
no one must see where tired phrases go.

We do not care if you hatred bestow
upon our heads, we have the time to fly;
our motives are as pure as day-old snow.

This is the hour that you will come to know
when all our assets have to go bye-bye;
no one must see where tired phrases go,
our motives are as pure as day-old snow.

#113 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 11:00 AM:

Ginger @ 109... Either that or I'm more rusty than I thought. Where did I put that darn oil can. Scarecrow? Dorothy!

#114 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 11:31 AM:

Oh hey, all fellow Canadians. I just sent in my form to register to vote from abroad. Cutting it close to the deadline, because the Canadian election is so low-key compared to The Election, and I read so little about Canadian politics, that it was easy to miss.

Noted cartoonist Chester Brown (Louis Riel, etc.) is running in my riding. For the Libertarian Party -- oh, well. Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics lives in the same riding, as far as I know -- maybe next time he could run as a Neo-Rhino.

Is there really a chance that Harper could get a majority? McCain + Palin = fail, but McCain + Palin + Harper = EPIC FAIL.

[/politics]

#115 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 11:36 AM:

I've got a random question for everyone: Panini, my MacBook, appears to have developed a hangnail. That is, a minor crack in the case, at the very bottom edge of the flat open surface, on the right-hand side, extending from the I'm-awake light back towards the center about 2 inches.

It doesn't affect the functioning at all. But, like a hangnail, it's driving me buggy.

Any suggestions on how to repair it? Type of adhesive? Methods for clamping?

Or should I just cultivate an ability to ignore it?

#116 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 11:38 AM:

#41 Pratchett's Ankh Morporkers speak a kind of cockney ... CMOT is very much part of the argot of a cockney market trader.

Yes, definitely London. But Ankh-Morpork IS London. It didn't used to be - it started out as Lankhmar (even if Terry claims not to have noticed) - but by about less than nine books in it had become early modern London with overtones of Tuscany.

Of course though Ankh-Morpork was once an affectionate parody of Lankhmar, Lankhmar is itself an affectionate parody of Shadizar, which itself harks back to the Samarkand of story and the Baghdad of Harun al Rashid (and the Golden Road between them). And that version of Baghdad itself referenced (I suspect consciously - in that both the Caliphs and the storytellers played up to it) both Constantinople and Babylon, the grand-daddy of them all.

London - in story - isn't quite that kind of city. We don't do God-Kings and we've been telling people that our streets are NOT paved with gold for six hundred years. (Most cities never feel that need) We are, though, the Heart of Darkness. Not so much topless towers as mud and mist and the metropolitan line. We do have William Blake though :-)

A few months ago I overheard a man on a train in London using "CMOT" as a verb. Pronounced "see-mot". Context in this link

#117 ::: SylvieG ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 11:39 AM:

114

Is there really a chance that Harper could get a majority? McCain + Palin = fail, but McCain + Palin + Harper = EPIC FAIL.

And here I was just thinking about who their third stooge might be. Harper fits the bill nicely.

Sadly, it looks like that majority might be in the cards (gods help us all) depending on what the Bloc does or doesn't get up to in Quebec.

#118 ::: Kévin ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 11:52 AM:

Oh, now I've gone and done it.
I outed myself as a French grammar nazi in my first post ever (well, second) on ML.

Serge, you live in Quebec? Whereabouts?
I visited the area a few years ago and I had a great time. Even with the snowstorms and the freezing cold.

#119 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 11:59 AM:

re 54/60: the reason why those three are so similar to Tyndale is because they all are revisions of Tyndale, to some greater or lesser degree, with different theological intent. If you look at at one of the non-KJV modern translations, in many cases you'll see the opposite: that the translators almost consciously avoid the Tyndale language and wording. It's part of the intellectual self-justification for re-translating: that there's something to fix. There's even some of that in the NRSV. I suspect, however, in the case of this psalm there's not a lot of variation. (There isn't in the NIV, for example.)

re 13: I don't have a bible with textual apparatus at hand, but I'm guessing that v. 7 may vary in the MT from older translations (and maybe the DSS). My Greek isn't good enough, but there seems to be something in the LXX corresponding to the missing bit; it's certainly there in the Vulgate.

re 19: Another good bible lookup is the Unbound Bible, which has a particularly good selection of ancient versions. Then there's the Hexapla and the English Hexapla.

#120 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 11:59 AM:

Chris W. @ 96 ...So, does anyone have good advice for dealing with passive aggressive neighbors with unreasonable demands? Or just good stories to make our situation not seem so frustrating by comparison?

I'd be very tempted to be horribly sympathetic -- "Ohhhh. You must have just moved in, poor people. We're doing our best to be quiet for you, but it's the building, you know. We hear other people too, but we understand that's what happens with shared buildings, and all you can do is be generous and forgiving. Have you tried talking to the landlord? Maybe he can help..."

Overall though -- if they're going to be passive-aggressive and difficult, there's not much that's going to help. I'd stick with being polite and reasonable (where reasonable doesn't include making lifestyle changes beyond taking your shoes off, and not rehearsing riverdance at 2am) -- and squashing the temptation to respond in kind.

#121 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 12:03 PM:

Kévin...

I grew up in Québec City's suburb for the first 30 years of my life, until they finally threw me out. I mean, until I married a California Girl in January 1986. By the way, this coming Sunday will be the 23rd anniversary of our being together, and of my buying Roger Dean's Magnetic Storm.

#122 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 12:43 PM:

Chris 96: Suggested note to your icky neighbors:

In our attempts to be accommodating and neighborly, we have already stopped wearing shoes in the apartment, and structured our clothes storage to minimize the opening and closing of drawers in the morning and evening. We cannot see what more we can reasonably do to make things quieter for you.
Please note the use of the word 'reasonably' in the paragraph above. To make things quieter we would have to cease all movement in our apartment between the hours of 11 PM and 8 AM; any reasonable person would agree that this is too much to ask.
If, despite our efforts, the noise level is still unacceptable to you, we suggest that you look into soundproofing your ceiling, as no further changes will be made to our floor, or above it.
Sincerely,

#123 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 01:14 PM:

Dave Bell, way back upthread at #51: Well, your joke made this book reviewer laugh!

#124 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 01:27 PM:

I would use Xopher's first paragraph, and maybe a little bit of "I can hear other people too, it's the building" but not escalate anything.

It can sound like elephants from downstairs when it sounds like kittens upstairs - in fact, my cats manage to sound a lot like elephants. Especially in an old building without good soundproofing.

JJ, i've been picking up random post-apocalyptic novels from the kids section at the library - I recently read a pair of YA books, one of the is called Dead and Gone, one is called Life As We Knew it, that were really good. And I picked up a YA post-apocalyptic book called The Sky Outside that was really well done as audiobook.

Sharon Astyk has been running a post-apocalyptic reading group on her web site, but the readers are mostly not wide SF readers. They just finished Dies the Fire, but I hadn't gotten through it yet so I didn't participate (I'm reading it now. Or, I will be as soon as I get through these Elizabeth Moon books that were near it on the shelf...) The reading list sprang from a discussion of how much we hated Kunstler's World Made By Hand.

I find myself re-reading Always Coming Home in little pieces, because it's a really comforting post-apocalyptic vision. But it doesn't really fit with the doomer books like the Stand.

#125 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 01:41 PM:

Post-apocalyptic stories... Sterling Lanier's Hiero's Journey is one, but I'm not sure because I've never read it, but I'm told there's an intelligent beaver. I did read Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz though. No beaver, but many monks who try to salvage knowledge.

#126 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 01:47 PM:

JJ Fozz: I'll second the recommendations on "Dies the Fire" noting that Stirling seems sane to me.

Also try David Palmer's "Emergence" and, if you've never read it, the classic "Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank.

#127 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 02:38 PM:

Here I just have to say, we had Alas, Babylon as assigned reading when I was in 7th grade.

When Astyk's readers were nominating apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic books for the reading group, I realized I had read an awful lot of them.

Sometimes I wonder what kind of person I would be, if they didn't have those little planet stickers to help me pick out SF books in the public library when I was a kid.

#128 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 02:53 PM:

The post-apocalyptic book I remember best from sixth grade was Z For Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien. I haven't re-read it as an adult, but it made a hell of an impression on me at age eleven, in context with things like Reagan's "The bombing begins in five minutes" joke.

...which I just looked up, and he didn't say that until 1984. But I'd already gotten the impression prior to 1981 that he WANTED to do just that.

Is it any wonder I preferred fantasy set in other times and places?

#129 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 03:00 PM:

Tlönista @88: my partner, who's a canon law aficionado, has a decision-making flowchart for when, in the Middle Ages, it was permissible to have sex. [...] It's online somewhere, if only I could find it.

This one?

#130 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 03:08 PM:

No good deed goes unpunished.

#131 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 03:12 PM:

Rikibeth @ 128: Wasn't being a kid in the 80s fun?

I can't be the only one who had nightmares about walking through empty streets...

(P.S. My 21st birthday started off kind of bad but ended pretty good. I just thought of it and decided to write it up. And the jerks didn't continue at that school the next year. "Didn't fit in.")

#132 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 03:15 PM:

Chris @96, Xopher, Rosa -- maybe something along the lines of, "I hear other people, too...Walking around like regular people....All the time. They're everywhere." Might get them to leave you alone.

(I do sympathize. Strange building acoustics and/or passive-aggressive neighbors, oy.)

#133 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 03:28 PM:

Julie L., that's it!

#134 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 03:32 PM:

Rosa 124: I would use Xopher's first paragraph, and maybe a little bit of "I can hear other people too, it's the building" but not escalate anything.

But writing perfectly-polite "fuck off and die" letters is such FUN! (Oh, very well...be nice. Hmmph.)

Julie 129: Wow, that's really astonishing. Apparently Christian Europe only survived through sin. Isn't almost every day Feast, Fast, Lent, Advent, Wednesday, or the weekend?

Sex isn't allowed on weekends. Wow. That's absolutely stunning. I'm tempted to go through the calendar and figure out if there really are ANY days when it IS allowed. I assume every saint's day is a "feast," right?

Not to mention the fact that you're supposed to abstain when the woman is pregnant (Heinlein's Hell) or nursing, which IIRC could be up to TWO YEARS at that time.

Oh, wait, I get it. This was just to make everyone feel they were sinning all the time, so everyone would be miserable and easy for the Church to control. We hates them, we hates them for ever.

#135 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 03:51 PM:

B. Durbin @131: oh, I had plans in case of a nuclear attack. The most important determination was whether Hanscom AFB or MIT would be the closest direct target. I could reach either by bicycle, and I wanted to be in the vaporization zone. The other deaths seemed far more unpleasant.

Now, surviving in a world depopulated by the flu? THAT seemed, by comparison, awfully attractive. I had picked out some houses I'd consider claiming in such an event. The empty streets weren't a nightmare, because I always pictured my school tormentors as having succumbed. (Don't we all?)

Of course, one post-apocalyptic scenario that STILL gives me cold shivers is the original Twilight Zone episode "All The Time In The World." Thank all that's holy, I've had LASIK now.

#136 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 04:09 PM:

Chris, #96: Buck it up to your management? Discuss the issue with them in a politely-concerned way, including the accomodations you've already made, and ask if there's anything else they could recommend. That way you establish yourself on the moral high ground first.

Kévin, #107: Your English is very good; I would not have guessed that it wasn't your first language had you not stated that you were French. Et bienvenue de moi aussi.

Rosa, #124: You made me giggle. I've lived in a 2-story townhouse with 2 cats, and it was amazing how much racket it made downstairs when they started playing chase games upstairs! I used to joke about how weren't cats supposed to be light-footed critters?

#137 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 04:11 PM:

B.Durbin #79, Lee #83:

You haven't lived until the entire cast, soloists, chorus, orchestra and all, of a midsize semi-pro opera company does "Happy Birthday" for the general director.

Also, there was the time when I was a college sophomore when a bunch of us repaired to the annex of a local German-style establishment. There were several former high-school chorus members at my end of the table, and we began singing, fueled by at least enough pitchers of something cheap. The high point was undoubtedly the Hallelujah Chorus, which we actually got all the way through in reasonably good order.

#138 ::: arkessian ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 04:14 PM:

xopher @ 134: No, no, no. Mediaeval population control and eugenics all at once. Anyone who could work out when it was lawful was bright enough that they ought to reproduce. And enough people erred on the side of salvation (because they couldn't work it out) to keep the population under control.

Of course, the Black Death meant all bets were off...

#139 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 04:26 PM:

joann @ #137, "The high point was undoubtedly the Hallelujah Chorus, which we actually got all the way through in reasonably good order."

I'll admit your choice of music is better, but on or about St. Patrick's Day in 1972 I remember a similar occasion in Tucson; I think the entire bar sang "American Pie" about seven times in succession, no verse left behind.

#140 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 05:41 PM:

Lynn C @ 39: (yes, I'm reaching way back, I got here late - but it also ties in with Lee @ 83, serendipitously)

So ... Lazarus was actually a piece of unidentified cloth?

("Dip your finger in the water, come and / cool my tongue, 'cause I'm tor-mented in the fla-ame!")

Also, this thread being wide open, I want to ask if anyone else has odd things float into their head every so often while waking up. This time, a few days back, it was influenced by reading Erikson's _Toll the Hounds_ (not done yet, either), and arising to find that

Nyx knocks
hollyhocks
give a dog a throne
This old man came tolling home

sumamrized portions of the saga... (Mother Night and her failings; the 'scarecrows' on poles; the two wolves who currently hold the Throne of Beasts, I think it is; and Kallor wandering through all of it.)

Is this a sign that my unconscious is more literarily-enabled than I?

(And after finishing the thread so far - the Malazan series is definitely post-several-apocalypses, not all of them human, so it ties in there too...)

--Dave

#141 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2008, 10:54 PM:

David DeLaney: Yes, I've had odd things come into my head as I wake up too. One was this poem which I wrote down as soon as I could grab a pen:

I don't care that they sacked Atlantis
And Poseidon came burning down
I have to clear the site of your town
I have to step on your star
And that's the way things really are.

Well, that's obviously missing a line at the beginning, so when more fully awake I reworked it:

Even though it was your home
I don't care that they sacked old Rome
And Colossus came tumbling down
We need to raze the site of your town
I have to step on your star
And that's just the way things are.

But then a dream interpreting friend pointed out the water imagery in the original version.

Apparently my subconscious is clever enough to paraphrase its sources, because Google hasn't yielded anything. But I think I can spot the opening of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy lurking behind this.

And now you all know that I can actually write poetry that isn't in lolcatese, but I have to be asleep to do it.

#142 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 12:21 AM:

miriam beetle, #81, I can probably fit in around your free time. Anybody else want to come? Ginger? Steven? Other local people I've forgotten?

JJ, #102, there is no fault in being on a non-Puritan schedule.

And two things I ran into in other people's LJs today: 1) How to make chocolate cake in a mug in five minutes (from Zeborah) and 2) The Subprime Primer (from Pat Cadigan who got it from Janice Gelb).

#143 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 12:38 AM:

Tania@85: He used to be a regular at the Faire here. Did a creditable performance in various shakespeare plays. I used to hear stories from the friend of mine who was faunching for him big time.

He's no longer a regular, but he does make the occasional apprearance.

#144 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 12:46 AM:

JJ Fozz: Not that it's really a post-apocolyptic novel, but A Canticle for Leibowitz is a stunning book.

#145 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 01:38 AM:

A friend of mine recently asked about post-apocalyptic fiction, and this is the list I sent her:

All these are set after some sort of world collapse, although they vary in how much they're about the immediate aftermath. Ones marked with an asterisk involve nuclear war specifically.

Brilliant:

John Crowley: Engine Summer
*Russell Hoban: Riddley Walker
*Walter Miller: A Canticle For Leibowitz
*Suzy McKee Charnas: Walk To The End Of The World; Motherlines

Very good:

*Leigh Brackett: The Long Tomorrow
J.G. Ballard: The Crystal World
George Stewart: Earth Abides
Brian Aldiss: Greybeard; Barefoot In The Head
Stephen Vincent Benet: By The Waters Of Babylon

Good:

*Kate Wilhelm: Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang
*Pat Frank: Alas, Babylon
Richard Matheson: I Am Legend
*Joan Slonczewski: The Wall Around Eden
*Harlan Ellison: A Boy And His Dog

Decent:

*Roger Zelazny: Damnation Alley
*Edgar Pangborn: Davy; The Company Of Glory
*Vonda McIntyre: Dreamsnake
*David Brin: The Postman

Not really worth it:

*Sterling Lanier: Hiero's Journey
Mary Shelley: The Last Man

#146 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 01:49 AM:

oh! I forgot to mention Pat Murphy's The City, Not Long After. Which is one of my favorites for it's visuals - she sticks with me like Ballard, except less bleak.

#147 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 02:07 AM:

Some Biblical references as requested upthread:

The Polyglot Bible
Schisms of Early Christianity

#148 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 02:50 AM:

David, #140: I sang that in high school! It was also the piece that my best friend and I used as cadence music when we did the March of Dimes Walk that year.

#149 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 05:07 AM:

I'm a bit surprised that nobody has yet mentioned Lucifer's Hammer (Niven & Pournelle) with regard to end-of-the-world stories.

#150 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 07:23 AM:

Rosa @124, Lee @ 136

We have a three-storey house (including loft conversion). Often my husband asks me whether I just saw a herd of elephants go past - 'cos he heard one. We have two cats. Small ones. And both flights of stairs are carpeted. Even so: herd of elephants.

#151 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 09:04 AM:

Bruce Adelsohn @149: California (home of the authors) fortuitously survives, although the survivors are threatened by the remnants of the volunteer (i.e. lower class black) Army, wandering the landscape with a cannibal's caldron. However, they are defeated in a climactic battle, and the prisoners of war are enslaved. The best of them turn out to be capable overseers.

Looked forward to reading it; after I read it, I was creeped out.

#152 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 09:37 AM:

Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower isn't post-apocalyptic the way, say, Mad Max is, but it is good. For whatever reason, Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring fits into the same slot, even though the end of the world as we know it is a local phenomenon rather than global.

My family's house has two big staircases and one hefty cat. Visitors are often freaked out when they hear a person coming downstairs and it turns out to be her.

#153 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 10:17 AM:

David DeLaney @ 140: I want to ask if anyone else has odd things float into their head every so often while waking up.

Oh, yeah. About three years ago, I was sort-of waking up, and several things collided in my head: Cally Hills' lovely song "Mountain Man", several female friends having recently referred to or addressed their husbands by by name in my presence, and social contact the previous day with a female acquaintance who might be described politely as "promiscuous". I was slightly appalled by the result, which appeared more-or-less full-blown. It's not bad, but it's not at all my usual voice/style/content, and it shouldn't oughtta happened to Cally's song.

I suppose it's an odd state of consciousness, with the mind flitting around from one conceptual group to another. It enables finding partial correspondences and patterns.

#154 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 11:22 AM:

Joel, #153: I think that song is better than you realize. I've been in that headspace, and you described it very well.

#156 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 11:54 AM:

Rob #151: The authors' politics do tend to pervade their writing, often (IMO) to the detriment of the story. In this case, I was expressing startlement at what I thought was a high-profile example of the genre not having been named to that point.

I can understand your being creeped out; I was irked, but not shocked, at how the story was handled.

#157 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 12:02 PM:

I've always thought of the sound of a galloping cat as "thundering hoofbeats" -- though the two main cats I've lived with have both been big, 15 pounds or more. Now that Emperor Horton is long past kittenhood, what seems to set him off is windy days.

#158 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 04:26 PM:

Dave Delaney at #140

Sing a song of sixth sense,
Apocryphal, awry

#159 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 05:01 PM:

Jon Meltzer @ 155...

Did you know that he almost played Lije Baley? Circa 1976, there were plans for a movie adaptation of Caves of Steel and he was mentionned as being involved with that. Then again I may have made assumptions, and he really was going to be Daneel Olivaw.

Did you ever see him in The Silver Chalice. That was one bizarre biblical epic, and not just because of the sets. I mean, Jack Palance wearing tights and convinced that he is the Messiah?

#160 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 05:18 PM:

Yay - an open thread!

I need a bit of vacation help; I will be in London between 11/5 and 11/9. Some nights will be occupied with theatre, but the days are all open. I've seen the big tourist stuff (except St. Pauls, which I will be visiting this time) during previous visits - does anyone have any suggestions for cool stuff to do that tourists usually miss? I'm a big fan of history, culture and music.

Also, as the first day I will be in town will be Guy Fawkes night, is there anything I should be aware of?

#161 ::: Sajia Kabir ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 05:56 PM:

I thought I'd post here a poem I've been working on for nine years, in the process splicing together lines from different incomplete poems. So here goes.

The Return of Shyama Mojumdar

Only victory will bring me peace
Only the resting of your head on my chest
Only victory will bring me peace

you turned away from my night-black skin
my mouth like a joba hanging wide open
and I am just a murderess
I am just a poisoned kiss
I am Shyama Mojumdar
and I am back for blood.

I'm a hooker from Babylon
bring your rapture on
I'm more than a mother
in seven layers of muslin
and I am just a feminist
I am just a loud brown bitch

I am not the opposite of what you choose to be
my body the battleground for the clash of civilizations
Huntington's disease of self-fulfilling prophecy
I lit the spark
you fanned the flame
and I am just a terrorist
I am just a little fist

Only victory will bring me peace
Only victory will bring me peace

I am Shyama Mojumdar
never look for me again

#162 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 06:08 PM:

#159: Well, he was in Robert Altman's SF film Quintet, which should be enough to get him a mention in the Locus obituaries column ...

#163 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 06:09 PM:

joann @137: "You haven't lived until the entire cast, soloists, chorus, orchestra and all, of a midsize semi-pro opera company does "Happy Birthday" for the general director."

Funny thing about that...

(Okay, so we're a little closer to "community theater" but the talent level is semi-pro. *And* it was for my 30th birthday. LOTS)

#164 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 06:16 PM:

nerdycellist @ 160 ...
Also, as the first day I will be in town will be Guy Fawkes night, is there anything I should be aware of?

Fireworks, I'm told, although perhaps not so much as in past times...

#165 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 06:27 PM:

Jon Meltzer @ 162... I remember Quintet. Disappointing, in spite of the setting of a new Ice Age. It was filmed in Montreal, by the way, which means they didn't have to work hard to make things look cold.

#166 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 06:28 PM:

nerdycellist (#160): One of my favorite lesser-known museums is the Museum in Docklands, which covers the maritime history of London and the Thames, from the original London Bridge (don't miss the huge model of it) to the Blitz and the postwar changes in the Docklands area. From there it's a short ride on the DLR to Maritime Greenwich for the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum. Make a day of it.

You've probably already been if you've been hitting the Big Tourist Stuff, but I can still spend a while in the British Museum even though I go there every trip.

Your trip is long enough that buying a 7-day Travelcard for zones 1-2 might be worth it. Get it on an Oyster card[1], and put some stored value on if you're planning to make any trips outside of Zone 2...the system will only charge you the add-on fare from the zone boundary to your destination, and the Oyster fares are significantly cheaper than cash.

[1] I'm not sure you can even get the 7-days as paper tickets any more.

#167 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 07:14 PM:

nerdycellist @ 160: You might consider a day trip up to Cambridge (my favorite town for just wandering around) and/or Ely (which has one of the greatest cathedrals in Europe).

But of course, one can entertain oneself indefinitely without leaving London...

#168 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 07:34 PM:

Nerdycellist @160 - The Sir John Soames Museum is interesting to visit for an hour or two. Also have you climbed the Monument? (Those are the two things I can remember that people don't seem to do in London)

Also, as the first day I will be in town will be Guy Fawkes night, is there anything I should be aware of?

No matter how tempting, don't dress up in old clothes and a mask and fall asleep on any piles of wood that have been left lying around.
More seriously, if you want to see or avoid firework displays try this page. I note that some displays take place the Friday and Saturday after (7 & 8 November)

#169 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 07:45 PM:

I don't know about the "fortuitously". Much (hell most) of Calif. is behind mountain ranges. If a piece of the comet doesn't slam into you, and you aren't on the coast side, it's gonna be bad but the land shant be scoured.

Given both of them living here, it's a lot easier to take a book and set it in physical places you know (and there is a lot of roman a clef with the casting, I know (or knew, some have died) a host of the people on whom the characters in the book were based.

So setting them in the places they inhabited was easy too.

The politics, well there are some aspects of it which are creepy. Some which are just foolish, and some which are ugly tropes. By, and large, I dislike the stronger elements of Jerry's beliefs/fears as they invade the books.

#170 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 08:23 PM:

Serge @159: Did you ever see him in The Silver Chalice. That was one bizarre biblical epic, and not just because of the sets. I mean, Jack Palance wearing tights and convinced that he is the Messiah?

I think I saw a climactic scene while channel surfing once. Jack gets all glassy-eyed, and declares he can fly. He climbs to the top of a column, throws himself off — turns out he can't fly after all.

Was he supposed to be Simon Magnus in this movie? Looks like. This book (scroll to last paragraph on the page) claims:

Simon traveled around as a prophet, miracle-worker, and magician, apparently with a great deal of showmanship. The extant sources, of course, being Christian, draw a none too sympathetic picture of this person and doings. According to them he performed at the imperial court at Rome, and met a bad end there while attempting to fly.

[footnote]: According to at least one source, however, this was an attempted ascension meant as the end and consummation of his terrestrial mission [..] Peter then by prayer really "caused him to fall" from mid-air, thus bringing his career to an end.

Somewhere (I thought it was this book) I had seen described that the 'column' might have been a hot-air balloon, which apparently failed catastrophically.

Was Peter a saboteur? One of the ways to get results from prayer is to take a direct hand in the outcome.

#171 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 08:47 PM:

Terry, you can always have fun looking for the clangers. Going west from JPL into the San Bernardino Mountains is almost as good as the world rotating backwards.

#172 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 09:15 PM:

Yes,but that's a silly mistake. Not quite the same as thinking the survival of people hundreds of miles from the coast, behind two mountain ranges, and a valley fifty miles wide is "convenient" doesn't clang.

What got me, and still does, is the line about being sorry for the people in the SF Valley because of the tsunami. I just keep trying to map something large enough to cross 1,800 feet of mountains, ten miles across, and it doesn't work.

#173 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 09:28 PM:

P J Evans @ 171... almost as good as the world rotating backwards

...and bringing Lois Lane back from the dead in the process.

#174 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 10:01 PM:

By the way, all you VP'ers picked a good time to come back to the mainland. It's pissing buckets out there tonight.

#175 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 10:52 PM:

I have a single-story condo with laminate on the floor, and I hear claw clicks when the cats move around. They are vastly different sizes, so I know which cat is where.

#176 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2008, 11:54 PM:

#172
And they should both know better on that one. Even if the waves were typical tsunami height, the low end of the valley is still more than 500 feet above sea level.

#177 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 12:03 AM:

P.J. Yep. West for East isn't that hard to imagine (hell, I have to stop and think about it... mostly because that string of rnages is all contigous. But the Valley... they lived in it. Jerry in Laurel Cyn, and Larry (IIRC) had already moved to the Tarzana house.

Apart from the bits which date it (black gardeners... ?) and the oddities of how they presented politics (handouts to blacks to keep the ghettos quiet) the rest of it hangs togethe tolerably well.

#178 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 12:42 AM:

Terry, I have to admit that I tend to think of that one as 'Lucifer's Hamster'.
('Where would the giant coney hit the earth?
Anywhere it wanted!')

#179 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 01:09 AM:

Tim Walters @ 145 re Edgar Pangborn... I'd rate Davy higher than that, and also add A Mirror for Observers although some of it is pre-apocalyptic IIRC.

#180 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 01:56 AM:

The other night I was walking our Corgi, Madame Mim, and saw that she was having a lot of trouble trying to poop. *squat* *strain* *nothing* Repeated several times during the walk.

Once back at home, I tried to examine her to see what the problem was, but she resisted, trying to scoot away under the desk and such.

So I had to manhandle her a bit, and shine some extra illumination on her, to finally get a good look.

I tell this story just to let everyone know how sad and pathetic my life can get: it took me both hands and a flashlight to find my dog's butt.

(Oh, the problem? I thought she'd gotten an infected rectum, but the vet the next morning diagnosed it as overly-compacted anal glands. I was just as glad to let one of the veterinary assistants squeeze out the excess, rather than trying to do it myself.)

#181 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 02:10 AM:

#180: I've read that some groomers offer gland-squeezing as a routine option.

My dog is really shaggy down under. The back of her thighs are covered with heavy "feathering," concealing the back door. When Kira goes in for blood donations I ask the vet to carve a poop shoot with the shaver used to expose the needle site. This lets crap tumble out without sticking to any fur.

Although, lately, it's been briquette city. Kira has been chewing up a giant bone. The calcium shavings turn into poop cement. Kind of like pumice.

#182 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 02:44 AM:

Re: my query at #58 about "Schism" flow charts:
thanks to
John Mark Ockerbloom at #59,
Paul A. at #70
Tlönista at #88 / Julie L. at #129
and geekosaur at #147 for the help.
(Apologies if I've missed anyone.)

geekosaur's link to the Overview of World Religions site shows proof-of-principle (and hey, it's interactive!) - that flowcharting this question does make logical sense; but I still dream of seeing a version that also shows the decision point for each split.

#183 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 02:57 AM:

Bruce Arthurs @ 180 ...
I tell this story just to let everyone know how sad and pathetic my life can get: it took me both hands and a flashlight to find my dog's butt.

I'm still trying to find out if 'White Grease' is the same as 'Lithium Grease' or is the same as "Singer 2129 Lubricant" or none of the above -- and searching for either "singer lubricant" or "singer grease" is an education in things completely unrelated to sewing machines...

Said education might, however, help with your dog's stoppage ;)

#184 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 04:42 AM:

Rikibeth #128, 135; B. Durbin #131 My after-the-bomb nightmares stemmed from childhood in the early 1960s. About 5 years ago I saw this, which sounds like someone in your generation:

Come, Gentle Bombs
www.aslan.demon.co.uk/bomb.htm
"I am glad to see that Armageddon is coming back into fashion. Nuclear holocausts were a tremendously important part of my childhood … "What do today's children use as raw material for their nightmares? Failing their accountancy exams? It is healthy for an adolescent to picture his mortality in terms of a nuclear fireball sometime before his thirtieth birthday; it keeps the untidy, depressing future firmly off the agenda.

The sad demise of the nuclear bomb is also to blame for the chronic decline in Church attendance and religious belief. Am I the only person whose first serious prayer was 'Please God don't let Mrs Thatcher start a nuclear war, however much she might want to'?"...

#185 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 08:04 AM:

P J Evans @171: Terry, you can always have fun looking for the clangers. Going west from JPL into the San Bernardino Mountains is almost as good as the world rotating backwards.

Larry Niven admits to having the earth rotating in the wrong direction in Chapter 1 of the first printing of Ringworld.

#186 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 08:59 AM:

Mez... I am glad to see that Armageddon is coming back into fashion.

When Garth Ennis revamped Dan Dare, the first issue has a scene of people in a space station looking down at Earth and at what's left of America after its nuclear war with China. Dare himself has been living alone on an asteroid that's a giant holographic reproduction of a British village of the 1930s.

#187 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 09:00 AM:

Drat. It should have read "IN Garth Ennis's revamped..."

#188 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 09:38 AM:

180, 181: Ah, the joys of anal sacs*! Been there, done that, worn the "aroma".


*Even though every veterinarian knows (or should know) that these are sacs, and not glands, we universally name them glands to avoid the obvious problem with owners.

#189 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 10:10 AM:

Arkessian #138- I think your being funny, but theres lots of interesting stuff about how in theory sex was "not good but necessary", but you always needed more good Christian soldiers, but then heeretical factions tended to take the sex is evil too literally. Not to mention some of the breeding population voluntarily not breeding eg monks and Nuns. Who did yet manage to engage in sex. The later medieval period often seems one long run of hypocrisy.

#190 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 11:08 AM:

Rob @ 185
Yes, and I think it reads better than the corrected version.

#191 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 11:09 AM:

Lucifer's Hammer was one of those stories which I zipped through so fast that my objections all showed up at once, after the book was over; good trick, that, wonder how they managed it.

And xeger, I'm exhausted after a sewing-supply conversation yesterday, and am sure that neither of the two other points of the triangle still has their maternal grandmother's half- full tin of Singer 2129 Lubricant. I was being treated as if I was Making Things Up because I asked if the store stocked buttonhole twist silk. No, embroidery floss won't work, and no, 100 gauge silk thread is not the same thing, and no, they're not adequate substitutes because they're not spun tightly enough... If you need the right stuff, you need the right stuff, whether it's thread or grease, and having to deal with people who think you're wrong because you know things they don't... argh. There's points in life when I just don't need another demonstration of the tendancy of people to perceive those more than 20 IQ points smarter than they are as "stupid."

In actual answer to your question, there's a chart of lubricants online somewhere, put out, if memory serves, by a group with Petrochemical Engineers/Engineering in their name. It shows chemical and physical characteristics and substitutions, and I wish I could give you a url, but I wasn't the one who found it.


#192 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 11:14 AM:

P J Evans @ 178... I tend to think of that one as 'Lucifer's Hamster'

Heh.

I can't wait for the next installment of 'The Mouse in God's Eye'.

#193 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 11:33 AM:

Mez @ 184: I can't get to the link, but:

The sad demise of the nuclear bomb is also to blame for the chronic decline in Church attendance and religious belief. Am I the only person whose first serious prayer was 'Please God don't let Mrs Thatcher start a nuclear war, however much she might want to'?"...

Replace "Mrs Thatcher" with "President Reagan" and I'm right there.

#194 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 12:09 PM:

JESR @ 191 ...
And xeger, I'm exhausted after a sewing-supply conversation yesterday, and am sure that neither of the two other points of the triangle still has their maternal grandmother's half- full tin of Singer 2129 Lubricant. I was being treated as if I was Making Things Up because I asked if the store stocked buttonhole twist silk. No, embroidery floss won't work, and no, 100 gauge silk thread is not the same thing, and no, they're not adequate substitutes because they're not spun tightly enough...

Ugh, yes. That one reminds me of a discussion about why rigelene isn't a reasonable substituted for sprung steel boning when doing corsetry...

If you need the right stuff, you need the right stuff, whether it's thread or grease, and having to deal with people who think you're wrong because you know things they don't...

Heh. That's got me thinking about work, where it currently appears that somebody is (a) eating up most of a 300G filesystem by not cleaning up after themselves, and (b) has sent out a nastygram about how their scripts got deleted... when they simply can't navigate directory structures...

In actual answer to your question, there's a chart of lubricants online somewhere, put out, if memory serves, by a group with Petrochemical Engineers/Engineering in their name. It shows chemical and physical characteristics and substitutions, and I wish I could give you a url, but I wasn't the one who found it.

Hm. There's a reference to the Interchangeable Lubrication Guide[0] which unfortunately appears to be commercial...

I'm irrationally fascinated by the idea of Industrial Lubrication and Tribology as a topic name -- it seems like a fine way to describe scenes like this from the Matrix Reloaded.

[0] If I could only yank my brain up out of the gutter...

#195 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 12:21 PM:

JESR, #191: Buttonhole twist silk. May not help if you need it in a hurry, but...

#196 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 12:42 PM:

JESR @191: I can understand a store, in these sad days of cotton-covered polyester threads being standard, not stocking silk buttonhole twist; but employees never having heard of it? Were they never read any Beatrix Potter as children?

The Tailor of Gloucester! And the mice! And the little note, "No more twist!"

#197 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 12:51 PM:

xeger @183:

Singer's hotline: 1-800-877-7762.

As regards #2129: one ebay guide says it's unique, and white or lithium grease not a good substitute at all.

Then there's this:

"Use only SINGER LUBRICANT to lubricate the bevel gears and the motor. SINGER lubricant is a non-flowing lubricant that will stay on the gears and it will not dry out. I have cleaned old machines where someone has used white grease or some other grease that has dried and caked so badly it had to scraped off. You can image how long this can take. SINGER lubricant can be purchased at most fabric stores, it comes in a 1/2 oz tube and is called just SINGER LUBRICANT, Singer item #2129. The reason one should use Singer lubricant on the motor and not oil, oil can run onto the commutator and cause sparking of the brushes and will shorten the life of the motor. The lubricant, being non-flowing will stay on the bearings where it belongs. The motor and the bevel gears should be lubed at least once a year and more often if the machine is used daily."

and this:
"Margaret, thanks for sharing your research with us. A tube of Singer Lubricant costs about $2.25. It is in a red and white 1/2 oz. tube with the words "SINGER Lubricant". I bought mine at Woolworth's. This is a fairly common item wherever Singer products are displayed."

both from this page on Oiling Your Featherweight

#198 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 12:55 PM:

Thanks, Lee, but I fear I must enter the circle of confusion which is Joanne "Fabrics" as my need for twist is exigent.

And Rikibeth, the store is, in fact, one of my favorites, Shibori Dragon in Lakewood, which carries a million wonderful other things (and is where I go for beads not available at Shipwreck) but has mostly Japanese import fabrics and threads and items for the quilting craft. And (for those in this sector who have wondered about the store without ever being curious to make that left turn on Gravelly Lake Drive) there's also a pretty rad selection of yarns.

Also, today's nonfunctional keyboard letters are e, r, z, and x. I really need to see if any of the surplus are less horrid.

#199 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 01:13 PM:

pericat @ 197 ...
As regards #2129: one ebay guide says it's unique, and white or lithium grease not a good substitute at all.

Part of the reason why I'm trying to find out what "white grease" is, vs "white grease with a lithium base" vs "lithium grease" vs "Singer 2129 Lubricant" is that it seems deeply strange[0] that Singer would have managed to develop some unique non-flowing lubricant with no other known equivalent.

There's certainly folk out there that swear by lithium grease for sewing machine bevel gears/drive shaft/motor, as well.

I have cleaned old machines where someone has used white grease or some other grease that has dried and caked so badly it had to scraped off.

One thing I can definitely say -- whatever grease was used before was awful :)

The reason one should use Singer lubricant on the motor and not oil, oil can run onto the commutator and cause sparking of the brushes and will shorten the life of the motor. The lubricant, being non-flowing will stay on the bearings where it belongs.

It seems obvious to me that it's a bad idea to use oil on parts that could squish the oil out/splatter it/get into the electric motor -- but then again, I suspect that the standard audience for sewing machines may not be expected to be accustomed to the idea of having to lubricate much beyond baking sheets.

I've currently got (handy in the house) "white grease with a lithium base", which apparently has something like "white grease solids" in it (and if that's the same thing as the pig fat related white grease -- ew!), some sort of generic sticky yellow lubricant, and the screaming pink-purple lithium grease that I use for motorcycle axles and other rotating parts. While I suppose lanolin might work, it seems like it's more likely to stink ;)

[0] Given that their research focus appears to be elsewhere

#200 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 01:53 PM:

JESR:
Try Lacis www.lacis.com
They have this in their online catalog:
Silk, "Gutermann":
A matte finish silk suitable for embroidery, lace making and sewing. Available in Buttonhole weight 60m spools, article #S1003 (GT02) $5.60 and 30m spools (GT05) $4.00 and Sewing weight 100m spools (GT04) $4.00

#201 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 01:58 PM:

Serge #192: I can't wait for the next installment of 'The Mouse in God's Eye'.

Or 'The Mouse That Roared in God's Eye'. First contact with the tiny alien race known as the Mousies goes awry as the aliens fail to solve their intractable overpopulation problem when they defeat the Second Empire of Man instead of losing as they had planned.

#202 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 02:18 PM:

And sewing machine lubricant: UPC 075691021290, 1/2oz tube of 'Singer sewing machine lubricant'.
There are a couple of places online that carry it, one requiring a multi-package purchase.

(I was also looking at the website of TS Moly, an oil and lubricant company (MolyD), which has greases for fishing reels and motorcycle splines. Probably not exactly what sewing machines need.)

#203 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 02:34 PM:

P J Evans @ 202...
(I was also looking at the website of TS Moly, an oil and lubricant company (MolyD), which has greases for fishing reels and motorcycle splines. Probably not exactly what sewing machines need.)

For an older, all metal machine, I'd suspect the use cases aren't all that different... ;)

I still get "Husqvarna? Don't they make [chainsaws|motorcycles]" as a routine response to having a Husqvarna sewing machine :) It quite has me understanding why they started selling as Viking!

#204 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 02:38 PM:

Taking advantage of the open thread:

I'm in the process of switching my RSS feeds from Google Reader to Akregator (built in feed reader in Kontact (KDE/Linux) and I'm finding that the last few rss feeds haven't transferred over. When I try to add them using the address at the subscribe link, it claims that the feeds can't be found.

Anyone have any ideas? I was so happy to see that it actually listed the comments in order, I'd really like to switch over.

The odd thing is that it doesn't seem to be consistant. The Brian Thompson thread transfered over, but the ones before and after didn't, so it isn't date related. It also found some feeds from old threads that I hadn't bothered to delete.

If anyone has an alternate suggestion for a rss reader in KDE/Linux (specifically Kubuntu), I'm open to suggestions.

#205 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 02:53 PM:

JESR @191:

Buttonhole twist silk? Is that like button thread but of silk? If so, bookbinders use it for sewing headbands.

(Meaning that if you can't find it any other way, check out online bookbinding suppliers like Talas.)

#206 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 03:07 PM:

For anyone that has a hairy bottomed dog/cat, if you find that things are clinging you can call your local vet/groomer and ask if they do a sanitary clip. That should clean up the area enough to eliminate the problem without doing an entire grooming.

And yes, lots of groomers do anal gland expression regularly. My cat sometimes gets problems with them getting stopped up, and it wasn't until I started working in a vets office that I realized what the toxic liquid farts actually were. The more you know...

#207 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 03:24 PM:

Bruce at 180, thanks for the laugh. I enjoyed it very much. Life has not been filled with laughter lately.

I suspect most of the people who might be affected by this news already know it, but it occurs to me, some who visit here might not have heard. Jim Killus (smog scientist, technical writer, sf writer, aikidoist, friend) died 9-23 in Grand Rapids, MI. He is survived by his wife, Amy Sefton, his mother and sister, and grieving friends. Anyone who wants more info, feel free to e-mail me.

For those who are curious, some of his writing can be found at his blog, Unintentional Irony.

#208 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 03:43 PM:

Carrie S: Steve's turned into a bit of a whackjob lately.

Mike's exegesis of some of the Nth Millennium novels suggests the last word is unnecessary.

JJ Fozz: opinions on Emergence vary, even if you don't know enough biology to be outraged by his claiming a polar bear is a weasel; it's very ... sticky? manipulative? Try Brain Wave or Twilight World by Poul Anderson, or (half-holocaust) War of Omission by K. M. O'Donnell. Earth Abides is one of the prototypes, but IMO it hasn't aged well; similarly creaky but less obsessed with symbols are the "Meg the Priestess" stories by Nelson Bond.
For more recent post-post-Holocaust work (if that also interests you), see Masters of Solitude and Wintermind by Kaye and Godwin, or Richard Cowper's The Road to Corlay and A Dream of Kinship (paired), or Twilight of Briareus (standalone, in which the world doesn't so much fall as vaguely saunter downward). NB: the only post-apocalyptic part of A Mirror for Observers is the epilogue -- but it's very much worth reading.

nerdycellist: I thought backstage at the National Theater (south bank) was interesting; YMMV (I did theater for several years in school). Have you seen \all/ of the interesting parts of the V&A (there are a lot of them)? The Museum of the City of London needs to be skimmed or taken in pieces; try walking up to it from Tower Bridge following the arrows that connect sections of the old wall. The London Transport Museum is also fascinating for geeks. If you want to get off your feet, take a boat from Westminster down to the Thames Barrier and back (or at least to Greenwich -- I second Christopher's recommendation).

#209 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 05:45 PM:

Lizzy L at #207: Thanks for the news about Jim Killus. I never met him, but in reading his blog I was startled to read about people that I did know. (It really is a very small world, isn't it?)

My condolences to those who knew him.

#210 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 06:40 PM:

Well, add silk buttonhole twist thread to things Joann doesn't carry anymore (along with fabric you could use to make nice clothing to wear to the office).

The readon it kills me is that, for most of my sewing life, the Coats and Clarke thread case, the standard one that was at Penney's and Sears, and places like Wolf's in Yelm that had a small selection of fabric and patterns and findings, had 100 colors of regular sewing thread on small spools, plus red, blue, brown, green, yellow, two black and two white on larger spools, and a row of twenty colors of buttonhole twist. That was it- for more colors, or for pastels on large spools, you had to go to a specialty fabric store; there were two of those in close driving range.

I'm looking at the internet, since it's unlikely I'll get down to Portland any time soon, and who knows, maybe even Fabric Depot has replaced tailor's necessities with more spools of fuzzy nylon for machine embroidery. I'd rather spend money near home, but things less and less work out that way.

#211 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 06:55 PM:

OK, a friend just posted this elsewhere, and I just have to share it with you folks.*

Chart of Good, Bad, and Meh Things to Say During Sex


*No, that does not make this a "you people" comment.

#212 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 07:41 PM:

Xopher (#211): It's missing the contribution from this Questionable Content comic. (Art SFW. Conversation depicted, err....)

#213 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 07:52 PM:

We lack a sense of truly human mode:
voices are raised when silence ought to reign,
there is no way for us to read the code.

Each wants to reap what other folk have sowed
without a pause for any to explain
we lack a sense of truly human mode.

No one waits here at the most urgent node,
the place where all the symbols stand out plain;
there is no way for us to read the code

We've come too far along this narrow road
to discount all the moments of small gain,
we lack a sense of truly human mode.

It's far too easy to let time erode
the certainties for which you should campaign;
there is no way for us to read the code.

A grain of powder would make things explode
and halt at once the long-prevailing pain;
we lack a sense of truly human mode,
there is no way for us to read the code.

#214 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 07:53 PM:

Nerdycellist,

Have you tried London Walks? They are fun and kind of quirky.

#215 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 08:00 PM:

I have been completely out of contact for the last fortnight or so and returned to read the news - belatedly, to TNH, massive amounts of sympathy and good wishes. Get well soon.

And don't go doing that kind of thing again. It's very irresponsible. The Fluorosphere would be most put out by a repetition.

#216 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 08:14 PM:

JESR: Just to tout one of my favorites: Robi's, in Lakeview, is one of the best camera shops going. If you stop in, tell Dana I said hello. I can only hope she'll recall me.

#217 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 08:27 PM:

Heh. Wondered about that place, Terry- it's about five blocks past Shibori Dragon, toward our nearest Trader Joe's. I was having one of my intermittant "maybe I should see if I could get one or both of the Olympus bodies working" episodes the other day, and the only camera "repair" place left in Oly just ships things off to LA.

Not that I'm eager to go back to chemical process photography, but there are days when I find myself screaming "why don't you want to focus NOW?" and it would be nice to have something to fall back on.

#218 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 08:55 PM:

A really ugly incident occurred in Ohio. There's a diary up on DailyKos about it. Here's the beginning of the story.

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West -- the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail -- were distributed by mail in Ohio, a "chemical irritant" was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers.

#219 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 08:56 PM:

I found them when I was at Lewis. I wanted a camera shop. Went through the phone book and wrote down all the one's I could find. Was heading to Tacoma, and then saw the offramp.

Went down the road and figured I'd gone the wrong way. Turned around and disovered the other way was straight onto the airbase.

Turned back around and discovered it was just around the corner.

Wonderful shop, great people. They do in house chemistry. Before Tech-pan went away it was a little longer (the chemistry is only good for 24 hours, so no one keeps it on hand), so if I wanted it same day it had to be in before 1100.

When I decided to go digital I called Dana, said I wanted the camera. She asked if I was serious. I said I had the credit card in my hand, and she said, "I'll tell Todd to take it away from the guy who's looking at it."

They have used gear, added framing in 2005, and all in all are really supportive.

When I replace the D2H, I'll call Dana up, and have her ship me the new one.

#220 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 08:57 PM:

JESR @ 191:

...I'm exhausted after a sewing-supply conversation yesterday, and am sure that neither of the two other points of the triangle still has their maternal grandmother's half- full tin of Singer 2129 Lubricant. I was being treated as if I was Making Things Up because I asked if the store stocked buttonhole twist silk.

Oh lord. *sympathy*

I suspect you can identify with how elated I was, a couple of months or so ago when the rubber ring for the bobbin winder on my 1913 non-electrified Singer broke, to find a replacement available, online, for two or three dollars.

#221 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 09:08 PM:

*reads "hairy bottomed dog/cat" and suddenly finds himself trying to filk Queen's Fat-Bottomed Girls*

#222 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 09:15 PM:

Terry @219- that's really good to know; there are a lot of stores in Lakewood that I'm curious about, but without a good reason to stop in and check them out it's not usually worth the time. I stopped at Shibori Dragon the first time to interrupt one of those in-the-car arguments which marriages fall into, and it was a good thing, but we went driving past the Donut place until it was recommended on a thread in the Seattle LJ community. I'm kicking myself for not checking out the Metaphysical Bookstore before it vanished.

glinda @220- Old sewing machines, and especially the old precision-engineered Singers, benefit from having a huge installed base, internationally: a lot of export clothing economies in the developing world are based on that technology. And it was stable for a long time, compared to most other manufactured consumer goods, like my OM-1s. The only thing I can compare a classic Singer to is the AK-47: tough, simple, and easily repaired.

#223 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 09:42 PM:

Thanks for the London suggestion, everyone.

Christopher @ 166 -

Thanks for suggesting the Docklands and Greenwich. I'm beginning to get interested in maritime history and that sounds like it might be a nice day. Also appreciate the suggestion for the Oyster Card. Last time I was there they still had the paper passes available. (I have promised myself I won't spend even more time at the British Museum and the Tower of London this time around.)

Neil @ 168

Haven't climbed the monument yet, but I checked and it looks like it's going through some renovations at the time I'll be there. And thanks for the website with the fireworks info. I'll have to see if I am more amenable to crowds when travelling.

Juli @ 214

Thanks for the link. We took a wonderful London Fire walk with this group a few years ago. They don't have their days trips up yet for the winter, but it looks like they might have a few really cool ones when I'm there.

Chip @ 208

I'm keeping my eyes out for boat related trips, and the hint about touring the National Theatre should come in handy should I fail to obtain rush tickets for Oedipus. (sigh) We had originally intended this trip as a theatre trip, but by the time airfares had become reasonable, it seems all the theatre we wanted to see in London had sold out for the dates we were going to be there. I will have to content myself with the RSC.

#224 ::: Kayjayoh ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2008, 09:53 PM:

*Russell Hoban: Riddley Walker

Which I found to be really good, but at the same time, it is a book you need to make time for, both the read and to get your head into and then out of the headspace required to make your way through the language.

Bread and Jam for Frances it is not! :)

#226 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 12:20 AM:

Lizzy, #218:
(1) Does anyone else see a parallel between that incident and the Oklahoma City bombing?
(2) I think the organization which created and distributed those DVDs would be prosecutable under the precedent set with Operation Rescue. They were openly trolling for people willing to commit acts of terrorism, and they found some.

#227 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 12:50 AM:

And, just to take a break from ranting about serious issues, I'm going to rant about something trivial for a moment.

Has anyone else been watching Bones this season? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, AND WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH OUR CHARACTERS? Booth is being a flaming asshole, and Brennan is letting him get away with it! Angela dumped Hodgins... well, that's not completely out of character, we knew she had commitment issues, but the way she did it was just weird. Witty lab repartee -- gone, in favor of ham-handed sexual innuendo and toilet humor. Everyone's IQ seems to have dropped by at least 20 points. And don't EVEN get me started on Sweets, the Least-Professional Psychologist of All Time! All the character development that happened over the course of the first 2 seasons is just... gone. They've turned the show into a romantic comedy, and I'm sick to my stomach.

#228 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 12:51 AM:

The Oregonian printed a "we had to distribute that; it's paid advertising" article to accompany the DVD that came in this morning's paper.

I put the DVD right in the trash.

I'd love to see some millionaire distribute a DVD containing Jesus Camp and a new documentary based on scary excerpts from sermons given in crazy-ass Christian Identity churches.

#229 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 01:39 AM:

Xopher @ 211 ... Chart of Good, Bad, and Meh Things to Say During Sex

I believe that you owe me a new lining for my nostrils, and several wipes for my screen... ;D

#230 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 01:40 AM:

nerdycellist, back in 1987 I walked under the Thames to Greenwich, using the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. It's 1,217 feet long, and if you go south to Greenwich you come out within feet of the Cutty Sark, which is fun.

Here's a photo of the interior.

#231 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 02:22 AM:

Marilee @142: The chocolate cake recipe is amazing. Exactly what I needed right now. (The perfect thing if you're hungry at 1:30a.) Thank you!

Joel Polowin @153: I've been in the headspace of your song, too, more often than I care to admit. I rather like it (the song, not the headspace).

Rosa @146: Agreed about The City, Not Long After -- hauntingly beautiful. In some ways it's still my gold standard for character-driven SF.

JJ Fozz: Arguably Neal Stephenson's latest, Anathem, is a post-many-apocalypses book. Whether it's also a pre-apocalyptic book or not I don't know, since I'm not finished with it yet. (Enjoying it greatly, though.)

Also, in my world it's perfectly normal to be operating a saw or doing fairly major construction at 3a, but I'm well aware that the world I inhabit and the world most of the rest of humanity inhabits share relatively few points of congruence. (Some of that is the product of a particular culture and some of that is the product of wonky sleep schedules. When you woke up at 7p and ate breakfast at 9p, why wouldn't you be building things at 4a?) Does suck to live nearby, I'm sure.

#232 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 02:24 AM:

Marilee @142: The chocolate cake recipe is amazing. Exactly what I needed right now. (The perfect thing if you're hungry at 1:30a.) Thank you!

Joel Polowin @153: I've been in the headspace of your song, too, more often than I care to admit. I rather like it (the song, not the headspace).

Rosa @146: Agreed about The City, Not Long After -- hauntingly beautiful. In some ways it's still my gold standard for character-driven SF.

JJ Fozz: Arguably Neal Stephenson's latest, Anathem, is a post-many-apocalypses book. Whether it's also a pre-apocalyptic book or not I don't know, since I'm not finished with it yet. (Enjoying it greatly, though.)

Also, in my world it's perfectly normal to be operating a saw or doing fairly major construction at 3a, but I'm well aware that the world I inhabit and the world most of the rest of humanity inhabits share relatively few points of congruence. (Some of that is the product of a particular culture and some of that is the product of wonky sleep schedules. When you woke up at 7p and ate breakfast at 9p, why wouldn't you be building things at 4a?) Does suck to live nearby, I'm sure, so I guess it only works when everyone in the area is comparably weird-shifted.

#233 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 02:33 AM:

D'oh! Posting fail. Mea culpa. I go crash now.

#234 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 03:29 AM:

JESR & xeger, I had both of those, but they went with the machine when I gave it away. You have to use two hands to sew, so nothing's left to help me sit up longer than about 15 minutes, leaning forward and moving my hands.

Kevin, I'm glad you like the cake! I'd have to buy the first four ingredients to make it (I don't cook anymore), so if I was at the store, I could just buy cake!

#235 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 05:37 AM:

St Michael's Day is also our National Police Remembrance Day. The last link is to a story particularly poignant on this day. Do any of you know if your country or local area has something similar?


#236 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 07:25 AM:

There are plenty of reasons for Friday's attack on the Ohio mosque to be disturbing. The Kos journal Lizzy points to in #218 describes the childcare room being the focus of the attack, and the way the attack followed distribution of an anti-Islam DVD. (It reminds me of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which was published by newspapers in the 1920s.)

One thing that seems strange to me is how the Dayton Daily News account of the incident https://www.daytondailynews.com/n/userreg/ursignup/signup.jsp?UrUsecase=800100&SendBackURL=%2Fn%2Fcontent%2Foh%2Fstory%2Fnews%2Flocal%2F2008%2F09%2F27%2Fddn092608evacweb.html%3Fcxtype%3Drss%26cxsvc%3D7%26cxcat%3D16(mostly based on the police report) makes it seem so much *smaller* than the Daily Kos account (an eyewitness account.) Not pepper spray. Not a hate crime. One child and one adult got sick and they don't know why...the newspaper doesn't deny anything in the eyewitness account, but it makes it look like it might be an accident, no big deal.

It shouldn't seem strange to me. Not after I've seen the mainstream media coverage of "riot control" near the Republican National Convention. Not when the beginning of this story was that newspapers were distributing DVDs to encourage fear and hatred of Muslims. I just looked it up. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erik-ose/pro-mccain-group-dumping_b_125969.html
The Dayton Daily News was one of the papers distributing the DVD, either Sept 14th or the 21st. It's just that I'm so accustomed to finding amateur fanatics online, that I want to confirm factual reports from "reputable" sources. This sort of thing bothers me.

#237 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 07:44 AM:

CHip (208), I agree with you that _Emergence_ is manipulative. I'd have said sentimental, rather than sticky, but I won't argue about the distinction. I thought it was the nature of post-apocalyptic YA novels (arguably, all post-apocalyptic novels) to be similarly manipulative.

#239 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 12:23 PM:

The Docklands Light Railway comes into Greenwich, and has stations at both ends of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.

Riverboat to Greenwich and back on the DLR is a good combination, but a lot of service details have changed since I did that. You pass through the middle of the Canary Wharf complex on the DLR.

#240 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 12:56 PM:

Bruce Adelsohn #149 - Lucifer's Hammer was in the post-apocalyptic reading list at sharonastyk.com. But I couldn't find a copy at any of our local bookstores, used or new, and our library didn't have it, so I skipped that week too.

I'm kind of glad I did. I mean, really, home nuclear plants, and cannibalism? But it did make me wonder if some of the WTF in Marge Piercy's "Dance the Eagle to Sleep" might have been a response to that kind of racist fearmongering. Her book is a few years earlier, I think, but still after the '67 riots.

#241 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 01:15 PM:
Kenneth Branagh is negotiating to direct Thor for Marvel Studios, reports Variety. The comic book adaptation is scheduled for a June 4, 2010 release. (...) Thor, written by Mark Protosevich, follows disabled medical student Donald Blake, who has an alter ego as the hammer-wielding Norse god Thor.

I cry thee yay!

#242 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 02:15 PM:

nerdycellist: Stop by the Wellcome Collection (Euston/Euston Square) for quirky free exhibits with historical/scientific/medical themes. The one that just finished was a display of various skeletons found during redevelopment in London; they were from the collection of the Museum of London, preferred museum of archaeologists.

Check out what will be at the Design Museum (Butler's Wharf) -- unlike most of the museums, it isn't free, but flash an old student card for a discount. It's a small place with two temporary exhibitions going at a time.

7-day Travelcards can still be bought as paper tickets. If you decide to go for an Oyster, though, please do get your technique down. Don't make the common beginner's mistake of standing too close to the gates, or it'll give you an error (code 94, I think) telling you to Seek Assistance. Take a step back and try again. Also, it's "plinky-plonky, not swipey-wipey".

(Why, yes, I used to change at Baker Street.)

The Bonfire Night fireworks at Blackheath -- a few stops out of London Bridge by National Rail, or you can get there from Lewisham on the DLR -- are truly something to see, but be prepared for epic crowds. If you're not going to see fireworks, stay in, because transit is hell.

You could always design a historical pub crawl for yourself -- the John Snow and the Ten Bells come to mind. There's a few pubs around Wapping and Shadwell which are centuries old.

Re: the Greenwich foot tunnel -- weekend before last there was a pirate-themed party there in honour of Talk Like a Pirate Day. Great fun.

If you're in town for most of Sunday, spend it in Brick Lane, when the street becomes one big garage sale. Unfortunately, there are loads of hipsters with skinny jeans and side parts; but why miss the joy of getting a fresh bagel from a shop that's been around since Whitechapel was the Jewish area?

(East London bias, here.)

#243 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 02:49 PM:

#242 ::: Tlönista
...it's "plinky-plonky, not swipey-wipey".

(looks around for Ducky-Lucky and Turkey-Lurkey, and up to see if the sky is falling)

Nope. Explain, please?

#244 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 03:03 PM:

In like vein to nerdycellist @160:

I shall be staying in Dusseldorf for a couple of evenings (22/23/24) in lateish October. What's a Must See for someone with an evening to spare? I'll be based a few minutes from the hauptbahnhof and will be walking or U-bahning with Definite Directions. (I speak enough German to order a latte and explain that I'm English ...)

My first offering in trade is a bit obvious: if anyone is visiting Bath (in England ...) then the Roman Baths are IMAO a Must See: not too pricey, of the order of an hour or so to go round, and very revealing as to history &co.

The less obvious second offering from Bath is the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. History and artifacts, yum.

Thanks to nerdycellist for a topic I was going to raise in an open thread anyway ...

#245 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 03:53 PM:

JJ Fozz @35: I think we discussed M.P. Shiel's The Purple Cloud here recently, possibly on the last open thread or the last but one. A purple cloud of poison gas is emitted by a volcano, IIRC, and kills almost everyone on earth. The narrator, the only survivor as far as he knows for most of the book, is the only survivor of a north polar expedition.

Vernor Vinge's Marooned In Realtime might fit. Something mysterious disappeared all the humans alive as of a certain date (early 22d century IIRC), and the only people left after that were those who had time-traveled into the future (one-way) and skipped past that event. They keep jumping into the future farther and farther trying to join up with each other and re-found a new civilization. It's a sequel to The Peace War, good but not as good as Marooned In Realtime, where the one-way time-travel was invented.

#246 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 04:02 PM:

@hedgehog 244 -- *waves from near Düsseldorf*:

Here are a few random ideas if you only have an evening or so of free time. You might want to go to the top of the Fernsehturm (TV tower). Lovely view. The Medienhafen quarter has a lot of interesting architecture. The Altstadt (walking distance from the Hauptbahnhof,) has a nice atmosphere, and there are a lot of pubs serving Düsseldorf's specialty beer, Altbier.

Interestingly, Düsseldorf also has a lot of Japanese restaurants; this is the center of Japanese business in Germany, if not Europe. Most of them are also pretty near the Hauptbahnhof, although I can't give you a specific recommendation.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more specific interests.

#247 ::: Traveling from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 04:57 PM:

Question for people who know Scandinavia and other Baltic Sea environs:

If you were going to be in Helsinki later this month (business in Helsinki, time to travel as well), what might be the best two places nearby (on the Baltic) to visit? Saint Petersburg (Hermitage Museum alone) seems to top travel lists.

Seeing the archipelago between Stockholm and Helsinki wouldn't be as good as in summer--the ferry schedules are mostly in darkness.

#248 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 05:22 PM:

People have mentioned some of Edgard Pangborn's other novels; his The Judgement of Eve is also post-apocalyptic, and quite good, though not as good as A Mirror for Observers.

Tim Powers' Dinner at Deviant's Palace is set long-after-apocalypse. Haven't read it in way too long, so don't remember much detail about it.

#249 ::: JHomes ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 07:44 PM:

Post-apocalyptic, and no one has yet mentioned John Wyndham? I'll recommend The Chysalids in particular, although his better-known The Day Of The Triffids would also qualify, as would the short story Consider Her Ways.

JHomes.

#250 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 08:31 PM:

Jim #245:

I was just thinking that _The Peace War_ sort of fit the genre, in terms of the history between now and when the story takes place.

Rosa:

I don't remember any home nuclear plants or racist fearmongering in Lucifer's Hammer. There were cannibals, probably modeled after the Lord's Resistance Army. (But it's been about a decade since I've read it, so take my memories with a grain of salt.) There was an existing nuclear plant which was an important part of the story, though. (And there was at least one really good surfer in the story.)

#251 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 09:30 PM:

Jim Henry @245: Another 'thumbs up' on Marooned In Realtime. I believe this might have been the story that introduced the notion (and launched the meme) of 'The Singularity'.

#252 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2008, 11:46 PM:

albatross: The nuclear plant was part of the war to keep civilisation.

The racist bits are questionable. One of the bad guys is a black activist who is painted as a thief and a crook. A murderous thug who was out to scam the man, and pissed off that an "Uncle Tom" was elected who turnd off the tap to free money.

So he goes back to a life of cheap stick-ups.

He hooks up with the mutinous army guys, and the are all part of the canibalistic army.

The commune types are shown to be inneffective, and the only other "crooks" with any organisation are the bikers who get blown up.

The forces of law, order and authority are the only ones who really thrive. The proto-feudalists are the good guys, the indepenant locals are seen to be valiant, but in need of protecting, and everyone else looks to the lord of the manor, with his geographically defined fortress as the bastion of safety and life.

Step out of line and be cast out of the valley, to die in the outer darkness.

And that with me, basically, thinking it's a good read.

#254 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 02:53 AM:

Have there been any estimates of the number of missing/dead from Hurricane Ike recently, that take into account the devastation of the devastated areas?

#255 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 03:35 AM:

Carol Kimball @ 243
...it's "plinky-plonky, not swipey-wipey".

I don't have an Oyster card myself (not useable from my rail station) but from having seen people using them, he means you press the card to the yellow reader and lift it away again, rather than swiping it across the reader.

#256 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 12:44 PM:

re: debbie @246.

Thanks for the suggestions, Debbie. I shall consult maps and decide what to do ... probably on the Thursday evening after wearing my feet out at the Essen Spielfair.

#257 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 01:03 PM:

Open-Threadiness:

If anyone's looking for a good book to read, I just got my hands on a copy of this book, and I'm finding it to be a rollicking good space yarn.

I do know the authors, and am partial to Dave Freer's works, but I get no monetary compensation for pointing out this book. Occasionally, I get killed in one of their books, so it all works out.

#258 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 01:35 PM:

Ginger:

So, I should look for the veterinarian in the red shirt?

#259 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 01:49 PM:

Terry:

Yeah, I remember all that pretty well. Having some black characters that are bad guys is pretty different from writing a racist screed. The whole quick return to feudalism was an interesting notion, and seemed vaguely plausible to me, though I simply have no experience with anything like the collapse of civil order after a disaster, so I don't know. The cannibal army seemed bizarre and implausible to me, but I think it may have been modeled after the LRA, which is real and about as scary.

It would be interesting to read about what happens when the normal civilized order falls apart in different places. I know in some places you end up with warlords and something that looks a lot like feudalism.

#260 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 02:10 PM:

albatross @ 258... the veterinarian in the red shirt

"I'm a doctor, dammit! Not a bricklayer!"

#261 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 02:16 PM:

My suspicion: The attitudes vis-a-vis race and class in _Lucifer's Hammer_ and _Oath of Fealty_ are what a financially comfortable and culturally freaked out white Angelenos might be expected to have.

#262 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 02:49 PM:

Stefan #261:

Maybe. Oath of Fealty worked with a premise that the Saints had much more loyalty to Todos Santos than to Los Angeles (or probably to the US), and that this loyalty bound tighter than race. There was definitely social class involved, however, as there weren't any poor people living in Todos Santos, and the people themselves were in some sense weird to the point of near-cultishness.

#263 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 02:55 PM:

258, 260: Sometimes, I'm not even a veterinarian. Once,* I was two characters -- mother and daughter -- and neither of them would have sullied her hands with unladylike work. I do like red, though.

*Non-Freerian book

#264 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 03:23 PM:

The Lord's Resistance Army was started in 1987 (sayeth Wikipedia). Lucifer's Hammer came out in 1985.

In re the mosque attack: Is it plausible that all the physical evidence would have evaporated?

#265 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 03:36 PM:

Not a sewing person here, just an engineer who likes a good factoid-digging expedition.

Singer All Purpose oil (see upper right hand product under "tools") is, according to that link, an ISO Viscosity Grade (VG) 10 lubricant with "advanced adhesive properties". ISO VG 10 is generally classified as "Spindle Oil".

I can't find anything on the Singer site for the little 1/2 ounce tube of #2129 lubricant that others here have mentioned, but I did find a forum or two that described it as a thin clear grease. Anybody here handle the stuff before? I'm not having much luck digging up any grade or weight or base information.

Grease is just oil with a built-in "drip cup" - the thickener (usually a metal soap like lithium soap) acts like a "sponge" that the oil drains out of over time to keep the moving parts slippery. When about half the oil is gone, the grease should be replaced.

The main thing: don't mix different greases if you don't know exactly what's in them. The term for what could happen is called "catastrophic failure" as the soap (the stuff that holds the oil in) breaks down, the oil runs out everywhere, the additives fall out of suspension and the parts start to grind together. Nasty.

For small, (relatively) delicate moving bits as in a sewing machine where you need smooth movement over a widely varying speed range, you probably want a relatively "soft" grease, and you'll want to clean and re-grease on a regular basis. Loads are probably low enough that a plain lithium grease would probably work just fine. I'd hazard a guess at an NLGI 0 or 1. NLGI 2 is good for roller bearings on vehicle axles, for comparison. A thin moly grease would probably be excellent, just don't use too much so it doesn't fling off everywhere.

The guy who mentioned dried up, caked-on white grease? All "plain, ordinary" grease will do that if it isn't replaced regularly, and the caking can be accelerated by storing in a hot attic or garage. Some synthetics will last longer, but you'd really need to ask someone more familiar with sewing machines.

I would not suggest silicone oil or grease be used in this application. If it drips out onto your fabric, it ain't coming out without a fight, and the fabric may lose that fight.

#266 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 04:46 PM:

Oooh, that honey cake recipe looks good. Too bad there's not an egg in the house!

This evening I stopped in at an Algerian bakery on Blackstock Road to bring wonderful crumbly almond bars back home. Ramadan sweets are well-suited to Rosh Hashanah as well. Pleasantly full of apples and bread and honey and almonds and wine.

(On googling around, I find out it's around Eid time, too. A גוט יאנתיף all round then.)

Carol Kimball @243 and dcb @255: yes, some people don't realise Oysters are just touchcards. Lately Internet tutorials on how to remove the RFID chips have been circulating. City boys have taken to putting the chips in their watches. I would like to stick one in an oyster-shell and make an actual Oyster.

#267 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 05:30 PM:

Tlonista #266:

Have they been putting them in their Rolex Oysters?

#268 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 06:30 PM:

Re the Interview Sarah Palin particle...wouldn't it be fun to crossbreed that with a Lorem Ipsum generator like this one?

You could generate bloviation by the paragraph.

Just a thought.

#269 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 06:41 PM:

Warren Ellis Cooks.

* Roasting garlic

Pull a good length of tin foil. Fold it in half. Fold the edges together, a half-inch or so, to make a seam. Fold it in half again. Fold a seam along the sides, leaving the top open. See what you’ve made? A tinfoil pocket. A shiny silver scrotum from the future. Now get a garlic, a whole head. Find a knife and slice the very top off, so you can see the tops of the individual cloves inside. Put it in the tinfoil pocket.

Open a bottle of beer. Not fucking Budweiser or Labatts — a proper beer, damnit. During this experiment, I used the outstanding Black Adder ale from Mauldons. A good bitter, an ale, an IPA — a proper fucking beer, you know what I mean. Pour some down your throat. Now pour some in the tinfoil. A mouthful or so. Spit your mouthful out into the pocket if you’d like. I mean, it’d be disgusting, but the person you’re cooking for will never know, right? Close up the pocket, so you now have a sealed tinfoil bag full of a head of garlic and (possibly regurgitated) beer.

Sling it in the oven. Your oven is set to 190 degrees C, which is 375F or Gas mark 5. It’s going to be in there for an hour. Have some more beer. Swallow it this time, you freak.

#270 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 06:43 PM:

cajunfj40 #265

This Singer All Purpose Oil -- can one use it with lasers or fluorescent porcelain?

#271 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 07:35 PM:

Tlönista @266:
Yep, this year being a leap year Eid ul Fitr falls on Rosh HaShanah, and will continue to do so until the next leap year when we will fall behind the Islamic calendar by another month. Last year Rosh HaShanah corresponded to the beginning of Ramadan instead of the end.

#273 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 09:50 PM:

Nancy: W says 1977 for the book, which squares with my memory; somewhere there's a videotape of the RISFA Players doing pieces of Beelzebub's Blowtorch in 2/79. (Niven had the guts to stay and watch the entire show, but he had a very rueful look on his face.)

#274 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 10:44 PM:

re: the fruitcake particle -- Thank you for reminding me, Teresa! For the past several years I've realized, in mid-December, that I wanted fruitcake, but it was too late. Now I've got ample lead time! (And suddenly-ample free time in which to do it, too.) Dug up my grandmother's recipe, and found the one mentioned of Emily Dickinson's, and a Jamaican Black Cake recipe... Now the hard part is deciding which one I want to make.

#275 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 11:11 PM:

geekosaur, I like the armillary sphere ring! The rest seem a bit contrived.

#276 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2008, 11:28 PM:

From the "The universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we can imagine" department (via Eschaton):

ConFurvatives.

#277 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 01:26 AM:

cajunfj40 @ 265 ...
Fortunately the greasy end is at the opposite end from the head -- you'd have to be doing something rather wrong (and probably getting caught in the belt) in order to get grease on the work.

#278 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:07 AM:

Stefan Jones, #269: Warren Ellis Cooks

I use pretty much the same method, except I use a good glug of olive oil instead of (regurgitated) beer. Roasted garlic is unbelievably tasty. I like mushing the cloves into mayo for an easy roasted garlic aioli.

#279 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:11 AM:

Today's xkcd may hold particular appeal for Making Light readers. It made me laugh very hard, especially the hovertext.

#280 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:38 AM:

Those of you who are also on LiveJournal -- have you noticed an influx of Russian journals on your "Also Friend Of" list? I've had 4 in the past month or so, 3 of whom went away again fairly quickly; the fourth one is still around. None of them have commented on any of my journal entries. I don't read Russian, so I have no idea whether these are inept spammers, curiosity seekers, or what-have-you.

#281 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 03:40 AM:

I just went looking to see when the second season of "The Sarah Jane Adventures" was going to start...only to find that it started yesterday!

#282 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 04:46 AM:

279: James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw - EPIC FAIL...

#283 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 06:12 AM:

279, 281, not to mention William Shakespeare — or possibly another author of the same name :)

#284 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 07:56 AM:

I just finished the book I mentioned in another thread--Charlatan by Pope Brock--and was delighted when, in the epilogue, he used the word "youthiness."

Personally, I find made up words cromulent.

(Although I still get the point of the cartoon... epic fantasies that replace heaps of perfectly good words with ridiculous, linguistically disassociated invented words for no particular reason are usually not the cream of the genre.)

#285 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:09 AM:

I just finished the book I mentioned in another thread--Charlatan by Pope Brock--and was delighted when, in the epilogue, he used the word "youthiness."

Personally, I find made up words cromulent.

(Although I still get the point of the cartoon... epic fantasies that replace heaps of perfectly good words with ridiculous, linguistically disassociated invented words for no particular reason are usually not the cream of the genre.)

#286 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:11 AM:

Whoops. Sorry about the double post--my browser seemed to have frozen.

#287 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:37 AM:

There needs to be an exception for stuff where there's not an existing term for it. Though Vinge did pretty well using familiar words or near relations for unfamiliar concepts ("brood kenning","applied theology", "far-red", "cavortium") and using made-up or unfamiliar words mostly to talk about incomprhensible and uncomprehended stuff ("treckle lansing disputes", "hexapody").

"Zwilniks" > "Bobble"

#288 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 09:48 AM:

incomprhensible and uncomprehended stuff ("treckle lansing disputes"

For those of us from the Ithaca/Cornell area, that brings to mind two local towns arguing about water rights.

(No, there isn't a Treckle, NY. But there should be. )

#289 ::: Joy Freeman ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 10:10 AM:

I don't have the scientific chops for this, so I thought I'd ask the assembled wisdom of the fluorosphere.

As tends to happen every year, yesterday somebody on a local (Arkansas) email discussion list asked where she could find hedge apples (aka Osage oranges or horse apples or bodark balls). She'd heard these bumpy green fruits have traditionally been used as an insect repellent, and she wanted to try it out.

So somebody else posted a link to a pdf Facts and Myths Associated with "Hedge Apples" published in 1997 by the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University. The article says:

The use of hedge apples as a pest solution is communicated as a folk tale complete with testimonials about apparent success. However, there is an absence of scientific research and therefore no valid evidence to confirm the claims of effectiveness. Although insect deterrent compounds have been extracted from hedge apples in laboratory studies, these do not provide a logical explanation about why hedge apples would work as claimed. At this time, there is nothing to recommend the use of hedge apples for pest controll.

I was curious if there had been further study since then, so I did some Googling. Turns out this article is linked to from the Wikipedia article on the Osage orange and I see it used on various sites as an authoritative refutation when people tout the insect repellent properties of these fruits. But further search led me to read of several articles (full text not available online--to me, anyway) by other people at the same university studying the use of Osage oranges and their extracts in repelling various insects. They had even filed for at least one patent concerning the extracts from this fruit.

So I started to write the original article's author to point out that there has since been new research that does "recommend the use of hedge apples for pest control" but then I reread the above-quoted paragraph and realized he was almost certainly aware of them--he refers to extract studies---but doesn't think they "provide a logical explanation about why hedge apples would work as claimed."

His logic seems flawed to me: (1) Generations of people report insect repellent properties of these fruits; (2) scientists note these anecdotes and study extracts from the fruits, finding significant insect deterrent effects; (3) this author concludes the extracts do have deterrent effects but there's no good reason to think the fruits themselves would be useful for insect control.

Am I missing something?

#290 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 10:40 AM:

Joy @ #289, I suspect somebody is afraid that the general public might acquire a useful insect repellent without making some chemical company rich. The extracts can be patented and packaged; the plain fruit, not so much.

#291 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 10:56 AM:

Lee @ 280... No Russian 'friends' on my LJ, but I do notice that a few people have recently added me to their friend list, some of whom have names I recognize. Hello, Mac! (I was going to mention again that Ukrainian co-worker who, after I helped with her project, had one more question and sent an email asking me to bare with her, but I won't repeat that anecdote.)

#292 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 10:57 AM:

Joy, #289: It may be a matter of concentration; the fruits themselves show a limited effect, but the extracts work much better. My worry about putting Osage oranges in the cupboard would be, don't they rot?

#293 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 11:32 AM:

Harriet @#270:

This Singer All Purpose Oil -- can one use it with lasers or fluorescent porcelain?

Lasers:

One might could use it as "way oil" on the X/Y axis positioning tables or as a "spindle oil" for rotating fixtures for lasers, but it is quite light so it may not be suitable for heavy load applications. If the refractive and transmissive properties are correct for the laser in question, one could possibly use some of it as an oil lens. It could be used as a coolant, but there are much better fluids for that purpose. With a sufficiently powerful laser of the appropriate wavelength, one could ignite the oil from a distance. If it is a darker oil or has poor refractive/transmissive characteristics, one could smudge it on one's competitor's high-power laser's optics while muttering "Buddy boy, buddy boy." to cause a meltdown of said laser. (A note of caution: Said method of attack may lead to finding one's Citroen 2CV placed in one's sleeping area and having its pneumatic suspension modified and enhanced to make the vehicle appear to be snoring while sleeping.) I'm not sufficiently enlightened in the laser area to be able to comment on whether the oil itself could be used as a lasing medium in the solid ("Ice is nice!"), liquid, gas, or plasma phases, but if anyone wants to fund the project I'm willing to experiment. All funding must be accompanied by an "I (heart) Toxic Waste" T-shirt, a pair of silver-ball-tipped springy false antennae, and a pair of fuzzy bunny slippers to produce the correct experimental mindset.

Fluorescent porcelain:

I'm certain it would slick the porcelain up quite well, unless the surface hasn't been glazed and is too porous. One could also use the oil to support a fluorescent substance in suspension and let it soak into a porous unglazed "plain" porcelain to create the fluorescent porcelain. How good it would look would depend again on the refractive and transmissive qualities of the oil. Ignite the oiled porcelain with the laser mentioned above and one gets flaming fluorescent porcelain, for double the ffun.

xeger @#277:

Fortunately the greasy end is at the opposite end from the head -- you'd have to be doing something rather wrong (and probably getting caught in the belt) in order to get grease on the work.

While I respect that, silicone oil (the slick part of silicone grease) can travel quite far. It is banned from certain manufacturing areas due to how badly it can contaminate various processes. (One can utterly ruin a paint shop with the stuff...) Plus, it is water clear, so one may not notice the presence of it on a spot where fabric may get until it is too late. Hence the caution. Incidentally, there are many silicone lubricants that are FDA and USDA approved for use in food processing machinery, as it is unlikely to be visible in food it gets into. (Plus it is largely inert with respect to digestive chemistry.)

#294 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 11:33 AM:

Sinfest on the economic crisis: http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2947

#295 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 11:43 AM:

Mary Dell... How true.

Here's cartoonist Don Asmussen on McCain and the bailout:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/26/DDASMUSSENBR.DTL

#296 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 12:18 PM:

re Russian Lj adds. I get them, and I have no idea why (even accepting the occasional posts of interest to russians; the timing is rarely synched to that).

#297 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 12:26 PM:

I've decided not to make a "real" fruitcake, as I've just lost the patience to attempt candying my own fruit, and have therefore also saved the hundreds of hours I would have spent looking for fresh citrons.*

I want to try Fragano's "weird" recipe, but I think maraschino cherries are loathsome beyond description. Do you suppose I can just leave them out? Put in soused dried cherries instead? I'm not concerned about their flavor or texture effects, so much as their sheer volume and water contribution.

I suppose I could chop them to oblivion in my cool new food processor, and dump in the resulting puree. That wouldn't be TOO horrible, though of course the evil dye would still be there...but this isn't something we're going to make a steady diet, so maybe that's not a big deal.

Opinions?

___
*In a search that would no doubt prove—I ask no forgiveness—fruitless.

#298 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 12:38 PM:

Lee @280, I've had two new Russians this week; they usually stick around for a week or two and then defriend me.

I have my entire lj on "adult content" default, and often forget to click on a different rating when I'm posting the 99% of my content which is G rated (like my one and only stated interest, this dates back to Strikethrough, and is only, barely, true when I recommend NC-17 fic). I've wondered if the Russians are looking for porn.

#299 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 12:42 PM:

Xopher @297, the only thing about using soused dried cherries instead of maraschinos is that the former would lack the cyanide kick of the latter, which might throw the taste out of balance. You could souse them in amaretto, I suppose.

#300 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 12:50 PM:

Xopher@297: Looking at that recipe ( http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/RECIPES/RECIPES/Desserts/Trinidadblackcake.html ) I think that pureeing the maraschino cherries would destroy whatever effect the recipe wants them for, while leaving intact everything you dislike about them. Do not bother. Any fruit of your choice will make you happier. I once had a jar of cherries preserved in brandy -- that would have been superb in this.

JESR@299: It really doesn't look like a recipe that has "balance" so much as "momentum". Or perhaps "knock you on your ass". :)

Disclaimer: I have a notably "what the hell, it might work" attitude towards cooking.

#301 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 01:01 PM:

If only I'd been thinking during cherry season! But I bet I can get cherries preserved in brandy. Good idea. And they're a small portion of the total, so the difference between brandy and water shouldn't affect the flavor or the texture that much. I hope.

JESR is right about the "cyanide kick" though. Hmm.

#302 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 01:36 PM:

#280 ::: Lee :::

I have had this invasion too, nor, according my flist, am I the only one by any means.

Judging by the avatars and photos that accompanied these russians I'm assuming they are sex workers come fishing, or some other sort with nefarious or at least larcenous intent.

I ban them immediately.

Their ljs are all in cyrillic. I haz no trust.

So I now feel the need to check my flist every few days, just in case another one shows up, whereas previously I never bothered, unless adding a new 'friend' to one of the filtered lists.

Love, C.

#303 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:07 PM:

Xopher @301, see, I knew you'd understand what I meant by that.

I was going to put up Bing cherries in brandy this summer, adding five cracked seeds to each jar, but things went all sideways early on and never got much better, and I can only put the project on the list for summer 2009.

At the moment, I'm attempting to find a way to lay down some fennel in alcohol to have on hand when bronchitus season comes; I'm stymied today by lack of vodka or brandy or, as per usual, slack in the budget for purchase of same.

#304 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:09 PM:

I need instruction: "Fail" has begun to be used as a noun. I first encountered this in LOLcatsese, but I am wondering if it originates elsewhere.

It appears to mean "something that has failed" or "a situation in which a failure has occurred." I think.

Usage pointers welcome, so that I may avoid embarrassing myself in using the new version of "fail" incorrectly.

#305 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:20 PM:

"Fail" is only secondarily a noun. The precise usage is... an exclamation? Ejaculation? It's something you declaim, rather than use in a sentence. Except you're doing it online.

http://failblog.org/ is normative for this.

Then "fail", as a noun, is a situation which can correctly be tagged FAIL.

#306 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:30 PM:

Andrew Plotkin @ 305... Ejaculation? (...) Except you're doing it online.

Ewww.

#307 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:40 PM:

305, 306: Now you've done it. You've got me thinking of flame wars as electroejaculation.

Warning: Veterinary Information Contained in Link. Do not click if you are squeamish.

And yes, I have handled one of those. Never have I seen a more surprised bull, but I blame the resident for cranking up the power really fast. Typical male, I suppose Moo?!?

#308 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:44 PM:

Thanks to the sharp-eyed Patrick for discovering that Bérubé's blog has returned (see sidebar).

#309 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:44 PM:

I made Alton Brown's fruitcake one year, but I can't find the recipe any more. It was exceptionally good, and used dried fruits macerated in rum, none of those nasty gummy faux-fruit bits. (I have it on good authority that "maraschino" actually means "Satan's Own".)

I can say that using a spray bottle to moisten the cakes is a great idea. (Plus, spray-rum is always fun!)

This year, though, I think we'll stick with truffles. There's nothing easier than truffles, but people think they're hard to make, so they make great presents.

#310 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 02:48 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 304: I think the sense you're encountering may be a sort of "quality of failingness", bogosity, etc.; something can be "full of fail", in the sense of "having many failing qualities" (vs. "full of win", having many winning qualities).

#311 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 03:31 PM:

Bill Higgins, if you remember the old jargon sense of "win" and "lose", "Fail" is the new "lose". (But "win" is still win.) I disagree that it's simply an interjection; I think it's an abstract quality which gets used as an interjection, as well as being nouned, adjectived, etc. because you're not using it right unless you're using it grammatically wrong.

I think it likely started from "[foo] fails at [bar]", as in "I fail at math", "She fails at life", etc. I remember that going around a couple years before "Fail" and "EPIC FAIL" became common.

#312 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 03:31 PM:

Ginger @ 307...Never have I seen a more surprised bull

I bet he was.
It gives a whole new meaning to "Where's the beef?"

#313 ::: Joy Freeman ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 04:16 PM:

Lila@290: That was my thought when I found the patent info online. Perhaps an uncharitable one, though. Perhaps the author of that article wanted to keep people from paying the sometimes outrageous prices that some people pay on eBay for hedgeapples, which probably aren't as effective as other, cheaper "green" solutions closer to home. But if that's the case, he might have said that; his wording seems a little too strong.

Lee@292: They shrivel up. They only last 2-3 months (depending on where you are) but usually by that time, it's winter and the insect problem isn't so...problematic. I was told to put the fruits on something (such as plastic wrap) so they won't harm the wood or whatever they're placed on. One great-aunt said she cut them in half to use outdoors (at the base of trees for some particular sort of insect pest? don't remember details) but indoors they're used whole.

Frankly, I doubt they're all that effective--certainly not compared to the concentrated chemicals (naturally derived and otherwise) available today. But historically even a slight efficacy would have made it a no-brainer. These thorny trees were widely planted in pasturelands to make thick, impenetrable hedgerows (before barbed wire) and so there was always a great deal of fruit just lying around on the ground (and inedible to humans). As a family put up their crops for the winter, placing hedgeapples in the barn, attic, cellar, etc. would have been a smart use of a plentiful resource.

#314 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 04:22 PM:

Cat Meadors #309: I made Alton Brown's fruitcake one year, but I can't find the recipe any more.

Is this it? Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake

#315 ::: Betsey Langan ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 04:48 PM:

Ginger @307: I'm sitting at my desk snickering. Without even following the link, I can imagine the expression on that poor bull's face.

Cat Meadors @309: Here's AB's fruitcake recipe, from Food Network. The show transcript is also available from the Good Eats Fanpage

#316 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 05:30 PM:

I have seen some folks sub cranberries for cherries in fruitcake due to allergies.

I just saw a dire panic "they are destroying our copyright sign this petition" post regarding the US orphan works bill 2008 flavour(s 2913). Is there a neutral breakdown of it somewhere?

#317 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:01 PM:

Hee Haw vs. the Knitters. The knitters win.

I've been hidin' my yarn in the closet,
How I wish I'd fastened the door,
You have found the big sweater I started,
And you're askin' me who is it for.

(via Ravelry)

#318 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:08 PM:

Ginger @ 307 -

I went to the link. I swear to Ghu, I will never encounter a warning as vivid as:

You cannot diagnose a corkscrew penis when electroejaculating a bull.

#319 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:22 PM:

I brought a couple of osage oranges home one year, but they didn't seem to make any difference to the insects we had at the time. (I don't actually recall what finally got rid of the bugs, but it was probably those little plastic roach traps.) I wasn't prepared to pay a dollar each for osage oranges, but the next time I was up in the park I picked up a couple, on the theory that they were basically harmless.

Of course, it may depend on the kind of insect you're dealing with.

#320 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:27 PM:

Re Osage oranges: I have no experience with them, but I have tested a similar legend (that four o'clocks, Mirabilis jalapa, will get rid of Japanese beetles in your garden) and lo, it is true. The Japanese beetles that had been eating my roses instead ate the four o'clocks--and died.

#321 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:39 PM:

OK, the Bad Sources thread is long dead, and I've just checked it and Fowler's Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian isn't there.

It definitely should be.

It just came in the mail today, from Amazon. I opened it excitedly...and exclaimed in horror. Not only is there no key to his eccentric transliteration system, but the entire book is a reproduction of a handwritten manuscript. In Professor Fowler's "clear and elegant" (legible only with difficulty, like disemvowelled text) cursive hand. Using 1950's handwriting conventions, gawdzhelpus.

Ranting about this to a friend, who said "Oh, Fowler is useless when studying Egyptian." How I wish I'd sought advice before buying it!

I can probably return it to Amazon, but at this point I'd rather tear it to bits and stomp on the bits.

#322 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:45 PM:

Steve @ 318: Oh, yeah! I'd forgotten about that. Never had to do that diagnostic, since Large Animal wasn't my thing (pun intended). Mice and rats don't have that problem, either.

Betsey @ 315: The poor bull was quite incredulous. All the information hadn't gotten to his brain yet, and here was his back end - er, working hard.

Serge @ 312: Also, the expression "Hold the pickle".

#323 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 08:48 PM:

xopher @ #321: "I'd rather tear it to bits and stomp on the bits."

Very reminiscent of the opening chapter of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe book "Gambit," in which Wolfe is destroying a new dictionary for its grievous crimes against English.

One of those crimes: Infer and imply may be used interchangeably.

#324 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 09:10 PM:

Linkmeister @ 323:

Pfui. It was full of tortile taradiddles.


#325 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 10:22 PM:

I have to admire a writer with the humor, humility, or combination of the two to begin his preface to the second edition of his book with "Contrary to expectation, the original edition of 2000 copies has been exhausted after three years."

#326 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 10:39 PM:

Xopher @321, doesn't James Spader as Daniel thoroughly dismiss Fowler as a source in the movie of Stargate? Or am I putting your bad source into that scene in place of whatever he does mention?

According to a well-read friend of mine, whatever source he disparages in the movie is, in fact, notably bad.

#327 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 10:41 PM:

No, it was Budge. "They must have used Budge. Why do they still publish his books?"

And yeah, Budge is even worse than Fowler.

#328 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 10:52 PM:

That whole "Why do they even still publish his books?" scene is as geektacular as the Westley-Inigo fight in Princess Bride where, when one of them says "Not if your opponent has studied his Agrippa!" he's actually using a move from Agrippa.

I love that sort of geekiness.

#329 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 11:06 PM:

TexAnne, #317: The song was amusing, but my jaw dropped when the credits rolled... I went to high school with their drummer! I'm sure it's the same guy; the name isn't terribly common, and he played drums in a band called the White Animals for a while after we graduated.

#330 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2008, 11:46 PM:

Just to note that both of the mysterious Russians defriended my live journal today.

#331 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 01:25 AM:

Cat Meadors #309 "dried fruits macerated in rum" is surely the standard starter for fruitcake recipes?
Many years back when I did much more cooking, I'd make up a mix — adding to a base of ordinary shop-bought 'mixed dried fruit' — and start steeping it in brandy or sherry or rum, probably around Michaelmas, then use part of it for cake and/or pudding after a few weeks so they'd be maturing for a month or so, and the rest for mince tarts close to Christmas. A few times I tried more exotic spirits like apple brandy. These days there's an even wider range of dried fruits available, but I don't know that I'm up to the work. Maybe if I get back home with my own stove in time. Spray-rum sounds fun, too.

On 'Fail': my first memory of hearing it used this way is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that font of new language, though I've heard it said that it came from some of the odd English usage in gaming.

JESR #330, well at least they defriended you and didn't defraud (or defenestrate) you. And thanks for your nice words before on another thread.

#332 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 02:26 AM:

Ginger @ #324, "Gambit" was the first Wolfe book I ever read; I was immediately hooked. What I really enjoyed about the dictionary scene was Archie's telling Wolfe that he (Wolfe) intended to burn it from the moment he bought it, since the binding was paper; had it been a keeper Wolfe would have bought the one bound in buckram.

#333 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 06:08 AM:

Xopher @ 327... >Budge is even worse than Fowler

You just reminded me that it's been some time since I've read an adventure of Amelia Peabody.

#334 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 06:45 AM:

cajunfj40 #293: *applause*

#335 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 08:23 AM:

Serge @#333: Did you know there's a new Vicky Bliss out?

#336 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 09:14 AM:

Carrie S @ 335... That's Peters's series set in modern times, right?

#337 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 09:28 AM:

Linkmeister @ 332: I don't recall which one was first..we had many of the books on our shelves, and the rest were gotten out of the Library. I just remember hours of fun reading them -- devouring them, I suppose.

I vaguely recall running across his name when I worked in the 4-H office one summer; he lived in the same county and must have been on the Cooperative Extension mailing list.

#338 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 09:30 AM:

Serge: Yeah, one of them. The other one is Jacqueline Kirby.

#339 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 09:34 AM:

Kevin Reid @#334:

cajunfj40 #293: *applause*

*bows*

The closer a question gets to my area of obsessionfocused interest (motor vehicles and related machinery/engines/etc) the more convoluted the ideas can get...

Somewhere in the recent past I linked to my Nuclear Parking Brake idea. (click, tapitty tick tap) Here it is. That was my second post on ML.

#340 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 10:35 AM:

xopher @ #321: "I'd rather tear it to bits and stomp on the bits."

Actually what you should do is tear it to bits and use them as stuffing the next time you mummify a crocodile.

(I am alluding to the fact that several ancient papyruses were discovered because they were used as stuffing for mummified crocodiles)

#341 ::: affreca ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 12:25 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 254

I've been annoyed at the lack of reporting on the aftermath of Ike. Sadly the news can only keep track of a couple of stories, and the popular consensus was that it wasn't a bad storm. However, at least 300 still missing, according to CNN today. I feel bad them and their loved ones.

#342 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 12:38 PM:

JESR @299 and Xopher @301 -- what exactly do you mean by "cyanide kick"? Is that part of the flavor experience, or are psychoactive effects involved? (Hmm. Maybe a fruitcake soaked in absinthe?)

#343 ::: Ginger can haz brainstorming? ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 01:17 PM:

Hay guyz, I just saw this on another listserv:

The program "Life After People" was produced for The History Channel, and now the production company is making another 10 programs. The request was for speculation on "without the presence of humans, what types of things could primates learn to do? What tasks are they capable of doing now?"

This sounds like a neat idea to toss around the Fluorosphere, even if we don't share it with the producers. What do you think will happen to primates (monkeys and apes) if humans suddenly disappeared?

#344 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 01:30 PM:

I am shortly off to the monthly London fen-moot -- only recently noticed it in the Ansible listings and only now got up the courage to actually go!

Interacting with people, oh god

#345 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 01:59 PM:

Post-apocalyptic, not yet mentioned: Emma Bull's Bone Dance.

#346 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 02:30 PM:

Ginger #343:

"Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape."

No, wait, that's a different future....

An interesting question is whether any of the gorillas, chimps, or oranguntans[1] that have been taught language by researchers would manage to teach it to others of their kind. Imagine you're a primatology researcher who comes to realize that humans will all be extinct soon. Is there anything you could do to encourage uplift? Maybe try to get the chimps to pick up some kind of farming, or come up with better tools that are within their ability to make once they've been shown how?

Someone could build highly stable museums along the lines of the ones in The Mote in God's Eye, intended to reward sufficiently advanced/intelligent beings with the gift of a whole bunch of science and technology primers and working models.

[1] Is that somehow supposed to be two words?

#347 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 03:03 PM:

Ginger: That reminds me of the end of Tiptree's story The Last Flight of Doctor Ain: (paraphrasing) "I wonder why you didn't do anything more with bears. Were you saving them?"

#348 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 03:18 PM:

Just found out that James Killus, occasional ML poster, sf writer, and odd person died of malignant melanoma. Obit at http://www.sfwa.org/news/2008/jkillus.htm .

#349 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 03:59 PM:

Debbie@ 342, cyanide is the difference between bitter almond and sweet almond, and the reason cherries canned stone-in are tastier than those canned without. It is also, of course, Not At All Good For You, in more than very small doses.

#350 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 04:37 PM:

Rikibeth @ 326: I still say that's the best swordfight on film. 1: All the attacks are sincere, i.e. they drive the fight, none of them are posturing bits of visual fluff.

2: All of the references are to real masters of fence, from the dawn of fencing as a described art.

3: It's beautiful.

#351 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 05:02 PM:

JESR -- OK, so it's a taste kick because of the cyanide/bitter almond taste. I didn't realize that cherry stones have cyanide, too. Although now that I think about it, I have a pillow filled with cherry stones. You're supposed to warm it up and use it like a hot water bottle. And when it's warm it has a distinct bitter almond aroma.

#352 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 05:29 PM:

Argh. The author of the awful Egyptian dicktionary is is Faulkner, not Fowler.

#353 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 05:32 PM:

re 320: Yep. Four o'clocks are about the only thing that Japanese beetles like better than roses-- but they like wine grape leaves even better. I made money as a kid picking them off my father's grapes; even at several beetles to the penny, it was profitable work.

#354 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 06:05 PM:

On primatologists, chimps, and impending lack of humanity, Peter Dickinson's Eva is about that. Human girl's mind-- daughter of primatologists, raised with chimps-- ported into a chimp's body after a car crash, and the things that happen to, around, and because of her.
Why do we feel the need to affect the future, even after it explitly doesn't include us? Not just wills, saying who gets what, but the idea of working with what we think will be the next dominant species that it might be more (or less) in our image.

#355 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 08:36 PM:

albatross @ 346: It's technically "orang-utan" (or "Orang Hutan"), but we've combined the two into one for a long time now. "The old man of the forest" is the meaning, if my memory serves me correctly.

That's an interesting idea about chimps with language -- they do teach some of those skills to their offspring, but as far as I know they haven't created a society with chimp language/signing.

I am not sure apes will progress further than they have already; after all, they've been part of our evolution and haven't made the leap to language yet. They do use tools, and communicate with each other.

Crows are another species that use tools, communicate with each other, gather in family groups, protect young from predators, and so on. I'd think they would be a interesting group in the post-human world.

Clifton @ 347: Ah, bears! Yes. Another species with tool use, but they don't have the same society or social groups that crows (and primates) have. Maybe raccoons. But if we have crows, "we must need bears."

Diatryma @ 354: Perhaps it's an offshoot of the drive to produce offspring? Leaving a mark on the world, making things happen after we're gone, etc.? It is reminiscent of Ozymandias.

#356 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 08:46 PM:

Xopher #352: 'Egyptian dicktionary'? My, my, what awful, ahem, diction you have young feller-me-lad.

#357 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 08:51 PM:

So this is where we face the simple fact
of elegance and truth, the crystal bird
will rise each time, although it is absurd
to say there was not one good thing he lacked;
the signals clear, not one of them abstract.
Nothing is left that ought to be inferred
by we who follow, only the plain word,
an honest message left behind intact.
No one departs while we can remember
clear tone of voice and movement in the dance
that's life itself; no one would want to fake
the laughing glow. Hoarding each sad ember
we fight against the forces of mischance
and read the shining verse for honour's sake.

#358 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 09:05 PM:

So, we all ready for the UFO arrival on the 14th? What does one wear to greet the new overlords, and does it matter that the visitation is set for Alabama?

#359 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 09:54 PM:

Fragano 356: It was, as I'm sure you've guessed, a typo let stand because it was evocative of my feelings about the book.

#360 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 10:52 PM:

Wow.

Palin did *way* better than I expected[1]. If she weren't running with that tired, old guy, she might stand a chance.

[1] This may be an example of the subtle bigotry of low expectations....

#361 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 11:06 PM:

#276, Stefan Jones, ConFURvatives:

Do they have a wide stance on all four paws?

#362 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 11:34 PM:

Albatross @360, your expectations must have been very low.

Did you notice that for the first two or three sentences of every answer, she'd stare into the camera and just blurt out a rapid stream of talking points in a monotone voice? Then she'd slow down and remember to have facial expressions and pause and stuff, but then for the next answer, it was back to the monotone stream. Weird.

#363 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 11:43 PM:

More patter than a bad stage magician...

#364 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2008, 11:57 PM:

You know what was awesome? Midway through Palin's answer on when to pull the nuclear trigger, she forgot to munge her speaking and reverted to using the correct "Noo-clee-ar" for 2 or 3 uses. The whole "noocular" thing was a gimmick!

I am really happy. She didn't make a fool of herself--I hate seeing people humiliate themselves. But she got so pwned anyway. Best of all possible results. And Biden really seemed like a person. I loved how he acknowledged that he was in a nice house and doing pretty good... Showed honesty and humility and an understanding of what's actually going on with most people in the world. I loved that he was so passionate in the debate that his emotions got away from him for a bit when talking about his family tragedy. His answer to the heartbeat away question made it sound like he'd actually thought about what his emotions would be, how he would go on. And way to drag in the Supreme Court!

I loved that Ifill asked great questions, about Darfur, and the Cheney 4th branch of government, and use of nuclear weapons. Interesting stuff, man.

#365 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 01:18 AM:

xeger @203

I still get "Husqvarna? Don't they make [chainsaws|motorcycles]" as a routine response to having a Husqvarna sewing machine :) It quite has me understanding why they started selling as Viking!

Rifles

#366 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 01:23 AM:

Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers @ 365 ...
Oooh! I want one! That would be absolutely perfect!

#367 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 02:10 AM:

Bruce@365:

But, do they make a rifle with a chainsaw-bayonet? And, what the heck, put a sewing machine on the off side and mount the whole thing on the handlebars. Blow holes in 'em, run 'em down, chop 'em up, and stitch 'em back together, yeah!

#368 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 02:30 AM:

mjfgates #367: But, do they make a rifle with a chainsaw-bayonet?

Were you thinking of the Lancer Assault Rifle, from the game Gears of War, which has a chainsaw bayonet as a standard attachment?

#369 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 08:30 AM:

Earl @ 368 -
Were you thinking of the Lancer Assault Rifle, from the game Gears of War, which has a chainsaw bayonet as a standard attachment?

Doesn't that concept go back a lot farther, to the British comic periodical 2000 and the like?

I know that the Space Marines in Warhammer 40k (which dates to the late 80s - early 90s for the Rogue Trader edition) had a variety of chain-weapons - Chainfists for Space Marine armor, chainswords for the Imperial Guard elite figures (and Space Marine assault troops), and the like....

#370 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 08:56 AM:

Avram #362:

My expectations were based on the Couric interview. I expected her to place Iran in South America[1], babble incoherently about nonsense in response to serious questions[2], and maybe melt down entirely in the middle.

Her performance at the debate makes me wonder how much editing/excerpting was done in her interview with Couric. Was she really mostly coherent, and they took the most damning five minutes? Or was she really incoherent and shaken during the whole interview, and they took a representative sample?

One thing I found really annoying with Biden was that he had several really effective points to make, but he more-or-less interrupted himself making them. It was possible to infer what he was trying to say, but I'm not sure how much of the audience untangled it in time, or how often I didn't successfully untangle it. I didn't notice it as often when I was watching with closed captioning, and I suspect that's because I lost some of the tone-of-voice cues.

As with the last debate, I listened to some of it on the radio, watched some on TV with closed captioning while I was at the gym, and watched the end (with my wife, this time) on TV with the sound turned on.

Now, as far as her answers, they were mostly reassuring nonsense or carefully crafted talking points. But honestly, Biden's answers were meatier, but not nearly as much as I'd have liked, and he did a fair bit of dodging.

I felt like there were areas where she really didn't like what she had to defend. I had the sense (maybe this was projection on my part or good acting on her part) that she wasn't too thrilled with the stance she had to take on gay marriage, which is weird, given her widely-reported fundamentalist religious beliefs. (But if you look at survey data, support for gay marriage/rights is very much age dependent.) I also had the sense that she had populist instincts on economic policy, and little or no ideology or knowledge of economics to cause her to resist it[3].

Biden never attacked her, only McCain. That was interesting, and helped her stay afloat in the debate. As with Obama needing to come off as "above the fray" and reassuringly polite and sensible (and definitely not a Scary Angry Black Man), Biden couldn't afford to rip into her sillier answers, for fear of being the pit bull ripping into the poodle.

[1] As opposed to her running-mate, who places Spain there.

[2] And she did this, but not enormously more than Biden did, and not beyond what I expect of a politician in a debate.

[3] Though explanations of the current financial mess that attribute it to greed on Wall Street are like explanations of a building collapse that attribute it to gravity.

#371 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 09:09 AM:

Earl Cooley @ 301 - That's it! I guess I should have said, "I couldn't find it that one time I looked when Food Network had taken a bunch of their stuff offline and then, figuring it was gone forever, never bothered looking again."

Also, I aged my cakes for four weeks, not two. I think he mentioned that in the show but not the recipe. They were amazing.

Mez @ 331 - "dried fruits macerated in rum" is surely the standard starter for fruitcake recipes?

Well, it ought to be. Then again, I saw a video where a woman was using sweet and sour mix in a mojito. Words mean nothing to these people! (Don't even get me started on "martini".)

Albatross @360 - that actually depresses the hell out of me. The WaPo had some talky guy saying that Palin would win this no matter what, because expectations were so low that all she had to do was not screw up horribly, and everyone would be impressed, and if she did screw up horribly, everyone would blame Biden for being "mean". I said, of course not! People will notice that all she does is ramble around talking points, doesn't answer questions, and is never specific about anything, under any circumstances!

Listening to/reading post-debate analysis, I see that I was utterly wrong.

(But I did notice the nukular thing too! We cracked up. Briefly. Also, Palin always looks like she's smirking to me. I realize that I am the only person in the world who interprets her "smile" that way, but there you go.)

#372 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 09:19 AM:

Albatross @ 370 - she wasn't too thrilled with the stance she had to take on gay marriage...

I noticed that too, but I interpreted it as her being annoyed that condemning them to the fiery pits of hell wouldn't play well on national tv.

explanations of the current financial mess that attribute it to greed on Wall Street are like explanations of a building collapse that attribute it to gravity.

Ha!

Also, I'm glad I didn't play the drinking game where you take a drink every time someone says "maverick". I wonder how many post-debate alcohol poisonings EMTs had to deal with? (I liked Biden's tearing into that, even though it sounded utterly scripted - it still needed to be said. Also, I was really happy that there was a "Palin made rape victims pay for their own rape kits" commercial after the debate - something more people should know about. Of course, since it was sponsored by Planned Parenthood, I expect that anyone who'd be surprised by this will put it down to brtn-loving libruls twisting the truth for partisan politics.)

#373 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 09:22 AM:

Cat #371:

Yeah. I am not sure how this affects the voters McCain and Palin need. There wasn't a possible performance from her good enough to get my vote, and Biden's only opportunity to lose my vote involved overt and scary insanity (I mean like "we must fight the space aliens on Mars so we don't have to fight them in Peoria" sort of crazy, not "we're going to be energy-independent in ten years" innumerate nonsense), which wasn't real likely.

#374 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 09:34 AM:

I'm somewhere south of the Catskills, visiting family.

I showed my parents a "Palin's greatest hits" video. Aghast giggles and dropped jaws.

The debate was very odd. Palin seemed to have a teleprompter full of GOP talking points in her glasses. When she was at a loss for words she'd babble.

#375 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 10:09 AM:

Random comment: Marginal Revolution has been covering the financial crisis and bailout really well. This post gives a very different take on the bailout than the MSM discussion, which has seemed to me to be almost uniformly cheerleading some variant of the bailout. And here is a link to a nice summary of what's going on. I thought it covered the mortgage crisis well, but not the potential for cascading failures due to, essentially, large bets placed by enormous financial institutions with no reserves to cover them. But I'm pretty sure the writer is a lot more knowledgeable about this stuff than I am.

#376 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 10:17 AM:

369: sounds very useful. ObSF: Joe Haldeman carried a chainsaw during his time in Vietnam. Given that bayonets are almost never used for bayonetting people, a chainsaw-bayonet sounds like it would help with a lot of the things that they actually do get used for.

Who was it who pointed out that leaping around the battlefield in your power armour (as in Starship Troopers) would be a quick way to get yourself killed, and real power armour would probably include not jump jets but a large powered shovel for quick shellscrape digging?

#377 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 10:23 AM:

albatross @ 375, that reminds me to recommend this video. It's a 1.5 hour panel discussion on the financial crisis, with five Duke professors: of economics, business, accounting, law, and political science. I found it extremely enlightening. They discuss what happened, shed some light on the accounting and business practices that led to the current mess, and talk about their thoughts on what should be done.

And interestingly, most of the professors argued that the current bailout bill is a bad one -- not from a partisan political perspective, but from the perspective of their knowledge about how markets work, and how the bill interacts with that. That agrees with the Marginal Revolution post you linked to.

An article about the panel can be found at Duke Today, so you can get some background before watching the video.

#378 ::: Pete Darby ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 10:49 AM:

Chainswords: IIRC, I first saw one in "Absolom Daak, Dalek Killer", Doctor Who Weekly, written by Steve Moore, drawn by Steve Dillon. Circa nineteen-eighty-I've-said-too-much.

#379 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 11:23 AM:

Various #'s: I didn't intend the Gears of War links to be a definitive primal source of chainsaw bayonets, but merely a recent example. Important safety tip: when indulging in a chainsaw duel, wearing a pig's head (as in Motel Hell, 1980) is not particularly recommended; although stylish in an intimidating sort of way, the duelist sacrifices a critical edge in visibility, not unlike heavily armored knights of old.

albatross #360: Palin did *way* better than I expected

My guess would be wireless teleprompter glasses.

#380 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 12:43 PM:

I didn't watch the VP debate (had much too good a book to finish reading), but the Phoenix news reported that Palin brushed up for it via practice sessions with McCain's "foreign policy advisor" at M.'s ranch near Sedona. I guess that's where the non-babbling came from.

At times I *still* think recent events are all being scripted by some whacked-out second-rate sci-fi writer (in the sky)!

#381 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 01:06 PM:

I know that it's pretty much ancient history by now, but I would like to draw the attention of the three or four of you who haven't seen a link to it somewhere else yet to this nice little op ed in the NY times, about the bad effects positive thinking might have had on financial matters.

#382 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 01:24 PM:

I skipped the debate to finish up Jo Walton's _Ha'penny_, which I'd just found in paperback. Very relevant and far better written.

#383 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 01:41 PM:

Earl 379: My guess would be wireless teleprompter glasses.

Or maybe they took the advice offered here?

#384 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 06:09 PM:

A query to the knowledge of all things that is the Fluorosphere:

Who is Laura Teresa Marquez?

I'm proofing a book that includes a quotation attributed to her, but my editor hasn't been able to find any biographical or source info. My own (limited) Google-fu has turned up several quotations on various sites of a motivational/self-empowerment nature (she seems to be quite popular in that field), yet not one of them lists so much as a birth year. I even gave Wikipedia a try, just for giggles, but there's no entry for anyone by that name.

The quotation in question: “Like being the pilot of a large airplane, you have, at your command, massive unseen resources and your small actions result in big improvements – keep taking those small actions!”

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Many thanks, regardless of the results. :)

#385 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 02:00 AM:

Here's a great video showing AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka talking to the union about racism and voting for Obama. At the point where he starts talking about the flag pins, I started thinking I should get me a Constitution pin. I wonder how large "We, the people" has to be to be legible from a reasonable distance.

#386 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 11:54 AM:

A website that appears to be linked to Robert Byrd sells constitution lapel pins.

#387 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 12:03 PM:

Lee @280:
Yep, and the most recent one's account was suspended in the 3 minutes between friending me and my opening their profile.

Xopher @297:
Depending on how you look at it, this is either the best or the worst possible time to look for good quality fresh citrons.

T.W @316:
I'm under the impression the bill expired with no action because the bailout bill was more important.

Cat Meadors @371:
No, you're not the only one who noticed her smirks.

#388 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 12:46 PM:

geekosaur 387: Do you mean they're available but expensive? Can you give me any leads on getting some? I'd like to find out what they taste like, if nothing else.

#389 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 04:44 PM:

Geekosaur @387,

Ohhh, is it citron season? I'd forgotten about that.

Tonight I'm going to a friend's miracle fruit party. This fruit has a a molecule (miraculin) that affects the tongue* to turn sour sweet. But it doesn't simply make a lemon taste like lemonade, because the sourness-turned-sweet enhancers flavors.

Coffee finally tastes like it smells, I've been told. Bad beer tastes good, good beer great, and balsamic vinegar becomes a wonderfully rich drink (such that you have to remind people they can't drink it).

The Making Light party next August may very well have a miraculin-based citrus tasting section.

hmmmm.

-----------
* similar to artichokes, which for the people who 'taste' artichokes makes everything else lightly sweeter.

#390 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 06:00 PM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale #389: Ohhh, is it citron season? I'd forgotten about that.

Citron? Citroën!

#391 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 07:18 PM:

Oh man, I've always wanted to try miracle fruit! Lemons and other sour things taste sweet to me, so I wonder if everything would taste hyper-awesome.

Also: miraculin + MSG = ?

#392 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 07:52 PM:

Tlönista 391: miraculin + MSG = ?

You know how people were worried about the Large Hadron Collider? Well, they were being foolish.

#393 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 10:07 PM:

Tlönista @391: I'm afraid that for me miraculin + MSG would turn into a nice-tasting massive migraine. The only thing that works faster at inducing a migraine for me is bisulfites; of course, I discovered this during some important exams.

I would like to try miraculin + coffee -- I've always been terribly disappointed by the lack of flavor (compared to the aroma) in coffee.

#394 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 10:11 PM:

Xopher @388:
The Jewish holiday of Sukkot begins in 2 weeks; one of the odder Jewish rituals involves waving an etrog (citron) and lulav (specific collection of branches), so it can be difficult to find good quality citron in the weeks before Sukkot.

#395 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 11:04 PM:

#207 ::: Lizzy L and #348, Tom Whitmore:

Just found out that James Killus, occasional ML poster, sf writer, and odd person died of malignant melanoma.

The name sounded familiar, so I checked my bookshelf... I have a novel titled Sunsmoke by him. (Demonically possessed pollution... but well-done enough that I remembered the author's name!)

Ginger @ #355:

That's an interesting idea about chimps with language -- they do teach some of those skills to their offspring, but as far as I know they haven't created a society with chimp language/signing.

I actually suggested "encouraging" that to a budding primatologist -- though as she pointed out, that would be activism rather than research.

I am not sure apes will progress further than they have already; after all, they've been part of our evolution and haven't made the leap to language yet. They do use tools, and communicate with each other.

And do you think the human transition happened within, say, 10,000 years? (I.e., less than the length of recorded human history?) For that matter, when were the first true sign languages developed? The past 100 years or so?

Evolution doesn't stop, but for something with multiyear generations, it's very slow compared to the development of human culture, much less the flickering blur we call "history".

Crows are another species that use tools, communicate with each other, gather in family groups, protect young from predators, and so on. I'd think they would be a interesting group in the post-human world.

Midsummer Century. 'nuff said....

#396 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 11:25 PM:

David Harmon @ 395: Well, given that we share certain primate ancestry, and yet there are still considerable differences in their ability to communicate, the lack of development in the perisylvian area (which includes Broca's and Wernecke's areas, both of which are important in language), and the lack of progression given the training (in sign, as they do not have the physical ability to speak), it's hard to point to primates and say they'll develop language in the next few million years.

However, if I thought they had a chance, I'd vote for the bonobos, since they are more social and less aggressive towards each other as well as other species. Bonobo civilization would be out of this world.

Actually, I've overlooked the marine mammals up 'til now -- whales have large brains, communicate in "language" and could well have something going on in those brains that we just can't grasp. Their lack of grasping hands was an evolutionary change, so we could postulate a reversal of that change. Forget cats with thumbs, let's try whales with hands.

#397 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2008, 11:52 PM:

Also, belated sympathies for Teresa! I missed the original notice and only glimpsed the next from a friend's computer (travelling for Rosh hashana), but I hope you're doing well.

#398 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 12:51 AM:

Ginger @#396: Cats with thumbs? Oh, please no! ;-)

But in any case, that's exactly my point -- we developed language first, took over the world, and blasted the populations of the other great apes down into five digits or less. We only invented sign languages recently (as opposed to local gesture codes) -- and we should be surprised that chimps and gorillas haven't caught up in our lifetimes? If we wipe ourselves out (while those apes miraculously survive), it wouldn't be at all implausible for one of them to have a similar change within a million years or so (our own change was apparently lightning-fast... in evolutionary time).

At the same time, we don't really know what particular issue might have been the trigger for our own transformation! It seems likely that any new language-users will be expanding into a new ecological niche, but beyond that... ???

Also, there are a bunch of other possibilities, with favorites depending basically on what points you think are "most important". A whole bunch of critters have grasping paws, so that's not necessarily a good guide -- but rats and squirrels both resemble an even earlier stage in our evolution, and both are already widely invasive. If the larger mammals get hammered (likely) that's where I'd look.

Otherwise, raccoons are notably bright, if not terribly social. Dogs may not have grasping paws, but they probably have a head start on the social thing, due to our manipulations. (Maybe even after they revert to their dingo-like base form.) Of course, that assumes they survive our own departure, which is dubious (IIRC, feral dogs don't even self-replace their populations).

In other venues, octopi have arguably better "hands" than us, are already bright and curious -- but they're mostly-solitary predators, not to mention short-lived. Cetaceans have social structure and communication (long-distance, even), but that's adapted for underwater use. If they leave the water, they get to start all over! (And never mind the issues of trying to develop technology underwater!)

Various birds, as previously noted, are a prime contender -- basic communication and tool use already, let alone if they repurpose their wings! (They'd pretty much have to do that -- the energetic costs of flying would compete with those of an oversized brain like ours!) Many of the corvids are opportunistic scavengers too, and that was our own original niche.

My own prediction would be that the remaining great apes die off, leaving long race to see whether ur-rodents, birds, or octopi make it to a suitable transitional form first. I would not expect dolphins to re-emerge from the water, simply because they're well-adapted to being fully aquatic. But if any seals, walruses, otters, etc survive, those would be decent candidates for a somewhat faster jump. (They already come out on land occasionally -- if the continents got cleared out a bit, that looks like a decent starting point.)


PS: Firefox's NoScript seems to think ML is trying to do cross-site scripting. Say it isn't so, JoePatrick! I'm also getting an error saying "no entry_id", unclear if that's related.

#399 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 01:45 AM:

Tlönista @#391

Oh man, I've always wanted to try miracle fruit! Lemons and other sour things taste sweet to me, so I wonder if everything would taste hyper-awesome.

Interesting... is that a family thing? IIRC, miraculin also zaps the bitter receptors, so you'd still get some changes.

Lemons and such don't taste (entirely) sweet to me, but I like them anyway, and I've never been impressed by those "super-sour" candies like "Cry-babies". On the other hand, I don't much like tamarind -- have you ever tried that?

Also: miraculin + MSG = ?

Probably no difference -- glutamate is yet another different taste receptor.

#400 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 01:48 AM:

They've found me.

Two years I've been living here without a sign of them, and I'd started thinking it would never happen. I heard them opening the gate, saw them through the window, but the years of safety have dulled my instincts and I didn't realise who they were until it was too late, until I'd already opened the door. And once they'd started talking, I didn't know how to stop them.

I have the same problem with telemarketers, but telemarketers don't give you a free copy of The Watchtower and promise to come back next week to see if you have any questions.

The sun is shining, but there is a chill in my bones.

#401 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 02:02 AM:

Paul A. @ 400 ...
I have the same problem with telemarketers, but telemarketers don't give you a free copy of The Watchtower and promise to come back next week to see if you have any questions.

Hm. I've had pretty good results with one or more of:
(0) a polite "No thank you"
(1) being obviously on the phone
(2) being obviously just awoken (housecoat and fuzzy)
(3) being obviously in the grip of a migraine (housecoat and pained)
(4) being utterly confused at them, and telling them I donate at the office
(5) allowing my housecoat to start sliding off one shoulder (best done to persons of the opposite gender... unless it's obvious to them that you think they're the appropriate gender)
(6) giving them a donation in memory of my dear sainted mother, in return for their watchtower, on the grounds that while I'm not religious, my dear sainted mother ... but it's ... I just can't talk about it any more...

A former housemate had a habit of inviting them in for tea and theology. That was equally effective at insuring a year-or-two's failure to return.

In general, though, a polite-but-firm "Thank you, but I'm not interested" is all that most cultures require as a retort.

#402 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 02:13 AM:

One of my college roommates, who had a somewhat gargoyle-like face, had great luck with scaring off JWs by opening our apartment door in his bathrobe and saying in lugubrious tones "We're all Satanists here - but if you'd care to come in..."

#403 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 02:38 AM:

Good suggestions for first-contact situations, but I'm not sure how useful they'd be now that I've failed to contradict the idea that I'd welcome a return visit.

L'esprit d'escalier is telling me that I should have responded to their opening gambit, a query as to whether I read the Bible much, by saying, "No, I'm a Catholic."

#404 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 03:14 AM:

Earl, #386, thanks! I only see that they mention Byrd once more than any other contemporary politician. They do mislead a bit with the Education link which talks about a constitution essay contest with which they're not associated. I love the quote at the bottom of the page.

#405 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 04:46 AM:

I was reluctant to link directly to the website lest it turn out that Constitution lapel pins were helping to finance the Constitution Party and dogwhistling for them.

#406 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 05:43 AM:

I knew a guy that waited for an door-to-door preacher in his dorm to do his hall. He turned out all the lights, put a brown bathrobe with a deep cowl on, lit a bunch of candles, and put on the reverse latin chant from "The Omen." He then answered the door with a drawn out "GO AWAY." Never saw the preacher again.

#407 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 08:43 AM:

Paul @ #400, xeger @ #401: inviting them in and pulling out the Greek New Testament banished them for at least 2 years from my first home (maybe longer; we moved after 2 years).

#408 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 09:40 AM:

Paul A @ 403... I politely tell them I'm an atheist. That does the trick. Or the other hand, my three dogs barking their heads off probably has something to do with it.

#409 ::: cmk ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 10:36 AM:

I've had excellent luck (touch wood) saying "Go away!" as I shut the door in their faces.

#410 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 11:42 AM:

Paul A. @ 403 ... Good suggestions for first-contact situations, but I'm not sure how useful they'd be now that I've failed to contradict the idea that I'd welcome a return visit.

(1) "Ye be unclean, and have brought foul anxiety and misfortune to me! Will ye be cleansed with fire, or wilt thou depart forever into the beyond..."
(2) "Clearly you mistook politeness for invitation. Thank you, but you are not welcome here again."
(3) "Didja bring the cute chicks this time? Doesn't the bible say that the faithful will be rewarded with thousands of virgins and an amazing party?"

You've said "failed to contradict" -- but that sounds an awful lot like "They presumed, I didn't say no", rather than "Sure, I'd love to see you again".

(4) "I'm sorry - I'm busy now, and for the foreseeable future. No, there is no better time."
(5) "Sorry, I'm busy. I'm have to [wash all of the dishes in the Q continuum party box|sort my sock drawer by size, shape, colour and texture|wash my hair, one hair at a time]"
(6) See who's there, and fail to open the door, whether they've seen you or not.
(7) Accuse them of having [peed in the hallway|disturbed the plants|upset your pets], and say "After last time, no thank you", or words to that effect.

#411 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 12:29 PM:

JW... shudder.

When I was a kid, acquaintances of that ilk started showing up on Christmas Morning to preach to my family. So I have uncharitable thoughts about them with are pretty ingrained.

However, watching a car full of them who I had just shooed off my front step by telling them I had to go check a cow in labor (true- I was out in the field when the rest of this happened) open the latched driveway gate at my cousin's place and nearly let the horses out onto the road pretty much put paid to any chance of me being polite in my dealings with them. As soon as I see a copy of Watchtower I tell them they are trespassing and have ten seconds to get off the place or I'm calling the Sheriff. I haven't seen any for years.

What I wonder most is how they find my driveway, which Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, and invited guests often miss.

#412 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 02:38 PM:

Paul A @ 400:

And that's why Ghu invented those little fisheye-lens peepholes for doors... :)

JESR @ 411:

Never underestimate the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Those Who Are On A Mission To Bring The Sinners To God. Sometimes I think they can smell the psychic emanations given off by People Not of Their Faith. Sort of like religious catnip.

I actually did have three or four fairly interesting and respectful front-door meetings with a nice JW lady ten or fifteen years ago, but she stopped showing up when she finally realized I wasn't going to convert. These days, I just don't answer the door.

#413 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 02:55 PM:

Paul A:

I find that informing them I'm Jewish and perfectly happy with my religion usually works.

A friend of mine invites them in, offers tea, engages them in a bright religious conversation (showing good knowledge of their particular brand) and gets them to assist her with tasks such as putting up shelves...

#414 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 03:05 PM:

A friend of mine managed to deconvert a young JH once- he frequently invites them in for coffee and argues with them, and one time it was an experienced older bloke and a young newbie. A few days later the newbie came round saying he found what my friend had to say very interesting, and it made so much sense and could he tell him more.
My friend directed him to the library to learn about science etc.

#415 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 03:16 PM:

guthrie 414: Now THAT's a productive approach!

#416 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 03:22 PM:

Stefan #374

I forget the name of the technology that was commercially available starting no later than the earlier 1990s that was a computer display on glasses. It wasn't filthy expensive, either.... and technology has had massive advancements since then. (A 100 MB hard drive was a substantial size for a home user at the time, 32 bit micrprocessors were state of the art, a gigabyte of memory was far more than the typical user aspired, and 1200 X 1024 was a huge display except for some very high end commercial workstation systems).

#417 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 03:53 PM:

This is off the current topic, but this article from Esquire sent a chill down my spine, and seemed, nevertheless, worth linking to. Warning: it's about politics/George Bush, and it's a bit of a downer.

#418 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 04:59 PM:

David Harmon: alas, my wonky taste buds don't seem to be inherited. I just have a high tolerance for sour, I guess.

I do like tamarind. Especially candied.

Paula Lieberman @416: Shades (heh) of Spider Jerusalem?

On missionaries:

I grew up in a small town with two stoplights and seven churches, where your best friends are cosplaying with you one weekend and out on the side of the road waving pro-life signs the next. I'm quite used to being witnessed to.

So it threw me for a loop when I came over here. The national religion of the UK seems to be understated agnosticism -- while people may embrace the outward trappings of religion (having their kids baptized, being the Archbishop of Canterbury, etc.), it's considered extremely gauche to actually believe in it. As a result you hardly ever see the kind of evangelism you would in North America.

Once I opened the door to two girls my age who said, "We'd like to tell you about Bahá'í." "I already have a religion, thanks, and I don't intend to convert," I said firmly, going into release-the-hounds mode. "Oh, we respect the diversity of religion," they replied, "we just want to share the message of Bahá'í, which is peace and unity among all people." Totally took the wind out of my sails: "Um, that sounds good, yeah."

The Jehovah's Witnesses actually came to the door recently; the only person home was my girlfriend, who was raised solidly Pagan. They had a long amiable conversation in which she educated them on the parallels between Buddhist tenets and the teachings of Jesus, and she made them promise to come back. I can't wait.

#419 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 05:17 PM:

On door-to-door religions:

I'd like to point to this account I wrote last year on how a simple prayer agreement led to 20 years of them never coming back. As I wrote later--they were warned, they just chose not to believe it.

That thread contains a long discussion of the ethics of proselytizing.

#420 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 06:35 PM:

Syd @384 wrote:

Who is Laura Teresa Marquez?

I'm proofing a book that includes a quotation attributed to her, but my editor hasn't been able to find any biographical or source info. My own (limited) Google-fu has turned up several quotations on various sites of a motivational/self-empowerment nature (she seems to be quite popular in that field), yet not one of them lists so much as a birth year. I even gave Wikipedia a try, just for giggles, but there's no entry for anyone by that name.

Interesting. As far as I can tell, all of these supposed quotes were originally posted by a Jim Stegall. It is clear from what he says here that he's really into pushing these quotes, and he has his own site, MetaphorSky, for quotes from Marquez and like-minded people.

To me this suggests three possibilities:

1. Marquez is a real person who has published books from which Stegall gets these quotes, but somehow there is no trace of the books online. Possible, but I expect that any sort of book - self-published, available only in the Christian bookstore network, etc. - will have some mention online.

2. Marquez is a real person whom Stegall knows. All the quotes I looked at on Gaia are sourced to "Early Morning Conversation," which could be the title of something, but which could be, y'know, an actual conversation.

3. Marquez is an invention of Stegall.

#421 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 07:03 PM:

#318: corkscrew penis on a bull
Is that why Ferdinand sat under cork trees?

#422 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 07:05 PM:

Ginger at 322:
The poor bull was quite incredulous. All the information hadn't gotten to his brain yet, and here was his back end - er, working hard.

Maybe that's an apt metaphor for the way this country decided to go to war.

#424 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 07:28 PM:

Erik Nelson @ 422: Perhaps, or it might be the elephant mating metaphor: it's been accompanied by a great deal of noise, it occurs at a high level, and it takes two years to produce any results. This goes hand-in-hand with the recent bumper sticker pointing out that "of course it hurts -- we're getting screwed by an elephant". Cheney's first name only adds an element of certitude to the whole sordid affair.

#425 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 09:16 PM:

Dan Blum @ 420: Sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar, and you ROCK. I'm going to pass this along to my editor--it's more info than she had before, at any rate!

#426 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 09:22 PM:

Kathryn et al on proselytizing: the best story I've heard involves one of a group of cohabitants who burst through the basement doorway after the proselytizers were seated and began complaining, in specifics, about the condition of the sacrificial altar and tools. I suspect that details were fused, but as this was in Cambridge MA in the 1970's there was probably considerable truth in the story as I remember it.

#427 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 09:55 PM:

Earl, #405, they can't possibly be financing much of anything with the pins. Gold-plated pins cost about $5 each in a 100-lot. Prices will go down with more, but not enough to make money selling them at $7. They're not making money on shipping, either. I checked both before I bought.

The last Mormons who were here, I just opened the door, smiled, and said "I'm not interested." One asked me if I thought anybody else would be and I said no.

We had an Obama Van today! One of those painted all over vans and it deposited three pairs of people who went, as near as I can tell, only to the doors of registered Democrats. So they were only here about a half-hour.

#428 ::: Laurel ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 11:00 PM:

On good postapocalyptic kid's books - has anyone mentioned _Groogleman_?

Open thread query: Does anyone know of a source or two of nice downloadable Victorian fonts? Free or fairly inexpensive preferred.

#429 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2008, 11:27 PM:

Laurel, my standard advice is
www.fontage.com
(supporting fans and fonts and fans of fonts since ... sometime.)

#431 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 12:53 AM:

Sign at freeway exit:
No Trucks Over Two Axels Allowed

#432 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 05:14 AM:

Marilee @ 427... We had an Obama Van today!

Someone came by the other day, and handed me some flyers for Obama, and for Tom Udall, who's running for the Senate. I'm not sure why they've been going to registered Democrats (and proud of being one!), but I reassured him that the only way I'd vote for a Republiocan in any office is if they put a gun to my head.

#433 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 05:42 AM:

Ginger @ 424 "of course it hurts -- we're getting screwed by an elephant"

That reminds me of the joke a buddy once told us about how, after capturing a magical elephant, a guy should make sure of its gender before demanding to be made as well endowed.

#434 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 09:06 AM:

On getting rid of missionaries, an old favorite post. Third-hand and mildly funny...

In Kalamazoo, Michigan, stands a household of SCA folk called Ironhold, decorated with many medievalist items, whose denizens have been known to wear VERY old-fashioned garb, even mundanely. Nice people, with utterly wicked senses of humor.

House Ironhold also apparently stands on a heavily used route for door-to-door evangelists, particularly Jehovah's Witnesses.

As you might expect, the residents have developed ROUTINES.

...

#435 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 10:51 AM:

431

Sign at freeway exit:
No Trucks Over Two Axels Allowed

On an icy road, do they do double-axels?

#436 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 11:41 AM:

Door-to-door -

Missionaries: Call me Mrs. Boring, but I found that a single "no thank you" has also led to me not being visited by JWs in over a decade. No theatrics necessary, honestly. (I even live just a couple of blocks from one of their... churches? Temples? Houses of worship? I never remember what different religions call their gathering places.)

Politicians: I wonder what they do in states like VA, where you don't register by party. I've had way more political hopefuls than evangelists at my door (one broke my daughter's jack-o-lantern, another pretended not to be a Republican.) Generally I find these visits equally amusing and irritating, and none of them have any bearing on my voting habits, but I guess it keeps them busy.

#437 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 04:00 PM:

Earl @ #435, I'd be really worried about Triple-Salchows, myself. And if they start doing Lutzes. . . (say, isn't that the name of the current Chrmn/CEO of GM? Hmmm. . .)

#438 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Random financial meltdown comment: I liked this discussion on Marginal Revolution of the causes of the current (ongoing, apparently not fixed by giving lots of money to big campaign contributors and lots more power to political appointees) financial meltdown.

Alternatively, this is the right sort of music to listen to while reading the financial news right now....

#439 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 04:37 PM:

Cat Meadors @436:

Kingdom Halls

#440 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 04:39 PM:

Question moved from the McCain post, does the subjunctive cover the case where someone says "I wish..."? Because there are several songs I dearly love that have the construction "I wish I was..." and some niggling part of me says the songwriters were wrong, but then another part of my brain says otherwise.

#441 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 04:52 PM:

pat:

I was wondering that, too. I don't really understand the rules for this stuff. I at least know the names of the rules I'm getting confused about in Spanish ("Damn, is this supposed to be in the conditional or the subjunctive?"). But I just have some intuition about what sounds right in English, and when that fails me, I'm lost.

If the subjunctive should disappear from the English language, we should all be the poorer for it. (Or is that messing it up somehow. It sounds right, in my "pre-20th-century-writing" mental model.)

#442 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 05:02 PM:

Cat, you're lucky. Or maybe you just don't live near any serious evangelists?

When I lived with other pagans, and had pagan stuff up by the door of the house (a Green Man, I think), copies of The Watchtower were regularly stuck in the doorhandle when I got home. It was someone who lived on the block, I'm pretty sure - we had a lot of nice Baptist ladies and some wary Witnesses. It was especially creepy because it would often be open to a page about the evils of Witchcraft - targeted hate instead of random annoyance.

My absolutely favorite piece of religious nuttery ever is the magazine the 7th Day Adventists put at truck stops a few years ago claiming the 9-11 attacks were because we don't honor the Sabbath correctly in the US. But I do love the Adventists - their TV channel is an excellent source of vegan recipes, among other things.

#443 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 05:39 PM:

Paul, #400: Stopping them is easy. You shut the door while they're talking -- don't slam it, but make it decisive. Then you go about your business and refuse to answer it again. They probably won't knock again, though; that response is a good indication that they're wasting their time.

P J Evans, #431: Hee! That provides an interesting mental image of leaping, spinning trucks...

Rosa, #442: That's the point at which you document. In particular, file a police report about religious harassment every single time; that way, if it escalates, there's a paper trail to prove that it wasn't just "someone losing their head while drunk" or whatever excuse they decide to proffer.

#444 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 05:55 PM:

Erik Nelson #435: Only if the driver's a lutz.

#445 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 06:38 PM:

When a collection of JWs showed up on the doorstep, including a boy of about ten, Jim spoke to them of the Life Of Jesus, as being just as important to remember as his death. Jim spoke, quoting various passages, of what Jesus did while he was alive, what he said ditto, and seemed willing to go on about it for hours.

They gave up. And as far as I know, have never returned.

#446 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 06:43 PM:

I regret to tell you that Scraps (Soren) DeSelby is having a hemorrhagic stroke right now. His partner Velma Bowen phoned me earlier this afternoon, saying that Scraps was having an odd tingling and loss of muscle control in one hand and one foot, and did I have Macdonald's phone number?

Jim wasn't at home, but I talked to Doyle, who declared that she was speaking with Jim's voice, and that Scraps should go to the ER. Which was the right answer, of course. I felt stupid. I think I was flustered.

I phoned back and talked to Velma and then to Scraps. He wanted to stay home and rest, and see whether that didn't make it go away. I told him firmly that there aren't many fast-onset lateralized neuromuscular disorders that aren't serious. So Scraps and Velma went to the Lutheran Medical Center, where they decided he was having a stroke, and sent him off to New York Methodist in Park Slope, where they have a stroke center. NYM got him CATscanned pronto, and found he had a hemorrhage on one side. Last we heard, they had a neurosurgeon coming in.

Velma said his blood pressure was 220 over 166. She also said his speech was now affected.

He is a beloved friend. We've known him since he was 17.

I feel stupid and useless and full of dread.

#447 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 06:52 PM:

Teresa... Please give my best wishes to Scraps and Velma.

#448 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 06:55 PM:

Dammit. It never ends. Teresa, I know the feeling you describe; it's just how I felt when you had your heart attack. And also how I feel now. I haven't known Scraps quite as long as you have, but we go back a ways.

His remarks on "voting your conscience" have become my sig on sites that allow them. I will pray "an it be his own will" prayers until and unless permission to do more is communicated.

#449 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 07:00 PM:

Oh dear, oh no. Best hopes for Scraps; I know him only as a commenter here, but value him greatly. Words are failing me right now; it just feels like it's been overwhelmingly a bad time for good people recently.

#450 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 07:01 PM:

Teresa @ 446: With rapid medical attention, he's got a fighting chance. It's easy to get flustered when you don't have any hands-on experience with medical issues, only "book-learning". Every medical and veterinary student can tell you this -- only with time and actual patients can you develop a clear head and do the right things right away. But you did do the right thing: you called someone for assistance, and followed through with her statements, which ultimately helped get Scraps to the hospital.

My best wishes to Scraps and Velma for a good recovery.

#451 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 07:44 PM:

Xopher, I have trouble imagining Scraps denying you or anyone else permission to pray for him.

#452 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 07:56 PM:

the sign about the trucks:
This is one place where I was sure it would be appreciated. (I have this mental image of two guys named Axel lying in the road ....)

On Sraps: OMG. Hemorrhagic stroke is ... not good, but not necessarily fatal, depending on location. My wishes for his health.

#453 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 07:59 PM:

Scraps is bleeding on the right basal ganglias. It's too deep for surgery. They're admitting him to Intensive Care. He's forty-four.

#454 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:12 PM:

Sending all best possible outcome wishes (and please pass them on for me, as well as taking some for yourself). You did right, T. I've been there in as bad a situation. It took me a year to feel emotionally that I'd done right, when everything went very badly after doing what was right. May everything not go badly.

#455 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:15 PM:

I'm sorry to hear about Scraps. I only know him from here, but he's obviously one of the good people. May he be well.

#456 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:27 PM:

Oh, my goodness. My best wishes for Scraps and Velma. I've been hearing of far too many people having strokes and heart attacks of late; it's just not right.

I only know him through Making Light, and Velma through here and her LJ... but I've gotten very good, these past few months, at folding paper cranes. If anyone wants my contribution toward 1000 for him, I'll be happy to fold.

#457 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:27 PM:

Sheeeit. I'm so very sorry to hear this.

May things turn out to stablize.

Love, C.

#458 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:42 PM:

I'm holding Scraps and Velma in my thoughts and heart.

#459 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:43 PM:

Oh my god... it's all I can say. It's damn near all I can write... oh my god.


fuck

#460 ::: Marna Nightingale ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:46 PM:

Sweet Christ. Am praying.

#461 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:51 PM:

Good Lord. All my heartfelt wishes for Scraps' recovery. And for Velma in this horrid situation.

Teresa, GOOD JOB.

#462 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:55 PM:

Also praying for Scraps here. LIke some others I only know him through Making Light, not in person, but still.

(Serge, thank you for the picture. It gives a focus for visualizations of health and strength.)

(And everyone else, well, take care of yourselves, okay? That's a poor attempt to control what isn't controllable, but you matter to me even when I only know you as your words here.)

#463 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:57 PM:

He's in my prayers, too.

#464 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 08:58 PM:

praying too. For everyone affected.

#465 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 09:01 PM:

Praying here, too. Also making plans to take better care of myself; Scraps is my age.

#466 ::: pixelfish ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 09:26 PM:

Oh dear. I'm hoping Scraps will be okay. *crossing my fingers for him and Velma* Be ye well, folks of the Fluorosphere tribe.

#467 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 09:27 PM:

Ach. This is bad enough that I'd better put it up in the main sequence.

#468 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 09:28 PM:

No, I'll wait until Velma gets here.

#469 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 09:46 PM:

I'm putting my good thoughts out there for Scraps, Velma, and all who know them.

#470 ::: Geri Sullivan ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 09:50 PM:

Comfort. Love. Healing.

Words. The one in the middle is certainly and deeply true. The ones on the sides, my wishes for Scraps.

Teresa -- please see the profound good you did today. It's so easy, all too easy, to see our failings, so hard to see the multitude of ways in which we help. Today, you helped.

May the night and the morrow bring good news. Please, please, please.

#471 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 09:52 PM:

Oh, no, not Scraps. We need him.

#472 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 10:40 PM:

Oh shit. That's a bad place.

#473 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 11:15 PM:

Oh, no, not Scraps. We need him.
Yes.

When I was considerably younger and 'stoneder,' I would come home from my med transcriptionist job and dream of entities who called themselves "The Lords of Anastomosis." I'm sending sober prayers in that direction now.

#474 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 11:44 PM:

Also, Teresa, you are a strong bit of reality that (along with the Doyle & Macdonald you recruited into this space) is inarguably responsible for getting Scraps to the hospital sooner rather than later.

#475 ::: Fred ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2008, 11:57 PM:

I've just come from visiting Soren in the hospital. Velma is there, and bearing up as well as could be be expected; Soren is resting; his blood pressure was down to approximately 186 over 123 when I left.

#476 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 12:07 AM:

Yipes.

I don't know either of them. But who gives a crap. They're people, and people I care about care about them. So, so do I.

Best wishes to Scraps and Velma, and hope for a rapid and complete recovery.

#477 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 12:14 AM:

Cat, #436 - you don't have to register for a party in VA. Lots of people do, but neither my upstairs neighbor or I have, which is why I was pretty sure they were visiting registered Democrats. Luke and I both usually vote liberal, but neither of us registered for a party.

#478 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 12:16 AM:

Fred, thanks for the update.

I wish I could just put Soren's brain back together.

Teresa, you did the right thing.

#479 ::: Arachne ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 12:50 AM:

Argh.

Best of wishes to Scraps and Velma. Fingers crossed here.

#480 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 01:10 AM:

Poor Scraps, and poor us! Whoever said he's needed is right. All items on my God-bothering list get moved down one place to make room for him at the top.

#481 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 01:16 AM:

Yargh! Can't we have a plague of grasshoppers (candied) instead?!? My best wishes for the best outcome, heading your way!

Teresa -- you -did- something, and it was the right thing. You didn't freeze -- you didn't fall apart. It's dreadfully easy to sit back and nervously worry should-haves to death... but in the end you did do the right thing!

#482 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 02:14 AM:

More prayers and good wishes for Scraps and Velma.

#483 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 02:45 AM:

Teresa, you may post when and where you wish.

I am home from the hospital, dehydrated and exhausted, and trying to remedy the former before I fall over. To clarify: Soren called me in mid-afternoon, and said, "I don't want to alarm you, but I have numbness and trouble gripping with my right hand...". He was going to tough it out, and I asked if I should come home immediately. When he said, "Thank you," I hauled ass into the nearest cab.

Once I got home, we had something of a disagreement about going to the hospital (as he has no insurance/health coverage). That was when I called Teresa to get Jim's number. We were going to take a cab to Lutheran Hospital, but Soren couldn't walk down the stairs, and I couldn't carry him. That's when I called 911; the ambulance came within about ten minutes, and they had him in the hospital in another ten or less. He got a room in the ICU at 1am.

Prayers, good wishes, good vibes, what-have-you are all appreciated. And if there's anything that might affect the universe positively in his direction, it would be one of his other great loves: music. So make music, or listen to music.

Today is the eighth anniversary of our first date, which happened, in part, because of Patrick and Teresa playing matchmaker.

#484 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 02:49 AM:

Shit shit shit -- Scraps and Velma are in my thoughts. Hoping very badly that we get some good news.

#485 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 03:11 AM:

About the only good thing I can or ever will say about Richard Nixon is that he proposed universal health coverage for Americans in 1974. As we all know, he wasn't able to follow up on it for various reasons. Interestingly, though, the AFL-CIO and the UAW were among his plan's murderers, hoping for a better deal.

Here we are 44 years later still trying to get it.

#486 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 03:24 AM:

Oh, lord. My sympathies.

#487 ::: Bob Rossney ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 04:58 AM:

Soren is a sweet man with a good heart. It fucking kills me that he and Velma have to go through this, and that the only thing I can think of to help is to sit here hoping.

Kudos to Teresa for doing what she's best at: saying the right thing at the right time.

#488 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 06:32 AM:

You're in my thoughts.

And what Tom@454 said. To notice that something was wrong, ask for help, listen, then act is doing the right thing.

#489 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 06:51 AM:

Teresa, my best wishes for Scraps and Velma. Stroke is nothing to take lightly.

#490 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 07:52 AM:

Caroline @ 462... Thanks. That was the idea.

#491 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 09:25 AM:

My best wishes to Scraps and Velma, and for everyone else, who may find themselves wondering about that odd feeling they have, straight from the American Heart Association:

Common warning signs of stroke

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Don't wait--call for emergency medical help, or get to a hospital on your own if that's faster. It doesn't get better on its own in most cases*. In many cases, damage can be limited by prompt treatment. In no cases does just hoping it goes away make things better.

*Transient ischemic attacks have similar symptoms, but should still be taken seriously, even though they may improve on their own--they often lead to worse problems. Do not risk your life and well-being (or let someone else risk theirs) on the off-chance that it's "just" a TIA.

#492 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 09:43 AM:

More prayers from this random Internet stranger for Scraps and Velma.

abi @ 439 - Kingdom Halls? Really? Wow. I knew it said that on the sign, I didn't realize that's what it was.

Rosa @ 442 - Well, there's enough JW's to have their own Kingdom Hall (woo!) within walking distance of my house. Maybe they figure they've got the neighborhood covered. I used to go hang with the Adventists annually when they had their huge food festival (and I mean HUGE - room after room, each one themed to a different area of the world, full of tables overflowing with delicious vegetarian dishes, a dollar per serving) but they stopped inviting me when I missed a year, and I never remember to get back on their mailing list. I've been cornered by the occasional fanatic there, but it's worth it for the food.

Marilee @ 477 - I had no idea you could do that! I don't remember being given a choice, but it's been over a decade since I moved here, and I don't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, so that's not especially surprising. I think no-party registration is the best thing since sliced bread, and can't imagine why anyone would want to declare an affiliation. (Ok, really I can, I just think they're dumb reasons.) I seem to be on all the Democrats' mailing lists anyway, so it looks like they've got some way of figuring it out.

#493 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 10:06 AM:

Velma and Scraps, my thoughts and prayers are with you too. I value both your voices here, and am hoping for the very best possible outcome.

#494 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 10:50 AM:

OK. I just got a phone call from PNH, who is at the hospital. He says there are some encouraging things.

He said that the top priority right now is to bring Soren's blood pressure down from the scary heights it was at. There is definite progress on this; yesterday it was at two-hundred-mumble over oh-god, and now it's at one-hundred-something over well-that's-better-than-yesterday-at-least. (I'm sorry I don't have the exact numbers in my head, but I went from "sound sleep" to "phone call" without stopping to grab my number memory.) Get the blood pressure down and this reduces the risk of further bleeds, and the risk of all sorts of other things. Get him stabilized at a safer level, and then everything else can be addressed.

"Everything else" includes stuff like finding out exactly what the damage is and then working to get back as much function as possible. As Velma and a number of other people said, he doesn't have speech right now, though he's made some words here and there, and PNH reports that Velma said he achieved a couple of phrases during the night. ("Oh, come on!" being the most memorable, apparently; last night Patrick said that Soren's pissed off, which is kind of a good sign, you know?) Patrick says that though Soren's not talking, he is answering questions with eloquent gestures. TNH asked him point-blank, "Do you have language?" and she got a strong affirmative nodding in reply. This is major goodness, because he's in there processing, even if his speaker isn't working at the moment, and he can communicate that he is processing. That's somewhere to start, when getting things back, and it's a pretty darned big somewhere, even though we're not to the "OK, what's the recovery and rehab plan?" stage yet.

Getting to that stage is the goal right now. Sounds like they're making progress, but there's no official word yet on what's what. But Soren's in there, and he knows we're out here, and messages are being exchanged.

So that's where we are right now. (Hope I got it right; still kinda sleep-foggy.)

Short form: still scary situation, not out of the woods yet, but recovery definitely a possibility. Encouraging signs: BP coming down, and Soren is definitely in there and communicating even if he can't speak.

So now we hope and wait and do the things we do, and let the docs and nurses do the things they do, and we see how it goes.

#495 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 10:57 AM:

I think the most recent BP numbers were 150 over 100, if I heard Patrick right in the phone call. So that's definite progress.

#496 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 11:20 AM:

Oh, gods. Soren and Velma, I am keeping you both in my heart.

And bless you, Elise, for the updates. I'm getting all this in one sudden lump and seeing there are hopeful signs is a good thing.

#497 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 11:22 AM:

I will be hoping for a good outcome for Scraps, and better times for both him and Velma. Teresa, be sure to post as soon as enough is known to start passing the hat to help out with his bills.

#498 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 11:28 AM:

That's so much better than the news I was dreading that it's hard to see how bad it is. Bad enough; more prayers needed. But much, much less bad than it could be.

#499 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 11:36 AM:

Continued good thoughts. Good about the language, as it's easier to retrain speech than language. Very good about the blood pressure, if elise's numbers are right.

#500 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 11:41 AM:

I don't know Scraps personally but he's certainly a valuable presence online. My sympathy and good wishes to everyone involved.

#501 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 12:09 PM:

Just heard about this. My thoughts are with Scraps and all who love him.

#502 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 12:14 PM:

This is sort of the equivalent of the kind of stroke I had. Mine happened because, while I was in the hospital with the first renal failure, the doctor ordered a one-time drug that made my BP become lower. Too low, too fast; and too many people had strokes from lack of oxygen to the brain, so it's not used that way anymore. But essentially, not enough oxygen to the brain because the blood is interrupted. My language isn't what it is, but it's adequate. Soren is only seven years older than I was and isn't in a coma, which is a good thing. There's a good chance he'll have a lot of recovery from this.

As to passing the hat, I believe that's my job.

#503 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 12:39 PM:

Very, very best wishes from another Internet stranger.

#504 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 06:06 PM:

It's hard to find the words for this; there are a couple of long stories involved here, about beloved elders who've had this exact bleed. They got better, slowly, with patience and help- and lived long and with joy.

This is what I put my mind to for Scraps and his circle: there is reason to hope.

#505 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 08:59 PM:

mi she-beirakh avoteinu hu y'vareikh et ha-cholim v'nizkor y'qareinu, barukh atah ** rofei ha-cholim

(May the One who blessed our forefathers bless the sick and remember those who we hold dear in our hearts. Blessed are You, L-rd who heals the sick.)

#506 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 09:01 PM:

Since there's a thread up there for Scraps, I'm going to take the liberty of lightening this one up a little. Or maybe not, but at least it should make you laugh. Or something.

#507 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2008, 09:02 PM:

albatross @441:
I would say it as: Were the subjunctive to disappear from the English language, we would all be the poorer for it.

#508 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2008, 03:27 AM:

John @ #506, or weep. I guess the artist figured nobody would recognize Daddy Warbucks, or he could have been included.

#509 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2008, 08:27 AM:

We need to find a hero, or group of heroes, somewhere. Someone who can listen for the thumping sounds, and squidgy sounds, and slithery sounds, and track them back to McCain's heart and brain and skin, hidden in boxes somewhere with the heavy-duty magical protections. And free them so he can suffer his own damn heart attacks, strokes, and cancers.

#510 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2008, 09:21 AM:

Joel Polowin @ 509... We need to find a hero, or group of heroes, somewhere

How about these and these?

#511 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2008, 05:16 PM:

In a hard week, proof that grace can be found in the most unlikely places: Matt explains the dancing to an O'Reilly conference. Be sure to watch the ending.

#512 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2008, 06:40 PM:

Must-have gift for your children this Christmas:

Horrifyingly cute robot dinosaur for the low, low price of $300.00.

I predict this won't do as well as the Panhandler Elmo doll, the Ninja Turtles sock darning kit, or the Bratz Sweatshop Kidz playset.

#513 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2008, 07:46 PM:

joann @ #511, you may have enabled me to get out of bed tomorrow morning.

Thank you for redeeming a seriously horrid day.

#514 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2008, 08:12 PM:

I am all right, but the net at home is being flaky. If I am intermittent that is why. Other needs have priority when I can get on. My thoughts are with you all.

#515 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 09:44 AM:

#511, joann -

I'm at work, where youtube is firmly blocked, so I haven't seen it yet. I was sitting here wishing I could (our kitty is sick again, and I've been very worried and anxious) and trying to imagine what the ending might be.

It occurred to me that a really wonderful ending would be if Zngg fgnegrq qnapvat naq gur ragver nhqvrapr wbvarq uvz.

I don't know what happens, but I feel better already.

#516 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 11:07 AM:

Don't know if this has already been shown off on this site somewhere:

knitting together, taking apart.

#517 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 12:10 PM:

441 and 507:

I wouldn't use the subjunctive if I were you.

#518 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 12:35 PM:

Joel @507 -- sounds like we need someone with experience in dealing with Horcruxes.

#519 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 02:27 PM:

R.M. Koske #515:

Ovatb. Tbg vg va bar.

Good wishes for your kitty. Mine has her ups and downs these days.

#521 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 02:50 PM:

#519, joann -

I may cry just thinking about it. How wonderful.

#522 ::: Bunche ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 04:06 PM:

Hang in there, Soren. Get better just so we can have fights over music again!

And Velma: call me if you guys need anything.

-Yer Bunche

#523 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 05:51 PM:

While this has political overtones, it's struck me more as a wonderful case of unintended consequences/irony.

So I took this photo of a McCain/Palin Yardsign

#524 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 11:12 PM:

joann (#511): thanks. I don't think my day was as hard as Lila's, but seeing that brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes at the same time.

#525 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 11:19 PM:

Terry, #523, LOL Too bad the skeleton isn't draped over the sign.

#526 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 01:00 AM:

joann @511, thank you. I needed that.

#527 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 01:22 AM:

[in passing]

A Finnish woman has written a scholarly paper on Dance Dance Revolution, and went on to write a whole PhD thesis on movement games (big PDF file). (Author Johanna Höysniemi's home page.)

The world is suddenly a brighter place.

Randolph

#528 ::: Ralph Giles ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 01:35 AM:

Xopher @ 321: I've found Faulkner very useful studying Middle Egyptian. As far as I know it's still the best dictionary in English. It's been a useful supplement for words that aren't at the back of Allen, or just to get another perspective on particular words.

The handwritten facsimile thing is a bit off-putting, but the book is very affordable* and typesetting dead writing systems is expensive.† I've gotten used to it, and now find his hieroglyphs in particular something to aspire to in my own handwriting. I never had trouble with the transliteration scheme; one gets used to the variations fairly quickly.

I try to appreciate it as an artefact of an earlier time.

Now, if you want to rant, I'd start with the crazy alphabetical-except-when-it-isn't ordering, but they all seem to do that...

---
* And it's a sewn binding!
† At least, it is when you don't have internet volunteers willing to do it for free.

#529 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 01:49 AM:

Rudyard Kipling's "Cholera Camp" was mentioned in a long-ago thread. I am in receipt of Bellowhead's new album Matachin, and am pleased to report that it contains an excellent version thereof.

#530 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 01:23 PM:

I just stumbled on a game that might be familiar to all of you, but is new to me. Corrupted Wish Game.

Basically, a player makes a wish, and the next player corrupts it (think "evil genie") then offers a wish of their own. It isn't a particularly *positive* game, but it looks like fun.

(Hm. Now I'm wondering if something equally entertaining could be done with looking at the bright side of curses/misfortunes. You name a misfortune and the next player has to find the bright side.)

#532 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 02:24 PM:

Rikibeth @ 531... Meanwhile, in California... I've heard that the gay-marriage-annulment amendment to the state Constitution might pass.

#533 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 02:51 PM:

Serge, all I can do at this point for California is hope. (Unemployed right now. Donations sadly not in budget.) In CT, there's a question on the November ballot about a constitutional convention -- which is mostly a move towards authorizing constitutional amendments by direct referendum, which isn't currently possible in CT.

So, not as direct a threat, but one still exists, and I'll be voting against it in November.

Talking about the CT ballot issue on my LJ might make a difference -- I suspect there are some locals on my friendslist who might not have noticed the implications of the ballot question -- but talking about California's Prop. 8 would be preaching to the choir. All of the people who read me who are eligible to vote in California? Already turned out in support of livelongandmarry, have been talking about it on their LJs, etc. and so on.

I can only hope that California residents will be sensible and compassionate, and not vote to make Mr. Sulu / Hiro's daddy cry.


#534 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 03:51 PM:

Open-threadiness:

It appears the warrantless wiretapping was done a little more broadly than has previously been admitted.

I am shocked. Shocked!

#535 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 04:00 PM:

#535: The NSA denies any wrongdoing.

I wonder what happens when you expose their analysts to sunlight. Or the ambient light inside of a congressional hearing room.

An experiment well worth trying.

#536 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Rikibeth @ 533...

Me too. How long had Takei and his significant other been together before they tied the knot? I'd ask how that, and their taking care of Takei's mom all that time, endangers heterosexual marriage. Or is it really about dollars and cents and employers being obligated to provide health benefits to more people?

I hope it's my America that votes in November.

#537 ::: Elsbet ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 08:48 PM:

I'm hoping there are other recent Alaskan residents available for comment. I have something that's been bothering me ever since Palin's nomination was announced.

I really do not remember her sounding like that. The first time I heard her speak this year, it was jarring. I had this odd moment where I couldn't match up the memories I had of her and the way I was hearing her speak.

Is it because I've been living in Georgia and not Alaska for the last three years? Has anyone else had this problem?

#538 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 09:34 PM:

P&T Chat:

TNH:
Your eyen two wol sleye me sodenly
I may the beauté of hem nat susteyne

PNH:
Pull down thy vanity!

TNH:
The ant's a centaur in his dragon world!

(I imagine Stan Lee writing that line for a cover blurb)

PNH:
LOL! I want that comic!

TNH:
So do I!

Ezra Pound writes comics, locked in his cage, the broken fragments of language and European civilization drifting down on his head like snow.

PNH:
More powerful than Giant-Size Man-Thing, it's...ROCK-DRILL. "I can't help it! With usura, the line grows thick!" THE ANT'S A CENTAUR IN HIS DRAGON WORLD. Return to 16th-century Venice for the SENSES-SHATTERING CONCLUSION!

TNH:
Yaaaaaaay!

He holds out his hands to the width allowed, and the flakes of shattered frescoes and stolen paintings pile up in his palms, begging to be put in order.

PNH:
You did the Vertigo version.

TNH:
"Face forward, pilgrim," he murmurs.

PNH:
Comics, medieval literature: hard to tell them apart sometimes.

TNH:
I can't.

It's a quiet evening at home.

#539 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 10:30 PM:

Awwwwww.

The two hemispheres of polished unobtainium are threaded slowly closer together, and an unearthly silver-blue glow fills the surrounding space. It looks like... peace.

#540 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 10:33 PM:

Elsbet @537: One of the Particles links to Palin's accent variations. My conclusion is, no, she doesn't always sound like that. She's putting it on with a trowel and a two-by-four.

(disclaimer: I have never been to Alaska. I did look at it once, over a glacier. I didn't look long. Seemed a nice place.)

#541 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 10:35 PM:

I love you guys. And especially I love you guys being you guys.

#542 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 11:15 PM:

David Harmon @ #395:

For that matter, when were the first true sign languages developed? The past 100 years or so?

Old French Sign Language goes back at least to the 18th century. The evidence from Nicaraguan Sign Language is that sign languages develop spontaneously whenever you get enough deaf people together. To whatever extent sign languages are a modern phenomenon, it's because better communications & transport technology make it easier for the deaf to join up into persistant communities, not because sign language itself is a recent innovation.

#543 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 11:15 PM:

The LA Times has a photogallery of California wildflowers. Not just poppies and mustard: they have some of the less-familiar flowers too.

#544 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 12:08 AM:

from Toon River Anthology

PRIVATE BEETLE BAILEY
I trembled between them. There was no escape.
Then I saw the recruiter's door. I stepped inside.
Things blurred for a while, and I came to myself
With my porkpie hat gone and an army cap in its place.
And I found that in giving up freedom and self,
I had gained blamelessness and slack,
And what was at first temporary became instead
The permanent surrender of choice in exchange
For the permanent evasion of responsibility.
And as I stayed at Camp Swampy, year after year,
I was astonished one day to realize with a start
That nothing ever changed there. Nobody left
And nobody new came in, and nothing happened
Until the day I realized I had been dead thirty years
And that all of us were already in our private hell.

PETER PARKER
I never asked to be bitten. I only wanted
To listen to a scholarly talk about science
But there it was, I had great power now
And learned quickly what that entailed.
A lesser soul, gaining what I'd gained
Might have succumbed to vanity or greed,
But I had the lesson of Uncle Ben before me
And set out to make the world a better place
Whether the world wanted it or not.
For my pains, I was scorned, excoriated,
Lied about in the paper, and had my image
Which I provided for a modest fee, paraded
Before the credulous public as a menace.
Is it any wonder that I finally surrendered,
Took the easy way out, married my girlfriend
And stayed at home most days, watching TV?

PHILLIP WINSLOW
Dottie and I saw him in the window,
A small puppy, looking helplessly at us
Canting his head as if to hear something
We had just said. We brought him home
To the delight of the children. In my mind,
I had some reservations about his paws,
Which looked too large for such a small dog.
"He'll grow into them," Dottie said,
As if that was a good thing. And grow he did
Until he was bigger than any of us,
And wilfull, and selfish, and bone stupid,
Although he was clever at driving a car,
Making phone calls and operating a computer.
He was less like a dog than he was a demon,
Sucking the life out of our family,
My marriage, and our finances
Until the day I called him out to the car
And took him far away, into the mountains
And tried to lose him on a lonely road.
I got the beefsteak out of the trunk
And called to him to have a treat
But when I looked up, he was in front
And had undone the parking brake somehow
And he rolled right over me before he went
Clattering down the road, until the car stopped
Gently, the front bumper just touching a pine tree.
My last moments seemed to stretch out for me,
Seeing the quizzical expression again on that face,
With that long-ago puppy's face showing behind it
And I saw the irony as well, and had to admit
That in a way, it really was dog-gone funny.

(More at The New Pals Club Web-Log. I've been in this mood tonight.)

#545 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 01:57 AM:

Kip, #544: The Beetle Bailey one is fabulous. Reminds me of reading Sartre.

#546 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 02:46 AM:

Kip, #544: The Beetle Bailey one is fabulous. Reminds me of reading Sartre.

#547 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 03:33 AM:

The Terrorist Sidelight is a tricky instance.

I wouldn't call the Nuns terrorists, but they're hardly innocents. With their record, I can't see how they can be ignored. They crossed a line.

But "terrorism" has become the easy way to get things done. Not for the terrorists, but for the politicians.

Here in the UK, it now seems that a foreign government suspending the operation of a bank is terrorism.

#548 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 08:28 AM:

Tim May @ 542... Old French Sign Language goes back at least to the 18th century

There was a scene in the highly recommended movie Ridicule where the Court is introduced to mute people who can communicate using sign language, if I remember correctly.

#549 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 09:36 AM:

My wife found the following on the site "Poem of the Week":

Ode to Sean Hannity - by John Cleese

Aping urbanity
Oozing with vanity
Plump as a manatee
Faking humanity
Journalistic calamity
Intellectual inanity
Fox Noise insanity
You’re a profanity
Hannity

#550 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 06:27 PM:

Gary Shannon, the guy mainly responsible for the Kalusa project a couple of years ago, has started a new collaborative constructed language project: TAK. It's similar to Kalusa in that it starts out with a small set of words and sentences, and then people are invited to read what's there and contribute new words and sentences, gradually expanding and modifying the language. It differs from Kalusa in that the meta-discussion in the forum is supposed to be all in TAK, so the initial bootstrap language (whose words and grammatical rules are meant to be gradually replaced) already has words for e.g. "grammar" and "phonology".

#551 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 03:00 PM:

From the Big Damn Knitters group on Ravelry:

A review of the 7th-season premiere of Firefly.

#552 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 09:08 PM:

TexAnne: That was wonderful! (But I think they never did really tie up the loose ends of that kiss between Simon and Jayne in season five. Sure, they were just acting, but still....)

#553 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 09:44 PM:

albatross--I wrote that off as pure fanservice. After I got done wearing out the tape, I mean. ;-9 I think it happened right then because Joss wanted us to focus on that moment rather than the moment River looked at Zoe.

#554 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 01:21 AM:

albatross @ 552
That kiss was a clear foreshadowing of the story arc about Jayne's Multiple Personality Disorder in season 6; Jayne may have had feelings for Mal, but he'd never have acted on them unless his slutty alter was leaking out.

#555 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 01:34 AM:

Bruce:

(Bringing it over here rather than the Scraps thread) Condolences on the layoff. That really really sucks.

I do know that a friend of mine was making a perfectly adequate living in the Portland area recently just doing temporary programming, sysadmin, or similar consulting gigs off Craigslist. Maybe such could keep body and soul together while you're looking for more permanent work.

#556 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 01:47 AM:

TexAnne @ 551 ... A review of the 7th-season premiere of Firefly.

Er... I have the suspicion that I'm missing a large clue flag somewhere along the line here...

#557 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 03:12 AM:

xeger @556, Clue: are you familiar with Shadow Unit? (origin myth)

#558 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 10:42 AM:

As Professor Farnsworth would say, "Good news, everyone!"

I just saw in Joe Haldeman's sff.net slot that Ridley Scott is going to helm the film adaptation of The Forever War!

Joe's post

Article from Variety

#559 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 10:58 AM:

For those of you who are fans of Bible translation, and for those of you who are fans of verse--but especially for those of you who are both--my friend Seth has been working on translating the Torah into verse for about 10 years(?) now, and is putting it up on his website as he searches for a publisher. Check it out.

#560 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 11:01 AM:

Epacris @ 557 ...
xeger @556, Clue: are you familiar with Shadow Unit? (origin myth)

Heh. Nope, not at all... and by the looks of it, if I intend to get anything at all done today, I'd best try to continue to be unfamiliar... ;)

#561 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 12:16 PM:

May I have a "you kids get off my lawn" moment?

Everything's a damn YouTube video these days. Some right winger wanted me to watch an *eleven-minute* video that purported to explain the economic crisis. All it was, was text flashing up on the screen much more slowly than I can read. (I gave up about a minute in when they started blaming the Community Reinvestment Act.)

Yes, it's great that everyone can make a video now, but that doesn't mean everyone *should*. It's a poor way to convey some types of information.

#562 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 12:47 PM:

Maybe they're just too used to PowerPoint screens.

#563 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 04:11 PM:

Clifton @ 555

Thanks for the condolences. It really does help to know that other people care.

I'll go the contract route if necessary; I suspect I could get back into Nike if nothing else works out. At this point the big issue is medical insurance, because I've got some procedures coming up that will have big price tags, and our dogs are not in quite as good shape as the shelter said they were.

The really good news is that I can afford to live off unemployment for awhile; it will pay for the medical insurance and I can just pull a Travis McGee and take an installment of my retirement a little early.

#564 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 07:42 PM:

Hey everybody . . . save the sea kittens!

(Slams head against desk repeatedly.)

#565 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 09:16 PM:

Jen Roth @561:
Sounds like someone has a bad case of PowerPoint syndrome.

#566 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 10:21 PM:

Nobody has answered this on my LJ, so I'm asking here:

The yellow mums that Luke gave me are drinking water like crazy. I put the pot on a dish and when I first poured into the pot, it came directly out the holes at the bottom of the pot and then absorbed from there quickly. I've been putting quarter-cups of water in the dish a few times a day and can watch it be slurped up. The top soil-stuff is no longer feeling like styrofoam. Does this mean I should stop watering so often?

It slurps less fast now, but still takes in the water. Also, I assume the little black things falling are pollen? As you may imagine, I don't know much about plants.

I'll be back to read later.

#567 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 11:50 PM:

TexAnne @551

Thank you, that review answered so many of my questions I didn't know I had.

[giggle]
[giggle}

#568 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 01:46 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 564

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

#569 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 02:03 AM:

Bruce Cohen... I hope things work out.

#570 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 09:22 AM:

Today's New York Times has a column by Maureen Dowd that contains a new Latin word which I love: "supralupocidit", or "aerial shooting of wolves".

here (registration required for the Times website)

#571 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 09:32 AM:

Ginger @ 570... a new Latin word

Luposlipophobia: fear of being chased around a kitchen table on newly waxed floors in your socks by timber wolves.

#572 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 11:33 AM:

Serge @ 571: Which brings us to sublupatophobia, or fear of being caught under a spiked weapon.

#573 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 11:41 PM:

Can we has Particle? Because the artist managed (several weeks later) to match Jim Macdonald idea of August. Oh, and if you like don't forget to click her Paypal link--she's on a tight budget and the recent hurricane didn't help...

#574 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 05:13 AM:

If you've read all of Stephenson's Anathem, I have a question about when you may have noticed...

[Rot 13 for your protection]

Jura fgrjneg oenaq vagebqhprq gur arvyzna ng n gnyx, fgrjneg fnvq "gur ynfg puncgre pbagnvaf fbzrguvat ovt, punatvat gur ragver zrnavat bs gur obbx jura lbh ernq vg gur frpbaq gvzr, juvpu lbh'yy vzzrqvngryl jnag gb qb."

Tvira gung nqivpr, guebhtubhg gur svefg ernqvat V gevrq gb fhff bhg gur ovt zlfgrel. Naq lrg, jura V neevirq ng gur qrfgvangvba, V jnf fhecevfrq, naq vg qvq pregnvayl punatr rirelguvat. Pbapragf jrer fgnegrq nf cevfbaf, gur ynpx bs grpuabybtl vzcbfrq sebz gur bhgfvqr va nggrzcgf gb fgbc gur npghnyyl-onq-riragf eryngrq gb gur svefg guebhtu guveq fnpxf, gung V qvqa'g frr pbzvat. Gur pybfrfg V pnzr jnf jbaqrevat jul gur gubhfnaqref jrer xrrcvat ahpyrne jnfgr, ohg rira gurer V qvqa'g nffbpvngr gur ahpyrne jnfgr jvgu jul gurfr guerr pbapragf jrera'g guveq-fnpxrq.

Phevbfvgl pbzcryf gur dhrfgvba: qvq nalbar cvpx hc ba gur cevfbare gurzr rneyl va gurve svefg ernqvat (naq nffhzvat lbh qvqa'g frr gur fcbvyre va fnyba'f erivrj)?

#575 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 07:54 AM:

Ginger @ 572... Heh.

Anatidaephobia: The fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you

#576 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 08:21 AM:

Serge #575: This phobia is very common among bugs that live close to water, and in famous cartoon mice with jealous rivals.

#577 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 08:24 AM:

Ginger #570:

I'm just curious if there's a related word for the shooting of aerial wolves. (I'm visualizing lots wolves with big wings swooping down on flocks of sheep, while shepherds look on helplessly. "Hey, they're not supposed to be able to *fly*")

#578 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 10:15 AM:

albatross @ 577... When the three little pigs can fly...

#579 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 11:03 AM:

Bad alarm clock. No biscuit.

#580 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 11:08 AM:

albatross @ 577: Iaculare superlupe? Superlupes ad auras?

#581 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 11:50 AM:

David Harmon @ #395: For that matter, when were the first true sign languages developed?

European monastic sign languages and sign language "dictionaries" date back to the 11th century. The monastic sign language article in our friendly local Wikipedia has a decent bibliography on early sign language (including non-monastic).

#582 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 01:07 PM:

I have a question for a moderator.

There's this little game-like thingy called the Dragon Cave. You go and get HTML for a dragon egg, which then hatches and grows up based on how many people view it. (It's a small image, maybe 50x50 pixels.) Would it be OK for me to post my egg-codes on ML? The image is served from the Dragon Cave, but I don't want to screw up bandwidth or anything; I don't know what the concerns might be.

#583 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 01:41 PM:

Nancy Reagan has broken her pelvis.

I feel really bad for the way I feel about this news. Perhaps I'll bake a pie to assuage guilt.

#584 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 03:55 PM:

#574: V qvqa'g cvpx hc gung gurl jrer cevfbaf rneyvre, naq V'q unir gb ernq gung ynfg puncgre ntnva gb cvpx hc gur fhttrfgvba.

Ohg gurer jnf n ersrerapr gb arj grpuabybtvrf orvat onaarq jvgu rnpu fnpx (nygubhtu jvgu n srj "tenaqsngurerq va" rnpu gvzr), juvpu V thrff zvtug or gur rdhvinyrag bs pbasvfpngvat fuvif.

#585 ::: Antonia T. Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 04:27 PM:

There's always my Wolf Baginski character, though he's not a wolf, it's just his name. But definitely airborne. And furry.

I wouldn't bet on the helicopter.

#586 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 04:35 PM:

Xopher #583: Nancy Reagan has broken her pelvis. I feel really bad for the way I feel about this news.

For me, at least, she earned a truckload of slack when she came out in favor of stem cell research.

#587 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 05:23 PM:

Xopher @583, I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy about Nancy R. these days, after learning how she helped Carole McCain when John left her for Cindy.

It helps, a little, to have met other Harvard School for Boys moms over the years, too- as an example of that group, she's not so bad. And broken pelvises are bad things to happen to anyone.

#588 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 05:23 PM:

Xopher @583, I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy about Nancy R. these days, after learning how she helped Carole McCain when John left her for Cindy.

It helps, a little, to have met other Harvard School for Boys moms over the years, too- as an example of that group, she's not so bad. And broken pelvises are bad things to happen to anyone.

#589 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 08:23 PM:

OK, NR is a better person than she used to be. I will stop feeling happy that she's in pain, and (of course) stop feeling guilty for feeling happy!

Yay me. I think. :-/

#590 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:15 PM:

On this date in 1660, John Cooke was hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the prosecution of Charles I. He invented, in his prosecutor's brief, the notion that tyranny is illegal.

Just in case, you know, that matters.

As he presented his case, Charles I hit him three times with his walking stick, and on the third go, the silver tip of the stick came off. Cooke ignored him, and Charles finally had to bend over and pick up the tip of his own walking stick.

#591 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:27 PM:

Too bad nobody kicked the Royal Ass when the opportunity presented itself.

#592 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:34 PM:

Xopher #591: No, they simply chopped off the Royal Head. A sovereign remedy for tyrants, that.

#593 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:39 PM:

Talking about kicking of royal arses and tyranny, these lines from Daniel Defoe's The True-Born Englisman seem to me most apposite.

When kings the sword of justice first lay down,
They are no kings, though they possess the crown:
Titles are shadows, crowns are empty things,
The good of subjects is the end of kings;
To guide in war and to protect in peace;
Where tyrants once commence the kings do cease;
For arbitrary power's so strange a thing,
It makes the tyrant and unmakes the king.
If kings by foreign priests and armies reign,
And lawless power against their oaths maintain,
Then subjects must have reason to complain.
If oaths must bind us when our kings do ill,
To call in foreign aid is to rebel.
By force to circumscribe our lawful prince
Is wilful treason in the largest sense;
And they who once rebel, most certainly
Their God, and king, and former oaths defy.
If we allow no mal-administration
Could cancel the allegiance of the nation,
Let all our learned sons of Levi try
This ecclesastic riddle to untie:
How they could make a step to call the prince,
And yet pretend to oaths and innocence?
By the first address they made beyond the seas,
They're perjured in the most intense degrees;
And without scruple for the time to come
May swear to all the kings in Christendom.
And truly did our kings consider all,
They'd never let the clergy swear at all;
Their politic allegiance they'd refuse,
For whores and priests will never want excuse.
But if the mutual contract were dissolved,
The doubts explained, the difficulty solved,
That kings, when they descend to tyranny,
Dissolve the bond and leave the subject free.
The government's ungirt when justice dies,
And constitutions are non-entities;
The nation's all a Mob, there's no such thing
As Lords or Commons, Parliament or King.
A great promiscuous crowd the hydra lies
Till laws revive and mutual contract ties;
A chaos free to choose for their own share
What case of government they please to wear.
If to a king they do the reins commit,
All men are bound in conscience to submit;
But then that king must by his oath assent
To postulatas of the government,
Which if he breaks, he cuts off the entail,
And power retreats to its original.
This doctrine has the sanction of assent,
From Nature's universal Parliament.
The voice of Nature and the course of things
Allow that laws superior are to kings.
None but delinquents would have justice cease;
Knaves rail at laws as soldiers rail at peace;
For justice is the end of government,
As reason is the test of argument.
No man was ever yet so void of sense
As to debate the right of self-defence,
A principle so grafted in the mind,
With Nature born, and does like Nature bind;
Twisted with reason and with Nature too,
As neither one or other can undo.
Nor can this right be less when national;
Reason, which governs one, should govern all.
Whate'er the dialects of courts may tell,
He that his right demands can ne'er rebel,
Which right, if 'tis by governors denied,
May be procured by force or foreign aid;
For tyranny's a nation's term of grief,
As folks cry "Fire" to hasten in relief;
And when the hated word is heard about,
All men should come to help the people out.

#594 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 01:25 PM:

593: very good - or "The Old Issue" - too long to copy, but annotated by Avram Grumer here.

Or, indeed, I Samuel viii.

4: Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
5: And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6: But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD...
10: And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
11: And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12: And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13: And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14: And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15: And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16: And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17: He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
18: And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

#595 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Found today among other news items on Comcast's site:

Woman with 5 dead husbands out of jail

Shambling to the Altar.

#596 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 05:05 PM:

Fragano 592: Oh, I know. I just think that his behavior justified kicking him during the trial, too.

ajay 594: ...and your goodliest young men, and your asses...

Shouldn't that say their asses? Oh wait.

#597 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 05:46 PM:

Serge #595:

And just think how many more dead husbands she has in jail.

#598 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 06:44 PM:

Albatross @ 597... Isn't polygamey illegal in most states?

#599 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:27 PM:

You know the euphemism 'much-married'? She's much-widowed at the same time.

#600 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 08:14 PM:

When I was in high school, our social studies teacher had us read the "Death Warrant of Charles Stuart, King of England." It was a straightforward document, but what has stuck with me all these years is the title. Parliament was not denying he was king, nor deposing him: they were explicitly asserting that the Commons had the legal right to execute the monarch for his crimes.

#601 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 08:30 PM:

Xopher #596: No need to be petty. Abridging the king is punishment enough.

#602 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 07:36 AM:

For those who are interested, 1980's mini-series "Oppenheimer", with Sam Waterston as you-know-who, is now available on DVD. My father-in-law will definitely be glad to hear of this. As for myself, after years of hearing about it, I finally got to watch the first episode yesterday.

#603 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 08:36 AM:

Xopher #596--that would have been James I.

#604 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 08:50 AM:

Diatryma @ 599... Also known as multitasking? Or is that killing 5 birds with one stone? (As for the stone, it really belongs in Abi's new thread about prunes, I know.)

#605 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 09:05 AM:

596: Tenth Commandment, Xopher: no coveting your neighbours' asses.

#606 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 10:12 AM:

ajay @594

My favorite moment there is verse 13, "And he will take your daughters to be confectioners."

REALLY?

That's the primary concern about what Kings run amok might do to one's daughters?

"Oh sure, Your Majesty, rape and pillage all you like but please, your Lordship, whatever you do, don't make my daughter make fondant!!"

#607 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 10:36 AM:

606: damn straight, Sarah. No daughter of mine ain't gonna grow up to pipe no icing.

Actually, I think it's a warning about enforcing traditional gender roles - confectionery and cookery for the girls; driving chariots and soldiering for the boys.

Down with all tyrants and their obsession with militarism and baked goods!
(see Marie Antoinette, "Qu'ils mangeant de la brioche")

#608 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 11:11 AM:

Another car review from the LA Times. This time it's the Corvette ZR1. I think they might like the car - they're not using phrases like 'laminated pizza'.

#609 ::: PixelFish ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 12:56 PM:

re: Particles - Oh, god, couldn't stop snickering last night over the Sarah Palin/Edward Cullen cross-over.

I like the Sad Guys on the Trading Floor blog slightly better than the Brokers With Faces In Hands...it has snarky captions for each one.

http://sadguysontradingfloors.tumblr.com/

#610 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 01:03 PM:

I'm all chuffed over the Sarah Palin/Edward Cullen crossover becuse I'm smart enough to have Stoney on my flist. She is a woman of many talents, and for a while was the youngest Master Gardener in Texas.

#611 ::: Rozasharn ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 01:38 PM:

Those of you who enjoy the Brokers with Hands on their Faces sidelight may also enjoy Fine, Fine Line, by the Richter Scales. It predates the current market crisis but the emoting is completely applicable.

I'm also fond of their song Here Comes Another Bubble, which is more specifically about computing-tech bubbles.

#612 ::: Leslie in CA ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 03:58 PM:

Received via email, author unknown:

From the MANITOBA HERALD, Canada

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The possibility of a McCain/Palin election is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they’ll soon be required to hunt, pray, and agree with Bill O’Reilly.

Canadian border farmers say it’s not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. “I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,” said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. “He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken.”

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. “Not real effective,” he said. “The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn’t give milk.”

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves. “A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions,” an Ontario border patrolman said. “I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though.”

When liberals are caught, they’re sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the McCain administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to shoot wolves from airplanes, deny evolution, and act out drills preparing them for the Rapture.

In recent days, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers on Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney hits to prove they were alive in the ’50s. “If they can’t identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age,” an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies. “I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can’t support them,” an Ottawa resident said. “How many art history and English majors does one country need?”

#613 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 04:23 PM:

Leslie in CA @ 612... Wouldn't the Rosemary Clooney test's results be warped by those of us why watch White Christmas during the Holidays each and every year?

"Uh, I don't seem to have any cash."
"Where'd you leave that? In your snood?"

#614 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 04:31 PM:

Good lord! Check the temperature in hell - The Chicago Tribune has endorsed a Democrat for president.

Chicago Tribune endorses Obama

#615 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 05:06 PM:

Steve C. @614:

The Washington Post and the LA Times have also endorsed Obama. Rumor has it that Colin Powell will be doing the same on Meet the Press Sunday.

#616 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 06:45 PM:

Remember, no matter how many endorsements, no matter how bad McCain is doing in the polls going into 11/4, the soreheads will claim vote fraud.

They're really leaning on that button because that is all they have going for them.

#617 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 08:08 PM:

the grave of one of the signers of king Charles' death warrant is in New Haven, CT.

#618 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 09:21 PM:

#617: My 11th grade history teacher, Mr. Whaley, told us that family tradition claimed that an ancestor of his was one of the "regicides."

#619 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 09:53 PM:

Leslie @ #612: “If they can’t identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age,” an official said.

Ooh, ooh! Pick me! I know!

Myron Floren! I used his accordion workbooks when I first picked up the instrument!

#620 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 10:05 PM:

#618
Theophilus?

#621 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 10:07 PM:

Sweet Mary Mother of God, you all have to read Barack Obama vs. the Pirates of Wichita:

Here.

Once you've finished that episode, click on the "Newer post" links for the next four.

Then go to the SomethingAwful fora, where the current ones are being copied from the registration-only rpg.net: go here and find the text "Canticle 1". There are four canticles written so far, and every damn one is better than the next.

Holy sweet Cthulhu, this is what the Internet was invented for in the first place.

#622 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 03:03 AM:

Rather than scrolling down, here's a link to Canticle 1's starting point. Scroll from there; the posts are pretty close after that.

Holy Jehosophat, that's funny. It's good, too.

#623 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 09:00 AM:

wrt the particle on the real Joe-the-plumber: news yesterday that Joe is unlicensed and owes $1200 in back taxes. If he's truthfully worried about higher taxes on incomes over $250,000, he must have been living pretty high off the hog....

Originally seen on AP; found today on a Murdoch service?

#624 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 09:18 AM:

I don't imagine there's anyone around here who grasps regular expressions? I have a folder full of files named like such:

Aretha Franklin - 46 - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3
Big Brother & The Holding Company - 96 - Piece Of My Heart.mp3
Beatles - 01 - Hey Jude.mp3
Yes, it's the Billboard Top 100 for 1968, in mp3 form; the numbers represent their rank within the list. I want to rename all 100 files so that their filenames are all like this instead:
46 - Aretha Franklin - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3
96 - Big Brother & The Holding Company - Piece Of My Heart.mp3
01 - Beatles - Hey Jude.mp3
And since I actually have folders like this for every year from 1946 on, I don't really want to do it manually.

I have a fine-looking OS X utility called Name Mangler which can take a folder full of files as input and rename all the files via regexps in "find" and "replace" fields. And I've been peering at the page at regular-expressions.info, but as usual, while the idea of regular expressions seems terribly appealing, something about the way the information is presented bounces off my non-programmer brain. Can anyone provide me with regexps that will work in the "find" and "replace" fields to get the results I want? (Don't worry about the file extensions; the program is smart enough to preserve those.)

#625 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 09:51 AM:

I think you want something like:

Find: \(.+\w-\)\([0-9]+\w\-\)\(.+\)
Replace: \2 \1 \3

However, this might have slight errors, since my first attempts at complex regexps generally do. There must be someone here who knows them better than I do, who will be around to correct me shortly.

#626 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 10:16 AM:

Dan, that validates in Name Mangler as a valid regexp; it just doesn't work.

#627 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 10:55 AM:

Take the backslashes out from before the parens and it should work, looks like.

#628 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 11:27 AM:

I'm no regexpert, but it looks like there's also an extra backslash between the second w and its following dash.

i.e. it should be

(.+\w-)([0-9]+\w-)(.+)
\2 \1 \3

/* first word breaks at a dash
/* second word begins with 0-9 and ends with dash
/* third word is the rest of the string

right?

#629 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 11:28 AM:

#623 CHip

"Joe the Plumber" seems to be just another piece of corrupt slimeball campaign strategy & tactics. Apparently he was a plant as a McCain shill who's a member of a Republican-thick-with-dirty-tricks family (I think I posted a link over in a different thread).

On a different topic, there's a several hundred page report out which substantiates that at least three of the firings of Justice Department attorneys were purely based on them investigating Republican office holders who wanted the investigations stops, and terminating witchhunts against Democratic office holders...


http://www.truthout.org/article/E1_101008R


Justice Department Scandal Almost Buried by Financial Crisis
Friday 10 October 2008
by: Marilou Johanek, The Toledo Blade

when internal reports by Justice Department call for more investigation into a case of unethical, if not criminal, conduct on the part of lawmakers and the White House....the Bush administration got lucky [in the timing with the economic news overshadowing everything] the Justice Department released a nearly 400-page scalding indictment of the administration over the controversial firings of several U.S. attorneys in 2006....

#630 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 12:01 PM:

Jon #628:

Doesn't it need something to anchor the start of the search to the beginning of the line? ^ or something? And an end-of-line thing ($, I think) at the end?

So:

^(.+\w-)([0-9]+\w-)(.+)$

I'll admit, whenever I use regexes, I do lots of trial and error....

#631 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 12:02 PM:

sed:
s/^\([^-][^-]*\) - \([0-9][0-9]*\) - \(.*\)$/\2 - \1 - \3/

perl:
s/^([^-]+) - (\d+) - (.*)$/$2 - $1 - $3/

#632 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 12:33 PM:

Oh, and on the not-so-off chance that either artist or title has embedded hyphens, stick to Perl:

s/^(.+?) - (\d+) - (.+?)$/$2 - $1 - $3/

(It can be done in sed, but that regexp causes seizures in sensitive individuals.)

#633 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 12:50 PM:

Patrick, when I have things like that I just paste them into Word, select all, do Table/Convert/Text to table, Select Separate Text at Other, put in a space, and run the conversion.

Then I move the columns around, delete any I don't want, insert anything I need to add, and convert back to text. Then I paste it into Notepad to strip the Word formatting, and that's it.

If I had a lot of these I might make an Excel spreadsheet that parses and reorders them according to a formula. Then I'd paste the raw data into the first column, and copy the result column and paste it into Notepad to get a txt file with no formulas.

Actually, mail me one of your files (if the regexp stuff above doesn't work for you; my head spins when I look at it, so I'm averting my gaze), and I'll (see if I can) make you a conversion spreadsheet. I'd like a bigger sample because the way I'm thinking of doing it will screw up if " - " is in any of the artist names or titles, but I'm guessing it isn't.

#634 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 01:50 PM:

Patrick, emailed you something. Let me know if it helps.

#635 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 03:17 PM:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden @624: I don't imagine there's anyone around here who grasps regular expressions?

I've heard it said that someone who had a problem which can be solved by regular expressions now has two problems.

I have a folder full of files named like such:
  Aretha Franklin - 46 - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3
  Big Brother & The Holding Company - 96 - Piece Of My Heart.mp3
  Beatles - 01 - Hey Jude.mp3

[..] I want to rename all 100 files so that their filenames are all like this instead:
  46 - Aretha Franklin - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3
  96 - Big Brother & The Holding Company - Piece Of My Heart.mp3
  01 - Beatles - Hey Jude.mp3

This is the sort of thing that AWK (or GAWK) would be excellent for. I don't know the best way to go about it, but I've done something like:

1. Make a text file list of the mp3s:
  dir /b *.mp3 > mp3list.txt

2. Create a text file as the AWK program:
BEGIN {
  FS = " - ";
  oldFile = "";
  newFile = "";
}

# body of the program
{
  oldFile = $0;
  newFile = ( $2 " - " $1 " - " $3 );
  print ("rename \"" oldFile "\" \"" newFile "\"");
}

END {

}

Save as "retitle-mp3s.awk"

3. Use this program to create a batch file to rename the files:
  gawk -f retitle-mp3.awk mp3list.txt > temp.bat

4. Execute the "temp.bat" file. Before you do, you can use a text editor to check to see if it is going to do what you think it should. When you're done, you can delete the batch file.

I'm assuming DOS in my example for the shell (because that is what I use). I'm also assuming that all the mp3s are in the same directory, which is where the program is placed. I vetted this procedure; I went through the exercise before posting it as an example.

If your mp3s are in several subdirectories, it is still do-able (my original project has files in subdirectories), but it becomes more complicated.

If you're only doing this once, using a text editor to create a renaming batch file from the directory listing would probably be the easier way to go.

#636 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 03:28 PM:

If you're only doing this once, using a text editor to create a renaming batch file from the directory listing would probably be the easier way to go.

Nah, I take that back... I see it would be a pain.

#637 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 03:58 PM:

Rob: I think Patrick mentioned OSX above, and that there's a batch rename utility with a "from" regex and "to" result.

Patrick:
If it accepts Perl-style regexes (PCRE), try:

From: ^(.+)\s-\s(\d+)\s-\s(.+)\.mp3$
To: $2 - $1 - $3.mp3

This will work even for bands or songs containing hyphens or numbers. This is more or less equivalent to geekosaur's (the best so far) but it should also be careful not to rename anything without the MP3 ending. Unless one of the Billboard top 100 songs had a title or band containing a hyphen surrounded by spaces followed by numbers, you're good.

If it doesn't take Perl regexes, the equivalent in classic sed-style regex would be:

From: ^(.+) - ([0-9]+) - (.+)\.mp3$
To: \2 - \1 - \3.mp3

#638 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 04:00 PM:

P.S. I respect a man who's properly obsessive-compulsive about his area of passion.

#639 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 04:04 PM:

Oh, correction, the non-perl regex should be:

From: ^\(.+\) - \([0-9]+\) - \(.+\)\.mp3$
To: \2 - \1 - \3.mp3

I forgot in old-style regexes, you need the backslashes to make the parentheses be magic characters.

#640 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 04:13 PM:

It could probably be done in TECO, but I'm not going to do it. I'd probably do it in Word or Excel, like Xopher, because the data sample appears to lend itself to columns.

#641 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 04:43 PM:

Maybe a nice, simple, easy to read language would be easier. Like APL ...

#642 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Clifton Royston @639:
Sadly, + is not a metacharacter in sed (although in GNU sed you can backslash it to get the ERE behavior).

#643 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 05:15 PM:

Jon @641:

Thanks. I needed the laugh.

#644 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 06:16 PM:

geekosaur: It is in systems implementing POSIX 1003.2 regular expressions, including the FreeBSD systems I'm used to using. ('man re_format', 'man sed'). (You do have to use sed -E to get the modern regex format.) I'd almost bet OS X has POSIX regexes.

John: Why not? You can't spell APPLE without APL! Sadly, it's been 30 years since I taught myself APL, and I don't think I could write a line to save my life.

#645 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 06:56 PM:

P J 640: I'd probably do it in Word or Excel, like Xopher, because the data sample appears to lend itself to columns.

That was my first thought, when I was going to do it in Word. In Excel, I treated it as more of a string-manipulation thing. Well, heck. Others have posted code. I'm going to show my spreadsheet formulas. The column labels are in row 1, so all the formulas are given as row 2. Columns B through E are hidden, because you don't want to look at them when you're just using the spreadsheet.

Column Label: Input (single space)
Cell: A2
Formula: None. This is where you paste the data you want to reorder.
Displays: Aretha Franklin - 46 - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3

Column Label: Artist
Cell: B2
Formula: =LEFT(A2,FIND(" - ",A2)-1)
Displays: Aretha Franklin

Column Label: Cdr (...yeah, I know it's not really a cdr. First label I thought of.)
Cell: C2
Formula: =RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)-LEN(B2)-3)
Displays: 46 - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3

Column Label: #
Cell: D2
Formula: =LEFT(C2,FIND(" - ",C2)-1)
Displays: 46

Column Label: Title
Cell: E2
Formula: =RIGHT(C2,LEN(C2)-LEN(D2)-3)
Displays: (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3

Column Label: Output
Cell: F2
Formula: =IF(A2="","",D2&" - "&B2&" - "&E2)
Displays: 46 - Aretha Franklin - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3

Column Label: Sort By
Cell: G2
Formula: =IF(ISERROR(D2),"",VALUE(D2))
Displays: 46 (Numeric. Text numbers don't sort right.)

The ifs are mainly so the spreadsheet looks clean when it's empty. Didn't bother capturing the errors in the hidden columns, because they're, you know, hidden.

#646 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 08:16 PM:

This ruby script worked for me. Run it from the parent directory of the year folders. BACK UP FIRST.

Sorry I can't get the indentation to work, but you can download a clean version from my site.

-------

#!/usr/bin/ruby

require 'fileutils'
require 'pathname'

Pathname.new('.').children.each do
|year|
if year.directory? and /\d\d\d\d/.match(year)
year.children.each do
|song|
matchdata = /^(.+) - ([0-9]+) - (.+)\.mp3$/.match(song.basename)
if !matchdata.nil?
new_path = year + ([2, 1, 3].collect { |x| matchdata.to_a[x] }.join(" - ") + ".mp3")
FileUtils.mv(song.to_s, new_path.to_s)
end
end
end
end

#648 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 09:35 PM:

Clifton Royston @637: Rob: I think Patrick mentioned OSX above [..]

I assumed that getting a directory list, and renaming files, would vary depending on the shell. The awk file should work the same (well, except for the 'rename' part; adapting that is left as an exercise for the reader).

#649 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 09:37 PM:

Clifton Royston @644:
You might want to read more closely; sed is only required to support POSIX BREs (and most sed implementations use BREs by default for backward compatibility with existing scripts), whereas + is part of ERE syntax. GNU regex allows backslashes to enable ERE metacharacters, plus most GNU commands support -E to use EREs instead of BREs.

#650 ::: Charlie Dodgson ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 10:33 PM:

On the "Onion outdone" particle... Yves Klein may have outdone the Onion, but I believe Sherrie Levine has outdone Klein. She's a New York-based "conceptual artist" who made her first big splash with an gallery show which consisted entirely of famous Walker Evans photographs (the illustrations from "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men") re-photographed from an exhibition catalog, framed (without any cropping, retouching, or any other alteration at all), and re-attributed to Levine.

I remember reading a write-up on Levine's, well, work in the New Yorker, and taking it for an unusally dry, but very funny satire --- until I started seeing "her" work, attributed as such and exactly as described, in shows at top-shelf museums...

#651 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 10:36 PM:

With trepidations (because I feel sort of spammy), I am selling Holiday Cards.

#652 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 01:40 AM:

This is your brain on FreeBSD:

bash-2.05b$ echo "Aretha Franklin - 46 - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3" | \
    sed -E 's/^(.+) - ([0-9]+) - (.+)\.mp3$/\2 - \1 - \3.mp3/'
46 - Aretha Franklin - (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone.mp3
bash-2.05b$

Any questions?

#653 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 05:24 PM:

on the Mooseheart picture postcard particle...

http://www.mooseheart.org/History.asp

#655 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 09:53 PM:

Paula@629: the firing of insufficiently political attorneys is old news -- IIRC it's one of the things that brought down Gonzales. The Globe today carried a story I hadn't heard previously: the Bush administration repeatedly denied requests from the FBI for more funding so it could expand security work (per demand) without reducing work on white-collar crime. Sounds like some of the dishonest brokers who were the immediate point of failure in the mortgage part of the current mess could have been put away years ago, which could have reduced the number of unpayable mortgages and hence the depth of the crash.

#656 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 02:27 AM:

I don't mean to hijack this thread, but as a longtime lurker who admires the knowledge basis represented on this site (thus the acronym for my screen-name), I'd like to ask a question: does anyone know what to do to put pressure on a police department to alter the working conditions for a high-ranking officer who asserts that he does not need probable cause or a warrant to search an individual's apartment and points to his badge as authority to do so?

Yesterday I was taking a bath and, for the first time since I've lived here, the overflow valve for the excess tub water failed. I had a small trickle of warm water running to stabilize the water temperature, so the influx of water was not balanced by having the overflow drain excess water out. I was not aware this was happening, however, because I was relaxing with my eyes closed, blissed out.

When I heard banging on the front door, I had no intention of opening it as I was naked. This did, however alert me to the significant amount of water on the floor, so I jumped out and started mopping up the water. Only when I had the water under control and had dressed did I go to the door (the knocking had gone around to the back door by now) to explain what had happened. As I approached the door, I heard a voice threaten to break the window to gain entry into the apartment. I shifted the shade and explained that that was unnecessary, that I was fine but had had a small flood while taking a bath, and that the flood was now taken care of.

The lead officer insisted that I step outside of the apartment, and when I opened the door, instead of letting me out, he forced his way into the apartment. He proceeded to search the apartment and, when I asked what his probable cause was and demanded to see a warrant, he replied that he did not need one. I asked what grounds he had to enter my apartment without a warrant and he refused to answer. He also refused to tell me his name, although he was willing to tell me his rank as sergeant. He proceeded to search the entirety of my papers and rifled through my purse and removed several items from my wallet. Based on a number of empty pill bottles he found (I save them for the refill numbers then make a project of removing and folding the labels for privacy) he cited my repetition in insisting on my constitutional rights as reason to believe that I was not in my right mind and drew on the existence of legally-obtainted prescriptions to accuse me of attempting to commit suicide. He called the paramedics (by this time, I had eight strangers in my apartment, none of whom had permission or probable cause to be there, so that they could evaluate me and my apartment and also to weigh-in on whether or not I needed to be hospitalized involuntarily.

Needless to say, the paramedics pronounced me fit as a fiddle (other than a little angry and stressed) and announced that the police and fire department representatives could leave.

The police department is only 1-1/2 blocks away, so, as I tried to walk off my anger by going down to Trader Joe's for groceries, it occurred to me that I might as well stop off and lodge a complaint. I was finally given the names of the officers who had been sent on the call and was told that I must speak to their supervisor before i could lodge the complaint. Much to my surprise, their supervisor turned out to be the belligerent officer who had forced entry and had searched my apartment. Somehow, his presence at the scene had been expunged from the incident record. Further, he was eager to have me lodge my complaint with him (presumably so that it could be similarly expunged). Obviously, I refused to do so and asked how I could file it with his commanding officer. After great difficulty, I was finally told the name of a lieutenant who could take my statement and lodge my complaint.

When I called the lieutenant the next morning, I got a lukewarm reception at best (he actually wanted to put it down to a misunderstanding and have me sit at the same table with the Sergeant (who I find both belligerent and potentially dangerous with no listening skills and no respect for the constitutional rights of citizens). I declined this offer and simply filed my complaint, which I have no reason to believe will end up anywhere but in a circular file.

My dog in this fight is that, if Sergeant X behaves with this contempt for a WASP who has a fundamental grasp of the law and the constitution, who is also mentally balanced and has done nothing illegal, how does he behave with people of color, people with emotional issues, and people who are guilty of minor illegalities. He strikes me as being a severe danger to the public because of his attitudes, his angry tone, the lies he tells, and the fact that he wears a bullet-proof vest, a gun, and a night-stick. He is a potentially violent man in command of younger, less experienced officers and is training them to have the same contempt for the constitution and other laws as he expressed. I have no confidence that the Police brass will do anything to reign him in without external pressure.

Does anyone have any ideas about how pressure can be brought to bear to either a) get him dismissed, b) force him to accept retraining, or c) get him demoted so that he will no longer be in a position to spread the cancer of his ideas?

#657 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:13 AM:

I think you should be getting real live legal advice. There's always the ACLU: http://www.aclu.org/affiliates/

#658 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 08:41 AM:

Regarding the Particles, "Mooseheart" is actually a pretty good name for the institution, and one might well find a new life there. It is also a town, with a post office.

According to the Loyal Order of Moose,

MOOSEHEART CHILD CITY & SCHOOL is a residential childcare facility, located on a 1,000-acre campus 38 miles west of Chicago. The Child City is a home for children and teens in need, from infancy through high school. Dedicated in July 1913 by the Moose fraternal organization, MOOSEHEART cares for youth whose families are unable, for a wide variety of reasons, to care for them. Some have lost one or both parents; others are living in environments that are simply not conducive to healthy growth and development. Whatever the reason, the men and women of the Moose, through unparalleled generosity and volunteerism, furnish the resources necessary to care for children in need.

More history here.

In the postcard TNH found, Dad (a member of the Moose) has passed on, but he is looking benignly down from the sky, and Mom and the kids are regarding the Mooseheart Campanile in the prairie sunset.

As it happens, I live very nearby Mooseheart, because it is just west of, and across the Fox River from, the giant rings of Fermilab.

AKICIF.

#659 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 10:27 AM:

Patrick, did any of the other responses work for you? If not, is there a reference somewhere to exactly what Name Mangler wants in its regexps? (As you may have gathered from the conversation there are several slightly different flavors.)

#660 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 11:46 AM:

LLA 656: I concur with Earl 657. You need a lawyer. And rather than focus your efforts on consequences for the fascist asshole police sergeant in question, focus them on obtaining monetary compensation and punitive damages from the police department. The consequences to the sergeant will follow as the night the day. If the ACLU takes up your case, make sure they know what you really want; they'll appreciate it. And then you can settle for court costs, legal fees, the dismissal of the officer (and presumably stripping him of his pension and benefits), and a formal apology.

But IANALATINLA. Talk to a real lawyer, and s/he may have a better way of getting to your goals.

#661 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 12:18 PM:

LLA, I second what Earl & Xopher said. You want a real lawyer for this. The ACLU or your local activist legal group - you should be able to find them, this Wedenesday is the National One Day Against Police Brutality so there will be some press releases (maybe check your local Indymedia?)

Also, the plain fact is that you can not do anything to alter the police departement's policies or the employment status of their officers.

You can go to criminal court, and try to get a conviction against the officer that will force the department to fire him. These are seriously rare - the only ones I've ever heard of are domestic abuse convictions that prevent firearms possession, causing officers to be unemployable in that specific state.

Or you can go to civil court & possibly win some money, and the department may at some future time decide that the person or policy has cost them too much money and make a change. This is pretty rare, and always indirect.

Or, you may live in a jurisdiction with a civilian review board. This is cheaper for you, and for the department, and will have some affect (though probably slight) on the specific officer in question.

#662 ::: LLA ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 12:37 PM:

#657 ::: Earl Cooley III

Thanks. I've filed a report with the ACLU but I am concerned that, in the current financial and political climate, my problems may seem like small potatoes to them.

I appreciate your ability to see the glass as half full. I have always admired the ACLU, I just never expected to need their help -- which is probably my way of giving my testimony about how important they really are!.

#663 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 01:08 PM:

LLA: As a former local ACLU board member, I second Xopher and Earl. Your local ACLU affiliate will want to hear about this. Even if they don't take your case, because their resources are too constrained, it could well fit together with things other people have brought to them; or your case might be the one to go forward with, out of a number of similar cases they've heard about. Remember, if your local police have done this with you, you're unlikely to be the only one.

Also, don't worry about it distracting from the national agenda. Each local affiliate has their own local issues to pursue. That's what they're there for.

#664 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 01:12 PM:

For those who aren't obsessively following Fivethirtyeight, I present:
Sarah Palin, the Wikipedian Candidate

Yes, that's really where they found her. Check it out.

#666 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:47 PM:

Teresa:

Well, let's see....

War, Pestilence, Famine, and Disease.

Damn, I think the mask may be accurately labeled. (Though admittedly, Bush hasn't been very effective at unleashing really devastating disease.)

#667 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:06 PM:

#666: How appropriate!

#668 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:50 PM:

Teresa,

Looking at the product desciption, it appears it's the correct lable, wrong illustration: "Product description: The President himself! All latex full over-the-head, individually hand painted."

Still just as funny.

#669 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:00 PM:

albatross, Pestilence and Disease are the same thing. The fourth horseman is Death.

And the image has been taken down now. Was it McCain?

#670 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:31 PM:

Xopher, it looked like the head from Munch's "Scream". Only not as pretty.

#672 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:34 PM:

Yes, the picture is down now :( I wonder how it got there ;)  Thanks, Teresa, for pointing it out in time for me to get a screenshot to show friends. I hope it's legal to display it on a "photo-sharing" site. <giggles> There are two Product Reviews. The other one says:

"Wth the subtle colours and artistic use of light and shadow, I think the makers of this mask have truly captured the inner beauty of George W Bush."

#673 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 07:06 PM:

Albatross @#666: (yow!) (Four Horsemen For Bush)

Yeah...

I don't count the anthrax incidents as being "a proper pestilence", and both SARS and avian flu have so far declined to blow up on us, but he does have Death by way of his record in Texas.

#674 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 07:09 PM:

Albatross @#666: (yow!) (Four Horsemen For Bush)

Arggh! This is the link I wanted.

#675 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 08:31 PM:

I just found the strangest thing while doing some googling.

comments posted to Making Light by Terry Karney (retarded parrot)

It looks as if someone hacked something, since I have never used such a handle here.

#676 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 08:34 PM:

I think you did, Terry. We were talking about parrots in some context or other...maybe Talk Like A Pirate Day? But I do seem to remember you posting under that handle.

#677 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 08:35 PM:

Or.... maybe I did, just once, on some whimsical thread.

Which implies that every single cutesy spam alert we make links to every post we ever make.

Yeesh.

#678 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 08:42 PM:

Xopher: Yes, that's what came to mind. Recent events have me perhaps a trifle sensitive. It was a strange thing to see on google.

The things we do to ourselves.

#679 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 08:56 PM:

Ahhh. Fine, then Death
.

#680 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 09:10 PM:

Terry, I found it. It was this thread about William F. Buckley's unlamented death. This asshole called us a "retarded band of parrots," and we started making fun of him. I think I was the first to actually post under a Retarded Parrot name, but the derision began earlier in the thread.

#681 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 09:28 PM:

Xopher: That explains it. Well, I am not ashamed of being a retarded parrot, but I am not sure it's, generally, the face I want to show the world. :)

#682 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 09:29 PM:

Serge at #602 - Thanks for that news, I've been looking for it ever since it aired.

#685 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 10:20 PM:

grrr. Sorry for the double post. But it is cool.

#686 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 10:40 PM:

Lila @ 683... Luckily Yam Solo will come to the rescue.

#687 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 12:26 AM:

#655 CHip

What's new about the firings of the attorneys, is the more than 400 page report written within the Executive Branch controlled part of government, substantiating (as opposed to allegations by the fired attorneys and their supporters) that at least three of the firings were solely done to stop investigations of Republicans and/or vindictively because the fired attorneys refused to continue with witchhunts aimed at Democrats.

===

Another thing in the Glob today, buried as deep inside as deep can get with shrinking papers, was that lots of funding got funneled to Republicans on Capitol Hill to stymie investigation of and regulation attempts at "Freddie Mac" three or so years ago regarding the mortgage handling behavior that imploded this year.

#688 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 01:56 AM:

Did that pumpkin picture come from Wookiepedia?

#689 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 01:59 AM:

Clifton Royston @ 644

Sadly, it's been 30 years since I taught myself APL, and I don't think I could write a line to save my life.

Writing APL was never the problem. Reading it, on the other hand ...

#691 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 09:45 AM:

I have a friend who's looking for the title/author of an early 20th century utopian novel.

Does anyone recognize this description?

"I remember reading about a novel written in the early 20th century by, I’m pretty sure, a feminist author about a future utopia. This world is populated exclusively by sybaritic, peaceful, lesbians who have figured out how to reproduce parthenogenetically."


#692 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:01 AM:

Sarah S. #691: That sounds like Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

#693 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:14 AM:

Fragano--

That's *got* to be it. Thank you so much!

#694 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 02:02 PM:

The National Photo Archive of the Netherlands is on Flickr as of today: http://blog.flickr.net/en/2008/10/21/3715/

#695 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 02:30 PM:

Not to be confused (I think, as I recall it) with the strange dystopia I read about that idea, with the last man to die being stsuffed as a museum piece, in an AF(?) uniform, the Col's eagles being reveresed to show a bastard line.

Was written (as I recall) by a man, and seemed meant to be a warning about letting feminism go, "too far".

#696 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 02:51 PM:

This is just to say
That we have eaten your pumpkin
Splashed it all over the porch

We know that you had put it out for Fall-oween
But we could not resist

So wet, so tasty, so orange!

It made our antlers vibrate with joy

PS The oregano and the dwarf orange were tasty too

#697 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 03:13 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 690 - I thought that sounded familiar, but I was thinking of something else. Gene Weingarten did a column on something similar back in June.

I think it was in that week's chat that he explained a little more about what he wanted to do and the kids who'd asked him to help, and I seem to remember it being fairly effective. (I'm not even going to try to get to gossipreport.com from here, but I do hope it's become a wasteland of spam, if not shut down entirely.)

Hm. White-hat spammers? Fine by me. (Heck, if I had any spare time, I might indulge in some myself. But I don't, so I don't really have to consider the broader moral implications.)

#698 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 03:24 PM:

Terry Karney @#695: Hee! I wonder why those outta-control feminists would care if the last man on Earth was a bastard or not? Presumably lineage is handled differently in a parthogenic society?

#699 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 03:27 PM:

Terry Karney @695: Sex and the High Command, by John Boyd. IIRC, got a good review in Analog at the time.

#700 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 03:28 PM:

Bruce #689:

I always thought the main technique for writing APL involved a telephone modem and line noise....

#701 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 03:51 PM:

Rob Rusik: Yes, that's it.

Mary Lee: The implication was that males were a bastard lineage, and rightly done away with.

#702 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 04:02 PM:

Wow. Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama is seriously powerful. Especially the discussion of the whole "secret Muslim" issue. That just flat needed to be said.

If the Republicans were run by their Powells instead of their Roves, we'd be a far better nation.

#703 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 04:17 PM:

Random comment/question:

Has McCain basically accepted that he's going to lose? He's campaigning heavily in Pennsylvania, where (if you believe the polls) he probably can't win. But there are three really close house races there. If he's accepted that, barring some kind of implosion of Obama (live boy/dead girl style), he's lost, then this would make sense. Otherwise, it makes sense only if he thinks he can overcome this really large Democratic lead of Obama's there, while also winning in a bunch of other states.

#704 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 06:23 PM:

albatross #702: Wow. Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama is seriously powerful.

One of my favorite Doonesbury quotes has President * referring to Powell: "What's the use of being right all the time if you're always off message?" heh.

#705 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 08:26 PM:

Oh. My. God.

You guys!

Do you all know how awesome Marilee is?

You think you do, but you don't!

She is so awesome that she randomly sent me a box full of petrified squid!

I am sooooo ridiculously pleased by this!

Marilee, you are MADE OF WIN! Thank you so much!

#706 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 09:27 PM:

Skwid @ 705

I thought I knew how awesome Marilee is, 'cause I've seen her do some really neat things for people, but that raises the bar considerably.

All hail Marilee!
Hip, hip, hooray!

#707 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:05 PM:

Marilee is made of win. All of us should aspire to, but few if any will attain, her level of awesomeness.

#708 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:09 PM:

In other news, via Scalzi, someone replaced this African-American minister's Obama sign with a Confederate flag.

Read the article. As Scalzi points out, he shows true grace.

I'd've set it alight, not being the graceful type.

#709 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:41 PM:

Does any of the Fluorosphere lives in Helsinki, Stockholm, or St. Petersburg?

#710 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:58 PM:

albatross@703: why would McCain be that helpful to a party he seems to care little about? Is the money the RNC is putting into the race was enough to tip him?

#711 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 11:23 PM:

Thanks, Skwid, Bruce, Xopher! I got a lot of them from someone who lives in Wyoming where there was a giant sea during the Cretaceous. You can just pick the petrified squid heads up now (the tentacles were too soft to last). I sent a broken one, too, so Skwid could see the radial growth marks. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the rest. I might try tumbling.

Xopher, there was a big sign like that here and the next time I went back that way, the empty supporting wood had written on it "Real Americans Don't Steal Signs." Then again, in Maryland, some young women kept stealing McCain signs and the guy finally waited and followed them. They may go to jail for vandalism.

#712 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 06:31 AM:

Help!

I'm trying to find out something about a catsuit design from the 1970s.

A friend remembers wearing one...

It was a tight-fitting one, with two zippers. tunning from collar to ankles down the front of body and legs.

Yeah, a bit kinky. Especially for the state of Georgia. Though, I was informed, useful in the back-seat of a car. Yeah, I can work that one out myself.

My Google-fu isn't up to finding information, but I have a feeling that I once saw a picture, maybe in a magazine of the Playboy class.

Anyone got any pointers?

#713 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 06:48 AM:

Is anyone from Making Light taking part in NanoWriMo this year? In particular, anyone from Melbourne?

I did it back in 2001 and got a good sized inner glow from it, and it's time for another go.

#714 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 03:53 PM:

Somebody PLEASE email that "This is not a funny election" piece to every Grandma and Grandpa in Florida. Or better yet, show it on every TV station south of the Panhandle. During Matlock, or Murder She Wrote.

#715 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 06:19 PM:

I am still unsure whether the recent revelations about the Austrian far-right party leadership demonstrate a fundamental difference from American politics (Petzner felt free to tell all), or a strong similarity (he has been removed as party chairman and made deputy chair).

In either case, what a tangled web.

#716 ::: dlbowman76 ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 06:29 PM:

Abi (715): This promises some grimly unreadable (perhaps even uncontemplatable) slash involving the hon. John McCain and...well frankly...the living?

#717 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 06:30 PM:

abi,

i was hearing for years that haider was gay, & that he was not really (or not strenuously) denying it, either. i'm surprised if you, actually living in europe, didn't hear this more.

it doesn't seem weird to me either that he would pick a romantic partner as a successor (unwise, probably, but not weird as far as the human heart & human history goes), or that other party leaders would resent & try to take down such a person.

#718 ::: Renatus ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 06:44 PM:

Kathryn @#709: I live in Espoo, which rubs shoulders with Helsinki (when the bus doesn't need to take many stops it takes ten minutes to get from here to there). Does that count, and can I help with something?

#719 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 06:54 PM:

Half-random:

Thank you for having apolitical threads. I'm reading about politics, and thinking about politics, and it's a weird switch from January when I was kind of upset that no one ever called me about the Iowa caucus. I need places that are full of words and not politics.
So thanks.

#720 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 10:24 PM:

Diatryma, #599:
I'm 'Enery the 8th, I am;
'Enery the 8th I am, I am.
I got married to the widow next door;
She's been married seven times before,
And every one was an 'Enery ('Enery!) --
She wouldn't 'ave a Willie or a Sam.
I'm her eighth old man named 'Enery;
'Enery the 8th I am!

Xopher, #708: Yeah, that would have been my response too. And gotten a bunch of my pagan friends to dance around it semi-naked, singing "We Shall Overcome" and other songs from the civil-rights era. And then put up the new, bigger Obama sign.

#721 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 11:30 PM:

Finally got this done. Paid my friend Ralph in WoW time to cobble it together.

#722 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 11:32 PM:

Lee at 720, my mother is a band director in a small town. She teaches kindergarten music some, too. For the big elementary concert, every grade sang something from a certain decade.

She taught every kindergartner in the district to sing Enery the Eighth, getting louder and worse of course.

They must really love her there, because she's still employed.

#723 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 11:53 PM:

Xopher, it says the video link is malformed, alas.

#724 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 01:59 AM:

A droll energy-saving idea: generating x-rays by peeling adhesive tape would be a green techology for the TSA to examine baggage with. Imagine the loud ripping sounds as muscular TSA employees pull 4 foot wide strips of tape off of suitcases.

#725 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 02:41 AM:

Bruce @724: But it only makes X-rays if you do it in a vacuum. And sound doesn't travel in a vacuum, so we couldn't hear the ripping sounds.

#727 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 12:50 PM:

Bill Weld wants a job in Obama's Cabinet!

William Weld, member of that qalmost completely extinct species, Moderate Republican, announced today that he is supporting Obama for the Presidency.

Weld's known for having been a federal attorney long ago who refused to accede to Nixonian illegality, for having been a Governor of Massachusetts, and for leaving the position of Governor to take what was it a position as ambassador to Canada, in a Republican Presidential administration.

Publically promoting Obama isn't likely to enhance his chances in the Republican hierarchy for influence and position and perks and general egoboo, and as for Massachusetts, his eagerness to defect from the position of Governor to a not-quite-toady federal appointment and his defection, were not and and not endearing to the citizens he stiffed vacating the governorship.

My suspicion, is that he's pushing for a cabinet position.

#728 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 12:54 PM:

Bill Weld wants a job in Obama's Cabinet!

William Weld, member of that qalmost completely extinct species, Moderate Republican, announced today that he is supporting Obama for the Presidency.

Weld's known for having been a federal attorney long ago who refused to accede to Nixonian illegality, for having been a Governor of Massachusetts, and for leaving the position of Governor to take what was it a position as ambassador to Canada, in a Republican Presidential administration.

Publically promoting Obama isn't likely to enhance his chances in the Republican hierarchy for influence and position and perks and general egoboo, and as for Massachusetts, his eagerness to defect from the position of Governor to a not-quite-toady federal appointment and his defection, were not and and not endearing to the citizens he stiffed vacating the governorship.

My suspicion, is that he's pushing for a cabinet position.

#729 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 01:02 PM:

#724:
also, wintergreen flavored Lifesavers emit green sparks when you break them. Try chewing them in the dark in front of a bathroom mirror.

#730 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 03:00 PM:

Hey, Fluorospherians, some of you may live in places where Darius Goes West has a screening scheduled.

This documentary about a teenager with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (a student at my kids' high school) was made by a bunch of college kids from my hometown. Please go see it, or check out the website. They did good work, and are continuing the good work by raising money for Duchenne research.

#731 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 03:06 PM:

Serge @ 726: Shhhhhhh!


Be vewy vewy qwuiet..

#732 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 03:16 PM:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GINGER!

Oh, wait, was I supposed to keep that quiet?

#733 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 03:23 PM:

In other news, I just got a lovely, classic 419 spam (from Lady Rebecca Thatcher on Old Shrewberry Street, in the only part of London that doesn't have a postcode*). I haven't seen one of them for ages.

It's like sighting an endangered butterfly.

(update at preview) Oh! Look! Another one!

-----
* For those who don't know: Londoners refer to postcodes as shorthand for neighborhoods as readily as New Yorkers refer to cross-streets in Manhattan. Not mentioning the postcode is of a piece with the authenticity of the rest of the email, which is to say, low.

#734 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 03:26 PM:

Birthday + Friday = good planning. Have a happy one, Ginger!

#735 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 03:32 PM:

Shhh. She's hunting wabbits...

for her Birthday dinner!

#736 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 04:18 PM:

Ginger... Sorry, but 'qwuiet' isn't in my dictionary.

#737 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 04:21 PM:

abi @733 - I could call in tomorrow for you you as I'm passing through London. What's the post... oh, damn.

(I had a quick look at my spam folder - the top one was "Grow Giant Snake in Pants". I don't have an in depth knowledge of Herpetology, but wouldn't a kilt be better suited to a snake?)

#738 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Neil Willcox @ 737...

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know."
- Groucho Marx

#739 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 04:37 PM:

Brooks Moses #725: It sounds like a good idea to me. Putting TSA employees into a vacuum so we can't hear them is a big step forward. Encouraging them to their usual level of competency, so they forget to take, or how to use, their oxygen masks, is a tempting thought, too.

#740 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 05:04 PM:

Paula, that's happy news! Weld remains one of the few Republicans I've ever voted for. (A local mayor was another, once I moved to CT.)

#741 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 05:49 PM:

OT, but important (and copied from my LJ):

Urgent to my friends who have Windows machines:
Please run Windows Update today! Microsoft has a security update to resolve a major vulnerability.

This applies to Windows 2000 and XP as well as Vista, and for Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

My company - I'm the office manager for a computer consulting firm - was just on a call with Microsoft about this, so it's legitimate.

Just go do it. I'm serious.

#742 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 06:14 PM:

#741
Ran it this morning at work. Will run this evening at home (unless that was yesterday evening's update).

#743 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 07:18 PM:

Aw, shucks..thanks Abi, and Debbie, and John, and thank you, Serge, for starting it off here.

Not only did I plan to have my birthday on Friday, I also arranged to have a comp day so I wouldn't have to inflict any of this on the folks at work.

I couldn't catch any rabbits, so I'm having pork chops instead. My partner and son have left for a church retreat, the animals are all fed, and the oven is emitting lovely roasting aromas. Life is good. Ah, the timer!

#744 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 07:32 PM:

I wish bunny meat was available at the supermarket. I'd like to try out rabbit stew.

I know there are companies that sell it, but s'far as I can tell not locally.

There are always squirrels I suppose.

#745 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 07:38 PM:

Ginger @ 743... I couldn't catch any rabbits, so I'm having pork chops instead

Because pigs are slower?

#746 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 07:40 PM:

Stefan @ 744: I used to see rabbit meat in the freezer section of the grocery when I lived in North Carolina, and possibly also in Louisiana (my memory fails me now -- a result of my advancing age), so the larger chains may well have it available across the country. They just don't stock the stores if they think there's no demand for it.

I've had rabbit; it tastes like chicken, but looks a little elongated for chicken, if that makes sense. Alligator, in contrast, looks like a pale version of steak and tastes like a juicy version of chicken. Except, of course, when you have the Cajun "blackened" alligator nuggets, which are generally a mistake. Especially in Pennsylvania.

#747 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 07:49 PM:

I have rarely seen rabbit meat, even more rarely venison, bison only occasionally at the kosher butcher (for about half again the cost of kosher beef, i.e. d**n expensive). I wouldn't mind seeing venison more often.

#748 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 08:01 PM:

Serge @ 745: Yes, and because my parental units sent me hogs and kisses.

#749 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 08:14 PM:

Ginger @ 748... my parental units sent me hogs and kisses

...which is much better than their sowing discontent.

#750 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 08:43 PM:

We see ground buffalo at our local Safeway quite often. Try to get lamb or veal, though. It's annoying, because my sister's birthday is coming up and she wants is getting lamb chops.

#751 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 08:55 PM:

742: My laptop implemented the update during the night, so you're probably all set at home.

#752 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 09:07 PM:

We found (and bought) some elk at a farmer's market last weekend. Haven't cooked it yet but I like venison so I'm sure it will be good.

For whatever reason we can usually get frozen rabbit in our grocery stores here, some markets carry buffalo in various forms, but I've never seen venison in a grocery store. In most of our supermarkets you can also find the whole range of poultry, from turkey to frozen, farm-raised quail.

#753 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 09:55 PM:

Linkmeister 750: We see ground buffalo at our local Safeway quite often.

I see sky buffalo in my dangerous way less frequently.

#754 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 10:02 PM:

Xopher #753: And if you lived in southeast Asia you'd see water buffalo frequently.

#755 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 10:36 PM:

Xopher, I'd love to see sky buffalo!

#756 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 11:00 PM:

Linkmeister, are you sure? I thought it was well understood that we're all glad that cows can't fly.

#757 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 11:05 PM:

Erik, #729, just not near me. I have massive gag reflex for spearmint/wintergreen.

Chris, #741, I'm pretty sure that's what I ran last night.

#758 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 11:38 PM:

I don't have the time/energy right now (am distracted with life issues) but this thing Yes on 8 Supporters Try to Blackmail No on 8 supporters so needs to have the name of every business whose owner took part published, and sent letters of boycott.

I just don't get it.

#759 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2008, 11:50 PM:

Look! Up in the sky! It's a -- SPLAT! -- buffalo, argh!

#761 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 12:56 AM:

Linkmeister 755: Xopher, I'd love to see sky buffalo!

Where do you think buffalo wings come from?

#762 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 01:15 AM:

Ginger @ 759... It could be worse. Think of the fragrance of the excretions of Pigasus's groundbound brethren.

(How we went from your birthday to this, I dare not ask.)

#763 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 01:32 AM:

I've seen frozen rabbit, I think fresh rabbit, ostrich (not lately?), lamb, bison, and veal, along with chicken, turkey, swine meat, beef, and frozen duck in the local supermarkets. There's been frozen goat in an Asia grocery in Burlington.

Earlier this week, someone called a report in of a roadkill pig... which turned out not to be domestic swine, but wild Russian boar, complete with vicious tusks. Some got loose in New Hampshire or Vermont off a farm years ago, and there are also ones in Pennsylvania....

#764 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 01:45 AM:

#763: Reminds me to mention:

A co-worker smacked his Toyota into an elk* on Wednesday. A bull. One of the pictures he took showed an antler-hole poked into one of the doors, right by the handle. Yes, he's going to be car shopping.

He noted that the carcass had been spirited away when he got back to the scene the next day. Just a pile of guts left. He mentioned that beasties killed in this matter are often not considered edible, due to bone fragments in the meat. Is that true? Seems an awful waste.


* Not Anne Elk

#765 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 03:13 AM:

OMG! Open thread ppl! you must come look at this NAO.

Perfectly true, perfectly accurate, and perfectly useless to the naif trying to get an LJ medieval studies community to do her homework for her.

My god its full of shiny. Lovely anglosaxon shiiiiny.

(via avedaggio the great. if this already got particled/sidelit while i wasn't looking, feel free to snicker gently at me now.)

#766 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 12:35 PM:

Nicole #765:

Yep, the wizards are subtle, all right.

#767 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 01:16 PM:

He mentioned that beasties killed in this matter are often not considered edible, due to bone fragments in the meat. Is that true? Seems an awful waste.

When my mom hit a deer--it was a buck with impressive antlers, he leaped out in front of the car--one of the people who stopped to help us had a gun with him and put the poor thing out of its misery, as the impact hadn't killed it. Then the guy asked if we wanted the meat, and Mum said no, so he put the carcass in his trunk. Presumedly he took it home and butchered it.

#768 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 02:37 PM:

#764 Stephan

Maine has a list of people for receiving roadkill moose meat.

#769 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 10:36 PM:

#764 ::: Stefan Jones
He noted that the carcass had been spirited away when he got back to the scene the next day. Just a pile of guts left. He mentioned that beasties killed in this matter are often not considered edible, due to bone fragments in the meat. Is that true? Seems an awful waste.

Your friend is lucky - those bumper stickers that say "Brake for Moose - it will save your life" aren't joking.

Meat from road strikes isn't usually any worse than meat from hunting, etc. - some more of it may be waste (bruising damage, or immediately around broken bones) but you can usually still dress out a pretty significant portion of the critter, especially if you're careful/good/precise about it.

(I speak from experience - most expensive damn venison I ever ate was a road kill - damn flipping suicidal deer bounced back into my path three times. Dressed out to over two hundred dollars a pound. I much prefer hunting - time, sweat, and a couple of bucks (HA!) worth of ammo is much cheaper....)

#770 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 11:36 PM:

In Virginia, it's illegal to take roadkill. The Department of Wildlife gets it butchered and then gives it to shelters.

#771 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:52 AM:

I have an ex girlfriend who's grandparents hit a moose. They reported it, and we told the could go home (small car, large moose, it missed the engine block, and took the roof in the belly).

The next day a ranger came with a quarter, saying it was theirs.

#772 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:59 AM:

Nicole: Have you seen Beowulf for Children

See Grendel. See Grendel eat. Eat, Grendel, eat. Grendel is eating a few Danish for breakfast. Grendel especially likes the ones with the yellow coating on top. This is good because there are so many of them. Yummy!

#773 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:18 AM:

Has LiveJournal gone down? None of the LJ blogs I've tried to access for the last hour are coming up, not even my own.

#774 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:23 AM:

Serge, I think there was a news post mentioning something about upcoming downtime. I only glanced at it, and of course can't go back and check now, but that might be what's going on.

#775 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:24 AM:

I'm not getting any LJ sites to load either.

#776 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:26 AM:

Nope, I was wrong. From the Google cache:

"As you might know, LiveJournal still runs on the Six Apart servers. 6A is taking a little downtime for maintenance, which means so are we. You won't be able to access the site on October 29th from 9:00 p.m. to midnight PST Edit: 8:30PM to 12:30AM (October 30) PST."

#777 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:39 AM:

Jen... Abi...

Thanks. I figured it might be something like that, but I wanted to make sure. As for the server name...

Six Apart?

#778 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:41 AM:

Six Apart is the company (I don't recall what else they do, if anything) that bought LiveJournal a few years ago. They have since sold it again, to a Russian company.

I discovered this morning that the old status.livejournal.com page, which was hosted elsewhere so it could inform us of problems with the LJ servers, says "no current problems" but it's definition of "current" is July.

#779 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:47 AM:

Jen @ 776:

You won't be able to access the site on October 29th from 9:00 p.m. to midnight PST Edit: 8:30PM to 12:30AM (October 30) PST."

But... but... today's only the 26th. *whimpers at absence of LJ connections*

Serge @ 777:

As for the server name...

Six Apart?

The company that bought out LJ. (And was in turn bought by a Russian company? Or is 6A the Russian company?) (Am uncaffeinated. No brain at *all*.)

#780 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:48 AM:

Vicki @ 778:

*snap* :)

#781 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:24 PM:

Terry Karney at #772:
I tried to write a "Where have you been, lord Grendel my son?" poem once but it didn't come out very well.

#782 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:25 PM:

Vicki... glinda... Still, Six Apart is a strange name for something that's supposed to bring people together. Oh well. I've seen more bizarre names, I guess. For example, my employer's HQ has one conference room called Machiavelli, and another is Socrates. (I wonder which one my manager will use when I fly to the Bay Area for my yearly review.)

#783 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:44 PM:

I never thought about it, but I think it may be a reference to six degrees of separation.

#784 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 01:55 PM:

Jen Roth @ 783... That makes sense.

#785 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 02:46 PM:

Re: the tapir particle -- there's good eatin' on one of those things, you know. Just sayin'....

(Tapir meat, I'm told, is really one of the best-tasting meats out there. I did not take the chance to eat it when I might have been able to, back when I lived with a zoologist who had a frozen one in the backyard freezer....)

#786 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 03:29 PM:

Six Apart is the original developer of Movable Type/Typepad; the company bought LiveJournal a few years ago. I wasn't aware that it had sold LJ, but I don't keep up.

#787 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 03:38 PM:

Sigh...this is the day I hate, every year.

I've had to get my light box out to treat my Seasonal Affective Disorder. For the next four months or so, I get to spend part of each evening* in front of it, fooling my body into the idea that the days are longer.

On the one hand, my box is my ball and chain. On the other hand, it's my box of happy, and I really do feel better after the time I spend there.

On the gripping hand, I generally have a week-long headache after I bring it out.

Sigh.

Beats four months of clinical depression hands-down, though.
-----
* Yes, I know most people find morning treatments more effective. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them, though I may try again this year. Moving (somewhat) south and biking to work has improved my internal balance, so it's worth re-evaluating.

#788 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 04:21 PM:

abi @ 787... May the box's light make you happy.

#789 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 05:20 PM:

By the way, the LJ "status" journal is currently admitting to intermittent outages. (This is hosted on LJ like any other journal, so not reachable if the outages are more than intermittent, but useful if, say, the site is up but there are problems with image display.)

#790 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:05 PM:

Vicki @ 789... My LJ looks normal. ("Snort!") I have been able to respond to someone's comment on another person's LJ. When I tried to do the same thing on a non-LJ blog after selecting OpenId's LJ, it just threw me out.

#791 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 10:50 PM:

I just finished reading LJ for about two hours, but my problem is that for the last two days, Blogger hasn't been accepting my LJ OpenID. It gives me a 400 Bad Request when I try to comment. I can still use anonymous and name/URL.

#792 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 10:57 PM:

Yes, LJ was having problems, since resolved.

Yes, "Six Apart" is a reference to Six Degrees of Separation.

Yes, Six Apart sold LJ to the Russian group that was operating the Cyrillic version of LJ. And the upcoming outage is so that the LJ services can be moved off of 6A machines.

#793 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 05:53 PM:

Fragano @ 754

That just leaves fire buffalo. Are they self-cooking?

#794 ::: Renatus ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 06:14 PM:

abi@787, I sympathize greatly. I've had to use my lightbox since the middle of the month, and need to do morning and evening treatments now (I'm in southern Finland). Not fun, but all too neccessary.

#795 ::: Earl sees jock adulation spam at 795 ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2010, 01:10 AM:

Thread necromancy, threat or menace?

#796 ::: Xopher sees screamingly obvious SPAM ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:24 AM:

I mean please.

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