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October 26, 2008

Open thread 115
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 04:39 PM * 680 comments

Sometimes genius begets genius, calls it out of the unwilling observer.

Johannes Brahms had decided to end his career as a composer in 1890, after his Viola Quintet in G Major (op 111). But his friendship with the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, whom he met in a year later, led him to reconsider.

We are lucky indeed that he did. His Clarinet Quintet, op 115, is probably his greatest piece of chamber music. His example, in turn, led to a flowering of compositions for the clarinet in the early to mid 20th century.

As a former clarinetist (though not, alas, a genius), I am grateful.

Comments on Open thread 115:
#1 ::: dlbowman76 ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 04:57 PM:

This is not related to the number 115 (Boo, Hiss!) but is related to the clarinet. How lucky are we lovers of the woodwind that there are two brilliant modern concertos for the clarinet by Carl Nielsen and Kalevi Aho on this album..

Why, heck, let's just be grateful for the magnificent Martin Froest!

#2 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 05:13 PM:

Music... About 10 years ago, the Post Office released a series of stamps the theme of which was film composers. It greatly annoyed me that they had ignored Bernard Hermann while finding room for Dimitri Tiomkin's bombastic fanfare fare.

#3 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 05:18 PM:

Apparently genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration ... and if I go by that metric, something pretty amazing should happen to my house after the housework is done. I fear, however, that what I'll end up with is a living demonstration of the powers of entropy...

#4 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 05:55 PM:

Things occurring in the Year 115, per Wikipedia (all caveats apply):

* Trajan is cut off in southern Mesopotamia after his invasion of that region.
* Trajan captures the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon.
* Jews in Egypt and Cyrene ignite a revolt against the rule of the Roman Empire, which spreads to Cyprus, Judea, and the Roman province of Mesopotamia.
* Alexandria in Egypt is destroyed during the Jewish-Greek civil wars.
* A revolt breaks out in Britain; the garrison at Eboracum (York) is massacred.
* The Pantheon of Agrippa is reconstructed in Rome.
* Lusius Quietus, Trajan's governor of Judea, begins a brutal campaign to maintain the peace in the region.

#5 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 05:56 PM:

Being a former clarinetist myself, I always love finding out who else played. Eddie Izzard was a clarinetist, and Spielberg apparently sat third or fourth chair under John Williams for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (as he told James Lipton).

I was in 8th grade when I soloed on "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." I think my favorite part of playing was seeing sheet music, and playing it, and hearing a familiar song come out. I think it came out most with Tchaikovsky and the theme from Sleeping Beauty (da-da-da-di-da-da-da-dum-de-dah-di-da-da-da-da).

I remember always wanting it to rock, though. I used to pick up sheet music to popular songs in the hope of playing them. I discovered early on one can't rock "November Rain" on the clarinet, though. That was a sad, sad day.

And final aside (just in case it's been buried and no one has seen the request): is there you contributors can set the particles/sidelights to open in new tabs by inserting the "blank" into the code, rather than having the reader right click? Would it just be a whole lot more work for you?

#6 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:08 PM:

Will @ #5, are you aware that the gentleman pictured in the post below actually attended Juilliard to study clarinet? And that he played professionally for a while?

Pity he didn't stick with music rather than moving on to apply his skills to finance.

#7 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:09 PM:

Will Entrekin: I just hold the "ctrl" key (in Firefox) and a new tab appears.

I do this even for links I know will open that way; because there are so many that don't.

#8 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:18 PM:

Will @ #5: It is preferable for links to act as they are intended to, that is, that they redirect the browser to a new site rather than opening up a new window (which is what target="blank" is intended to do). That you have your browser set to have all such links open in a new tab is your preference, you can also exercise your preference by right-clicking (in your OS). This is preferable to having everyone re-write their links to match your preference.

#9 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:19 PM:

@Linkmeister: I was not. That's rad, in a way.

Woody Allen is a clarinetist, too, isn't he?

My favorite exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art has always been Benny Goodman's clarinet. I wish I'd seen it with my grandfather.

@Terry: I was unaware of the 'ctrl' trick, but then again, I'm a lazy surfer. I understand if there's something in the coding/hosting that prevents it, but I remember when Neil Gaiman was finally able to default his site to open links in new tabs (he was happy enough about the development to mention it, in fact), and how it made things so much easier. I ask, in fact, more out of curiosity than anything else, and because, when I'm here on Making Light, I dislike navigating away from the page.

(also, there's a missing "a way" between 'there' and 'you' in the last P of my post)

#10 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:26 PM:

Terry @ #7, thank you for that "ctrl" key tip; I didn't know that. Cool.

#11 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:34 PM:

By the bye, I can highly recommend the periodic writing exercise of "compose a meditation of any length on the next number, suitable to generate comments". It reminds me, in its freedom, of the essay topic we had in all* of my Latin reading courses at university: "Pick any topic touched on in class, research it to appropriate depth, and write about it to appropriate length."

I've only ducked two numbers since I started at 96 (99, where Jim had a better idea, and 108, where Xopher did). I've already got plans for 116.

----
* Well, almost all. My Juvenal course instructor gave us other options as well, one of which inspired me to write a modern parody of his work. We read the essays aloud in class, and mine sent my classmates into a fit of the giggles.

#12 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:40 PM:

Will Entrekin (#5) et al: If you have a three-button mouse (including ones where the scroll wheel can be clicked as a button), try middle-clicking on links. That will often open links in a new tab, just as ctrl-click (or on a Mac, command-click) does.

#13 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:41 PM:

I am on a mighty quest for keyboard shortcuts. Most of my computer use these days involves websites designed for mouse-navigation. I can't use a mouse at all, and the laptop touchpads that seemed like a such good solution for the last 115 months is a Bad Idea for other ergonomic reasons (according to the occupational therapist.) Now I have a keyboard and touchpad that I can plug into the laptop separately, but I lose my place when I go back and forth between them.

I know about keyboard shortcuts for copy, paste, and cut. And for [tab] to go between fields in some kinds of form. And alt-[tab] to change windows. (Though sometimes I can look at the new window, but not scroll or do anything with it until I click it with the touchpad. Is there any way around this?) I'm looking for help navigating websites with a keyboard, insofar as that's possible. Sometimes I can scroll down with arrow keys or the spacebar, but it seems like I always need the touchpad to click on anything.

#14 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:46 PM:

I’ve been listening to a lot of Brahms’s chamber music the last few months, though not the Clarinet Quintet. I probably should revisit that soon. (Ex-flutist here, by the way - maybe we can find a retired oboist, bassoonist, and horn player and not-play a woodwind quintet someday.)

Brahms writes such rich and complex parts in his chamber works, which are remarkably rewarding to listen to. Chamber music simplified greatly in the 20th century, perhaps because composers felt it was hard to go any further in the direction Brahms went. Arnold Schoenberg greatly admired Brahms, which may give some insight into where Schoenberg wanted to go, whether you like it or not (it’s growing on me, I have to admit, but I generally prefer a more tuneful approach).

While Brahms may have been the better chamber composer, I still think Beethoven was greater overall; his opus 115, however, was a minor work, the Namensfeier or “Name Day” Overture, a middle-period work despite the late opus number. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it.

Koechel no. 115 seems to be a Missa brevis that may or may not actually be by Mozart. He would have been around 18 at the time, with half his life and another 500 or so pieces to write. Imagine if he’d lived to be 56 like Beethoven, or 63 like Brahms!

#15 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 07:02 PM:

An old marl-hole where rat-bats congregate
bears quiet witness to each hidden sin
not just to what we could not dare to win
by dint of effort, and so blame on fate;
this is no church for you to desecrate
but a dark place where many lives begin
and those who know will just conceal a grin
for nouns, not verbs, would seem to conjugate.
That was the story when the night turned cold
under a sky as dark as any soul
when all the blame was placed on certain wiles.
But others said the cause was merely gold,
unwisdom aiming at a pretty goal;
that journey will not end for many miles.

#16 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:28 PM:

Adrian @ 13 ... It'd help a great deal if you mentioned what operating system you're using :) While there are certainly overlaps in what key combinations mean between different operating systems, I can assure you (based on swapping between Mac OSX, Linux (Gnome & KDE) and Windows on a regular basis) that there are enough differences to be challenging.

Under OSX, although I don't use it, I'm told Quicksilver would do a variety of things beyond generic defaults that might suit you well.

#17 ::: grackle ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:37 PM:

BWV 115,
Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit
Get thyself, my soul, prepared

As a young one, I loved Brahms, nowadays I'd as like pass entirely over the 19th C to explore more of the byways of the 20th and later C's, although my heart is tied firmly to the pre-19th, the further back often the better.

@#13 I am on a mighty quest for keyboard shortcuts. Many are available by a simple googling of "keyboard shortcuts" no matter the op sys.

#18 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:46 PM:

adrian @ 13 ... and launchy is apparently a windows/linux equivalent to quicksilver.

#19 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:22 PM:

Saw "City of Ember" today.

A nicely low-key, modest SF movie, made for tweens and teens but quite enjoyable for at least this adult.

#20 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:25 PM:

Ah, Brahms...God's gift to altos.

#21 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:33 PM:

I used to play clarinet, then bass clarinet, then contrabass-- which would have been better had the director mentioned that the expensive reeds he bought me were too soft and that I could practice in the band room after school-- then tenor sax (no. Baaaaad instrument.) then bassooooon.

I miss bassoon. However, it is not an instrument one can pick up lightly. There's too much involved in a bassoon-- other people to play with, acquisition of a bassoon.

#22 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:44 PM:

(I posted this before on the decrepit tail end of a long and long neglected Open Thread 114. I hope it's not too egregious a protocol violation to repost.)

Is anyone from Making Light doing NaNoWriMo this year? Particularly anyone Australians or Melbournians?

I've signed up and desperately want to be good, but I think my working week is just about to switch from 40 hours to 60 hours for a little bit, so we'll see how we go...

#23 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:44 PM:

Diatryma @ #21, which reminds me of the insult Charlie Brown once directed at Linus: "You're such a bassoon." Linus (of course) corrected him: "I think you mean buffoon, Charlie Brown."

#24 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:45 PM:

Diatryma @ #21, that reminds me of the insult Charlie Brown once directed at Linus: "You're such a bassoon." Linus (of course) corrected him: "I think you mean buffoon, Charlie Brown."

#25 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:45 PM:

Xeger: My computer runs Windows now. Thanks for suggesting Launchy. That looks promising.

#26 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:46 PM:

Bah. Please excuse double posting.

#27 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 10:05 PM:

Accent question:

Here's a news story on Stuart Ross, a British airline pilot who has built and tested the UK's first rocket belt over the past few years. He has not yet undertaken a free flight, but rocket belt buffs are confident that he will soon.

The narrator of the video, an ITN broadcaster, has an accent novel to me. Since my fictional relative Prof. Henry is unavailable, can anyone tell me where her accent originates?

#28 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 10:22 PM:

Sounds antipodean to me, but I could be wrong, and unfortunately I can't be more precise than that.

#29 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 10:24 PM:

Adrian @ #13
The Opera Web browser is fully functional using the keyboard, if that helps.

#30 ::: Robert Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 10:30 PM:

The World of Warcraft has been experiencing a large-scale zombie invasion in recent days. As you might expect, the notoriously quarrelsome populace has separated into pro- and anti-zombie camps:

Pro: Being a zombie is fun! Hunting zombies is fun!

Con: Being killed by zombies all the time is NOT fun, especially when it can happen on servers without player-vs-player combat. Also, conducting ordinary business is impossible when important NPCs are being zombified at legendary rates....

#31 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:04 PM:

abi: I can, given the opportune timing, and one hopes happy victory over bigotry, see some uses for a thing with that number.

#32 ::: Zarquon ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:39 PM:

The ITN newsreader is definitely English, although I'm not sure exactly whereabouts. In return: Zod Kitchens

#33 ::: Doug Burbidge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:54 PM:

It not having a particular assigned meaning, different developers have used the tab key in different ways. This applies at an operating system level and also at an application level.

Alt-tab means "switch to the next application", on Windows and some Linuxes (Linuces?). Alt-Shift-tab means "switch to the previous application". The meaning of "next" and "previous" need defining, too: at least on Windows, the apps are sorted in order of most-recent-usedness, so Alt-tab, let go of the Alt key, then Alt-tab again will get you right back where you started from: the app you Alt-tabbed away from became #2 in the most-recent list, and when you pressed Alt-tab again, you switched back to it. Of course, if you had held the Alt key down and pressed tab twice, you would wind up somewhere entirely different.

Within an app, tab often means "give focus to the next control", and Shift-tab means "give focus to the previous control". Some controls visually indicate that they have focus, by displaying a dotted line around the control, or by brightening it, or by making a flashing cursor appear in it. And some do not.

When you try to scroll in a window and fail, it is because the control that you are trying to scroll in does not have focus. In a web browser, for example, the very large panel that shows the actual web page counts as a control, even though it's not obvious to think of it as such.

So: press down arrow. If nothing happens, press tab, then press down arrow again. Repeat. This may or may not work.

In some environments, arrow keys may also move you between controls. In some environments, if a control within a control has focus (such as a text box within a web page), arrow keys may be used for movement within that smaller control, rather than within the parent.

Again, the meanings of "next" and "previous" may be inobvious: controls have an order that is apparent to the developer, but not to you, so pressing tab may move focus to a counter-intuitive place.

Ctrl-tab also sometimes moves focus: for example, in Firefox, Ctrl-tab moves you between browser tabs.

On an unrelated note, it's possible that some other pointing device might suit you better: trackball and Accu Point pointing stick both spring to mind.

And as grackle @ 17 says, Google is your friend.

#34 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:28 AM:

Adrian, #13, I don't know how different it would be from a touchpad (when I buy my Eee1000, I'm attaching a trackball), but would a trackball be better?

I played clarinet for many years until my father was stationed here at the Pentagon. I went to school for the first time, joined the band, and started at the bottom of the clarinet section, challenging my way up. When it became clear that I was better than the first chair and would beat him, the band director handed me an oboe and said "it fingers like the top staff of a clarinet." And after that, I mostly played oboe and English Horn. I think he didn't like having girls be first chair; he was a retired Marine Band director.

#35 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:43 AM:

Thank you so much! The combination of Doug's advice at 33 and this result of my search http://lifehacker.com/software/feature/hack-attack-mouseless-firefox-139495.php
(most importantly, the use of control-L to reach the location bar, which I hadn't even known was called the "location bar") are already helping a lot.

Marilee, trackballs are even worse for me than mice, for some reason. Touchpads are the only pointing device that don't aggravate my right hand problems. Now that I'm doing OT for the left shoulder, and being told to raise the screen and lower the keyboard...which is essentially impossible when both are part of the same laptop.

#36 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:45 AM:

Marilee @ 34 ... I find the action of a trackball and a touchpad to be dramatically different (although both are still better than a mouse for me).

Along those lines -- does anybody have recommendations on ambiguously handed trackballs that -aren't- nasty square blocks?

#37 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:02 AM:

Adrian @ 35: First, my qualifications for pontificating: When it started to hurt to use a mouse with my right hand, I switched to my left, and messed them both up. I was diagnosed with all the computer RSIs: carpal tunnel, bursitis in the shoulder, tennis elbow, yadda yadda. I did physical therapy with a certified hand therapist and got better. No surgery.

Now the pontificating: you've got to hook a monitor and separate keyboard to that laptop. Get a keyboard tray - your keyboard should be practically in your lap, while your head is looking straight ahead at the monitor. If you can manage to use a mouse at all (or separate touchpad, or trackball), use it on that low keyboard tray. Mice and trackballs come in all sorts of subtly different styles, and little differences mean a lot. A wireless mouse is much more tolerable for me than a wired one. Get that monitor up where it belongs.

Good luck!

#38 ::: Doug Burbidge ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:43 AM:

@ 35, 37:

It's not necessarily necessary to plug both an external monitor and an external keyboard into the laptop -- plugging in just one external device may be sufficient. If 'twere me, I'd plug in a keyboard, because external keyboards are available in a wide range of shapes, so you've got a better chance of finding one that suits your personal ergonomic desire.

To make the laptop's monitor higher, you can use a stand. Boing Boing Gadgets had a piece about a super-cheap way to this just a few days ago.

#39 ::: fdeblauwe ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:50 AM:

A new ironic Palin cartoon at the Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3 blog: "ItsAllMcCainsFault.com" (no. 2 in a series).

#40 ::: Opher Lubzens ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 05:58 AM:

Sorry if this breaks the convention of open threads(this is my first), but I have a question nagging me for some time, that some people may be able to answer.I heard some time back, second hand, a claim that e-books are more expensive to make then dead tree books- this sounds strange:is it in the "strange but true" bin or the "rubbish excuses for not pricing stuff lower" bin?and if the first, what makes them so expensive?

#41 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 06:51 AM:

Either here or at the tor.com discussion forum, you'll likely get some exceedingly well-informed answers on that topic.

#42 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 07:06 AM:

Opher Lubzens @ 40... First, open threads have no conventions to break. Second, welcome to ML!

#43 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 07:17 AM:

Adrian @ 35: Have you tried a Gyration Mouse? I've also used Wacom tablets when my wrist starts complaining about my ergonomic mouse. Both work well for me.

#44 ::: Opher Lubzens ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 07:25 AM:

Earl Cooley, the "high price" assertion rose during a Tor.Com thread about the high costs of e-books, when someone reported it as the reason given by a US publisher during a Frankfurt convention.It sounds highly counterintuitive, which is why I would like to get more info from people with professional knowledge.

#45 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 08:42 AM:

Not quite clarinets, but I think Mermaid Kiss are the only rock band I've seen that use oboe and cor anglais on stage.

#46 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 09:06 AM:

Following the Wiki links sent me to this moving article on Brahms' relationship with Muehlfeld and the genesis of Op. 115.

That noted, I must confess to disliking the clarinet. Too hooty and slick - give me double reeds!

PS - the performance posted in the wiki article is unsatisfactory - too many wrong notes and tuning problems in the (admittedly treacherous) second mvt.

#47 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 09:09 AM:

Ah, clarinets. I fell in love with the sound of clarinets listening to Pete Fountain and "Rhapsody in Blue" at my grandparents'.

#48 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 09:10 AM:

Terry - "ctrl"+click best Firefox tip ever.

Abi - looking forward to #119, c.f. the Psalm (one of my favorites.)

#49 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 09:26 AM:

another handy browser trick: ctrl + roll the mouse wheel.

it will change the text size, which is very handy for pages where the designer has used really small text.

#50 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 10:15 AM:

Mark, 46: I'm just the opposite; the clarinet is nice, but the oboe is squally by comparison. The bassoon is okay, though, probably because its range is lower.

Many of the composers who wrote notably for clarinet seem to have had a pet clarinetist: Mozart had Stadler, Weber had Baermann, Nielsen had Oxenvad. And Benny Goodman (Bartok, Copland) went wherever Woody Herman (Bernstein, Stravinsky) didn't.

#51 ::: Jen Birren ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 11:11 AM:

Bill Higgins @ no. 27:
The accent sounds basically BBC English overlaid on faint traces of another language, rather than being a "foreign" accent (like Australian or whatever), if that makes sense? I can't make a guess at what the other language might be, though. Looking at the list of ITN newsreaders, there are quite a few women who it could be, and there aren't sound files there.

#52 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:02 PM:

Oh no! Tony Hillerman has died.

May he rest in peace.

#53 ::: Sam C ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:07 PM:

Newsreader accent: I'd guess English from Afro-Caribbean background, possibly involving Birmingham. But this is highly speculative - British English accents vary wildly and confusingly. I've heard my own accent described both as Eton and as New Zealander, having never been to either.

#54 ::: Toni ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:18 PM:

Operating on the principle that there's got to be a pony in there somewhere, I rarely abandon a book no matter how poorly written, pointless, or stupid it may be.

However . . . . I am up to page 209 (of 1079) in *Infinite Jest* described on the book jacket as "Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy . . . ." I'm not finding much of either.

So please, anybody who's read this book, please advise. Is there a pony in there somewhere? Should I keep reading?

#55 ::: Rozasharn ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:39 PM:

Browser tricks: In Internet Explorer and Firefox, there is a shortcut for entering URLs of the form www.foo.com. Just type "foo" in a blank address bar, then hold down Control and tap Enter, and the browser will automatically add the "http://www." and the ".com".

Shift-Enter does the same thing for ".net" addresses.

And, even if you don't have a scroll-wheel, you can change the text size by holding Control and tapping the + or - keys on the number keypad.
I'm not sure how that would work on a laptop, though.

If you're willing to invest some money, Naturally speaking is good with spoken commands to page up, page down, next tab, highlight all visibly hyperlinks, click link three, and so forth.

#56 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:09 PM:

@40: I was thinking of the costs of implementation and access, but I'm not sure that could be correct. While it's possible to do it on the cheap, creating a quality e-book can require some specialty software for the lay-out/design (I'm thinking of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Distiller) to ensure it doesn't look like rubbish. Each of those can run to several hundred dollars.

Access, too, in the sense that, like DVDs and CDs, e-books require secondary hardware for viewing. One can simply buy a book; $24 buys you a complete, basically DRM-free, whereas one needs a phone or an e-reader or a Kindle to purchase e-books that are often almost as expensive as their physical counterparts and which are often locked to the hardware they were purchased on.

Those are my guesses, anyway. They're probably more likely incorrect than correct.

***

I'm not sure if it's been mentioned in any threads' comment sections, but I haven't heard much about our gracious host's condition/recovery lately. I'm hoping no news is good news, and that you're recovering well, Teresa.

#57 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:08 PM:

Ctrl + mousewheel also works in Opera and Google Chrome

Opera, Firefox, and Google Chrome are all different in how they do the resizing. I happen to think Opera gives the best result when there is a mix of text and graphics, but the underlying structure/ptogramming of the page is also significant.


#58 ::: Opher Lubzens ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:11 PM:

@will: Good point I hadn't thought about on the creation side- I use Open Office for that, but I guess it simply doesn't have the layout options professionals need.The cost can arguably be offset by the fact you need to pay for several hundreds(or thousands) copies less in ink&paper costs, but you people know much more about that then me.

The access point seems bogus to me both because the devices that are used to view them are either multi-use(I read Baen's on my desktop) or can theoretically contain many books.And DRM isn't a requirement of an e-book: Baen aren't using any and they make pretty good money our of their e-books by the accounts I hear.

#59 ::: Opher Lubzens ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:16 PM:

As to the browser tricks:if you enter a non-URL word or phrase in the Firefox address bar and then enter it will Google them and either show you the result page or redirect you to the first page result- redirection seems more likely if the phrase/word are a main part of the page's title, but I haven't figured out the exact algorithm yet.

#60 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:17 PM:

Tim Hall @ 45: Not quite clarinets, but I think Mermaid Kiss are the only rock band I've seen that use oboe and cor anglais on stage.

Some windy rockers:

Henry Cow (oboe, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, sax)
The Muffins (all of the above except bassoon)
Roxy Music (sax and oboe).

Of these, I've only seen the Muffins, but can verify the others from live recordings.

#61 ::: avant garde ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:18 PM:

Indeed, beautiful clarinet music.

#62 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:19 PM:

Oh, and I believe 80s one-hit wonders Dream Academy ("Live In A Northern Town") had an English horn player.

#63 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:25 PM:

My favorite clarinet piece is Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, written in 1940 in a POW camp for the instruments available (clarinet, violin, cello with a string missing, and piano).

The third movement ("L'abîme des Oiseaux") is for the clarinet alone, and is stunning.

#64 ::: Ralph Giles ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:35 PM:

Opher Lubzens @40, to expand on what Will said,* new technology is often expensive because you have to pay through the nose for someone who knows how to do it.

For example, wireless internet access in shared private spaces like coffee shops and airports. Just providing the connection is really cheap compared to billing and technical support, so it really makes sense to just install some access points and let it be free. But that requires someone who knows how to install some access points. So for quite a few years (including now, depending where you are) what happened is you'd call some company who would install some for you. But support costs too much, so the company would do it in exchange for access fees payed by people using the service, but that means *they* have to pay for billing and support instead. Which is why an hour of airport or hotel wifi can cost as much as a month of normal access at home.

Any publisher is going to have a copy of InDesign, and could put up a nice pdf without much extra effort. But that doesn't mean whatever software converts whatever they have into whatever proprietary ebook format they want to use is so affordable, or even works well enough not to require a separate layout. It doesn't mean whatever adds the magic DRM sauce doesn't charge a per-copy or per-title royalty, or that the ecommerce package or distributors don't, and so on. And since no one to speak of buys ebooks, any extra overhead is disproportiately expensive.

I'd guess, if the claim is true, that it's something like that. Of course they're not intrinsically expensive, but the contractual and workflow arrangements any particular publisher may have made at this stage could easily make it so.

---
* Without actually knowing anything about ebook publishing either.

#65 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:40 PM:

Here's a nice living room version of "L'abîme des Oiseaux". There's a pro version on YouTube as well, but it starts in the middle!

#66 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 03:04 PM:

toni,

Is there a pony in there somewhere? Should I keep reading?

i really enjoyed it, though it's been ten years or so since i last read it (i probably should reread it).

philosophy i would say yes. comedy, i don't know if i really laughed out loud at any of it. it's no terry pratchett or anything. i liked the observational stuff best, the multiple points of view getting into very different lives & experiences. there are images that still stay with me.

i don't think i'd have finished it if i was hating it at around 200 pages, though, so if you don't like the writing or structure, you probably won't.

#68 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 04:05 PM:

Ted Stevens has just been convicted on all counts.

#69 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 04:15 PM:

The pneumatic tube industry will never be the same.

#70 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 04:55 PM:

Digby is bringing up the possibility that if Stevens still wins reelection to the Senate in the wake of his conviction, then Sarah Palin would reappoint his replacement, and could theoretically appoint herself. How do I find out if she can even do this? Who then would get to be governor of Alaska? The lieutenant governor, I presume?

#71 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 04:58 PM:

The FBI has disrupted a plot by a couple of skinheads to assassinate Obama and kill "101" random blacks in a high school.

Do you think that they will be treated just as harshly as other terrorists?

#72 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 05:10 PM:

Stefan Jones @71, given that the arrests were apparently made by the BATF, wich seems to be one of the pet hates of the US right, I expect talk radio to start talking about government oppression of patriots any day now.

#73 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 05:33 PM:

Tim, #62: Steve Miller Band had an English horn solo at the end of their hit "Swingtown", but I think that was a one-shot. (And if I had a quarter for every time I've heard someone refer to that as an oboe solo... well, I wouldn't be rich, but I could buy some excellent chocolate.)

Clarinet isn't my favorite instrument, but my personal favorite clarinet piece was the arrangement of Levi Jackson Rag that one of our Nashville bands did. (Apologies for the sound quality on that video, but it gives you the melody; then you can imagine it with a clarinet playing lead.)

#74 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 05:41 PM:

Stefan Jones #71: Since they planned to kill black people I expect somebody to say they weren't really terrorists.

#75 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 06:00 PM:

Bill Higgins @27: I think the accent's just a somewhat affected posh drawl; definitely UK though.

And, more importantly, nifty rocketbelt footage.

#76 ::: Joe McMahon ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 06:03 PM:

Lila@52: Damn. I sometimes think Hillerman taught me more about understanding people from other cultures than anyone else.

I was at the Obama office last week doing data entry for the New Mexico calls, and I hit a Chee living in Crownpoint. Not Jim though.

It was a very odd feeling to see the same names I'd seen in Hillerman's novels on the log sheets. It felt like running into long-lost relatives.

#77 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 06:06 PM:

Robert @ 30:

As someone who plays entirely too much WoW, I'll note that a) the zombie invasion is over today (which is good, because infection duration was down to a minute yesterday), and b) they're basically re-using the plotline from when Naxxramas, the Necropolis instance, first showed up a couple years ago. So I know to look for Marks of the Dawn being given away free, for example.

But yeah, it was annoying in a minor way, and the relative concentration of young jerks in any MMORPG ratcheted it up to "majorly annoying" at times.

I'll decompress once Hallow's End is entirely over.

--Dave

#78 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 06:13 PM:

Joe @ #76: I had the same feeling when we visited the Navaho reservation (Shiprock and environs) several years back. Hearing the radio broadcast in Navajo was otherworldly.

#79 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 06:56 PM:

Doug (38), I have problems with the refresh rate of most monitors. Having found a laptop with a screen that does not trigger migraines or seizures, I'm not so foolhardy as to go looking for a different monitor. I just put the laptop itself up on a box so the screen is at eye level, and plugged in an external keyboard. I have an external touchpad, but I'm finding it very much harder to use than the one integrated with the laptop (probably because I need to look down at my hands when going back and forth between touchpad and keyboard.) Keyboard shortcuts are helping. Thanks for your explanation in 33...it seems like it's starting to make sense to me. Though it's frustrating that so many of my searches for "keyboard shortcuts for [software]" end up recommending CNTRL+click = right-click. My keyboard does not have a "click" key!

#80 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 07:28 PM:

OG (43), Thanks for suggesting the Gyration mouse, but it does not seem like the sort of thing that would solve my problem. I'm glad it helps you, though.

Rozasharn (55), Thanks for the suggestions. Typing addresses in a blank address bar is not a problem for me. I hardly ever go to a new website by typing in the address. I type a few letters and select from the autocomplete options. Or I click a link. But there's a related shortcut that has already saved me quite a lot of trouble, though I only learned it late last night--it's CNTRL-L for going directly to the blank address bar from anywhere on the page. That's what saves me from having to leave the keyboard

#81 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 08:37 PM:

Adrian @ 78: On a Windows keyboard, the key with a little picture of a pointer on a list, between the right Windows key and the right control key, is equivalent to a right-click on whatever control or object has the focus.

#82 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 08:45 PM:

Robert @ 30 and David @77:
I was firmly in the Anti-zombie camp after being enzombied twice - twice! - between the gates and the bank in Orgrimmar, and took to patrolling angrily on my paladin busily curing people whether they wanted it or not, on the basis that they were a public nuisance. So relieved it's over.

#83 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 09:42 PM:

xeger: I use a trackball from logitech and it's got the shape of a flattened squid. Programmable, with four buttons (two large ones and two inset on the top of the curve). It's been a great help to my wrists, and fingers.

Rozaharn: My laptop has a keypad, but that trick also works from the number bar.

As a piece of housekeeping. In the sidebar it says SPC. That is wrong: he was a CPL. He earned that stripe, and it's wrong to take it away from him.

I did an elegant solution to one of those puzzles.

http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=3605781

#84 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 09:51 PM:

In answer to my own #70, commenter Eric Scharf at LGM Says as follows:

When then-Senator Frank Murkowski was elected Governor of Alaska in 2002, he appointed his daughter Lisa to fill the Senate seat he vacated. This was too much even for Alaskans, and a ballot measure made Alaksa one of only three states not to permit governors to fill vacant Senate seats.

Should Stevens win and then be expelled, his seat will remain vacant until a special election can be held.

That's a relief!

#85 ::: Avedaggio ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 10:53 PM:

Taking a break from translating Sallust, I happened upon this--in a Ravelry thread of all things--the current political race in the style of Julius Caesar bellum gallicumque. Here's an excerpt of the article :

"Cum Quirites Americani ad rallias Republicanas audiunt nomen Baraci Husseini Obamae, clamant �Mortem!� �Amator terroris!� �Socialiste!� �Bomba Obamam!� �Obama est Arabus!� �Caput excidi!� tempus sit rabble-rouseribus desistere �Smear Talk Express,� ut Stephanus Colbertus dixit. Obama demonatus est tamquam Musulmanus-Manchurianus candidatus � civis �collo-cerviciliaris� ad ralliam Floridianam Palinae exhabet mascum Obamae ut Luciferis."

Sloppy Latin is decidedly easier to translate than the real stuff.

#86 ::: Avedaggio ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 10:54 PM:

Taking a break from translating Sallust, I happened upon this--in a Ravelry thread of all things--the current political race in the style of Julius Caesar bellum gallicumque. Here's an excerpt of the article :

"Cum Quirites Americani ad rallias Republicanas audiunt nomen Baraci Husseini Obamae, clamant �Mortem!� �Amator terroris!� �Socialiste!� �Bomba Obamam!� �Obama est Arabus!� �Caput excidi!� tempus sit rabble-rouseribus desistere �Smear Talk Express,� ut Stephanus Colbertus dixit. Obama demonatus est tamquam Musulmanus-Manchurianus candidatus � civis �collo-cerviciliaris� ad ralliam Floridianam Palinae exhabet mascum Obamae ut Luciferis."

Sloppy Latin is decidedly easier to translate than the real stuff.

#87 ::: Avedaggio ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 11:04 PM:

Taking a break from translating Sallust, I happened upon this--in a Ravelry thread of all things--the current political race in the style of Julius Caesar bellum gallicumque. Here's an excerpt of the article :

"Cum Quirites Americani ad rallias Republicanas audiunt nomen Baraci Husseini Obamae, clamant "Mortem!" "Amator terroris!" "Socialiste!" "Bomba Obamam!" "Obama est Arabus!" "Caput excidi!" tempus sit rabble-rouseribus desistere 'Smear Talk Express,' ut Stephanus Colbertus dixit. Obama demonatus est tamquam Musulmanus-Manchurianus candidatus -- civis "collo-cerviciliaris" ad ralliam Floridianam Palinae exhabet mascum Obamae ut Luciferis."

Sloppy Latin is decidedly easier to translate than the real stuff.

(my internet has been on the fritz, so please accept my sincere apologies if this is posted more than once!)

#88 ::: dish ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 11:13 PM:

Bill @ 27: My vote would go for British Asian (as in, Indian sub-continent) and the accent is definitely from central or southern England.

#89 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 11:19 PM:

I have an Inland mouse for my laptop (as well as a separate keyboard) because at my home desk where I usually use the laptop, the screen is up at a comfortable eye level/distance, which is NOT a good typing/mousing level.

The Inland mouse works with barely a light touch to click on things. It took a bit to get used to but it is so sensitive that it might as well be nearly a trackball.

And while I like the flexi keyboards, the new one I got needs a right pounding to make it work. (the old one lasted over five years but had started not recognizing letters on the lowest row, like 'b'. wheep, I loved it to death!) I will continue to take the new one when I'm on the road, but I needed a better solution.

I found a Microsoft extended keyboard, with a bit of a curve to help ergonomics, at our local salvage store for $10. WOOT! Thank you, Cargo Largo!

#90 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 11:19 PM:

I have an Inland mouse for my laptop (as well as a separate keyboard) because at my home desk where I usually use the laptop, the screen is up at a comfortable eye level/distance, which is NOT a good typing/mousing level.

The Inland mouse works with barely a light touch to click on things. It took a bit to get used to but it is so sensitive that it might as well be nearly a trackball.

And while I like the flexi keyboards, the new one I got needs a right pounding to make it work. (the old one lasted over five years but had started not recognizing letters on the lowest row, like 'b'. wheep, I loved it to death!) I will continue to take the new one when I'm on the road, but I needed a better solution.

I found a Microsoft extended keyboard, with a bit of a curve to help ergonomics, at our local salvage store for $10. WOOT! Thank you, Cargo Largo!

#91 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 11:23 PM:

sorry about the double-post, the mouse struck for the first time (I may have touched it a second time while posting).

#92 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 11:27 PM:

Adrian @79: Have you had problems with other laptop or flat-panel monitors? My understanding (which may be insufficiently nuanced) is that laptop monitors and other flat panel monitors do not physically flicker, and thus don't cause the problems that CRT monitors do.

The problem with CRT monitors is that there is only one electron beam scanning across the screen, and so each pixel blinks brightly when the beam hits it and then decays back down to dark, creating a flickering at whatever the refresh rate is. However, at least in theory, the pixels on a flat-panel monitor stay on at constant brightness, and so they put out continuous light regardless of the refresh rate (which now is only the thing that determines how often they change if they're supposed to be changing).

Certainly, for me, I have problems with CRTs at 60Hz, but most LCD monitors do 60Hz and are fine for me.

#93 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 12:08 AM:

Chris Quinones #70 and #84:

Should Obama win the election, Governor Rod Blagojevich will appoint a new senator from Illinois.

It's a big responsibility for a guy with a 13% approval rating. There's speculation that he might appoint himself, but there's also speculation that he wouldn't dare...

#94 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 12:24 AM:

Terry Karney @ 83 ...
xeger: I use a trackball from logitech and it's got the shape of a flattened squid. Programmable, with four buttons (two large ones and two inset on the top of the curve). It's been a great help to my wrists, and fingers.

Hmm... I believe I have a quest now... to find a Logitech flattened squid ;)

(and having gone to try and look for squid at Logitech, I must admit that this is ... not really an image I'd choose for producing positive associations with my advertising -- at least -- not for this particular range of products, at any rate.)

#95 ::: Avedaggio ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 12:31 AM:

good lord, a post in triplicate... I am so sorry. *hides*

#96 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 12:56 AM:

xeger, #36, mine is a slightly curved rectangular block, but Kensington doesn't make trackballs this smart anymore. I don't know why. I bought a new one from eBay not too long ago so when this one dies, I still have one. Hey, two of the trackballs shown as other choices aren't squarish.

Adrian, #79, how about an external keyboard with trackpad? I found several when I googled. I thought of this because my desk is made for computers and I have a low keyboard plane and I put the trackball on the same plane to the right. I can move back and forth without looking.

#97 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 01:29 AM:

xeger #94: Hmm... I believe I have a quest now... to find a Logitech flattened squid ;)

Logitech Flattened Squid

#98 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 01:37 AM:

OG @ 43

I second the idea of a Wacom tablet*. I've owned two over the last 10 years, and use them for both graphic input in Painter, Expression, and Photoshop, where using a mouse is, as they say, "like trying to draw with a bar of soap", and to alternate input styles to give my incipient CTS a rest.

* and not just because I live where the plant is, though I always like to boost local companies.

#99 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 01:46 AM:

Diatryma @ 21

Have you heard the Bassoon Brothers*? Aside from their schtick, which is amusing, they're good musicians (they're all in the bassoon section of the Oregon Symphony). I saw them live a few years ago in a small venue where they didn't need mikes to talk or amps to play, and enjoyed it greatly.

* One of them is actually a sister, but she wears the Blues Brothers outfit with the hat too.

#100 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 02:02 AM:

Since I seem to be posting in threes today ...

Please put on your SF Story hats and tell me what you can about a series of vignettes written by an English writer, I don't know who, that, I think, appeared in New Worlds. The stories were space opera, about a bunch of pirates and other such rogues who cruise the "scale spaces" of the Mandelbrot set. I read them in a collection of stories sometime in the 90s, and I vividly remember the glorious sensawunda they contained, but can't remember any plot or character details at all.

#101 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 03:23 AM:

Brooks (92), some laptops, and some external flatscreen monitors are ok. Some external flatscreen monitors aren't. I think it's the refresh rate, but I don't begin to understand it. I just look at them and say, "no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, ok maybe that one--OMG do you have any idea what that thing COSTS?"

I can still remember 25 years ago. I was in high school, and had a vague but persistent discomfort around computers. Somehow I couldn't look at one for more than about 10-15 minutes without starting to feel sick. And I could never keep track of what I was thinking, when I did anything with a computer even for shorter intervals. (There were lots of computers in my reality, but they all used tv monitors.) It took me an awfully long time to discover other kinds of computer screens and to learn to recognize the distinction.

#102 ::: Torrilin ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 07:19 AM:

I have an external touchpad, but I'm finding it very much harder to use than the one integrated with the laptop (probably because I need to look down at my hands when going back and forth between touchpad and keyboard.)

How odd. I'm the opposite, but then, I'm an oddity all 'round... It's always fun watching folks pick up their jaws off the floor when I tell them I've been gaming on a touchpad since the early 90s (mostly twitchy stuff like Diablo 2... no FPS tho since for years they gave me VR sickness). Everything else *hurts*, so I didn't have a lot of choice.

You'll find (if you can comfortably manage an octave reach on a piano) that your left hand carries the bulk of the work when typing. So it is possible to do quite a lot of touch typing one handed. That means your right hand lives on your pointing device, *not* on the keyboard. If you're a right hand dominant individual, you'll have a steeper learning curve. (left dominant tends to do this by default)

On systems where the touchpad is embedded in the bottom center of the keyboard, I end up doing things largely via keyboard (don't ask how... it's mostly autopilot *sigh*). Anything else gives my hands and wrists fits. And they're such useful body parts, so I try hard to be nice to them.

#103 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 08:37 AM:

The Sidelights item about "Eight Ways to Survive..." has an interesting opening passage:

Hey there Democrat, just over a week left until election day! Bet you're excited huh?

What's that? You're about to put your own head through a wall? You keep pacing the apartment muttering "yes we can" over and over to yourself? You just carved a backwards "G" into your own cheek and you don't even know what on earth "G" could possibly stand for?

Maybe it stands for "Get a grip."

Sounds like the author is reaching for an echo of Eddie Lawrence's inspirational routine about The Old Philosopher ("Is that what's botherin' you, Bunky?"), but doesn't quite follow through. Needs more marching band.

#104 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 11:17 AM:

Terry Karney @ 83: "I did an elegant solution to one of those puzzles.

http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=3605781"

That is quite nice! Elegant is precisely the right word for it. I came up with a solution to a another puzzle I;m rather proud of--not as elegant as yours, but fun nonetheless =)

http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=3622077

#105 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 02:02 PM:

Is the comment I composed last night stuck in the moderation queueue, or did I space out and hit Back before I hit Post again?

#106 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 02:03 PM:

Um, never mind. I should have checked my View All By first -- it's just further up the thread than I'd have thought.

#107 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 02:17 PM:

#97
That's the kind of flattened squid I use. Works pretty well, but it's built for right-handed people. I still have my ancient rectangular Trackman, which can be used lefthanded, if you don't mind the cord coming out toward you.

#108 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 03:19 PM:

Earl #97/P J #107: But it doesn't have tentacles! It can't be a proper flattened squid without tentacles.

#109 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 03:42 PM:

Mary Aileen @ #108, nor, apparently, does it make use of ink-jet technology.

#110 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 04:30 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 97 ... the link chasing's appreciated, but I'm hunting for an ambiguously handed flattened squid[0]...

[0] It seems as though I should really come up with something more entertaining, like a 'low profile multi-directional cephalopod', but my inspiration's tangled up in barometric pressure and migraine.

#111 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 05:01 PM:

"PRISON IS A SERIES OF CUBES." - the Poor Man does Time Cube (which is very odd in itself); Gene "Mr. Time Cube" Ray has apparently endorsed McCain...

#112 ::: Wakboth ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 05:18 PM:

Completely unrelated, and not written by me, here's some weird and hilarious, Obama-themed stuff that the people at Making Light might appreciate:

Barack Obama vs. Pirates of Wichita!

It's best described as a pulp-fantasy version of the current election season.

#113 ::: Mikael Vejdemo Johansson ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 06:06 PM:

Just figured people in here might be amused by the fact - as discussed by Brian Hayes and myself, that Liechtenstein has a nonplanar, 5-colorable but not 4-colorable map, due to the many many exclaves among the communes of Liechtenstein.

#114 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 07:12 PM:

Mary Aileen #108: But it doesn't have tentacles! It can't be a proper flattened squid without tentacles.

I expect that many of the knit-fu masters around here could produce a properly tentacled squid trackball cozy that would do in a pinch. I figure the tentacles of the trackball device in question were likely devoured by hungry Logitech factory workers.

#115 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 08:58 PM:

With apologies for intruding politics onto the open thread:

I've got a question about terminology regarding the current election. McCain is getting quite shrill about Obama being a "socialist." Being antipodean (or lacking in clue - YMMV) I'm curious as to who, exactly, this is meant to scare.

Does he mean "socialist" as in "European (or, hell, Australian) moderate leftist who thinks a social safety net and universal health care are a good idea"? Does he mean to imply Obama is going to nationalise all industries and put a hammer and sickle on the flag? Is he invoking the Cold War? Or what?

I mean, he might as well call him a Ghibelline, for all the sense it's making over here - the squeal of the dog-whistle (if that's what it is) isn't carrying.

#116 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 09:28 PM:

vian @ #115, "Does he mean to imply Obama is going to nationalise all industries and put a hammer and sickle on the flag? Is he invoking the Cold War?"

Both. He forgets that the number of voters who remember the USSR as a serious threat is declining, and that the idea of a social safety net for these parlous times doesn't sound all that bad to the rest of us.

#117 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 09:48 PM:

Vian @ 115: He means something along the lines of "My opponent wants to take your hard-earned money and give it to the poor."

Whenever I hear a politician say that, I assume it means that the speaker himself wants to take my hard-earned money and give it to the rich.

#118 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 09:56 PM:

So, it's just a generic sort of smear, then. Thought it must have been, but it's an odd ideology to invoke. Especially when your buddies have just nationalised the banks - talk about privatising profits and socialising loss!

Why is no one pointing out to the poor old duffer that people in glass houses, and all that? Oh well - under a week to go.

#119 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 10:53 PM:

vian (#118): We have, we're just waiting for the Straight Talk Express to pass the right set of roadside signs.

You call him / a socialist / But it seems / You won't be missed / Obama-shave.

#120 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 12:47 AM:

Allan @117: No, gracious no! It just means that he doesn't want to put any barriers in place of the rich people taking your money themselves. It's how the free market works, dontchaknow?

#121 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 01:27 AM:

I used to play clarinet, but I've pretty much forgotten it all. (Which annoyed the heck out of my sister: it took her years to figure out clarinet in band clas, then I picked it up in an afternoon without help.)

Adrian: I don't know if anyone touched on this, but in most browsers on most desktop OSes you can use the tab key to move between links and form fields, and the space bar to follow the current link or activate a button/checkbox/radio button.

#122 ::: Doug Burbidge ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 04:31 AM:

Adrian @ 101:

Could be temporal interpolation, though for most people that's not naked-eye visible.

Some (including all older) LCD monitors display each of red, green and blue at 256 different levels, giving 16,777,216 different colours. Some (including most newer) instead display each of R,G,B at 64 different colours, giving many less colours.

But here's the sneaky bit: if they want to display a colour between shade n and shade n+1, it will display shade n part of the time, and shade n+1 part of the time, rapidly flickering between them. The percentage of the time spent at each shade gives the perceived mix of colour. Usually, it's 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%. That means that each of R,G,B can be set to (sort of) 253 different levels, giving 253x253x253 = 16,194,277 colours.

You can tell the difference in sales literature in two different ways: firstly, monitors that directly represent the colours will be listed as supporting 16.7 million colours, while monitors that do temporal interpolation might be listed as supporting 16.2 million colours.

Secondly, "response time" is different: if it's 20ms (milliseconds) or more, it's direct, if it's 10ms or less, it's temporally interpolated.

Like I said up the top, the flickering is too fast for most people to see, but if you have a problem with monitor flicker, it's at least possible that this could affect you without you being consciously aware.

By the way, some keyboards do also contain a pointing device (usually a trackball or trackpad). Look perhaps for a "home theatre" keyboard.

#123 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 06:29 AM:

My favorite mouse pointer technology is Trackpoint, which places a pointing stick (like a little finger-controlled joystick) in the middle of the keyboard, because you don't have to move your hands away from the home row of keys to use it.

#124 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 07:57 AM:

Recalling recent ruminations re xkcd's [black] hat guy, we're seeing his further adventures lately – from Actuarial on.
(D'you think there's a [Harry S] Truman reference here?)

#125 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 11:19 AM:

Beat me to it, Epacris. But thanks; I doubt I'd've noticed it was updating every day this week if not for your post. My favorite bit from today's:

"You disrupted a 9/11 Truth meeting, insisting the twin towers never actually collapsed?"
"I have evidence! Don't trust the media! Wake up, Sheeple!"

#126 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 11:29 AM:

This is completely off-topic, but I couldn't think of any other crowd that would appreciate this, and I just had to tell someone: my polish girlfriend's father is in a historical reenactment group where he plays a dutch volunteer in the SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking. One would think a Pole whose parents witnessed the occupation and rape of Poland first-hand would have reservations about playing one of the villains in that story--one would be wrong.

So far, so weird. Now these reenactment people are sticklers for accuracy, meaning her father not only bought an exact replica of a 1942 grenade launcher, he also made sure the thing came with an exact reprint of the original manual. My girlfriend is perfectly fluent in German, but this is hard-core Nazi German (if you had a twenty syllable word for convoluted, that'd describe it), and the text is set in Fraktur. This is a neat example of that typeface.

So here we are now, me in Dublin, she visiting her family in Poland, both of us trying to figure out extremely obscure technical terms regarding the operation of a WW2 grenade launcher, and even though I have the suspicion I should feel a little embarassed explaining to my girlfriend in detail how the parents of my parents went about murdering the parents of her parents, all I feel is very amused.

#127 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 11:47 AM:

Daniel Klein @ 126... One would think a Pole whose parents witnessed the occupation and rape of Poland first-hand would have reservations about playing one of the villains

It's my understanding that Werner Klemperer, who was half-Jewish, reallyreallyreally wanted to play Colonel Klink on Hogan's Heroes.

#128 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 12:01 PM:

Serge @ 127: Even more strangely (to my mind), Robert Clary -- who played Corporal Le Beau on Hogan's Heroes -- was a real Holocaust survivor (of Buchenwald).

#129 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 12:11 PM:

Ginger @ 128... On the other hand, it gave them the chance to give the metaphorical finger to the bastards by making them look like fools.

#130 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 12:42 PM:

Bruce @ 100:

Those were by Michael Moorcock, and appear in (among other places) Blood, Fabulous Harbors, and The War Amongst the Angels (says Wikipedia, since I never saw the last one...). They contain several of his heroes from other sequences, in thin, no, or medium-thick disguise. I liked them.

--Dave

#131 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 01:39 PM:

(getting in late for reasons mentioned on the aromas thread) I just adore that Clarinet Quintet! My favorite piece of chamber music -- which I like much better than symphonies of the same era, since chamber sounds streamlined while symphs sound overstuffed to me. There's one other piece by Brahms, maybe a cello trio (don't quite feel like checking my CD collection), that I love nearly as much.

As to bands with reed players, it ain't exactly rock'n'roll, but I think some of Dan Hicks' bands, from the Charlatans on, had a clarinetist.

#132 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 01:41 PM:

Earl, #123: O ghod, the cl!t. I hatehatehate that thing, because it gets in the way of my touch-typing (which is shaky enough to begin with). For that matter, I hate the layout on most laptops which puts the keyboard way far back from the front edge -- I find it incredibly slow and awkward to type that way. This is one of the reasons that I disappear from all my online communities when we're on the road.

Daniel, Serge, et al: And of course there's the canonical example of Conrad Veidt, who was Jewish, playing a Nazi officer in Casablanca -- and doing a bang-up job of making him a real character rather than a dance-hall stereotype.

#133 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 01:51 PM:

Lee @ 132... I didn't know that about Veidt. And Klemperer, before he was Colonel Klink, played a totally unrepentant Nazi in Judgment in Nuremberg.

#134 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 04:33 PM:

Earl, #123

Ah, someone else who likes the trackpoint! I use both that and a mini-mouse when I'm at a desk, and the trackpoint alone when working with the laptop on my lap (e.g. on a train). I loath trackpads - I have mine switched off so I can't activate it accidentally.

Lee @ 132 "For that matter, I hate the layout on most laptops which puts the keyboard way far back from the front edge" - but that way the front area of the laptop acts as a wrist rest - I tried to change to putting my laptop on a stand (to move the screen closer to eye level) and using a small plug-in keyboard, but switched back because I got strain in my hands almost immediately with the keyboard, and worked out it was at least partly the lack of a wrist rest (also a plug-in keyboard doesn't have the Trackpoint, which I love).

#135 ::: Mikael Vejdemo Johansson ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Ginger @ 128:
And Buchenwald was the first major outing I took my wife along to when she came to visit me in Jena. It's currently a huge field, with a very small handful of buildings still standing, and with gravel filled outlines of all the houses, with memorial stones put out from all sorts of organizations.

#136 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 05:04 PM:

Klemperer and Clary weren't the only ones--John Banner (Sgt. Schultz) and Leon Askin (General Burkhalter) were also refugees who'd been in pre-war internment camps.

As noted, it's one way to get even.

Interestingly, Robert Clary was a singer to begin with, and his recordings (some fairly recent) are currently available at Amazon.

#137 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 07:42 PM:

RE the particle about the mouse-mixer:

That item appeared in an SF story. A disturbed character feeds *live* lab mice into it. (Shudder.)

#138 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 08:24 PM:

I've been noticing a lot of talk about deleted or released-from-moderation comments changing the numbering lately.

What about assigning numbers to comments according to submission order, rather than display?

Besides “it's hard to make the software do that”, the only reason I can think of against it is that it would cause the numbers to grow too fast, if there are a lot of held-for-moderation-then-deleted-as-spam comments.

(I notice that the software already numbers the comments in something like this way for purposes of # links, but these numbers are rather large; I assume they're sequential over all threads or some such.)

#139 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 09:40 PM:

Sad news: David Tennant will be leaving Doctor Who soon.

Although I have loved every minute of Tennant's performances, I can't help but be optimistic about the possibilities inherent in Steven Moffat having a completely blank slate when he takes over in 2010.

#140 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 09:55 PM:

This is probably not a very effective piece of campaign advertising, but I think it's pretty cool: Mayanists for Obama.

#141 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 10:24 PM:

In the realms of "people who were there" Jamie Farr was a veteran of the Korean War.

My god... the density of survivors in Hogan's Heroes.... and that John Banner could say, "I know nothink" with a straight face...

Wow.

#142 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 10:53 PM:

Ya think someone was a bit drunk in the news office?

"Obama Airs Primetime TV Ad; McCain Continues Attakcks on Riival"

(The article doesn't seem to be screwed up the way the headline is; just linking for verification.)

#143 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 11:20 PM:

#142: The misspelling is a secret code to B. Hussein Osama's legion of Marxist jihadist fifth-columnists! They'll be beating up old women to make them vote democratic, and to steal their medicine.

#144 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 11:38 PM:

Hogan's Heroes was a show I liked as a kid, but later thought "What the hell were they thinking?!".

If you've seen Stalag 17, you can see the root; there was even a plump German guard who was the prototype of Sgt. Schultz. Clearly Hogan's Heroes was intended as a comedy version of Stalag 17.

I recall a Mad magazine spoof of Hogan's Heroes; it concluded with Hogan worrying that the show was not tasteless enough, and he was looking to move on. Klink responds "Hogan... take me with you!". The last panel is the same cast set in a situation comedy in Auschwitz ("Hogan... if your ball team does not improve, it's the showers! The showers — get it?").

MASH was an improvement, but I still think it made the Korean War look like a pajama party.

#145 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 02:14 AM:

And you only have to compare "MASH" the movie with the TV show to see just how to take a clever and sarcastic idea and turn it into "feel-good" hijinks. Do you remember the title of the movie's theme song? That's right: "Suicide is Painless". Translates so well to broad comedy.

#146 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 02:55 AM:

Bruce @ #145, beyond the theme song, replacing Donald Sutherland as Hawkeye with Alan Alda and Elliot Gould as Trapper John with Wayne Rogers might also have been an indicator. When I think of television comedy in the 1970s, Sutherland and Gould emphatically do not come to mind.

#147 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 09:25 AM:

Daniel @126

Grenade launcher?

The German word granatwerfer was the designation for what the British and Americans call mortars. That page links to some wartime American descriptions.

The word "grenade" in English usually refers to a hand-thrown bomb, though the "rifle grenade" can be launched from a modified infantry rifle, and the term has been extended to include similar infantry weapons such as the American M203.

Now, a 1942 German mortar, real or replica, would certainly be an impressive beast. There seem to have been two mortars with a 1942 designation. A short 81mm, and the huge 120mm. I would be a little surprised if this were a replica of the big one.

And this is as good a place as any to find pictures,

#149 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 02:47 PM:

Two more votes for Obama in the can! Boyfriend and I just went to vote -- luckily one of the early voting locations is the library five minutes from our house. It was busy, but no line.

I'm currently nervously hoping the woman who checked me in remembered to sign as a witness (early voting here is technically no-excuse absentee voting, so you have to sign a form requesting an absentee ballot, and I assume the poll worker signs as your witness). Either way, though, my ballot is filled out and put into the machine. The machine noted close to 8000 votes so far (I'm assuming that's all votes cast at that location since early voting started). Yay!

#150 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 03:49 PM:

Alex Cohen @148, nice find, but perhaps you could have waited until monday.

#151 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 03:51 PM:

My favourite story about all the Jews in Hogan's Heroes (favourite as in "revenge is a dish best served cold" rather than "what a wonderful story) is the one where U.S. war veteran, professional musician and television star Werner Klemperer got disinvited from a parade *because he played a Nazi on TV*.

"I found that so ridiculous," he said, years later. "I wrote an open letter to the paper in that particular area and I said that I certainly would bow out of this parade, but that it was saddening to me that I, a three-year World War II veteran, had to do that." From his obituary in the NYT.

On the Fraktur font - you did know there was a written style of that as well? In 1941, Hitler decided that rather than being the "Aryan writing style", it was actually so difficult for non-Germans to read that it was causing more trouble than it was worth and Flag Day'ed it. I'm learning it - just to be different, and because my regular handwriting is so illegible that it really doesn't matter. See Sütterlin.

One of my favourite sysadmin stories was the two admins in a meeting with the highups, and one whispers to the other: "Jung'f gur cbyvgvpnyyl pbeerpg anzr sbe n pyvgzbhfr?"

Socialist: that's the politically current name for "Liberal", which has been used since 1980 to refer to the people that they used to refer to as "Commies". It is a code word for "bad, you should be scared of him."

Stupid WoW tricks: there's a reason I don't play MMs. And it's only partially because "if I wanted to deal with idiots, I'd go to the mall".

#152 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 03:54 PM:

Argh, I knew I'd miss something:

Clarinets (and woodwinds in General) rocking:
- Yeah, it's a metal woodwind, but Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull...
- Anyone who has heard "Sing, Sing, Sing" and still believes that a clarinet can't "rock out"...

#153 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 04:30 PM:

Rob Rusick @ 144... Clearly Hogan's Heroes was intended as a comedy version of Stalag 17.

A few years ago, there was a project to make a movie version of Hogan's Heroes and they were going to have it be like... yes... Stalag 17.

#154 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Tim May, #140: so have you taken up an interest in Mesoamerican culture?

#155 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 08:34 PM:

Marilee, et al. I got some more cell-spam today (lying bastards said it was second notice of a lapsing warranty for my vehicle. Since OI have no vehicle to have such a policy lapse on...).

So I dug up the address of the online FCC complaint form and reported them (two numbers, one Wisconson, one Iowa. both times I was told it was a mistake, and I'd be on the "do not call list". Hah. I only took it the second time because I was annoyed enough the first time I didn't get a clear name on the compant ("Warranty Help Desk).

The address, for those who might want to have it handy is: http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

#156 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 08:53 PM:

This being an open thread, I will mention that a few months back, a wanted criminal faked a suicide by leaving his car parked above the Hudson River (on the Tappan Zee Bridge), with "Suicide is painless" written on the vehicle. The newspaper I read this in felt the need to tell us that this was the theme song of M*A*S*H*.

#157 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 09:05 PM:

Vicki @ 156: Since this is an open thread, I can say that I went to school with that moron, and his choice of "suicide" location was just as moronic as his choice to fake it. Too bad they can't retroactively rescind his diploma.

#158 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 09:37 PM:

Serge @153: A few years ago, there was a project to make a movie version of Hogan's Heroes [..]

IIRC, Mel Gibson was to be Hogan.

#159 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 11:17 PM:

I just got an "Urgent Alert form the National Right to Life*click*"

Sorry, I hung up before they got to the point but really? Making that phone call to this state? (Noting here that one of my first votes was with the majority that legalized abortion in Washington, back before Roe v. Wade) They really are looking for the last voters anywhere with no internet, no cabel TV, no radio that picks up NPR, who don't know that things are too bad not to go for the guy who shows signs of being able to process new data and make decissions based on cold, clear, logic instead of a magical combination of political talking points and lack of impulse control.

Then, immediatly after I hung up and typed the first line of this post, the phone rang again, looking for the offspring who goes to school out of state (waves at my stalker). I finally thought to ask whose list they were calling, and it turned out to be the Washington State Labor Council's Get Out The Vote people. Ok, fine, nice to know: we've all voted, thanks, and then, since the caller has been working for the campaign and not sitting home with NPR all day and MSNBC every hour of the evening not occupied by TV shows with Adam Baldwin, David Boreanaz, Claudia Black or David Hewlett (Oh, or Tina Fey) or Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. I told her about the Right to Life phone call and what I'd picked up about robo calling and other campaign strategies, including voter suppression.

Just a little less than 120 hours until the Pacific Time Zone polls close. I can't wait, although I suspect it's going to feel like free fall when it's over.

#160 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 12:10 AM:

In the spirit of Open Threads, I draw readers' attention to one of this year's winners of the Australian Institute of Architecture awards, the Klein Bottle beach house on the Mornington Peninsula, outside Melbourne (Victoria). It's described here [Sydney-Melbourne rivalry? Phfft! Nah. Doesn't happen these days.] as “some metallic fungi-form zeppelin flung from outer space” (I'd interpolate 'geometric' or 'rectilinear' somewhere, not many curves; nor, in fact, my image of a Klein bottle. Memorable, however.)

#161 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 12:59 AM:

Apropos of absolutely nothing, and because I've lost track of the comment threads around here, is anyone following the daily updates on xkcd this week?

#162 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 01:28 AM:

Music-related heraldric punning. (Yeah, I know "heraldric punning" is a tautology.)

#163 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 01:32 AM:

Rob Rusick @ 158

Hmmm ... I'm not sure it's such a good idea to cast an Aryan in that part.
/snark

Summer Storms @ 160
Ah, the rise of the black hat! I'm betting he'll be confirmed just in time to take on the Paul in a winner-take-all death match.

#164 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 01:47 AM:

Stefan, #143, a 105-year-old black woman voted today for Obama. She was thrilled that she could vote for a black man for president.

Mycroft, #151, I used to help a frakturer with sales up at Kutztown festival. We mostly sold pre-printed frakturs with names and dates added (come back in 30 minutes) but she made and sold original ones for $300-$500, which is what kept her fed.

Terry, #155, thanks!

#165 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 02:12 AM:

#163: #143 was supposed to be a spoof of that wonderful robot insurance ad. If it came across as serious I'm losing my edge.

* * *

The following is much funnier if you know about Hobo Codes. Surprisingly, my sister did . . . thanks to a recent "American Girl Doll" movie. She showed the below-linked to my nices, who got a kick out them.

Rob Cockerham presents: Halloween Candy Codes

#166 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 03:00 AM:

Christopher 161: Yeah, I know "heraldric punning" is a tautology.

Heralds don't pun. They cant.

#167 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 07:02 AM:

Rob Rusick @ 158... Mel Gibson was to be Hogan

I wonder if that led to his being in Chicken Run.

#168 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 07:20 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 164... Do you mean THIS wonderful robot insurance ad?

#169 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 07:44 AM:

It's just struck me that if this man aged about twenty years he'd end up looking a lot like this man.

Should I be concerned?

#170 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 08:09 AM:

#164 writes:

The following is much funnier if you know about Hobo Codes. Surprisingly, my sister did . . . thanks to a recent "American Girl Doll" movie. She showed the below-linked to my nices, who got a kick out them.

One thing bothered me about that movie: a TV spot, showing a montage of Great Depression scenes, with a stentorious voiceover:

"It was an Era That Shaped a Generation..."

Wait a minute.

Doesn't every era shape a generation? Isn't every generation shaped by its era?

Lame copywriting. Just lame.

I was unable to find copy of the TV spot online. But in searching for it, I learned that Kit Kittredge, An American Girl contains not only the cerebral Wallace Shawn, in another of his un-cerebral roles, but also a bookmobile. So that's two good things.

As a fan of Depression radio, I can't help wondering whether Kit Kittredge, An American Girl, grew up to marry Jack Armstrong, the Aaaallll-American Boy, and feed their children Wheaties, the best breakfast food in the land. But I digress.

#171 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 08:49 AM:

JESR @159 They really are looking for the last voters anywhere with no internet, no cabel TV...

I read this as "no cabal TV" which would be something completely different.

Or would it?

#172 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 08:50 AM:

ajay@168

No, because Mayor Wilkins does not age.

#174 ::: Amanda ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 11:13 AM:

vian @115, 118: I think he is aiming at my mom, who is 69 years old and received a working-class education in the 1950s. She still believes the propaganda that she was taught then, which was that socialist == Soviet Union == Nazi ("National Socialism"). It turns out that this is what she meant when she said recently that she was worried that they never taught me preperly about socialism in school.

Dad is a Philadelphia liberal.

#175 ::: Stevey-Boy ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 12:14 PM:

Serge @172: I love the LP of that musical. Davis Essex as an artilleryman = Fantastic. As you rightly point out the artwork throughout is extremely well done.

#176 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 12:29 PM:

Marilee #163:

There was an article in the local paper a few days ago about a 109-year-old black woman, living in the next county, who had voted for Obama. Her father was born a slave.

#177 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 01:35 PM:

Wow. This could be a fantastic movie. I love the original, but I'd also love to see what the creator of Babylon 5 could do with this.

J. Michael Straczynski Writing Forbidden Planet Remake

#178 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 02:18 PM:

Summer Storms @160: Oh, they're daily! No wonder I missed half of them and had to backtrack!

#179 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 03:03 PM:

Brooks,

Yep. That happened to me as well, which is why I thought I should bring it to the Fluorosphere's attention. Also, Cory.

#180 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 03:04 PM:

(Oops, forgot to add: I have since added the xkcd feed to my LiveJournal friendslist.)

#181 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 03:53 PM:

Hello, academics and writers: I'm finally, finally going to move to using a reference manager, and I'm looking for advice.

(for anyone wondering how antediluvian I am - they didn't really exist a few years ago when I did my doctorate, and I was too busy with non-research work to want to deal with the overhead of learning how to use one over the last few years, but now I'm on sabbatical and working in a new field, so it's the right time.)

The default is certainly Endnote, but they are being jerks and suing their open-source competitors Zotero. I also know people who use LaTeX and recommend BibDesk, but most of my collaborators use Word, so I don't think I can go in that direction.

I have stacks of dead-tree papers, so I'll definitely have to do some manual data entry. I use PubMed as well as a number of engineering databases, and I use Google Scholar a lot (of course). But I don't normally refer to websites, just published papers.

Any thoughts or advice from Endnote, Zotero or other users?

#182 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 04:18 PM:

debcha #180:

I've switched from a pre-antidiluvian version of EndNote, last upgraded about 10 years ago, to Zotero. Switching the refs over was reasonably easy, and it looks to me as though it supports a lot more stuff than EndNote (although I don't know what EN have been up to recently). The main reason I switched, though, was something relatively trivial-sounding: I use a virtual screen manager (goScreen) and the two do not play at all nice with each other--if I have EndNote open and switch screens, it dies totally. Since a lot of what I do involves switching back and forth between a bunch of screens, this was not good.

That said, I haven't actually totally put Zotero through its paces because I'm not writing scholarly stuff just now.

#183 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 04:27 PM:

debcha, #180: Zotero is very nice, and integrates well with the browser Firefox. MS has a "search together" tool which does a similar job for IE. I've also used Jabref, which is standalone, and rather clumsy, but free.

#184 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 04:35 PM:

Scalzi's now finished 10 election lists, not 6. He says that's the last of them.

#185 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Stevey-Boy @ 174... When the Spielberg/Cruise movie came out, I think I read something about Wayne's musical being filmed in CGI. Obviously it didn't happen. I'd buy the DVD from the live concert, but it probably wouldn't play on a North-American player. Curses!

#186 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 05:32 PM:

Websites that simply shouldn't exist, 3543: tampon crafts.

#187 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 06:06 PM:

Oh, FOOEY!

Studs Turkel Dead at 96.

Oh, I wish he could have waited until Tuesday night, watching the map turn blue.

#188 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 07:14 PM:

Stefan Jones #186: That's Terkel, and I agree with you.

#189 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 07:17 PM:

In happier news:

Patrick Farley isn't dead! He wrote a chapter of another's ongoing comic. And says Electric Sheep will be back up in time for Obama's inaugural.

Farley's Blog

#190 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 07:42 PM:

If someone has posted about this on another thread, please let me know.

Has anyone else noticed the MASSIVE cognitive dissonance of a bunch of so-called Christians worshiping a Golden C/a/l/f Bull in public? Excuse me? This site
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/10/wheres_charlton_heston_when_yo.php
even has the appropriate text of why this is a major no-no.

Those of you in New York, if Moses smote them, and it hasn't been online, please let me know.

#191 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 07:48 PM:

Magenta Griffith @189, the "golden calf" story (which I think of as "Christianity, UR DOIN IT RONG") has been mentioned on the "religious right gone barking mad" thread. I believe the first post on it is this one.

#192 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 08:09 PM:

Magenta (189), what's the big deal? They say they're Christians, not that religion with all the inconvenient rules from Hebrew scriptures. *shrug* But if we're going to criticize the folks on Wall Street for not abiding by Ch. 19 of Leviticus, I'd rather talk about, "You shall not steal; you shall not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another." Or maybe, "You shall not defraud your fellow. You shall not commit robbery. The wages of a laborer shall not remain with you until morning."

But most particularly, "You shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your kinsman fairly. Do not deal basely with your countrymen. Do not profit by the blood of your fellows." It's not as good a picture as cattle statues, though.

#193 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 08:15 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 169... Isn't every generation shaped by its era?

Not necessarily.

"And if you experienced even a little bit of the sixties, you would feel the same way, too."
"I experienced* the sixties."
"No, I think you had two fifties and moved right into the seventies."

(from Field of Dreams)

#194 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 08:16 PM:

Adrian (191): Not "the folks on Wall Street," the fundies out there praying at/to the statue of the bull.

#195 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 08:21 PM:

Adrian@13 et al.

The mouse I use used to be called the Rocket Mouse, and it was designed by an ergonomics company. It's currently for sale as the fellowes micro trac handheld trackball. I love it a lot.

Like everybody else, I didn't know I was damaging myself until the damage was done, and now I can't use a regular mouse for more than 15 minutes or so before I start to hurt.

It has a cord, and it's handheld - I swap hands using it all the time. It doesn't sit on a desktop well, but once I got used to hanging it on a hook (by the cord) all was awesome. Also, it's cheap! I have a little stockpile in case Fellowes stops making them.

Best of luck finding a mouse that works for you!

#196 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 09:08 PM:

Moshe won't be striking anyone with lightning; see the fate of the North Kingdom of Israel (vs. Y'hudah/Judea) as more likely. (And, one could argue, already well in process.)

#197 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 09:12 PM:

Adrian #191: "The wages of a laborer shall not remain with you until morning"

Ummm, what does that actually mean?

#198 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 09:16 PM:

186, 187: I loved his books -- in Working, his description of the stone mason, who dreamed in stone, still stands out.

Mr. Terkel, thanks for the memories, and give our best to Ida.

#199 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 11:09 PM:

Earl @ #196, I believe it means you should pay him at the end of the workday and not make him wait till later for his wages.

#200 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 12:38 AM:

Stefan, #164, what robot insurance ad? Ah, the one Serge found? That's pretty old -- Sam Waterston is much younger in it -- and I've never seen it.

And speaking of robots, the best costume I've seen.

#201 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 01:36 AM:

Randolph and Joann - thanks very much. Does anyone have any experience with Endnote that they can share?

#202 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 07:36 AM:

Marilee @ 199... That's a cute robot girl.

"With my army of mechanical soldiers, I will conquer the world. Bweeheeheeheeh!!!"

#203 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 11:17 AM:

Robot fans should see the movie Robot Stories. Not great, but interesting.

#204 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 01:00 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 196

To expand on Lisa @ 198, the point is that the labourer may need that day's wages to buy food for himself and his family that evening - waiting until the next day to pay him may mean he and his go hungry.

#205 ::: JBWoodford ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 02:05 PM:

That "Spiritual Warfare" story sounds like something out of the end of Declare, doesn't it? These people are scary.

#206 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 03:20 PM:

debcha @180: For my dissertation, I used the one that did exist when you wrote yours, if it really was just a few years ago: BibTeX, which works with LaTeX. If you think like a programmer and write in LaTeX, I think it's pretty much ideal (though probably it could use a better database-like editor for the data files). Otherwise, I probably wouldn't recommend it that highly, but it very definitely made my life easier.

One thing I would look for, were I switching, would be a database that supports adding notes on the entries. In my BibTeX databases, I generally kept copies of the abstracts (cut-and-pasted from the online sites) as well as anywhere from a sentence to a paragraph of notes on the paper describing what was in it, what I might want to cite it for, and sometimes what some of the weaknesses in it were. That turned out to be very useful when I was coming up with reference lists for a paper a year later and had forgotten most of the details of what was in which paper.

#207 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 04:15 PM:

Adrian: Well bear in mind that the fundamentalists are always going on about the OT as justification about God wanting everyone to agree with everything they like or don't like.

But if you want to stick strictly to an NT justification for why that is grotesquely bad behavior, how about Matthew 6:24/Luke 16:13? In the King James version, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

#208 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 04:19 PM:

Crazy peoples barraging the Hawaii Dept. of Health with requests for Obama's birth certificate, to "prove" that he wasn't really born in Hawaii:

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20081101/NEWS05/811010345/1001

#209 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 04:41 PM:

Clifton @ #207, "Welcome to the wacky world of right-wing nutjobs, Dr. Fukino!"

#210 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 06:15 PM:

Debcha #180 and following discussion:

I use EndNote. I saw the Zotero lawsuit well after I'd assembled my EndNote database. While I might have chosen a different bibliography program if I'd known about the Zotero issues before I chose my program, by now I'm totally reliant on EndNote and can't bear to switch.

So far I've found a few minor flaws in the programming (for instance, it sometimes modifies capitalization when capitalization should not be modified), but the small irritations are worth it. Never having to produce a bibliography from scratch again = Priceless.

#211 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 09:49 PM:

Earl: As said, it means you can't hold a man's wages. There is a similar admontion about lending... one cannot keep a "garment" as collateral past the end of the day, as it is may be the person's only comfort from the cold.

#212 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 10:33 PM:

The one that always bugs me is when people think "an eye for an eye" is permission for equal or worse revenge. In the context of Bronze Age tribes, it was meant to be a limit on retaliation! (Also, it specifically referred the punishment to "the local authorities", rather than licensing the wronged party to take their own price.)

And a quick glance via Wikipedia suggests that the Torah's version is even more limited than I thought -- the full "eye for an eye" etc. is specifically a punishment for false witness! That is, the "malicious witness" gets whatever punishment they tried to frame the victim for.

#213 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 01:03 AM:

I recently acquired some old hand tools, and was curious to see if a search for the name (of the previous owner) stamped on some of the tools returned any response.

The answer was yes -- it's one more reason to observe Remembrance Day with sorrow and appreciation, and a hope for steps towards peace in the coming year.

#214 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 01:32 AM:

I want impeachment and removal from office of seven Federal judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, i>immediately on the grounds of religious bigotry and violation of separation of church and state, imposing their religious view as if it were federal law and medically proven fact rather than religious tenet, on the citizens of the country.

One of the people on a mailing list I'm on mentioned an item from the New York Times on October 29,

October 29, 2008
Appeals Courts Pushed to Right by Bush Choices By CHARLIE SAVAGE

URL:

WASHINGTON - After a group of doctors challenged a South Dakota law forcing them to inform women that abortions "terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being" - using exactly that language - President Bush's appointees to the federal appeals courts took control.

But this past June, the full United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit voted 7 to 4 to overrule those decisions and allow the statute to take immediate effect. The majority argued that it is objectively true that human life begins at conception, and that the state can force doctors to say so....

I did some googling and found,

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/newsroom/press-releases/planned-parenthood-v-rounds-21301.htm

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds

Planned Parenthood Challenged Interference in Doctor/Patient Relationship

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds

Planned Parenthood Challenged Interference in Doctor/Patient Relationship

New York, New York — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis today issued a ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, a case challenging a South Dakota law that requires doctors to give ideologically charged information to women seeking abortion services. Among other provisions, the law requires doctors to inform women seeking abortion services that the abortion would “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” ,... In South Dakota, PPMNS provides family planning services, birth control, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing, and abortion services to thousands of women every year. Planned Parenthood is the only abortion provider in South Dakota.

#215 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 09:57 AM:

Paula: does the law say they have to say it in English (or a language intelligible to the patient)?

I'm not making light of a horrid law, but sometimes you have to either snark or just bang your head against the wall till you pass out.

#216 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 10:55 AM:

Bits and pieces came together yesterday evening in a flash of insight: Because the atoms of Jesus' body are now well-distributed through the biosphere, Communion bread and wine are actually homeopathic Jesus.

#217 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 11:00 AM:

#214 Lila

I don't consider a grassroots demand for impeachment and removal of judges inappropriate, or headbanging. They are "judicial activists" violating the Bill of Rights regardings the rights of women to practice religions other than those which declare a blastola to be a human being. It is uncategorically historically attested in at least Judaism, with a large body of legal document going back more than 2000 years, that a) a fetus is not accorded the status of personhood, and b) that the well-being and continued existence and of the woman who is pregnant is of paramount value over a potential child. And even today, with all the modern technology and extreme efforts of teams of people at costs greater than the total productivity output of several average citizens for an entire year combined, there is is a time span below which the fetus will die, if the woman who is pregnant dies.
Hillary Clinton's comment to me is the cogent one: "Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare."
Women are legal adults in the USA, not chattel with no rights for self-determination. South Dakota law and Alitos and Scalia for certain on the Supreme Court, and seven of those Eight Circuit Court judges, treat women as chattel, only as step or two away from devolution into the gestators used to create gholas in Dune

Note the hypocritical chattel-makers don't want anything said about the threats to health and life that going through with a pregnancy involves.....

(Note, formatting below not fixed because my tolerance for the content got exceeded.... those "judges" I regard as lacking any mercy seasoning justice, and bearing false witness, as regards the rights of any not of their creed. And as for Mr Gonzales (involved a cited case and the interests of the State... the Republifascists only believe individual rights for themselves and and for robot service workers who provide the ruling class with profits and more workers.... and what he chose to prosecute versus the abominations and corruption he was party to stop investigation and prosecution of....

Excerpting from:

http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/08/06/053093P.pdf"


In 2005, South Dakota enacted House Bill 1166 (“the Act”), amending the requirements for obtaining informed consent to an abortion as codified in S.D.C.L. § 34-23A-10.1. Section 7 of the Act requires the performing physician to provide certain information to the patient as part of obtaining informed consent prior to an
abortion procedure and to certify that he or she believes the patient understands the information. The provisions of § 7 relevant to the preliminary injunction are as follows (emphases added):

No abortion may be performed unless the physician first obtains a voluntary and informed written consent of the pregnant woman upon whom the physician intends to perform the abortion, unless the physician determines that obtaining an informed consent is impossible due to a medical emergency and further determines that delaying in performing the procedure until an informed consent can be obtained from the pregnant woman or her next of kin in accordance with chapter 34-12C is impossible due to the medical emergency, which determinations shall then be documented in the medical records of the patient. A consent to
an abortion is not voluntary and informed, nless, in addition to any other information that must be disclosed under the common law doctrine, the physician provides that pregnant woman with the following information:

(1) A statement in writing providing the following information:
(a)The name of the physician who will perform the abortion;
(b) That the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being;
(c) That the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota;
(d) That by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated;
(e) A description of all known medical risks of the procedure and statistically significant risk factors to which the pregnant woman would be subjected, including:
(i) Depression and related psychological distress;
(ii) Increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide;
* * *
* * *
(2) A statement by telephone or in person, by the physician who is to perform the abortion, or by the referring physician, or by an agent of both, at least twenty-four hours before the abortion, providing the following information:
(a) That medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care;
(b) That the father of the unborn child is legally responsible to provide financial support for her child following birth, and that this legal obligation of the father exists in all instances, even in instances in which the father has offered to pay for the abortion;
(c) The name, address, and telephone number of a pregnancy help center in reasonable proximity of the abortion facility where the abortion will be performed; . . .
* * *
[¶ 2] Prior to the pregnant woman signing a consent to the abortion, she shall sign a written statement that indicates that the requirements of this section have been complied with. Prior to the performance of the ortion, the physician who is to perform the abortion shall receive a copy of the written disclosure documents required by this section, and shall certify in writing that all of the information described in those subdivisions has been provided to the pregnant woman, that the physician is, to the best of his or her ability, satisfied that the pregnant woman has read the materials which are required to be disclosed, and that the physician believes she understands the information imparted.

In addition, § 8(4) of the Act amended S.D.C.L. § 34-23A-1 to define “Human being” for the purposes of the informed-consent-to-abortion statute as “an individual living member of the species of Homo sapiens, including the unborn human being during the entire embryonic and fetal ages from fertilization to full gestation.” A physician who violates the Act knowingly or in reckless disregard is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. S.D.C.L. § 34-23A-10.2.
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and its medical director Carole E. Ball, M.D. (collectively “Planned Parenthood”) sued to prevent the Act from taking effect, claiming that the disclosure requirements in
§ 7(1)(b)-(d) and the physician certification requirement in § 7 ¶ 2 violate physicians’ free speech rights; that the disclosure requirements in §§ 7(1)(e)(i)-(ii) and (2)(c) are unconstitutionally vague in that they fail to give physicians adequate notice of the conduct proscribed; that being subjected to the disclosures in § 7(1)(b)-(d) unduly burdens patients’ rights to an abortion and violates their free speech rights; and that § 7 unduly burdens patients’ right to an abortion because its health exception is inadequate.

.... [legal geekery regarding testimony of supposed expert witnesses and their definitions ensues in the record and then discussion reaching for past precedents to bend to apply....]

....“An abuse of discretion occurs where the district court rests its conclusion on clearly erroneous factual findings or erroneous legal conclusions.” Id. at 503-04. In the instant case, the district court rested its conclusion on an error of law when it ignored the statutory definition of “human being” in § 8(4) of the Act. Taking into account the statutory definition, we find that Planned Parenthood’s evidence at the preliminary injunction stage does not demonstrate that it is likely to prevail on the merits.
We first examine the contours of the right not to speak. “[T]he right of freedomof thought protected by the First Amendment against state action includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all.” Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705, 714 (1977). In general, to address a claim that a state action
violates the right not to speak, a court first determines whether the action implicates First Amendment protections. Id. at 715. If it does, the court must determine whether the action is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest. Id. at 716. “[W]here the State’s interest is to disseminate an ideology, no matter how acceptable to some, such interest cannot outweigh an individual’s First Amendment right to avoid becoming the courier for such message.” Id. at 717.

In Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania v. Casey, the Supreme Court held that “a requirement that a doctor give a woman certain information as part of obtaining her consent to an abortion” implicates a physician’s First Amendment right not to speak, “but only as part of the practice of medicine, subject to easonable licensing and regulation by the State.” 505 U.S. 833, 884 (1992) (plurality opinion).8
However, the Court found no violation of the physician’s right not to speak, without need for further analysis of whether the requirements were narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest, id., where physicians merely were required to give “truthful, nonmisleading information” relevant to the patient’s decision to have an abortion, id. at 882. Significantly, information deemed relevant in Casey was not
limited to information about the medical risks of the procedure itself; the State also required the physician to inform the patient that the father of her child would be liable for child support and that other agencies and organizations offered alternatives to abortion. Id. at 881, 902-03. Such information was relevant because it “furthers the
legitimate purpose of reducing the risk that a woman may elect an abortion, only to
discover later, with devastating psychological consequences, that her decision was not
fully informed.” Id. at 882. Furthermore, the fact that the information “might cause
the woman to choose childbirth over abortion” did not render the provisions
unconstitutional. Id. at 883.
In the recent Gonzales v. Carhart decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed in the
context of abortion that “it is clear the State has a significant role to play in regulating
the medical profession” and that “[t]he government may use its voice and its
regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman.” 550
U.S. ---, 127 S. Ct. 1610, 1633 (2007). The Court described in detail the State’s
interest in regulating the information provided by physicians prior to an abortion in
the context of partial-birth abortion procedures:
Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral
decision. While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it
seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their
choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained. Severe
depression and loss of esteem can follow.
In a decision so fraught with emotional consequence some doctors may
prefer not to disclose precise details of the means that will be used,
confining themselves to the required statement of risks the procedure
entails. From one standpoint this ought not to be surprising. Any
number of patients facing imminent surgical procedures would prefer not
to hear all details, lest the usual anxiety preceding invasive medical
procedures become the more intense. This is likely the case with the
abortion procedures here in issue.
It is, however, precisely this lack of information concerning the way in
which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State.
The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed.
It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort
-17-
must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound
when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that
she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing
brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form.
It is a reasonable inference that a necessary effect of the regulation and
the knowledge it conveys will be to encourage some women to carry the
infant to full term, thus reducing the absolute number of late-term
abortions.
Id. at 1634 (citations omitted).
Casey and Gonzales establish that, while the State cannot compel an individual
simply to speak the State’s ideological message, it can use its regulatory authority to
require a physician to provide truthful, non-misleading information relevant to a
patient’s decision to have an abortion, even if that information might also encourage
the patient to choose childbirth over abortion. Therefore, Planned Parenthood cannot
succeed on the merits of its claim that § 7(1)(b) violates a physician’s right not to
speak unless it can show that the disclosure is either untruthful, misleading or not
relevant to the patient’s decision to have an abortion.
Taken in isolation, § 7(1)(b)’s language “[t]hat the abortion will terminate the
life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” certainly may be read to make
a point in the debate about the ethics of abortion. Our role, however, is to examine the
disclosure actually mandated, not one phrase in isolation. Planned Parenthood’s
evidence and argument rely on the supposition that, in practice, the patient will not
receive or understand the narrow, species-based definition of “human being” in § 8(4)
of the Act, but we are not persuaded that this is so. See Wash. State Grange v. Wash.
State Republican Party, 552 U.S. ---, 128 S. Ct. 1184, 1190 (2008) (“[W]e must be
careful not to go beyond the statute’s facial requirements and speculate about
‘hypothetical’ or ‘imaginary’ cases.”). South Dakota recognizes the well-settled
-18-
canon of statutory interpretation that “[w]here [a term] is defined by statute, the
statutory definition is controlling.”

#218 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 11:07 AM:

Joel #215:

But also homeopathic a lot of other people, some considerably less desirable as treatment. Not to mention you can get the effect without the ritual. All you have to do is breathe.

#219 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 11:11 AM:

Paula @ #216: I'm sorry I expressed myself badly. I was referring to my own emotional reaction, not to any action or recommendation of yours.

I'll shut up now.

#220 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 12:34 PM:

More confirmation of the Palin-as-narcissist:
She stages a whole rally in Florida, without a single mention of McCain in the signage or in her speeches. In her mind, she's apparently running for President, solo.
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/11/01/mccains-name-nowhere-to-be-seen-at-palin-rally/

Best comment:
"Go Sarah Palin!!!
And by 'Go Sarah Palin' I mean go help Obama win an enormous landslide."

#221 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 01:26 PM:

Seems that Palin just got pranked pretty badly.

"rouge a levre sur un cochon" → "lipstick on a pig"; "on pourrait tuer des bebe phoques" → "we could go kill baby seals".

#222 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 01:34 PM:

219: All About Eve.

#223 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 01:58 PM:

This may already have been mentioned on some thread, somewhere, but here's my favorite new non-functional Republican stunt:

Dr Peter Millican, a philosophy don at Hertford College, Oxford, has devised a computer software program that can detect when works are by the same author by comparing favourite words and phrases.
He was contacted last weekend and offered $10,000 (£6,200) to assess alleged similarities between Obama’s bestseller, Dreams from My Father, and Fugitive Days, a memoir by William Ayers.

The right-wingers in question, Rep. Chris Cannon of Utah and his brother-in-law, backed out of their offer when Millican said he would make the results public regardless of whether they showed a link. Apparently the pair weren't all that confident the results would be on their side... and it didn't occur to them that Millican's intellectual integrity might not be for sale.

#224 ::: Melton Medievalist ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 02:24 PM:

If this hasn't already been mentioned, then the awesome Battle Bonfire in Sussex might be of some interest. The bonfire society puts on a show each year, complete with torchlight parade, traditional guy, and burning effigy (reflecting topical issues)This year it was Sarah Palin -as Rambo.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/sarahpalin/3332316/Sarah-Palin-effigy-burned-on-bonfire.html

#225 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 04:35 PM:

Michigan nut-job only gives Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters whose parents support McCain.

GI Joe cartoon spoof PSA #1

GI Joe cartoon spoof PSA #2

#226 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 06:31 PM:

Nanowrimo

Just passed 10,000 words

I can be bloody long-winded when I let myself go.

#227 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 10:05 PM:

Open thread Q for the LazyWeb: ( I expect this group will know if anyone does.)

What is the original and literal meaning of "gird ones loins"? Merriam-Webster is decidedly unhelpful. I have no particular need to know other than sudden curiosity.

#229 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 11:33 PM:

Paula L, #216, as I read it, the doctor can preface those required words by saying the state requires him to say them, he doesn't agree, and offer other scientific information.

#230 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 02:29 AM:

Brooks Moses (#205) and Rymenhild (#209): Thank you both!

Brooks, BibTex was recommended to me by one of my colleagues. I used LaTeX for my senior thesis in college, and it worked great for a solitary engineering student's caffeine-fueled all-nighter, but now that I collaborate with a bunch of researchers in different fields, I really need to use Word.

Rymenhild, I think Zotero is designed to make it easy to switch from EndNote (they wouldn't have much of a user base if it wasn't) - if you are interested, you should go check out it out. But I'm getting the impression that the functionality of EndNote still exceeds that of Zotero, at least at the moment.

#231 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 05:27 AM:

debcha: My (mac-using, humanities-PhD-studying) wife informs me that Endnote for OSX is like unto a steaming pile of ordure; buggy, crash-ridden, and doesn't provide MHRA citation support.

From what I've gathered, all reference managers make life somewhat easier, but still extract their tithe of pain and suffering as you try and make them do exactly what you wanted... rather like computers in general.

I am probably going to try and use LaTeX for my masters dissertation and the PhD beyond - can anyone recommend a good bibtex database manager for Windows?

#232 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 08:23 AM:

Tangent from another thread...

Lucy Huntzinger: I will now commence using "that bakes my noodle" when I am mad.

You can if you want, but that's not what it usually means.

In common usage, a thing that "bakes your noodle" is an interesting and strange idea: something that stretches your mind and makes your mental gearwheels spin rapidly (and possibly emit smoke).

The canonical instance occurs in a description of a predestination paradox in a famous work of sf: "What's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?"

#233 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 11:38 AM:

Bill, thanks! Curiosity is now satisfied, at least for a few minutes until something else pops into my brain.

#234 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 12:02 PM:

Jakob @230: Honestly, what I did for a BibTeX database manager (on both Windows and Linux) was just a simple text editor with good search capability, and keeping all the entries in the file in alphabetical order by first author. It wasn't the best solution, I suppose, but it worked reasonably well and of course let me add extra fields when I wanted to.

#235 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 12:05 PM:

Jakob @ 230, I can independently verify your wife's observation about EndNote for the Mac.

I wish that Papers did citation management. Currently you've got to hack it via BibTeX. Fantastic for keeping, searching, and reading the papers themselves; nearly useless for making bibliographies.

#236 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 01:25 PM:

Look what I found - a traditional recipe for Election cake! If I can get a bundt pan tonight, I'm going to make (an egg-free version) of this. Would we even need GOTV efforts if everyone knew that voting => cake?

#237 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 04:44 PM:

Cat @235:
Would we even need GOTV efforts if everyone knew that voting => cake?

Depends if there was anyone telling them the cake is a lie.

#238 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 05:07 PM:

Barack Obama's grandmother has died of cancer.

How I wish she had had just a few more days...

#239 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 05:17 PM:

Depends if there was anyone telling them the cake is a lie.

It's clearly photoshopped. You can tell by the shadows.

Sadly no elections here until May (unless Gordon Brown does something highly unusual) so I'll have to come up with another reason to make this cake. It seems that I can't walk past a cake recipe without wanting to bake it at the moment.

#240 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 09:04 PM:

A random-word letter jumble I was asked to enter before posting to a blog:

"mutsocke."

Google turned up no entries.

We need to find a meaning for that.

(Also, "hulagop," which has a Yiddish ring to it.)

#241 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 10:12 PM:

hulagop is obviously Republicans trying to be "hip"

#242 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 10:45 PM:

#235
The batter tastes good. (Didn't have any mace, and there was none at the market, so I used allspice instead. And had to beat it to bits, because all I had was whole berries.) Chopping raisins is just about impossible, though.

#243 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 11:36 PM:

PJ, #241, flour the knife.

#244 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 11:41 PM:

Marilee, I was thinking that I was supposed to oil it. Didn't do either, but they got chopped, sort of, anyway.
The batter's in the pan rising right now. (I suppose I could have used some of my Extremely Happy Raisins, the ones that have been in rum or triple sec for, um, about four years.)

#245 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:13 AM:

More advice:
Don't try cooling it like an angel cake, because it's not that sturdy when hot, it's more like coffee cake. It's good, though.

#246 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:53 AM:

Stefan Jones @235: In German, 'Mut' means courage, and 'Socke' means, ... well, sock. So maybe a Mutsocke is like a lucky charm, to be worn especially on days when you know you're going to need some extra confidence. (Of course, wearing a pair of them will give you even more confidence.)

#247 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:27 AM:

Another language glitch. Reading the Election Cake article, it was called a coffee cake (threadclash: I just tried to type that as cff ck), then reading the recipe there was no coffee in it, which took me aback. So I guess a coffee cake is like a teacake, something you have with coffee or tea, rather than one flavoured by (with) coffee or tea.

I'm rather sadly fantasizing Studs and Granma sitting in the front stalls, or front row of the bleachers or grandstand cheering on their boy. First results from Dicksville Notch look hopeful.

It's Tuesday evening here, and Melbourne Cup day. Many parties, with dressing up, and much millinery. An unexpected winner, with the closest of photo finishes. Tomorrow afternoon 'from 2:30 to 6:30pm' our ABC will be broadcasting live coverage of the results of the US Election. Another first, along with the earlier live broadcasts of the debates. An interesting combination of the effect of internet interconnectivity and the interest of the election itself.

I'm upset that last time I was in the post office there was a wonderful — completely non-political — birthday card with a photoshopped piglet wearing lipstick, but I saw it on the way out, didn't want to get onto the back of the queue again, and hoped to return soon to buy it. Didn't get back 'til today, and it was gone, durn it.

#248 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:51 AM:

Re: Election cake - how much is 2 packets of yeast in grams or volume measures? I'm going to try this for tonight as we stay up and see what the results are...

#249 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:14 AM:

Your vision of them in the grandstand brings a tear to my eye, Mez.

#250 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:27 AM:

Jakob @ 247: A packet of yeast (dry, active) is 2 1/4 teaspoons, or 3/4 of a tablespoon. 2 packets would be 4 1/2 teaspoons or 1 1/2 tablespoons.

#251 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:35 AM:

...and a teaspoon is about 5 ml.

#252 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:07 AM:

Chad Orzel dances like a monkey.

http://scienceblogs.com/principles/

#253 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:44 AM:

Mez
Yes, coffee cake is something you have with coffee or tea. It's usually mildly sweet and spicy; this is actually a pretty good recipe. (Any more most of them are quick bread, not yeast-raised. That's one way to tell how old this recipe is.)

Mine is currently in a box in the fridge; it decided to rain and I didn't want to deal with box and umbrella both.

#254 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:50 AM:

PJ Evans #252:

I'm reasonably ancient myself and was raised to understand that coffee cake fell into the "quick bread" category by definition, all nice and crumby. If it was yeast-based, we called it "sweet roll" and had icing on top.

#256 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 12:44 PM:

I think of Serge any time I read Girl Genius and it is especially good.* Today, it was, "There, everyone! You heard me! I asked nice!"

Squee!

*Yes, that means I think of him most days I read Girl Genius.

#257 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 01:05 PM:

#253
I have the impression that this recipe is older than McCain, or it's from the 19th century, at least. It's really tasty today. Kind of a fruit-spice bread.

#258 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 01:11 PM:

Ha! I just came over here to post that link, Claude!

#259 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 01:21 PM:

RM Koske @ 255... I think of Serge any time I read Girl Genius and it is especially good.

My cunningly diabolical plans are unfolding as expected!
Bwahahahah!!!

#260 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 01:31 PM:

Mez@246, Elise@248: I'm not sure if this vision of an inaugural ball has already been posted here, but it's worthy.

#261 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 01:34 PM:

Michael Crichton dead at 66:

http://members4.boardhost.com/JohnShirley/msg/1225908603.html

#262 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 04:57 PM:

Theoretical knitting:

Something about crocheting the hyperbolic plane appeared on this weblog a long time ago.

#263 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 05:16 PM:

Heck, this thread led me to ML in the first place (although admittedly later than the posting date).

#264 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 08:33 AM:

Ooh, Debbie, thanks! I came along well after that thread and have never seen it.

#265 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 10:29 AM:

#262, #263: Unfortunately, many of the links seem to have rotted.

#266 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 04:45 PM:

NaNoWriMo

20,100 words

Most of them rubbish, I expect.

#267 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 04:55 PM:

Go Dave!

#268 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 05:02 PM:

Seen on the street:

LOST: Precious Family Ring. Fell out of car on Jones St. Oct. 3. $1000 Reward! Contact *****

Posted directly above:

LOST PET: Disappeared After Finding Precious Family Ring. Answers to name of Smeagol. Has been known to bite. Contact Frodo Baggins, Bag End, The Shire.

#269 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 07:14 PM:

Ambar, #259: Oh, man. I don't cry at movies or weddings, and although I could understand why people would cry tears of joy about Obama's win, I hadn't. But that mental image, and especially his speech at the end... that made me tear up.

Janet, #267: *snork!*

#270 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 07:20 PM:

Similar experience in my office: a To: All email went around saying "Would the person who left a gold ring by the sink in the ladies' lavatory please notify the office manager with a description", followed within ten minutes by another saying "It's ours! The precious! We wants it!"

I was impressed.

#271 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 09:39 PM:

Remember the cards Terry showed us on his photography page? I just had a set come and they're gorgeous! Beautiful Crane paper and envelopes, in addition to the fabulous picture! Just wonderful. Now if I could remember the link to give you guys....

#272 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 10:41 PM:

Laurie Mann is reporting that Forrest J. Ackerman, a towering figure in science fiction fandom, has died.

#273 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 10:46 PM:

I just saw a posting on LJ that according to Laurie Mann, Forry Ackerman has died. Can anyone confirm this? Even typing this I am crying.

#274 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 10:48 PM:

Thanks. Now I can cry. He was a wonderful man.

#275 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 10:56 PM:

Not for the first time, Wikipedia is disputing an account of an SF death. I trust Laurie.

#276 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 11:04 PM:

It must have been this afternoon, because LASFS's page, updated today, says he's very weak but still alive.

#277 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 11:12 PM:

The British Fantasy Society notice about him was premature; I don't know if that is Laurie's source or not. The LASFS web site was updated today to disregard the BFS notice.

#278 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2008, 11:41 PM:

Marilee @ 270, Re Terry's photo cards and photography website,
he announced it in Open thread 113: Terencey Karney Photography

#279 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 01:14 AM:

Locus is reporting Forry's death, with a promise of an obit tomorrow.

Locus is absolutely a sufficiently reliable source for Wikipedia's citation standards, but I have absolutely no patience with edit wars, and I notice that Laurie's edits have already been reverted (she cited Robin Bailey on sff.net).

#280 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 03:16 AM:

So Forry survived to see a black man elected President of the USA...

If that doesn't count as a science fiction future arriving, what does?

#281 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:06 AM:

Alex Paige reports (on a fannish email list, via Dave Langford) that any official announcement about Forry will be posted to the LASFS web site, and that the spread of reports seem to be a result of the British Fantasy Society's recent premature report; the BFS has posted a retraction and apology.

#282 ::: Clan ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:08 AM:

I'm fondly remembering a list of titles that Forry drew up when A.E. Van Vogt said he was writing novels too quickly and couldn't come up with enough topics. They were names like "One Zillion Leaning Towers" and "The Twin Who United Himselves". I seem to have lost the link even as we lose the man. RIP.

#283 ::: Clan ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:11 AM:

Whoa! Always refresh before you post, children, or you'll look like me. Glad to hear Mr. Ackerman is still around. It gives me hope I can find that link...

#284 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 06:04 AM:

So 4E is still among us, right? Good.

#286 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 10:15 AM:

Maybe it's just me, but my first thought on seeing the picture in this story on Honda's new robotic walking assistant was "robo-wedgie".

#287 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 12:45 PM:

Serge #283: So 4E is still among us, right? Good.

Locus Online has posted a retraction, as has dpsinfo.com

#288 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 01:16 PM:

re the particle on "Working Model Greetings Cards": major faunch.

#289 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 01:31 PM:

Back a few months ago, on an earlier open thread, I wrote that I'd had to shave off my longtime beard for a new job. I mentioned that I'd probably post before-and-after photos on my own blog.

I finally got around to posting the photos: here.

For the record: I don't consider the change an improvement; I want the beard back someday.

#290 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 02:31 PM:

Schrodinger's Forry.

#291 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 02:49 PM:

C.Wingate #287:

Not just the cards. Look at the rest of the stuff!

Teresa, that was a *bad* thing you just did; now I'm gonna have to spend money.

#292 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 03:24 PM:

Bruce @ #288, I sympathize. I'm often told by my mother that I should shave off the mustache I've had since 1968 (with a brief 9-week absence for basic training in 1972). My response is always "I wouldn't recognize myself if I did that."

#293 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 03:57 PM:

Open-threadiness:

Ever since I moved down here, my cat Gremlin has been fascinated with the front door -- handing out there, peering beneath the crack, etc. Well, it is the first time she's had a front door that actually opens to the outside... so, last week, I finally bought a halter and leash for her, and started occasionally taking her out to the front yard for some air. Being a 14-year old house-cat, she just looks around a bit, sometimes basks in the sun, but she was also wandering over the lawn, picking out individual grass blades to chew on.

Eventually, I started wondering exactly why she was picking those blades, and, as it happens, today she found a whole clump that was chomp-worthy. So I look more closely at it, and do a double-take. Then I pluck one of the stalks (not blades) and chew it myself, and yep.... She's picking out shoots of wild garlic!

The stuff grows all over the place down here. I've been harvesting it from a local hiking trail in the spring, when it gets big. Unfortunately, late last May, someone (or something?) was more methodical, and dug it all out.

#294 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 04:06 PM:

I would like to state, for the record, that Jim Macdonald's posts on emergencies are Very Useful, and that WWJMD (What Would Jim Macdonald Do?) just got me through a bit of a scare.

***

I was eating lunch on campus today, and noticed that a young woman at the table across from me was slumped over, and not responding to her (very concerned) friend.

I went over to see what was going on. She didn't really respond to me, either - she wasn't fully unconscious, but she wasn't fully responsive, either.

I was concerned for her, so I suggested to her friend we have her lie down on the floor. That way, I figured she couldn't fall and hurt herself. We helped her lie down (had to practically lift her to the floor) and I elevated her feet on her bookbag, and called out to the other people around us to ask for jackets to cover her with. This struck me as sensible first aide for possible shock.

Then I asked that someone call 911, and saw two people doing so. They arranged that an ambulance would come, and I sent someone outside to watch for the ambulance and guide them to us.

Asked if she had diabetes, and she said no. She said she had her period, and bad stomach pains.

Campus police showed up a little while later, and I filled them in. They made sure that the EMTs found us, got ID for the girl, and took over. I stayed there until she was on her way to the hospital, with two of her friends riding along. (She was Asian, and slipping between English and her native language - I wasn't sure what it was, as she wasn't speaking clearly - but her friends could translate for the EMTs.)

So, that was my exciting afternoon.

I was calm throughout, but now I'm all jittery.

***

Thank you Jim, for your good advice, and I'd like to suggest that a link to the index of these posts be put in fairly large type at the top of the Making Light front page. They're too good to be hidden.

#295 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 04:45 PM:

Open threadiness: Looks like I need a new hip.

The limp everyone has been noticing finally got me to the doctor, who sent me to the other doctor, who sent me to get xrays right away, then when he got those back sent me for an MRI and told me to walk with a cane until I can have the hip replacement.

Apparently the MRI was to find out if, in addition to severe arthritis and a small fracture (which could continue to crack, hence the cane) in the hip, I have AVN (avascular necrosis) which is the end of the bone dying. Which would totally suck.

I'm getting lots of advice from all sorts of people. I have pretty good insurance, thank gods, but I'm not sure how living in a 4th floor walkup is going to interact with the recovery period after a hip replacement. I'm pretty strong, but I can't walk up stairs on my hands!

But all those worries seem far away right now. They gave me a Valium before putting me in the hot water heater closed MRI machine, so I'm feeling kinda floaty.

Anyway, all this is nothing to the medical problems other members of our community have experienced recently. I'm not in danger for my life, unless I really break the hip completely, and even that's not THAT serious. And I'm virtually certain to recover completely, and be able to go back to doing things I can't do now, like running and dancing and lifting.

#296 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 04:49 PM:

Good on you, Ursula! You were calm during the crisis, and that's what counts. Your reaction now is normal, and you should do whatever makes you feel better. And reward yourself! You may have saved that young woman's life.

I salute you! *raises a glass to toast Ursula* Can I get a So Say We All?

#297 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 04:52 PM:

So say we all.

#298 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 04:52 PM:

xopher @ #295, agreed.

Salud, Ursula!

#299 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 04:54 PM:

What I came over here to do was put up a link to the Obama campaign's Flickr account.

They really didn't miss many opportunities to connect with their supporters.

#300 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 04:56 PM:

Yay, Ursula. Sounds like you did the right thing.

And second-order-yay, Jim. You never know when something like that will have a very, very big impact on people, and we've seen several stories now about people here taking Jim's information and putting it to good use. Who knows how many other people have used it and not commented here, or will?

I agree that those posts ought to have their own front-page index.

#301 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:00 PM:

Xopher @295 -- agreed (I second Ursula's motion for a larger link to Jim MacDonald's posts).

About your hip -- that sucks. What a way to ruin a perfectly good Friday. I know what you mean about "other(s') problems are worse", but still. Sending many good thoughts your way. And I hope you have a really snazzy cane.

#302 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:00 PM:

albatross 299: May I suggest a friendly amendment?

I agree that those posts ought to have their own permanent front-page index.

#303 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:06 PM:

Xopher, my most-senior-aunt has had at least one hip replaced. She's still active, she still drives a car, and she's past 90 by some years. (I don't believe that she voted for the geezer, either.)

#304 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:10 PM:

*hoists mug of tea*

So say we all!

#305 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:13 PM:

Thank you, Ursula! And I agree: if Jim's posts could have a permanent front-page index, that would be a Very Good Thing.

(I'm all for a greatest-hits index, with things like Slushkiller, myself.)

#306 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:20 PM:

Ursula, ya done good.

Xopher: better to have the hip replacement before the bad break. Less muscle trauma that way, and cleaner surfaces. My Dad had both hips replaced post-injury (a couple of years apart, and typically for him, he walked on a broken hip for a couple days with the second one, because he wanted to get some things finished first) and the recovery period was pretty short compared to the old pre-replacement days when that injury was pretty much always the end of active life.

#307 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:43 PM:

Xopher @ 294... Be hip. Go for the hip. My mother did it, and she's in her Seventies. Meanwhile, my wife is getting a new knee next week.

#308 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:49 PM:

So say we all!

(A part of me is glad that the campus police didn't tase her when she didn't comply with their orders to stand up, though.)

#309 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 05:52 PM:

Yays for Ursula and for Jim! And much sympathy for Xopher's hip. I think hip replacements are pretty much by the numbers these days, so at least you won't have to be a gunee^W guineu^W hamster for the medical profession to practice on.

#310 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 06:01 PM:

Xopher @294:

There is a new procedure for hip replacement that is less invasive than the standard procedure, so be sure to query your surgeon as to which he does.

Healing energy on its way, an it be your will.

#311 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 06:08 PM:

Lori, it be my will, thank you.

Now I've just had news that makes the hip thing seem even more trivial: my ex David, who I've been close friends with for much longer than we were together (and that was seven years)...has died. I just got the call from the guy who found him in his apartment.

I'm sorry. You may not see me on here for a while. I'm going to go cry for a while.

#312 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 06:37 PM:

Damn. My condolences.

#313 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 06:38 PM:

I'm so sorry, Xopher.

#314 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 06:57 PM:

Xopher: How awful. I'm sorry to hear it, too.

#315 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 06:59 PM:

Yay Ursula!

Oh Xopher! You will be in my thoughts (and prayers, if you don't mind Christian ones) and I can send cookies if you like.

#316 ::: Jörg Raddatz ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 06:59 PM:

I am very sorry to hear that.

#317 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 07:06 PM:

So say we all! Ursula deserves the Making Light Macdonald award for conspicuous competence in emergencies.

Xopher, we knew you were hip. As for the recovery period, ask your doctor what the required time is before you can negotiate the stairs twice a day is likely to be. That's the period you'll have to stay home; maybe you can find a friend who can pop in every once in awhile to help with those little chores that will be a problem in the first day or two, or run errands while you're still tied to your floor.*

I've got a back surgery coming up in about 6 weeks (if we can convince the insurance company they're wrong to veto it), and I'm expecting a recovery time of about 3-4 weeks, part of which I won't be able to climb stairs, either. So I'm going to do exactly what I suggested to you: I'll live in the family room on the bottom floor, where there's a bathroom, a TV, a stereo, and my laptop, and sleep in my recliner for the few days necessary. Having a live-in friend helps (although I may have trouble with the dogs wanting to jump up on me), but, lacking that, any friend within walking or driving distance will do.

* Unless your friend isn't into tying you to your floor.

#318 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 07:27 PM:

Xopher, I'm sorry about the hip, but those operations -- replacement or re-surfacing, whichever you end up with -- work really well. I can think of five people I know who have had one, and two who have had both hips operated on, and their outcome was great, they are active and pain free. My guess is you're heading for replacement, since they can only do re-surfacing if the head of the femur is in good shape, which it sounds like yours is not.

I'm more than sorry about David.

Thinking of you.

#319 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 07:28 PM:

Sorry, Xopher.

#320 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 07:50 PM:

Xopher: My condolences on your loss. And good luck with the hip replacement.

Ursula: Good job!

#322 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 08:17 PM:

D'oh, correct link for Barack Obama's Flickr photostream, the above is for his profile page.

#323 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Ursula: Well done!

Xopher: Please accept my condolences for your loss; I hope you have people near you who can offer you comfort and a chance to grieve.

Also, re the hip: Ouch. But as someone who works with hip replacement patients frequently, I'd like to say that it's a "good surgery"; one that the vast majority of patients are glad they underwent.

If your surgery's not scheduled very soon, ask your doc about "prehab"; strengthening exercises done now can speed your post-surgery recovery. (Serge: both those comments also apply to knee replacements. )

#324 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 08:55 PM:

Mary Dell, Harrumph! See my #298. (Grins)

#325 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 08:56 PM:

Lila @ 322... Serge: both those comments also apply to knee replacements.

Sue's been exercising in preparation for that. One thing is sure. Her going Ow!Ow! after the surgery is not going to stop me from insisting that she can't skip her rehab.

(Meanwhile, being the cold and calculating person that I am, I'll take advantage of her hospital stay to set up our fake beatup Chrsitmas Tree up. Two weeks before Thanksgiving. Nobody can stop me. Bwahahahah!!!)

#326 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 09:18 PM:

Serge, you were asked about relocation advice to Albuquerque on one of these recent threads. Did you notice it?

I'd search for "Albuquerque" on the site, but the screen glare is too awful to read any results at this hour.

#327 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 09:19 PM:

Linkmeister @#323:

Whoops! Um, well, *I* posted it TWICE, so there!

#328 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 09:26 PM:

Xopher -

My condolences on your loss.

#329 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 09:26 PM:

Oh goddess, Xopher, I'm so sorry. That's horrible.

Serge, good job on both fronts.

Everyone having surgery take care of yourselves, and listen to your doc and physiotherapist.

Blessings and best wishes for a good outcome.

#330 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 09:32 PM:

Oh, and one other thing re joint replacements: this came up in one of the Soren threads, but if your painkillers don't seem to be working for you, ask about changing to a different one. It is amazing how certain drugs work well for some people and not at all for others. (I myself had this experience with muscle relaxers; took 3 tries to find one that did the job with bearable side effects.)

#331 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 09:59 PM:

Thank you everyone. Your prayers are welcome and appreciated, as are "good thoughts" and so on.

#332 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 10:32 PM:

Linkmeister @ 325... I missed that.

#333 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 10:41 PM:

Paula Helm Murray @ 328... good job on both fronts

Thanks. It's actually going to be three fronts. One front will be my refraining from killing Agatha the Cat Genius when she decides that her Christmas Tree ever is there for her to play with, which is one good reason to limit the ornamentation to light strands. No glass ornaments. The main front will of course be the care of my wife. Meanwhile, that Big Project's target date was rescheduled by my stupid boss to after Sue has come back from her surgery instead of just before. And I'll be juggling bowling balls. Okay, I made up that last part. I'm not really one of the Flying Karamazov Brothers, but November has been feeling like it.

#334 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 10:47 PM:

Xopher, my sympathies and condolences.
Yay Ursula, and best of luck for your wife, Serge!


#335 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 10:53 PM:

Epacris, #277, thanks!

Bruce Arthurs, #288, thanks for the picture (I poked at him for it).

David Harmon, #292, I have a cat who would like to go out, but he won't let me get near him with a halter & leash. (He came in from outdoors, left by renters who couldn't have cats in the new place, so I guess they let him go outdoors.)

Ursula, #293, Good job!

Xopher, #294, you may need to find a place to stay until you can use stairs again. I stayed with friends when I broke the ankle and had a foot-to-hip plaster cast that I couldn't get up and down stairs. I'm sorry you have to have the surgery, but better to catch it now than later.

Xopher, #310, oh no. I'm so sorry. Not a good day. We can put 11/7 into the trashbin.

#336 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 11:00 PM:

re cards: There is another link; with the more popular photo on it at my Lj, though Marilee took advantage of my selling anything as a card.

My cards may be pretty, but they aren't anything like as neat as the particle cards. An astrolabe for 4 quid? Too cool.

#337 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 11:08 PM:

Ursula: Well-done!

Xopher: Oy, gevalt! A day like this you don't need. My sincere condolences on your loss, and my best wishes for a speedy and successful hip surgery.

My MiL and BiL had knee replacement surgeries, and they were pretty well pain-free. If you talk to your surgeons ahead of time to discuss all your options, you'll be more likely to have an easier recovery.

#338 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 11:15 PM:

I'd like to second putting this date in the trash bin.

Xopher, the pain of loss will go away, mostly, but it takes time. Take it at your own speed, because it's different for everyone, and there are no fixed rules.

#339 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 11:29 PM:

Xopher: I'm so sorry. You'll be in my prayers as well.

#340 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 11:40 PM:

Bummer end to a good week. Hang in there.

#341 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 11:44 PM:

David Brin offers up an interesting critique and appreciation of Michael Crichton:

Michael Crichton, Dream On

"Then, of course, there is the other thing he nearly always did. Putting everything back the way it was... except (of course) for the dead. Dinosaurs scream and charge, nanomachines run wild, diseases invade from space, magical spheres... do their magical sphere thing... but always, after the climactic scene, the world remains unchanged and society continues as a late 20th Century Republican version, perpetually flawed but stable as-is, with a tentative hope that it can stay that way, untouched by the mistakes that unfold in his books, forever."

#342 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2008, 11:52 PM:

Marilee @#334: In fact, Gremlin's biddable (and slow) enough that I might even have been able to do without... but between one hazard and another, I'm not about to take any chances! Anyway, she took it pretty well, and already seems to have made the connection between the halter and going outside.

#343 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 12:16 AM:

Xopher: All good thougts your way.

On a strange note, had my grandmother been alive (she died 15 years ago, good lord) she'd have been the 106 of the woman Obama mentioned in the speech.

A few years ago I wrote about the things which had change, in her lifetime, on the occaision of her birthday.

Wow.

#344 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 12:18 AM:

Serge, Yikes!

Right now I'm still not feeling like being nice to bosses but you have to keep your job. Wish I could go out there to be with Sue so you have fewer worries. (I have a small, freelance job that is entirely online so I can do it from anywhere.)

Hope it all works out!

#345 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 12:45 AM:

Xopher - I'm without words to match your shock and sorrow, but offer such grace as may assist, and the practicality of (unfortunately metaphorical) cosy blankets, tea and crumpets, and time to rest and heal.

#346 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 12:46 AM:

David Harmon @ 333... Thanks. It did occur to me that setting up the Tree up on that day could be seen as a symbol of re-knee-al, but that'd be too lame a pun even for me.

Ginger @ 336... Sue has discussed her options with her surgeon, but she drew the line at my suggestion of a bionic knee with a heat ray projector.

Paula Helm Murray @ 343... What's especially amusing about my boss is that she's the kind of person who's big on bureaucracy. For example, she says we should schedule our time off as far in advance as possible, thru the intranet site. Which I did, in mid-August. When I mentionned my absence yetersday, it was obvious that she had forgotten. Ah, the pointless and useless rules imposed by the higherups...

#347 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 12:57 AM:

Paula Helm Murray @ 343... Thanks for the offer too. Sue's mom is flying in from the Bay Area. That will help. I'll be able to step away for errands without worrying that she'd hurt herself - 'she' being Sue, not her mom.

#348 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 01:20 AM:

I apologize. Forrest Ackerman yet lives.

#349 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 02:20 AM:

Xopher, so sad for your loss.

#350 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 04:19 AM:

I must admit that the headline "Dr. Acula Lives!" came to mind.

#351 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 04:36 AM:

Tring to maintain a touch of sanity in the proceedings (Huh?), I shall report on my NaNoWriMo efforts.

Spring of 1936, a tropical island, and the mail-plane has landed safely after a night flight in which most of the crew succumbed to food poisoning.

Lady Helen Todd, a mostly unfamous English aviatrix, played a key part in that, and is thinking entirely too much about Charlie, a middle-aged ex-soldier who ought to be entirely the wrong sort of person for a lady of her status.

Her stepmother, Carol, the Dowager Duchess, who could be mistaken for her sister, rather shares her opinion of Charlie.

Charlie is feeling nervous. Besides, his wife is alive, even if she is in an asylum. This matters to him.

And then there is Charlie's best friend, Saunders, who happens to be gay.

(Confused, you won't be, after this week's episode of...)

The thing is, I thought I knew these characters, and they keep surprising me.

But I have found my copy of Hobson-Jobson: the word for today in phanseegar.

#352 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 05:20 AM:

Oh Xopher...so sorry for your loss.

#353 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 07:36 AM:

Xopher,

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Go gently with yourself for a time, and rely on us as you need us.

Many hugs.

#354 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 07:57 AM:

Xopher, I'm so sorry for your loss. I sympathize more than usual now, as tomorrow is the day they disconnect the respirator on a friend I've known for twenty years. May you find comfort.

And best of luck on the hip replacement as well.

#355 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 08:23 AM:

Thanks everyone again. I'm still filling kind of lifeless and paralyzed (emotionally, about David's death, not because of my hip). I stopped answering the phone yesterday because I was just overwhelmed with talking about it.

I don't know what to do. I'm going to call back the friend who gave me the news and find out who's in charge of the investigation, when we'll get the results of the autopsy, whether anyone is planning a memorial, etc. At least I think I should do those things. When I think about actually doing it, I just want to go back to bed.

But sleeping doesn't help, at least not enough. The only thing that really would have been good enough would have been waking up and finding it was just a dream.

#356 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 08:28 AM:

Take care, Xopher. Our thoughts are with you.

#357 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 08:50 AM:

Rikibeth, I'm so sorry! Wishing you comfort as well.

#358 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 08:56 AM:

Xopher, my condolences on your loss.

Hope everything goes well with the hip replacement.

#359 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 09:31 AM:

Xopher, I'm sorry for your loss. (And yeah, sleep deprivation makes everything weirder and worse.)

#360 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 09:34 AM:

My condolences, Rikibeth.

#361 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 09:49 AM:

Thanks, Lila, Serge. I appreciate it.

#362 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 09:52 AM:

I'm sorry for your loss, Xopher.

Also, while I know you're not focusing there at the moment, I hope the hip replacement goes smoothly.

#363 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 10:09 AM:

Rikibeth, I'm sorry for your loss as well.

#364 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 10:12 AM:

Xopher, thanks.

#365 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 12:51 PM:

Xopher, don't have the details of your loss, but you have my sympathies.

#366 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 01:48 PM:

I'm so sorry. Many sympathies. :(

Love, C.

#367 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Xopher, my deepest condolences on your loss. Friends are so important, and the bonds of deep friendship not always recognized by the society at large for what they truly are.

If you lived closer, I'd offer to bring you brownies or a hot-dish (Minnesotan for a casserole).

If you can, put off making decisions about the hip replacement until a little more time has passed, in view of this tragedy. Stressed and sad people don't always make the best decisions.

#368 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 02:30 PM:

My condolences to Rikibeth as well. One of my grandfathers went that way, and it's pretty rough on everyone involved.

#369 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 02:46 PM:

Rikibeth, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Not a good time right now.

Stay well.

#370 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 05:43 PM:

Oh, Xopher. I'm so sorry.

#371 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 06:18 PM:

Oh! Xopher... I am so sorry. Words escape me.

Condolences are all I have to give; you have them, in full measure.

#372 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 07:02 PM:

Xopher, Rikibeth, I'm so sorry. I know I can't say much that will help. But I'm thinking of you.

#373 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 07:27 PM:

Xopher, I'm so sorry for your loss.

#374 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 08:17 PM:

I went to the memorial for this David today; he was someone I knew all my life, since his family and my mother's were neighbors up Yelm. We worked together a couple times, on the 1980 Census and then at a multi-agency conservation project, and on the Black Hills Audubon Conservation committee. He was the kind of essential friend who one spends time with mostly in unplanned meetings- on the bus, at the grocery store, at random street corners where we interfered with each other's schedules while discussing raptor migration patterns and incidental bird sitings and the latest enormity of suburban sprawl.

Stupid mortality and linear time.

#375 ::: Jonathan Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 08:24 PM:

I use EndNote instead of Zotero for the same reason I use Word instead of OpenOffice, and with the same mixed feelings. Featuritis, especially when not thought through, is in some ways bad, but there are simply too many features in EndNote which are not in the open-source product. The import and export filters are comprehensive, the reference types and fields are customizable, and Cite While You Write is indispensable. Of course, there are numerous weird things wrong with the product; some of the connection files don't connect, duplicate checking is highly fallible and none too smart, and the capitalization rules are inflexible, despite a term list. (Try French entries in Chicago "A" style to see what I mean.) But I couldn't do without it.

#376 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 08:40 PM:

Xopher and Rikibeth, my condolences for your losses.

#377 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 09:33 PM:

Rikibeth, #353, I'm so sorry to hear that. It's hard to let go.

JESR, #373, my condolences. So many dying at once, it seems, and I know it's just coincidence, but it doesn't seem so.

#378 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 09:33 PM:

Rikibeth, my condolences on your loss, too.

#379 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2008, 10:10 PM:

Thanks, everyone. I was doing pretty well until constant chatter from the 13-year-old made me snap a bit. But I'm still mostly okay.

I may have to go back home before the funeral arrangements get settled. It's kind of a mess.

Be considerate of your friends and your family. Get your funeral arrangements settled -- or at the VERY least describe your wishes -- long before you think you'll need it. Put money aside if you can.

It's a hell of a thing to deal with unprepared.

#380 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 12:32 AM:

My condolences to both Xopher and Rikibeth. May you be comforted (both emotionally and physically, with particular attention to Xopher's hip).

#381 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 12:54 AM:

Marilee@34: your band director was at least twice a villain, first for blocking you, then for ... misleading ... you about oboe fingering. I loved the oboe even if I never played even tolerably. (I found out later that it was considered the second-hardest instrument to finger, exceeded only by the piccolo, when I took a standard test that ranked me ~30th percentile in dexterity.) I even got to play the trumpet soli from Britten's setting of Psalm 150 (which tells you what level of band I was in...). But my fingers still ache thinking about the two bad choices for F-natural....

#382 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 12:57 AM:

Xopher

I'm sorry I posted my last comment before refreshing the thread; I missed you post at 310, and so my comment didn't take that into account. I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend; I hope you have time to grieve and remember him, and that preparations for the surgery don't interfere with that.

#383 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 01:22 AM:

Bruce, I assumed that was the case. In fact nothing else ever occurred to me. And thank you.

#384 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 08:37 AM:

JESR, I'm sorry for your loss.

#385 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 08:39 AM:

JESR, I'm sorry for your loss. And I agree: mortality sucks.

#386 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 09:14 AM:

JESR @ 373... Yeah, stupid mortality. I try not to think about it.

#387 ::: Varia ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 09:30 AM:

David Harmon @292:

Garlic, onion, and the other allium family plants can be toxic - note the "can be", not "are instantly fatal". The garlic bulb will be more toxic, raw is worse than cooked, but cats are both smaller and more sensitive to the disulfides involved. The disulfides cause something called Heinz body anemia, where the cat has a normal amount of red blood cells but they can't take up oxygen normally, so they aren't doing any good. Once affected the RBCs will not recover; they have to cycle out through the body's usual system, which takes a couple of days.

Anyway, nibbling on a couple of shoots will probably not affect her, but I would try to limit the amount she eats, especially as she's older middle aged and may not be replacing her RBCs as fast.

The ASPCA used to have better information on this on their website.

/unsolicited veterinary advice

#388 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 09:41 AM:

I got rid of my chives when I realized that they were not so good for my cat, who happily munched on them. I got her cat grass instead, and she didn't care for it a bit.

#389 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 10:21 AM:

NaNoWriMo Update:

I've reached the half-way point.

Just written a scene reminiscent of The Usual Suspects (Should I spoiler this?) Charlie walks out of the bank, down the street, and seems to vanish. It's things such as the way he walks.

It's the sort of trick he uses in an already-published story.

It's NaNoWriMo, so I am not going to dump what I was struggling over. I don't think it's right, but only the word-count matters.

After Jo Walton reminded me of the Mitfords, I had a quick look at the Wikipedia article. I'm just relieved that the girls I was at school with had the Bay City Rollers instead of Adolf Hitler.


#390 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 10:46 AM:

My condolences to Xopher, Rikibeth, JESR, and anyone else I may have missed in skimming the thread -- it looks as though this has been a really bad couple of days, but I haven't been home enough to keep up.

#391 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 11:37 AM:

JESR, I'm sorry for your loss as well.

#392 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 01:01 PM:

Xopher, Rikibeth, JESR, my condolences.

#393 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 05:20 PM:

Varia @#386: Yeah, I know about that... remember, until this last outing, I didn't realize what it was. I'm not too worried at the moment, mostly because all she's been finding are the tiny new shoots (even thinner than grass blades, and not much longer), but I will keep an eye on her. (And if the wild garlic gets big enough, I'll harvest it! ;-) )

It's unfortunate that cats like stuff that is both common and clearly not good for them -- I'd say patching up biochemical potholes like this would be one of the more justifiable cases for genetic engineering.

#394 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 07:14 PM:

Condolences also to Rikibeth and JESR.

#395 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 07:18 PM:

JESR, my sympathies to you as well -- sounds like he was a helluva person.

Marilee @#376: Besides coincidence, it's also "collection". I've mostly learned not to click on random horrors from Hungary, Tokyo, etc, just because they're in my headline feed. The ML crowd is a different story, because I actually care about these folks -- but even so, this is an international forum, so we're sharing tragedies (and triumphs!) from all over the world.

#396 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2008, 11:31 PM:

Chip, #380, I got special citations for both oboe and English horn in the Virginia State Orchestra a couple years later, so I managed. I think oboe was okay with him because there were only girls on oboe and I quickly became first chair and then he handed me an English horn. I used to make my own reeds and fix my own instruments. I wonder if I could still do that (still thinking about jobs I could do at home once I'm 65 and the private disability goes away -- if I work now, they get the money, and I'll need more money when they go away). My hands shake, but I can beadweave without problems and make jewelry depending on the strength required. Something else to put on the list.

Serge, #385, as Rikibeth says, you do have to think about it. Even if you're healthy, you don't know what will happen tomorrow, so having a will, a living will, someone with health proxy, and if you have property, a revocable trust, is important. It's about $1000 to do all of that, but you can at least make the living will and sign up a health proxy for free.

#397 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 01:30 AM:

Rikkibeth, JESR

My condolences to you both. And, yeah, Serge, stupid mortality.

Hey, you three, over there, working the threads! Yes, especially you, Atropos. Your doing it wrong!

#398 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 09:22 AM:

Condolences to JESR & Rikibeth, too.

#399 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 01:07 PM:

Thanks, everyone- the memorial service was full of surprises; nobody, not the people who were his caretakers the last year of his life, nor his sister, nor the man who'd gone to school with him from the first grade on (whose son was also there, who was a year ahead of me from preschool until we'd moved down from Yelm) nor the ones who'd spent time on cross-country birding trips with him over decades, knew that besides all the other stuff he did, he'd volunteered for Safeplace. And that one of the things that made him happiest last summer was that one of the teachers got him an Obama sticker for his door.


#400 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 02:25 PM:

Rikibeth, Xopher, JESR: I'm very sorry for your losses.

#401 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 02:49 PM:

Condolences to Rikibeth and JESR, too.

#403 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 07:59 PM:

NaNoWriMo: Is this a good deal?

NaNoWriMo apparently gets sponsorship from CreateSpace, the Amazon US PoD operation.

They're offering a special deal for NaNoWriMo winners, which doesn't look anything like as good for those outside the USA. Free proof copy, and free basic postage, but shipping costs seem very well hidden on the website.

Add a couple of mentions of awkwardness on royalties for non-USA users, something about taxes, and I begin to wonder if the slight chance of actual sales is worth the effort.

Lulu, without any special offer, looks the better deal.

#404 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 08:33 PM:

In response to "soup-like homogenate" particle that showed up a while ago:

^ ^
O_O

I can haz soup-like homogenate?

#405 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 08:44 PM:

Reason approximately No. 18,996 why I am an awful person: when I saw the Reuters headline “Blueprints for Auschwitz camp found in Germany” (Original Report), the first thing I thought of was the Monty Python sketch of the architect presenting his design for a human slaughterhouse to a company Planning Committee.

#406 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 10:16 PM:

Bruce C, #396, The Fates.

#407 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 11:04 PM:

Turner Classic Movies showed a musical version of Huckleberry Finn yesterday. Was it any good? Well, it was from the early 1970s and had been produced by Reader's Digest because they were sick of all the smut shown in theaters instead of wholesome family fare. Yeah. If you've ever read the book, you might be raising an eyebrow very high at the idea of the book being wholesome family fare. And that sound you hear is Sam Clemens spinning fast in his grave.

#408 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2008, 11:50 PM:

Rikibeth, JESR:

Condolences.

#409 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 02:35 AM:

One other thing to think about if you may pass on -- Don't leave the only findable copy of your will in your safe deposit box. At least in some states (Mass in particular) your successors will need a will and a death certificate to open a safe deposit box.

Also. It's better if close friends and family don't have to wait for the memorial to find out a bunch of wonderful things about you.

Gd dm fckng dth.

#410 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 02:55 AM:

Marilee @ 405

That's nice work, I like it.

Apropos of Atropos, it occurs to me that the Fates might do a whole lot better job if they measured twice and cut once, but then I guess they'd need to hire someone new to do the second measure, which would be hard after all these millennia.

Serge @ 406

Spinning, hell. He's laughing his ass off and rolling 'round his coffin. He always found those idjits with the "family values" amusing.

#411 ::: Harriet Culver ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 11:12 AM:

Here at (eleven minutes after) the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, I find myself refreshing the ML main page to see if TNH has revisited the powerful "Ghost of the Great War" thread, which had very good comment threads on its various iterations in 2002, 2003, 2005 and I'm not sure what all:

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/001500.html

#412 ::: Harriet Culver ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 11:14 AM:

[rats! I knew I shouldn't have stopped to preview the thing!]

#413 ::: Harriet Culver ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 11:16 AM:

[I mean, if it was going to make it a minute late I could at least have corrected the typo in the thread's title, which should have been "GhostS of the Great War. Argh.]

#414 ::: Harriet Culver ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 11:21 AM:

[(red-faced) not to mention the missing closing " mark from the alleged correction post. (abandoning the field to the genuine copyeditors now)]

#415 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 11:56 AM:

Say... Wasn't yesterday Neil Gaiman's still under-the-big-5-zero birthday?

#416 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 07:50 PM:

It looks like most of the links in the "Ghosts of the Great War" post are no longer working.

Damn. That Menin Gate painting is... [loss of words].

#417 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 08:35 PM:

Practical question: is keeping my original will in my apartment, in a location known to my husband, sufficient? Or should I make sure that the person who would be my executor in case I predecease him, or something happens to both of us simultaneously, also has a copy?

#418 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 10:05 PM:

I am having a terrible time trying to post to the Content of his character thread.

I keep getting Error 500 messages and this: Got an error: Bad ObjectDriver config: Connection error: Too many connections

#419 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 10:19 PM:

Vicki: I'd find a reputable att'y, and ask them to keep it. That avoids several problems (it being lost, forgotten, or; should your designated keeper object to the terms, suppressed.

#420 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2008, 11:12 PM:

Terry, I was having that problem, too, which is why, now that this is working, I'm posting this:

Bruce Cohen, #409, particularly because some cultures have them as elements of one person -- the maiden spins, the mother/warrior measures, and the crone cuts.

Vicki, #416, the executor should know where the will is and it should be in a place where they would have access, but a lawyer's office is the best place.

(My father tore my house apart to find a copy of my will after the bad neighbor I'd trusted to never give a key to anyone in my family gave it to him because he was so nice. Then he came to the hospital and screamed at me about the will and was removed by security.)

#421 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 12:56 AM:

Finally having time to catch up here.

My condolences and sympathy to Xopher, Rikibeth, and JESR. I'm sorry for your losses.

There's sure a lot of troubles going around lately. I've had some of my own this year and recently, which is one of the things that has been holding me back from posting as much for a while. Some on that later, maybe.

#422 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 03:14 AM:

Vicki @ 416:

Yes, your secondary executor should have a copy of the will as well. (It's also a good idea to list where other important papers are, what banks you have accounts with, what insurance policies you have, etc., and keep that list with the copy of the will.)

My primary executor has the original of my will in his safe (he owns a small business); a second copy is with the attorney that came and did pro bono work at the local social services place two years ago.

Marilee @ 419:

First reaction: your father did *what*? Dear ghods. *much sympathy* Toxic families are all different, but the toxicity is the same hellish thing.

Also, seconding the advice

#423 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 08:20 AM:

WOOT! All you Atlanta-area Fluorosphereans, pardon me for a moment here: my daughter is on the front page of the Atlanta Journal's "Living" section today! She's playing Joan La Pucelle (Joan of Arc) in the Shakespeare Tavern's Henry VI part 1! (Alas, though the story is available online through a torturous route, the photo is not.)

(Marilee: every time I hear that story I shudder. My sympathies to you, and I hope you never have to deal with anything remotely like that again. You have taught me a sharp lesson about believing what people tell me about their family conflicts.)

#424 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 08:34 AM:

Condolences and healing thoughts for Xopher, Rikibeth, and JESR. Take care of yourselves.

#425 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 02:56 PM:

Did anyone here see the Yes Men's fake issue of The New York Times today? They also put up a website for it, a July 2009 issue with all sorts of good news.

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/11/12/politics/horserace/entry4595603.shtml

Their video press release says they printed 1.2 million copies. Sounds unlikely. The release is at

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/11/12/politics/horserace/entry4595603.shtml

#426 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 02:57 PM:

Oops -- the actual site is at

http://www.nytimes-se.com/

#427 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 03:36 PM:

Vicki, my wife and I just went through making a fresh set of wills, trust documents, mutual powers of attorney, medical care directives, etc. with a good lawyer.

For a will, there should be only a single signed copy, because the law on wills is that only the single latest signed copy is valid. (Probably you already knew that from your lawyer.) You can make lots of copies of it, just make sure they're all clearly marked as copies. Most documents it's OK to make and sign multiple copies of.

In our case, the local bank is named as one of the fallback trustees for the trusts which our wills set up for our children, so their trust department holds the authoritative signed copy of the will at no charge. We have a copy, the lawyer has a copy, and the fallback executor (my brother) on the mainland has another.

This should ensure that *somebody* knows what's in it in most cases short of global civilization collapse, or an asteroid strike taking out the Pacific basin.

#428 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 04:45 PM:

For those who don't read Boing Boing, there's a poetry game going on over there (as the Fluorosphere colonizes yet another site).

Unlike our poetry contests, there's a prize, so those who participate may lose their amateur standing.

Here's the link.

#429 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 05:50 PM:

I just want to say a quick thank you to our hosts for the wonders of firm moderation. Having just come from playing whack-a-mole with a loon in a Kos thread I am once again reminded how important that is.

#430 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 06:25 PM:

Have you guys noticed that today your inbox is nigh-unto spam-free? Mine is living in 1996! I have never in a dozen years had a day where nearly the only mail I got was real mail.

This is because there was one coordinating evildoer, and a guy from the Washington Post got them kicked off the internet.

Frabjous Day!

Enjoy it while it lasts, which is supposed to be a couple days.

#431 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 06:41 PM:

I'm not sure how to google this: Does someone here know the name of the song where the opening bars are often played in movies and on tv (documentary and other) to indicate that something is set in the Sixties? Starts with a few chords, then one main lead guitar tune, and either the piece has no lyrics, or they start after the part that's usually used in movies.

#432 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 07:15 PM:

Raphael, could you give an example of a movie or TV program that uses the musical snippet? If I heard it, I could make a more educated guess.

#433 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 07:26 PM:

Thanks for the advice about wills, folks. My fallback executor has no incentive whatsoever to suppress the will, since they're not a relative in any legal sense, and wouldn't see a nickel if I died without a will. (That's aside from the point that I trust them; obviously, everyone who names an executor trusts that person.)

I might be able to get the law firm involved to hold the will for me; it's slightly complicated, because the lawyer I've worked with is all-but-retired, doing this as a personal favor (being a very old and close friend of my parents), and a significant physical distance from his old law firm (who will be making a clean copy for me to go there and sign). Once we have it all dealt with, I may ask them if they're willing to keep it, and if so, make a few copies, and leave at least one here, and one with my backup executor, both with the law firm's address and phone number attached.

#434 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 08:44 PM:

Lila #422: Congratulations to her, but it appears when I'm out of town!

#435 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 09:23 PM:

re Spam: I got the usual amount.

Also, has anyone else noticed this?

Scroll down to the comments.

#436 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 09:38 PM:

Wonderfully weird: the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir, in a video at Evil Mad Scientist Labs.

#437 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2008, 10:52 PM:

glinda, #421, my father believed in the ancient principle of chattel, it was part of his religion. I'd never married, so everything I owned belonged to him. Yeah, right. He was furious that he was not left anything in my will, which is why he came screaming to the hospital. Then he tried to have me declared incompetent and since I was rather sick, the court came to me, and the judge found me competent within a few minutes.

Lila, #422, congrats to your daughter! I didn't know I'd brought that up so much, but he died in March, so it's not going to happen anymore.

#438 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 01:29 AM:

Just a quick post with some good news for a change; I just had the cataract removal surgery on my left eye, so now it's not so jealous of the right, they've both got it. I'm sporting a stylish metal patch over the eye, and both dogs were very solicitous when we got home from the hospital. Spencer in particular was sure something was wrong with me, but quite the opposite.

My typing may be a little odd; the patch pushes my glasses into a weird position so it's hard to see fine detail close up without tilting my head way back, so I can't see the spellchecker flags, or read very clearly myself. On the other hand, drivers in Oregon will now be much safer, since I'll be able to see out of both eyes.

#439 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 01:59 AM:

Alaska Senator Ted Steven's opponent Begich has taken the lead by 814 votes with 35,000 votes left to count. A knowledgable Alaska blogger says the remaining outstanding ballots are in regions which trend Democratic.

We might (emphasis might) not have to worry about a Senator Palin.

#440 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 08:59 AM:

On checking back in: My condolences, Rikibeth and JESR. There's just too many troubles around.

#441 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 10:00 AM:

Re that Sixties-indicator song opening: In a recent commercial on TV, I'm sure it's something by Cream. Can't recall exactly which song, though.

#442 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 10:12 AM:

I should have posted this days ago, but my condolences go out to JESR, Xopher, and Rikibeth.

#443 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 10:34 AM:

Major article about the culture of deliberate ignorance that created the current financial mess.

#444 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 11:28 AM:

Yay Bruce! Bright blessings!

#445 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 11:46 AM:

I just realized something about my friend David's death.

He had pretty much exactly the same symptoms Teresa had (maybe not exactly).

But he hadn't read Jim's posts about it, because he didn't read Making Light. Plus he was home alone. So he called his partner (on the other side of the country for a job interview) instead of 911. By the time his partner managed to get someone to actually go to the apartment in the Bronx, it was too late.

(The first set of responders was incompetent and knocked on the door, going away when they got no answer. Thanks gods I'm not in charge of their fate, because I want them to die.)

It's not like I haven't pushed Making Light at my friends. I've talked it up to the point where one of them told me I've become a bore on the topic. My point is different: Jim, those medical posts of yours save lives. May have saved Teresa's (though she's pretty smart and might have known what to do anyway), might have saved Scraps', but probably saved the lives of lurkers here. Who knows how many of us will have issues in the future—or not have issues because we paid attention to your medical posts?

You got me to wear my seatbelt in taxicabs, which I never used to do, though I always wore one in private cars. I don't know why I thought taxis were somehow exempt from the laws of physics, thought certainly that's a belief widely held by taxidrivers; I cannot now recreate the mindset that didn't find it necessary to wear a seatbelt in a taxi.

If I ever have a heart attack or a stroke, I'll have a much better chance of surviving because of these posts. I'll eat aspirin (for the heart attack) while calling 911 (for both). And there's a chance I may retain some of your first-aid advice should I ever need it, which might mean your posts would save lives of people who've NEVER read this blog.

Also, when a guy I know online told me that he had to black-tag his best friend in Iraq, I knew exactly what he meant and responded appropriately.

So thank you, Jim. It didn't save David, because I didn't know he had heart issues, and I wasn't the one he called. But it WILL save others, and it may already have done so. I'm pretty good at words, but words can't express my gratitude.

#446 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 11:51 AM:

Related note: Does anyone know how you get to a 911 system in another area? Suppose I'm on the phone with my friend in Texas, and he tells me he's having sudden numbness in his left arm, and then he passes out, what can I do from New Jersey? How would I call 911 in, say, Houston?

My initial thought would be to call his area code plus 555-1212 and tell them to connect me to the 911 system, but I'm not sure that would work, and obviously I can't test it absent a real emergency. Anyone know?

#447 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 11:57 AM:

Marilee, I didn't mean to imply that you tell that story too often! I only remember twice; it's just that the second time was as visceral a jolt as the first. It bears repeating, IMO, especially since there are always new folks coming in.

#448 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 12:15 PM:

Xopher, when I had to do that, I called my local 911, told them "I'm calling about an emergency that's actually in [City, State]" and asked them how to proceed, and they gave me the police emergency number for the requested city, which was an actual regular 10-digit phone number. I called that number and the dispatcher helped me. In retrospect I should have simply googled the police emergency number for the city I wanted to call 911 for, and saved some of local 911's time.

So, my recommendation is to google for the police emergency number in whatever city you want. if you're neurotic like me you can keep a list of these numbers for the cities where your friends live. For example, Houston's phone list is here; I would call the non-emergency number (since they don't give an emergency 10-digit number) and say that I am calling from out of state for a friend who lives in Houston, and that this is an emergency.

(Ok, in reality there was a saga where local 911 misheard me and gave me the number for a similar-sounding but wrong city, and I called them and they said "We're a totally different city, you want this number," and I called that number and was by that time so upset that the dispatcher was rather sharp with me in order to get me to slow down so she could understand me, and then we found out that an ambulance had already been dispatched before I called, so it all turned out pointless in the end. Except not, because I didn't know that one had already been called by someone else. The person I was calling for was okay in the end, for the record.)

#449 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 12:19 PM:

A digression about those fuckin' Pinkertons, the AP:

http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_10974184

SAN FRANCISCO—Here's another reason for ailing newspaper and magazine publishers to wince: On average, the audience perusing unauthorized online copies of their articles is nearly 1.5 times larger than the readership on their own Web sites, according to a study released Thursday.

However, the problem, flagged by copyright cop Attributor Corp., could turn into a golden opportunity if media companies figure out a way to mine advertising revenue from the traffic flocking to their pirated stories posted on blogs and other sites.

Attributor, which makes software that trolls {sic} the Internet for copyright violations, estimates the average Web publisher could collect more than $150,000 in additional revenue by selling ads alongside its unlicensed material.

#450 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 12:21 PM:

Incidentally, there had very recently been one of Jim's posts including the topic Why Not To Hesitate To Call 911 Even If You Think Someone Else May Have Already Called, when that situation occurred. That's a big part of why I actually called instead of sitting around handwringing. So yes, Xopher, what you said at 444 is heartily seconded by me.

(The other part is that I remembered an example of the person in question making such a call while others handwrung, and thought "Well, I can't do less than that for this person.")

#451 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 12:29 PM:

Caroline, thank you. That seems a very sensible approach, though my friends live in lots of different cities, so a list...might be long.

And as for your situation, you MIGHT have saved that person's life, given what you knew. They also serve who serve as backup, even if the backup isn't used.

#452 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 02:48 PM:

Faren, if it's the "Touch of Gray" ad (why would you want to keep any gray if you're dyeing your hair?) it's Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love." The ad opens with the voiceover "the generation that swore it would never grow old, did."

#453 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 02:54 PM:

NaNoWriMo

30.000 words.

I was wandering off-topic, and I've cut maybe 3,000. I could probably cut more. The scene where Saunders attempts to seduce a lamp post isn't needed.

Maybe I should have prepared an outline.

But I don't have to stop at 50.000 words.

#454 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 03:01 PM:

Raphael, #430 & Faren, #440: If it's by Cream, it's almost certainly either "Sunshine of Your Love" or "White Room"; from Raphael's description, my money is on the latter and they're playing the instrumental bridge. If neither of those are it, please let us know and we'll keep trying!

#455 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 03:09 PM:

Dave 452: You're not supposed to cut things during NaNoWriMo. You're supposed to just plow ahead without editing until you're finished.

Editing is for December.

That's my understanding, and the reason I totally failed at NaNoWriMo. I kept EDITING.

#456 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 03:21 PM:

Xopher, Caroline, everyone:
All Public Service Answering Points (PSAPs) [Government jargon for 911 call centers, etc.] should have the master list from the FCC(xls), probably in a much more useable format, so calling 911 is the right thing to do. I'm suprised, Caroline, that the dispatcher didn't patch the call for you. I'll have to ask about the protocol the next time I'm at a Local Emergency Planning meeting.

If you are at all in doubt, call 911. If another person that was tasked with the call looks confused while on their cell phone, call 911. Esp. if you can accurately identify the precise location.

#457 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale sees Planets ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 03:26 PM:

Wow.

Planets! Observed!

(They're not fully confirmed because while they look like planets and behave like planets, it could be a star with three orbiting brown dwarfs. For the purposes of the planet dance I'm going with "planets")

Fomalhaut is also the home of the Dorsai, Rocannon's World, and Radio Free Albemuth.

#458 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 03:31 PM:

Amazon's "Sunshine of Your Love" mp3.

"White Room" mp3.

Both are 30-second previews, so the bridge in the latter that Lee mentions @ #453 may not be included.

#459 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 04:05 PM:

Kathryn:

Wow. The existence of these planets was an open question not all that many years ago, and now we're getting pictures!

Wow.

#460 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 04:16 PM:

John Houghton @ 455, that's what I originally thought would happen (that they'd patch the call through), and I originally asked "Can you patch me through?" The dispatcher said no but gave me the number. I don't recall if he offered any explanation for not being able to do it.

Based on that experience I concluded that my original assumption that 911 could patch you to any city's 911 had been incorrect. Interesting to find out that it was probably correct after all, and my local 911 just didn't for some reason.

#461 ::: broundy ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 05:42 PM:

While I was reading this thread, a man outside my apartment began screaming for the police, saying something about a gun. I've called 911, but I don't want to step outside until the cops arrive.

#462 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 05:45 PM:

I have the chunks I cut out. I can drop them back in.

But they're not up to my usual first-draft standard.

This is my usual first standard:

========================================

Wolf didn't write an after-action report, that night, but he did make a few mental notes, like, “Talk to Maureen Brown about undercover work”. There he was, on Casino, after dark and a week before the Solstice, and not in uniform, and the soft, slightly throaty, voice of a woman said, “Hello, Wolf,” and he just turned around and said, politely, “Ma'am.”

Just like his mother taught him.

He doubted that his mother had ever even heard about a Spontoonie Huntress.

At least, his mental notes would point out, they didn't try to kill their customers.

“Hi, I'm Sandy. Come on in out of the rain and at least try not to look so miserable.”

“I'm sorry, Sandy, but...”

“You're not interested. Well, this is Union business.” She grinned. “To start with, anyway.”

“Uh, OK.” He wondered if Maureen Brown knew anything about Spontoonie huntresses, or maybe there were hunters as well. He hoped she didn't talk in her sleep. Sandy steered him to a bar. He automatically scanned the bar as he went in. No customers, unless you counted a couple of huntresses who might be twins. Another woman behind the bar, who was dressed to be interesting when she leant forward to wipe a table.

“Here he is,” called out Sandy.

“Yay!” One of the twins waved. “Hiya, Wolf.”

He sat at a table, opposite Sandy, after shrugging off his wet coat. The place wasn't really set up for this weather, nowhere to put his coat and hat. As for Sandy's rain-cape, it was one of the new materials coming out of the USA, an impervious, and transparent, sheet of water-shedding synthetic, and it would be rather too transparent for back home. Might be a useful material for Alfie stuff, but not like that.

And, just autumn and winter, he hadn't had the chance to get used to the hills and mountains of tourist season.

“Union business,” he prompted, eventually.

She grinned, in a way that seemed very unprofessional. “A couple of our members were caught up in that pirate business.” She sighed. “They're alive, but I doubt they'll be back for the season.”

He nodded.

“Anyway, they wrote in. First, they recognised two of the pirates. Names and dates. You'll know who to pass that onto.” She slid an envelope across the table. Wolf nodded, picked it up, and slipped into the inside pocket of his jacket.

The bartender placed two beers on the table. “On the house,” she said.

“Thanks, but...”

“It's the only thing here you won't have to pay for,” pointed out Sandy.

“There are the salted nuts,” said the bartender.

“And then you buy more beer.” Wolf grinned. “Thanks.”

“As for the rest,” said Sandy....

“The rest?”

“Well, we voted to grant you and your team honorary membership in our union.”

Wolf couldn't think of a reply.

“About all it means is that you can drop in at our Union Hall. There's always coffee brewing.”

Wolf shook his head, slowly, chuckling. “I don't know what the folks back home will say.”

“Tell 'em it's Local 69 of the Spontoonie Entertainment Worker's Union.”

He buried his face in his paws, and for a moment Sandy was unsure if he was laughing or sobbing. Then he looked up at her for a moment, and managed to say, “Local 69” before almost giggling.

She sipped at her beer, and waited.

“Sorry,” he said eventually.

“Some people,” observed Sandy, “Have a really weird sense of humour. I wouldn't have picked that number.”

“It's a bit obvious.” He tried his beer. Pretty good, he decided.

“Well, remember this. Two of our members were kidnapped and were being raped. You and your boys stopped it. That ought to be righteous work in anybody's book. Doesn't matter which Union Local they're members of.”

“You're right,” he agreed.

“And I'll let you in on a little secret, since you're in the Union...” Wolf tried to keep any expression out of his face. “Most of the sex is boring. Most of the guys who pay us, we ought to charge a frustration fee.”

Wolf was not feeling comfortable.

She shifted in her chair, more relaxed, and Wolf was very sure that a large part of her posture was professional skill. “My folks come from the village, on South Island, where you and Sylvie stayed. I think you'd be a lot more fun, if you wanted to be.”

Wolf managed to smile. “Thanks.” How could he say anything else? “Army Union Landing Force, Ma'am. First in, last out.” He sipped at his beer, and watched Sandy laughing. It didn't feel faked, and that did feel good. He wondered what the boys would say when he told them.

He wondered what Sylvie would have said, but, yeah, it had been righteous work.

===========================

The Spontoons being a furry tropical islands with seaplanes sort of place, Wolf Baginski is a bear.

He and the Alfies are going to turn up in the story.

#463 ::: Rozasharn ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 06:28 PM:

On the subject of wills, since Vicki @ 419 brought it up: keep your funeral instructions separate, and tell all your close family where to find them when the time comes. Per Jessica Mitford, people tend to put their funeral instructions in or with their wills. Then the bereaved family respectfully wait until after the funeral to read the will, and find out they've just done it all wrong.

#464 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 06:33 PM:

That's not bad stuff. There's that one place where you suddenly shift POV to Sandy for one sentence, then go back to Wolf, but like I said...December.

#465 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 06:34 PM:

That last was directed at Dave Bell two comments before it, in case that wasn't clear.

#466 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 06:36 PM:

And Dave...I bet they have lots of Spontoonious fun.

Someone hadda do it. It just happened to be me this time.

#467 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 07:14 PM:

Xopher, has anyone ever used the word "incorrigible" to describe you?

I thought so.

#468 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 07:25 PM:

Linkmeister @ 466: Please don't incorrige him.

#469 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2008, 07:29 PM:

Dave, #461: Well, you've certainly succeeded in catching my interest -- characterization is always a good hook for me. I'd like to see the result once you've polished it up! Note: if that means waiting until you've sold it somewhere, I think it'll be worth the wait.

Linkmeister, #466: Oh, Xopher can incorrige me any time he wants.

What? Get your mind out of the gutter -- I'm not his type anyhow! :-)

#470 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 12:28 AM:

Bruce StM, #437, good news! Nothing like fresh eyes!

#471 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 02:28 AM:

Oklahoma woman killed in Louisiana when KKK initiation goes sour.

It's really hard to know what to say about this, other than that it should never have happened.

#472 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 05:25 AM:

470: Carl Hiassen will be disappointed - it's just the sort of incident for one of his novels.

#473 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 07:46 AM:

Re my question at 430 and the answers and other followups: Thanks to this useful TV Tropes Wiki page , I figured out that I was thinking of the opening riffs of All Along the Watchtower. I guess it's hard to imagine that someone might really not know that song.

#474 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 08:21 AM:

Thanks for the kind words about my fiction.

Things have clicked together for the NaNoWriMo story. I now have pirates, airships, and various pulp-tech all lined up and ready to go. And of course Vospers make fishing boats which can be slung under an airship.

Yes, of course that's a fishing boat.

Honest, guv'not.

#475 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 09:15 AM:

Now you're making me jealous. I really enjoyed NaNoWriMo the year I won. This year, I really haven't been able to get it together long enough to write 500 words, much less 50k.

Maybe I should declare it my own personal ShStWriMo - 5k seems about the same level of challenge to me now that 50k did two years ago.

(And of the 52k I wrote that November, I pared it down to 27k that I kept. It's back around 60 now, I think. Just, y'know, for editing comparison.)

#476 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 10:57 AM:

Linkmeister #451): That *is* the ad I was thinking of, and it's one of those two Cream songs with similar riffs. (What I like even better is the Samuel Adams beer ad where the background music sounds like the Quicksilver Messenger Service version of "Who Do You Love?", since they were my favorite Bay Area band in the late Sixties.) Ah, old fartness....

PS: Is anyone else here a fan of Jack Bruce, in his post-Cream solo albums? Great voice, and great, weird songs.

#477 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 01:39 PM:

Faren @ #475, I've not listened to much Bruce post-Cream, but maybe I should.

Sad news of another member of a power trio: Drummer Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience has died.

#478 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 07:01 PM:

An oddity on the front page:

"Recent comments" briefly showed a new entry, "Bren on Smart post of the day", which did not seem to appear on the thread. The thread ran from November 03-07, 2006, and it's so topical to recent war discussions, that at first I didn't notice it was 2 years old....

But anyway, I refreshed the front page, and now the phantom comment is gone.

#479 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 08:15 PM:

And to tie two threads together-- one of my favorite tween song banter is on Hendrix's Live at Winterland album:

"""We'll try to pick up the pieces, I think I've got 4 more speakers left and 3 more valve tubes, and Noel, I think he's got a couple of speakers left. And hey Mitch is on his third pair of arms. But fck it, I don't give a damn"""

And they rip into Sunshine of your Love, by Cream.

#480 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2008, 12:54 AM:

Eric @ 478, that would have been a treat to see/hear.

I ran into a musical surprise earlier this year: "A Day in the Life" performed live in Madrid by. . .Neil Young.

#481 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2008, 03:46 AM:

David @477:

Bren was a spammer. I thought it least destructive to simply delete the comment. You clearly caught a front page load in the brief time between the posting and the nuking.

#482 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2008, 07:46 AM:

NaNoWriMo

35,000 words.

On board a motor torpedo boat fishing boat, within reach of a nest of pirates on the Chinese coast, watchihng the scouting party vanish into the night (sort of like Operation Frankton).

#483 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2008, 12:46 PM:

Abi @#480: And it seems the same thread just got hit again... Are they actually targeting it for some reason (recent Veteran's day?), or is this just part of the latest wave?

#485 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2008, 04:47 PM:

James D. Macdonald @#483: Cute, but I didn't actually guffaw until I saw the chiding from "Canada"....

#486 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2008, 04:59 PM:

NaNoWriMo

38,100 words.

It has occurred to me that, having seen off the pirates. I now have to introduce the ninja. And the Nazis are still lurking.

Charlie is wondering how he can explain the bloodstains on his poshteen.

#487 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2008, 06:23 PM:

Oh. Thanks to everyone who said nice things about my Emergency Preparedness posts. #294 et seq.

Ursula L, you did exactly right. Xopher, I'm very sorry for your loss.

Also for Xopher: the answer is always to call 9-1-1 and let them help you figure out what to do next. They're good people. I spent the night in a 9-1-1 call center once, during my training; it was an enlightening experience.

The master index to my medical posts is here.

I see that I've promised posts on some topics that I've not yet written.

Anon, anon.

#488 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2008, 11:15 PM:

Open-Threadiness:

The only problem to not being in private practice: when I order rabies tags for my two dogs, the smallest order I can put in is for 500 tags.

What can I make out of small bits of colorized* aluminum (in heart shapes for 2008)? Chain mail? An afghan for the couch? Xmas tree decorations? Yet another doorstop?

*The color is red. Exactly what shade of red I do not yet know.

#489 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 12:27 AM:

Ginger, are the tags inscribed, as you receive them? If so, that will limit your options. If not, can you inscribe them? If so, that opens possibilities.

My first thoughts run towards jingly percussion stuff -- attach a bunch of them to a semi-rigid band and you've got an instrument. (I don't know what it's called... a leather loop about six inches across, with tambourine-type jingly bits on it..?) I don't know if you could get away with something middle-eastern-belly-dance-garb-ish.

#490 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 04:05 AM:

James D. Macdonald @#483: Sure, there are some signs, but as RL Sue-ness goes, I think he'd still have a long way to go before he could break the record that stands since the 15th century. Too bad I didn't think of that in time for the Keymasters of the Universe thread- allthough I guess that if I had asked there what might have happened if the Anglo-Norman conquest of France had been staved off at the last moment by a pure, brave French peasant girl who rose to lead her nation to battle, saved her people, got brutally martyred, and is still remembered today, people would probably have laughed and pointed their fingers at me and told me to post silly embarrassing adolescent nonsense like that at fanfiction.net and not in an educated and grown up place like this.


myself @ 473: Re my question at 430 and the answers and other followups: Thanks to this useful TV Tropes Wiki page , I figured out that I was thinking of the opening riffs of All Along the Watchtower. I guess it's hard to imagine that someone might really not know that song.

Just in case someone misunderstood this in a way that made it sound very arrogant: I didn't mean that I find it hard to imagine that other people really don't know All Along the Watchtower- I meant that other people might have found it hard to imagine that I really don't know the song.

#491 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 04:18 AM:

Small NaNoWriMo update:

On reading the particle on the End of Wall Street, I think I now have enough to handwave the details of why my main character has comfortable amounts of money in the mid-thirties.

It's pretty well all behind the scenes, but he was letting a brother and brother-in-law handle things, and in 1929 they were smart, or lucky, enough to bet against the market at the right time.

That particle ultimately blames the current disaster, and the quarter century of incompetence and blatant fraud which created it, on the shift from partnerships to public corporations.

But that doesn't explain 1929.

I don't have to, either, but now I realise that selling short works because there are fools in the imbestment banks who believe the market will keep rising, and they think they're screwing the guy doing the selling.


#493 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 08:51 AM:

Joel @ 489: One side will have the year (2008) and the tag number (1-500); the other side is blank. There's some space between the year and the tag number, which is where the clinic name usually gets inscribed.

I think I still have some blue rosettes (2005) in the basement. Even in 3 years I couldn't get rid of all of those. Clearly, I need craft projects.

#494 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 09:57 AM:

Ginger (488): red and heart-shaped? Obviously they're decorations for a Valentine's tree.

------ (493): red and blue...all you need is some white ones and you have Fourth of July decorations

#495 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 10:25 AM:

Ginger -- how large are the tags? If they're not too large, they could possibly be used to make knitting stitch markers. Larger -- wind chimes? Key chains? (I personally like the chain mail idea.)

#496 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 10:54 AM:

Ginger Re tags. It won't be chain, but you make scale. It's really pretty. Get something stiff (leather is the thing for real armor) and then stitch the tags, from the bottom up; like shingling a roof) in overlapping layers.

It's actually pretty attractive. Heavy thread is adequate to the task, even to the real thing, because the stitches are covered by the scale above.

#497 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:05 AM:

In the realm of schadenfruede Kim du Toit is going to be less a boil on the butt of the world.

He's retiring from blogging, effective the end of November.

It's just too expensive (and thats with the 500 bucks a month they claim to pull in from blogads...).

There's a lot of strange stuff buried in that post, esp. given the apparent worldview he has (one of my favorites is this sentence from his more recent stuff, where he prognosticates the doom of the US because of incipient Democratic Rule, You know, I’m always taking stick for posting so many articles about how Britain is screwing things up. Well, under the dictionary entry of “high taxes (especially on “the rich"), anti-business, woeful feel-good social policy, high numbers of state employees, gun control” you’ll find… Britain.

Up until now, that British foolishness has been confined to liberal hellholes like California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey (which also get a dictionary entry under “Circles of Hell").

At all costs, we should prevent the chance of liberal foolishness from reaching national levels. I don’t know how to put it any plainer than that.

But none of that will compare to du Toit du which was his apotheosis.

#498 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:23 AM:

Mary Aileen (294): I like that idea. Maybe something for the outdoor trees, combining the wind chime idea and the decoration idea.

Debbie (495): I am not sure how big these are going to be, but I expect they're not more than an inch long, almost an inch wide. Ish. I might have gotten the smaller ones this time. Knitting stitch markers? This sounds like a market niche for exploitation exploration. Maybe I can glue or somehow bind them together to keep the inscribed face covered.

Terry (496): You're right, of course; this is scale mail. Now I just need to find some SCAdians and I'm in business. Well, with only 500 (minus 4) tags, I need a SCAdian of the right size, don't I?

I feel better already! Some heavy duty wire, maybe a small piece of leather, and I'll have a scale mail Santa for the Xmas tree. Perhaps a wind chime for the Valentine's tree, or a sturdy guitar pick for my brother the musician.

And, of course, vaccinated dogs with up-to-date tags.

#499 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:34 AM:

Ginger @ 493: Is there some clinic which would be able to use the tags if you donated them? Not that I disapprove of creative crafty stuff (hardly!) but it seems a shame to have them go to waste if you really are stuck for something to do with them, and if your remaining old tags would be as useful for art.

#500 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:39 AM:

With the limited number of tags, perhaps scale mail for a dog (or two, depending on size) would be an appropriate project?

Samurai dog armor

#501 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 12:14 PM:

perhaps scale mail for a dog

Which would, of course, be +3 against rabies... :-)

#502 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 12:15 PM:

Ginger: I am small. :)

#503 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 01:40 PM:

I tried to post this last night but there was an "internal server error" alarm.

Ginger @ 487: If Yankee Doodle "stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni" I don't see why you couldn't string a bunch of those tags together and call them castanets, or place them inside a gourd and call them maracas. 'Course, you'd have to a) scrape out the gourd and b) shellac its interior before they'd really function that way, but hey, crafty!

#504 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 02:38 PM:

-PLEASE- remember, if you're using Skype, or some other VOIP provider, and don't have a land line...

Put the direct local number for your emergency services somewhere highly visible.

911 (or 999 or 112) may work (depending on the provider, and whether you signed up) -- and it's not worth discovering that it doesn't (or goes somewhere unexpected) at the wrong time[0].

[0] Fortunately the Internet is sensible, and we were able to provide the required number in time.

#505 ::: gaukler ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 02:48 PM:

Dinosaur sodomy? http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/5071/616281b6800kp8.jpg

#506 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 03:25 PM:

NaNoWriMo:

40,300 Words.

And I still have the Nazi Ninja Pirate Clowns in reserve.

#507 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 10:37 PM:

Ginger, I was thinking that the heart-shaped tags would make an amazing hem decoration on a wide, petticoat-supported black skirt. Either hanging off it like fringe, or supported by fabric underneath (maybe the traditional Indian embroidery technique for attaching mirrors would be helpful? I'd have to play with them a bit).

How much do they charge for a lot of 500?

#508 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 10:48 PM:

Joel @ 499: I don't think another clinic will want my tags; most everyone else puts the name of the clinic on their tags. Still, that's an option I hadn't thought of.

Bruce Arthurs, David Harmon: OK, who let that armored dog warrior in here?

Terry @ 502: Hm. Unfortunately, you're also across the country from me.

Linkmeister @ 503: Dang! I just threw out the old Halloween pumpkin! I must be out of my gourd.

Rikibeth @ 507: Wow, that's creative. How many do you need? I'd send you some if that's what you wanted to do.

They cost $64 for 500, which is 13 cents apiece. (I don't know if the plain steel are cheaper, I never looked.) Since I save myself the cost of taking the dogs to a clinic for exam/shots, etc., it isn't so bad. If I can then repurpose the rest of them, it's even better as a bargain.


#509 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:06 PM:

Ginger, for a full-circle skirt, radius = length from waist to hem (okay, it's not exact but that gives a good estimate) and I'm thinking I want it about knee length with room for the petticoat under...

*fires up the calculator on Dashboard*

Oh, a hundred ought to be about right, since I want to have equal amounts of positive and negative space.

*chortles at the thought of a skirt that NOBODY ELSE WILL HAVE*

#510 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:10 PM:

rikibeth,

*chortles at the thought of a skirt that NOBODY ELSE WILL HAVE*

please remember to link to pictures when you finish it!

#511 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:18 PM:

Bruce Arthurs @ 500: It occurs to me that one of those super-miniature dogs, wearing scale mail built of little red hearts, would be horribly cute.

#512 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:20 PM:

Rikibeth, just email me at this address and I'll put in at least one hundred for you, as soon as I get the package.

As miriam said, "photos, please!" It sounds totally cool.

#513 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:25 PM:

Joel @ 511: Oh, now you've done it. Someone is going to have to make this armor and put it on a small dog, and take pictures for us all.

Luckily for me, my dogs are labs and are way too big. Although, now that I think about it, Athena would look really good in red. I could order more.

#514 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2008, 11:29 PM:

Ginger, emailed.

And of course I'll post pictures. Oooh, and I've already got just the right hat to wear with it...

#515 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 12:20 AM:

Rikibeth @ 509 ...
*chortles at the thought of a skirt that NOBODY ELSE WILL HAVE*

Might I suggest that bells at the tips of the plaques would add a distinctive silvery background to the chiming?

#516 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 01:57 AM:

Rikibeth, #509: Just remember that when you spin, the metal around the hem can turn your skirt into... well, not a weapon exactly, but you could startle your partner, or your neighbor. At knee length, you probably don't have to worry about it winding around anyone else's legs. *remembers trying to dance Korobushka next to a lady with hem weights on her cotehardie*

Also, a really good spin can easily take a knee-length skirt into "I See London" territory; plan accordingly.

#517 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 03:49 AM:

So I just recently realized why the phrase "Quantum of Solace" keeps getting musical notes attached to it in my head: It scans precisely the same as certain key phrases in the song "Still Alive".

Try it:
This was a triumph
Aperture Science
Maybe Black Mesa
Quantum of Solace

#518 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 05:37 AM:

Just looked into and cleaned out one of my spam folders for the first time in a while. Interesting how many spammers try to get hits for their malware links by appealing to the desperate hopes of some fringe wingnuts that Obama might still somehow not become president.

#519 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 08:33 AM:

xeger, bells are an interesting thought, but possibly not in keeping with the Gothic Valentine image I had in my head. I'm really hoping to keep the tags fully supported by fabric, rather than hanging off the edge. I may resort to glue.

Lee, thanks for the warning! I expect to wear the skirt supported by a stiff red crinoline, so both the weapon potential and the flash-the-floor potential should be reduced.

#520 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 10:51 AM:

There seem to be some rather good Paypal phishing attempts flying around.

They had the right email address and the right form of my name, but didn't get so close to the look of a Paypal email. They said that my account access was restricted, apparently because of too many failed login attempts, and they wanted me to email them scans of various identity documents.

Yeah, right.

The address to send the email to was slightly plausible, for the net-naive, and the header fakery was done well enough that it could slip by.

But worrying for a moment, since I had recently purchased items on eBay.

I really don't much use that form of my name elsewhere, so, while neither deal looks false, I'm not sure where else anyone would see a recent use of the particular combination. Bad security somewhere, or scattergun tactics?

These things are detectable. And maybe, after the revelations of recent months, I'm a little disinclined to trust anuone. Why should Paypal be any more secure than the rest of Wall Street?

#521 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 11:20 AM:

Dave, I get those PayPal e-mails too, and I don't have an account (or not yet, anyway). I also get attempted phishing pruporting to come from several different banks and credit unions, from Amazon, and from the IRS. One was claiming to be from Inland Revenue (I reported it to them).

You can check the hidden URL in the link, in Windows anyway, by right clicking on it and choosing 'Properties' from the menu - I copy the URL from the lower part of the properties window, scrolling if need be, and paste it into Notepad. Usually it's clearly going someplace other than where they're claiming. (Some of the phishers haven't figured out how to spoof the visible link.)

#522 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 12:11 PM:

Rikibeth @ 519 ...
xeger, bells are an interesting thought, but possibly not in keeping with the Gothic Valentine image I had in my head. I'm really hoping to keep the tags fully supported by fabric, rather than hanging off the edge. I may resort to glue.

Hm. It might be worth using horsehair ribbon to support/reinforce the hem - but I'd be strongly tempted to drill an extra hole at the bottom of the heart, and sew the plaques down like buttons, rather than like shisha either way.

#523 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 12:49 PM:

xeger, thanks! Hm. I have a drill and quite a few drill bits, but I have no idea if any of them are intended for metal, or if aluminum is tough enough to require anything specialized.

Horsehair braid, probably a good idea, although I'm expecting the crinoline to take care of most of it. (oooh. Gathered tulle RUFFLE. There's a thought...)

#524 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 01:35 PM:

I'm constantly amazed by the number of spammers who think I'm in sore need of industrial injection molding machinery.

#525 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 02:01 PM:

#524, JESR -

Oh, dear. My mind went *right* to the gutter. I parsed it as "industrial injection machinery" and laughed and laughed.

#526 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 02:16 PM:

Today's entry in weird spam:

"We are professional sewing machine spare parts and accessories supplier in China."

Ah well. Makes a change from the usual EuroLottery winning ticket junk.

#527 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 02:31 PM:

#526
Today's leading spam in my box:
Dear Attorney.

I got your profile from the Attorney web-site

After a careful review of your profile as well as your qualification and experience, it is logical to believe that you are capable and qualified in assisting my company with its financial services as well as work us through the modalities of setting up a subsidiary of our company in the United States
---
IANAL. (They're ostensibly trying to get someone to expedite clearing checks between Asia and the US.)

#528 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 02:41 PM:

Today's favorite spam is not simply a 419 ("Dear Friend,I am Mark Welling, an attorney here in theUnited Kingdom.Iam writing following an oppurtunity in my office that will be of immense benefit to both of us.") (spacing and spelling original).

No, it's better than that. It's a forward of the 419 with the added announcement that Mark (surely I can call him Mark, since it's probably not his name) has a new email address! (exclamation point in the original).

Because it has to be genuine if he's existed long enough to be on his second email address...

#529 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 02:55 PM:

I find the industrial supplier spam kind of charming. They might actually be honest business folk who have no idea how annoying their widely-cast net is.

One outfit offered about a zillion types of tweezers.

#530 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 03:31 PM:

Stefan @ #529, Oh, yeah. Some of them are at least amusing, even though many of them are of the "you will make $5K month for processing checks from our customers" variety.

If it sounds too good to be true, and all that.

#531 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 03:53 PM:

R.M.Koske #525:

Surely you mean "industrial-strength injection machinery"?

#532 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 03:57 PM:

#531, joann -
I was thinking "industrial-sized" but that works too. *snickers*

#533 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 04:06 PM:

Hmph. Everyone else is getting amusing spam, and I'm getting stupid ads for pet nail clippers (!) and vile ones saying they can help me "get rid of your credit-card debt".

#534 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 04:12 PM:

abi @ 528

Maybe Mark copied a spam email he received, saving him the trouble of writing one himself. Is there no honor among thieves?

Ginger

I was thinking you could make a few really cute stuffed armadillos with those tags.

#535 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 04:15 PM:

Question: A decent while back, Teresa had a post comparing the Bush administration to a bust out con. I've been looking for the original post and have been coming up empty. Any ideas?

#536 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 04:48 PM:

Rikibeth @ 523 ...
xeger, thanks! Hm. I have a drill and quite a few drill bits, but I have no idea if any of them are intended for metal, or if aluminum is tough enough to require anything specialized.

That stuff's probably fairly soft - I'd use wood behind it, to drill into, and take it slow/easy. Using a punch to dent the metal slightly will probably make it easier to drill consistently. The drill bit will get -hot- though, and might shatter (which really just means "wear safety glasses").

#537 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 05:02 PM:

The vast majority of spam I get is the obnoxious, dodgy stuff.

I only mention the industrial adverts because they are so unusual; a misdirected real ad versus a scamvitation.

#538 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 05:17 PM:

Glenn #535: Question: A decent while back, Teresa had a post comparing the Bush administration to a bust out con.

Was it this one?

#539 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 06:00 PM:

Ginger: How large a pack of rabies vaccinations did you have to buy?

#540 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 08:50 PM:

Raphael @473, @490 - Well while on a trip to Calais one of my friends ran all around the watchtower. We had to explain why this was 1. wrong, and 2. funny.

That night I played it (being me I played both the Hendrix and Dylan versions) and of course, having not been cloistered away from popular culture since 1970 they'd all heard it but didn't now know what it was called. Until then I would have thought it hard to imagine.

Spammers are trying to get me to buy imitation Rolex Watches at Wholesale Prices for my non-existent wife for Christmas. How shocking!

#541 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 09:19 PM:

dcb @ 539: I managed to find a 10-dose* vial for a reasonable price. We used to buy rabies vaccines in our department, but we no longer have dogs in our research colony, so no more canine vaccines.

Vaccines are now more widely available, especially if they're not the rabies vaccine which is still required to be administered by a veterinarian. The distemper combinations are just about OTC, and available from reputable veterinary catalogues. I was able to buy two each of the combination vaccines and the Bordetella vaccines.

*Which leaves me with 4 doses un-dosed (two dogs plus four cats), so I may see if any neighbor needs revaccination**. Er, neighbor's pet, that is.

**I don't need revaccination either. My titer is nice and high enough even after all these years.

#542 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 09:31 PM:

Ginger, #508, I just looked through mine. One mobile vet had her name/address on hers, but the other doesn't. It does say Rabies Vaccination, though.

#543 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 09:41 PM:

Marilee @ 542: OK, the tags probably do include "Rabies Vacc" under the year, as seen here. On the order form, it just had the year and the serial number indicated. Since the shape of the tag is standardized for each year, it is almost redundant to label the tag as a rabies vaccination indicator.

#544 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 12:27 AM:

Ginger... How long does it take for someone to be good at using syringes? Now that my wife is back from being new-kneed, she needs a twice-daily injection of lovenox and, since she can't do it to herself, I've been volunteered even though I've never done this before. It shows too. Hopefully, I'll become more skilled at this long before the necessary 20 days are over.

#545 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 12:31 AM:

Rikibeth: (dons machinist's hat) Aluminum doesn't, generally, require anything special in the way of drill bits. The stuff for rabies tags is probably in the 6065 range and an HS, or HSS (which is to say, over the counter, bog-standard) bit will work just fine.

The metal is fairly thin (at least on our tags), so a bit with a dia. of 1/8th, or 3/16ths, ought to be fine. I'd make a jig to hold the piece in place. Beware that the tip of the bit will grab it when you punch through (the center will go from a point of zero-friction, to two pieces of steel with a lot. A steady hand, and not too slow, is the way to go (this assumes you have a drill press. I'd not try it with a handheld or a portable).

#546 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 12:35 AM:

Terry, I have no drill press, nor do I have anything like a jig. Would duct taping the tag to a bit of 2x4 and drilling with a handheld drill serve the purpose?

#547 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 02:21 AM:

Rikibeth, if the tags are aluminum, I'd just use a punch (Well, probably I'd use a 4d steel finishing nail, because I don't know right off hand what happened to my punch) and then grind the burr down with my Dremel; drilling through thin metal is a sort of a bitch, because, as Terry said, the piece kicks out as soon as the first edge of the bit goes all the way through. A flat steel file would work to take the burr down, too, although it would be slower than a grinder bit. You'll need to smooth a drilled hole, too, or it'll cut through thread rather quickly. 220 grit sandpaper will work for drill burr, if you have no Dremel, although a rat-tail file would be quicker. I realize not everyone goes to garage sales and buys gallon zip-lock bags full of files, though.

To make a jig: use a piece of scrap lumber clamped to a flat surface. Draw around the tag, and mark four roughly equadistant points just outside the outline. Pound three of the aforementioned 4d finishing nails, or nearest equivalent, into the board, leaving an inch or so free. Drill a (is that a 1/8" bit=4d? I think? or 3/16th?) hole at the fourth position. Drop the tag in, and put the fourth nail in the hole to pen it in.

When you are drilling the holes, follow the good advice in an earlier post and put a ding in the place you want the hole. Drills skid badly on metal if theres not a little hole to keep them from doing so.

#548 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 02:36 AM:

Jim: nope, I remember it being a post, not a comment.

#549 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 09:54 AM:

Tobias Buckell seems to be having a heck of a morning, heart cath and all.

And of course he's twittering.

#550 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 11:38 AM:

It looks like LiveJournal is down. Maybe they're cleaning up what's been causing various icons to disappear temporarily.

#551 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 11:56 AM:

More on Tobias Buckell at his blog.

#552 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 12:09 PM:

LiveJournal is getting underway on a server move. "The window of planned downtime is from 8 AM to NOON PST (4PM to 8PM UTC) on Tuesday, November 18, 2008." That's assuming that everything runs well, of course.

#553 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 12:24 PM:

Rikibeth: Ok, if you want to do this thing you can make a jig. Get a couple of pieces of wood, glue them up (Titebond III is the stuff to use). That right angle will keep them in the same place (I assume you wish to put the hole in the apex of the heart).

Get a third piece of wood, Glue the right angled bit onto this. It will be beneath the tag. You can either make it a little smaller than the tags, and clamp, or get some stout double sided tape. In any case that will keep the piece from wandering (if you want to be really solid, cuta groove into the right agle, underneath which you slide the tip, but that's a lot more work for this set-up than you really need).

A tap with the tip of a nail will make it easier to start the drill.

I'd not try to punch straight through, because the tags are likely to be too strong to take it without either a LOT of force, or jumping some and deforming. In any case punching will stretch the metal and it's probable the tag will notably deform. Even if it doesn't, the need to deburr the deeper hole will take a lot of time (or the edges will eat the stitches, and/or the dress). If you drill you will need naught more than a quick kiss of a double bastard mill file (ok, any decent file will do, and I'd probably use my single cut swiss small files, but not everyone has such. A rat-tailed mill, by a reputable maker such as Nicholson, will be about $6), and the burr will be a lot smaller, and smoother.

I would also reccomend the use of either a larger drill bit, or a deburring knife, to clean the edges of the hole. The other option (if you have, or want to get one) would be to make the initial hole the right size to take a punch-grommet, and use that to keep the edges of the hole from eating the thread, as they wobble about, when you spin your skirt.

Serge: Lj is down to make a server migration. It will be about 2 1/2 more hours (until noon Pacific)

#554 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 12:24 PM:

Joel Polowin @ 552... That's assuming that everything runs well, of course.

Of course.

Igor: Could be worse.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: How?
Igor: Could be raining.
[it starts to pour]

#555 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 01:22 PM:

Terry Karney, I avoided using the double bastard term; congratulations on your straightforwardness.

What I have in my random tool inventory is a small conical ceramic bit that goes straight through aluminum and needs no burr cleaning (although all things considered it's best to turn the piece over and take off the sharp lip), but it's for a smaller number of pieces than are at issue here. It would need replaced a couple of times, making this the same sort of free project as my old dog Guinan, who ate all my shoes, the wooden bits of an office chair, and the best purse I ever had before she stopped chewing.

#556 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 01:47 PM:

LiveJournal is moving its data center, and announced that there would be a multihour outtage.

(Servers in MONTANA??! Huh, wha?! .... and is Montana a red state or blue.... any state that voted for McCain/Palin....)

#557 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 02:19 PM:

LJ's back. Slow, but back.

#558 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 02:23 PM:

Paula Lieberman, Montana barely went for McCain; some parts of it- notably Missoula and the many Indian Reservations- are bluer than Vermont. The state had the biggest per capita volunteer turnout for Obama in the nation.

What Montana has in plenty is cheap electricity and relatively low real estate prices; much of the inland west is becoming server farm city.

#559 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 02:49 PM:

Also, Montana is far less likely to break, fall over, and burn down following a 7.0 earthquake.

#560 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:02 PM:

Madeline F, I'm not so sure about the "burn down" part, having been in Missoula the last three Augusts. But, yeah, much less prone to other sorts of natural disasters.

#561 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:13 PM:

JESR @#560: Unless Yellowstone goes. But if that happens most of the US will have much bigger problems than lack of access to LiveJournal.

#562 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:21 PM:

Carrie S. Yeah, the Yellowstone Supervolcano will be a serious inconvenience, but I was thinking more of the common or garden variety of forest fires, like the one that filled the whole Missoula valley with smoke for two days in 2007 and blocked traffic on I-90.

#563 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:26 PM:

Yeah, I was thinking of the volcano possibilities, not of a really big wildfire.

I mean, no Montana forest fire is going to touch me in Pittsburgh, but if the supervolcano blows I'm liable to be fairly far west of the far edge of the falling ash...

#564 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:29 PM:

On the Kinkade particle: I just found the movie trailer.

Barry Stu, eat your heart out.

#565 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:39 PM:

abi, #564: I notice it's direct-to-DVD; at least they had the brains not to try for a theatrical release. I rather imagine that it'll mostly be carried in Thomas Kinkade mall outlets anyhow.

#566 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:49 PM:

Eek! Panic! Help!

Because all knowlege can be found on Making Light:

Flash drive. Dropped on floor. Is no longer seen by computers while plugged in. Need data. What to do?

(Aside from following all of Jim's advice in keeping said flash drive's owner from dying from shock and panic.)

#567 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:55 PM:

Ursula L @ 566 ...

First make yourself a nice cup of tea (or equivalent), and get your heart rate back to normal ;)

When you look at the drive, are there any obvious scratches/breaks?
Does the drive rattle when moved?
Does the drive fit well into the slot you'd normally put it into, or is it loose/too snug?

#568 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:58 PM:

Not my drive, but I'm the one who dropped it.

The drive fits in the USB slot fine, and appears intact from the outside. Connecters all look fine. No rattles or anything else, but the light doesn't turn on when it is plugged in.

It is currently at the campus computer shop, they don't think they can fix it (Gave it 1-5% chance of recovery). So I'm looking for long shots, I guess.

#569 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 03:58 PM:

Lee @565:

The fact that it exists at all offends me.

Or maybe I'm just tired.

#570 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 04:48 PM:

Teresa, as my gay friend noted, it's not *nice* to send people to the AFA without warning...

But, since I went, all I could see was an quick-and-easy-to-setup burning cross they could put on "'your' front yard, ... porch, ..." (airquotes mine).

Is that the impression they, or you, wanted me to get out of the link? It worked!

(obBias: I belong to a Christian denomination that would, I am sure, be described by the AFA with the terms "heretical" or "false" or better yet "anti-Christian")

#571 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 04:54 PM:

In case I haven't got my context across well enough - fun link (although I would have appreciated a NSFHumans tag).

#572 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 05:22 PM:

Ginger @ 541: Glad to hear you didn't have to buy 500 of those! I still take my cats to the local practice for their annual vaccinations (no rabies, of course, over here, and they don't go out unsupervised, so no FeLV needed), but they get the others, just in case. At least it means they're registered with the vet practice if something else goes wrong that I can't fix without equipment/drugs etc.

Serge @ 544 How long does it take for someone to be good at using syringes?

I can't give times, but maybe this will help. Take a spare syringe and needle, practice fitting them together and drawing up milk (it's more visible than water) from a small glass. You can also use milk to practice depresing the syringe plunger slowly, watching the milk against a dark background.

If you're injecting intramuscularly, practice injecting milk or water into e.g. an orange (discard the orange afterwards if the needle and syringe were not sterile). For subcutaneous injections maybe practice with water and an old shirt wrapped and tied around say a teddy bear (cover the bear with a plastic bag first to stop it getting wet) - that way you can practice pinching up some shirt as if it were skin?

#573 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 05:43 PM:

Flash drives:

I have one with a transparent (red tinted) casing.

You have a printed circuit board, with the actual memory chip, LED, and other components in surface-mount packages. The USB connector has four connecting pins.

If the casing is intact, I'd be inclined to suspecting the connections between PCB and USB connector. I'm old enough to have done stuff with a soldering iron, I still have one, and, if the case can be opened, it's worth trying to resolder those connectors. Little more than a touch with a soldering iron.

(There's an assumption here. Some Flash Drives have the USB contacts as part of the main PCB.)

Remember, these gadgets are tiny, and the energy of a collision with a floor is rather unlikely to break anything. It sounds more like a dry joint which wasn't spotted during manufacturing.

(Yes, this does amount to wild guesswork. But I've repaired computers with a soldering iron. The current generation are more likely to see hardware problems in terms of plugging in a new PCI card.)

The one good thing about a university campus is that there aren likely to be people there who do know how to build stuff with a soldering iron.

#574 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 05:45 PM:

Ursula L @ 568 ...
The drive fits in the USB slot fine, and appears intact from the outside. Connecters all look fine. No rattles or anything else, but the light doesn't turn on when it is plugged in.

It is currently at the campus computer shop, they don't think they can fix it (Gave it 1-5% chance of recovery). So I'm looking for long shots, I guess.

Hm. I'd generically guess that there's a crack or a short that's preventing the connection. For long shots, carefully remove the outer plastic covering. You should end up with something about as thin as this, but with chip(s) on it.

See if that works. If it does, then get the data off of it ASAP :D

If it doesn't, check for obvious damage. Try freezing it or heating (a bit) it, to futz with expansion/contraction.

See if you know somebody that doesn't mind playing with traces, chips and solder.

Curse, and return to the beginning, and make yourself a nice cup of tea...

#575 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 05:53 PM:

JESR, Terry: thanks! I had not thought of the grommet option -- although I suspect, having seen the tags on cats, that the grommet would eat up too much of the surface area. I want a nice SMALL hole in the point of the heart.

This is going to be a bit more complicated than I expected, but still seems worth it. If I have enough left over, I might even embellish a jacket to match.

#576 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 06:32 PM:

Serge @ 544: What dcb said. It doesn't take long to get a decent technique. I retrained my partner to give SC injections when Buzz was still around, and then I could rely on her to do some of the feeding time insulin injections for me.

dcb@ 572: Oh, yes. That would have been a bit much. I probably would have taken the animals to the local vet for their rabies in that case. As it turned out, the company needed my license faxed to them because of my state's regulations. If I didn't have a state license, I'd be out of luck all together.

I should see if I could donate the rest to someone in West Virginia -- there was an article in the Washington Post magazine last weekend about a health care fair carried out by volunteers for poor folks in WV. The article indicated that this yearly fair was often the only medical services these people saw, and many of them had chronic problems like diabetes, dental issues, heart disease, and so on. I wondered at the time what their animal care situation was like -- I can't imagine they have anything for their dogs and cats either.

#577 ::: Holly P. ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 07:04 PM:

Rikibeth -

If the drilling option doesn't work out, I think a triangular stitch pattern with the point of the triangle at the hole at the top of the heart would work to secure the tags. And it might even turn out to be a design benefit -- bondage hearts!

#578 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 07:11 PM:

(Cross-post from Whitechapel)

My sister is an actual artist. Murals, water colors, illustrations for nature books.

Occasionally I send her advertisements for Thomas Kincade kitsch. The ads run in the back of Sunday newspaper coupon booklets, along with offers for warming slippers for diabetics, toxin-absorbing adhesive foot pads, cheap brassieres, and plates with pictures of toy dogs on them.

The Kinc-kitch is horrible Chinese-made . . . well, knockoffs isn't the right word. They're "official," in that Kincade gets a sliver of money from the sale. But they're god-awful. Snow globes, rotating miniature Christmas villages, little train sets. Looking at them gives me the same feeling I get when I accidentally chew on aluminum foil.

Before I send the ads off to Lilith I attach a note threatening that she'll be getting one of the things for her birthday.

#579 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 07:16 PM:

Tonight's Jeopardy has a category "Vwllss Frt."

#580 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 07:27 PM:

dcb @ 572... Ginger @ 576... Thanks. Actually, I have no problem getting the needle into Sue's tummy and injecting the lovenox, quickly and without shaking, but I must do something wrong: she goes Ouch! when I do it, but not when the nurses did. Well, practice will make perfect. I hope.

#581 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 07:34 PM:

Abi @ 569... The fact that it exists at all offends me.

I find myself not offended, but disappointed. I was hoping that Kinkade would work into it Mary Dell's homage, with Cthulhu about to devour a fisherman.

#582 ::: Laurel ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 08:00 PM:

Ginger, our local charity that runs spay/neuter/vaccinate clinics for ferals puts earwires on rabies tags and sells them as earrings. I got a couple pairs for Christmas presents one year - although I expect they'd be most popular with real animal lovers!

#583 ::: Rozasharn ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2008, 10:29 PM:

Glenn @535 wrote: "Question: A decent while back, Teresa had a post comparing the Bush administration to a bust out con. I've been looking for the original post and have been coming up empty. Any ideas?"

I think I remember the same thing you're thinking of. Check out comment 67 here. One of Teresa's other comments from that thread was promoted to full-fledged posthood, but this one was substantive enough that I bookmarked it.

#584 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 01:01 AM:

Rikibeth, #575, punch the hole in the tip of the heart, put in a base metal jumpring, and sew the jumpring to the skirt. If you're sure there won't be any tugging, I'd use something like Fireline for thread, but if, as is more likely, the tags will be caught and such, I'd just use thread and if it breaks, you sew it back on.

#586 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 05:41 AM:

Serge,

It depends whether you hit a nerve or not.

Most of the body, the odds are in your favour.

#587 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 05:54 AM:

Reading the Lone Ranger particle, it's interesting that the bullets would punch through steel plate.

Consider the Lone Ranger vs. The Man With No Name

(and isn't the trick in the original Kurosawa movie too?)

#588 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 07:03 AM:

Marilee, now that's a great idea! Jump rings!

#589 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 08:16 AM:

Dick Cheney has been indicted by a Texas grand jury, charged with organized criminal activity in relation to abuse of prisoners in for-profit prisons in which he invested heavily.

#590 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 08:32 AM:

Dave Bell @ 586... I must be getting better at this because, last night, I was in and out so fast that she had to ask me if I was done.

#591 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 08:35 AM:

Lila @ 589... Can Dubya pardon him and Alberto for that?

#592 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 09:17 AM:

The trouble with clicking on the Recent Comments links is that you end up reading #590 first, being startled, and then having to scroll back up the list of comments to find the context and reassure yourself.

#593 ::: Melody ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 09:38 AM:

Mycroft W at #570 - Bizactly. The first thing that crossed my mind, even before the calendar disconnect.

The second was wondering where the link was for purchasing the teeny Madonna action figure accessory.

#595 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 10:10 AM:

Serge @ #591, what is more likely to happen is that a judge will throw out the indictment, so there will never be a trial, much less a conviction and then a pardon.

#596 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 10:24 AM:

Serge @ 590 ...
Dave Bell @ 586... I must be getting better at this because, last night, I was in and out so fast that she had to ask me if I was done.

A statement few men would be bold enough and proud enough to make without context ;)

#597 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 11:07 AM:

ajay@ 592: Gee, thanks! I had been drinking tea when I read your comment, and now my computer is wearing it.

#598 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 01:02 PM:

Headline that got a second look:
Red Sox trade Coco Crisp to Royals for reliever

#599 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 01:31 PM:

xeger @ 596... Freud would say that sometimes a syringe is just a syringe.

#600 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 01:44 PM:

PJ @ #598, yeah. For one thing, who knew the Royals had a decent reliever?

#601 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 03:13 PM:

Drat! I just discovered that I have been using two different email addresses to post here for some time, switching apparently at random between them.

I hope everyone will forgive me a quick pair of housekeeping posts - some of my comments are under this other email address.

Autofill is definitely a mixed blessing.

#602 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 03:15 PM:

And the second post of the pair...

Many of my comments can be found under this other email address.

#603 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 06:44 PM:

Virginia Postrel on Glamour. This goes nicely with the Kinkaid memo.

#604 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 10:08 PM:

Reading 'Previous comments on Making Light':

    "Cooking With Light"
    "Poison: It Isn't Just For Breakfast Any More"
    "Want to Buy an Ambulance?"

I'm thinking Thanksgiving will be gruesome.

#605 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2008, 10:13 PM:

Good grief! Nepal has legalized same-sex marriage.

Nepal.

Wow.

Our country is less civilized than Nepal. Hey, not that Nepal is uncivilized. But they're not the world's most advanced place by a long shot.

#606 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 12:59 AM:

Getting rid of the King helped Nepal a lot. Maybe we need to that too. Oh, wait, we already did. Then we need to get rid of whoever took his place. I'm looking at youSith Lord Cheney.

#607 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 01:05 AM:

Serge @591, I don't think so, because that is a Texas grand jury, not a federal grand jury. The governor of Texas is a Republican, though, so it's still likely that they'd get pardoned if anything came out of that. I don't know much about how internal extradition works in the USA, though- perhaps they'd just have to avoid Texas, or the county in Texas where the the indicment was made?

#608 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 01:43 AM:

German law provides universal jurisdiction allowing for the prosecution of war crimes and related offenses that take place anywhere in the world, making that country a much better jurisdiction to pursue non-impeachment-related criminal complaints against members of the Bush administration.

#609 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 02:09 AM:

Rozasharn, that's the post I was thinking of. Thank you.

#610 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 02:53 AM:

Lila @ 595... Raphael @ 607... Drat. I guess I'll have to be content with fantasies of Dick Cheney in the slammer.

#611 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 05:54 AM:

I find this excerpt from the current version of Ezra Klein's Wikipedia entry a bit amusing:

Klein started his first blog in February 2003. He soon joined with Matt Singer, and the name was changed to "Klein/Singer: Political Consulting on the Cheap." In June of 2003, he moved to the blog Not Geniuses along with Matt Singer, Ryan J. Davis, and Joe Rospars.

Following "Not Geniuses," Klein partnered with Jesse Taylor at Pandagon. This partnership helped Klein gain even more visibility, leading to his eventual founding of his current blog "Ezra Klein."

Am I the only one to whom this sounds kind of as if it's not about blogs?

#612 ::: J MacQueen ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 05:56 AM:

xeger at #596, it doesn't help that the name of the drug being injected is "lovenox" either...

Regards
Jo

#613 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 06:54 AM:

605: I think the appropriate song would be "Sherpas Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other"...

#614 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 11:09 AM:

Here's a spin-off discussion about Go Home, Lone Ranger. Werewolves and mass production of silver bullets, mostly.

#615 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 12:46 PM:

Cochise biographer Oliver LaFarge recommends malachite bullets.

#616 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 10:37 PM:

Earl, I recommend these malachite doily earrings. Nice work, good design.

Notice the Dragons Playing Poker particle? I think having that sitting around is kind of silly, but if it were on velvet....

#617 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2008, 10:50 PM:

Another weird twist on that indictment of Cheney et al., according to the newspaper this morning, is that the prosecutor who brought the indictment didn't show up in court on Wednesday. The judge therefore sent the Texas Rangers to his house to check on his health/well-being and order him to appear in court tomorrow.

The defendants are not required to appear at this stage (if at all).

#618 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 01:06 AM:

They showed a new ad for JJ Abrams's Star Trek. It looks neat and all that, but... What few women I saw wear skirts. And Uhura wears a white bra.

#619 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 03:32 AM:

I had to share this--I just found the perfect use for a Thomas Kincaid painting.

In a fanfic. With kittens added.

Hanging in Dolores Umbridge's office.

It's a bit of broad bawdy comedy called "To Make Much of Time" by Mundungus42 over at fanfiction.net. It isn't one of those "print me out and keep me forever" fics, but it's funny. And the Kincaid cameo is perfect!

#620 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 07:37 AM:

Serge, #618: Judging from the trailer, the new Star Trek movie seems to be intended as a prequel to the actual 1960s series, set in the very same universe where the only women in the regular cast were a secretary, a nurse, and a switchboard operator.

Personally, I would have preferred a total reboot, Battlestar Galactica-style.

#621 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 09:45 AM:

Earl Cooley III @ 615

Because you can use malachite to really send a message?

#622 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 10:01 AM:

Wesley #620:

I think it's more fun to spin out stories to explain the weird discrepancies, as with that one DS9/Tribbles episode where Dax comments on the "sleek design" of the old Starfleet technology, or the explanation someone suggested here for the overwhelming number of Americans in Starfleet (The US is an impoverished backwater on Earth, from which the only escape to real prestige is through a successful military career; alternatively, the US is so rich and decadent that the only way to really rebel against your parents is to go off and join a military organization like Starfleet.)

Perhaps the Scudder/Palin administration which ran things until the World Government took over had a really effective propoganda arm, and the first couple generations of female Federation citizens were so strongly influenced by the artistic output of that propoganda arm that they overwhelmingly opted for the kind of traditional womens' roles they'd read about in their favorite classic books growing up.

#623 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 11:58 AM:

Albatross... Personally, I think it's a mistake. The skirts were bearable back then, because it was a different era. Today though... There may be a reason within the movie's setup to justify it, but I'm afraid it's going to be taken for granted that, of course, women joining Starfleet will wear short skirts - they should prove a bit impractical in Engineering. Unlike Wesley, don't think that it needed a reboot as severe as BSG's. Stil, it did need some revamping. I hope that JJ Abrams realized what the story was about, as epitomized in The Corbomite Manoeuver, and it wasn't about boldly peeking up a girl's skirt.

#624 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 12:12 PM:

Serge, Those original microsckirted uniforms could be worn over black pants, and would look pretty good. (I had one, made in two-way-stretch heavy swimsuit fabric. With the leotard and tights under it - also part of the costume - there wasn't anything to be embarrassingly exposed. It was quite comfortable to wear, too, even thoush it was something of a pain to make (eight different pieces, some quite similar to each other).

#625 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 12:42 PM:

Wesley @620: My understanding is that the new Star Trek movie is a prequel to the original series, in the same sense that Young Sherlock Holmes was a prequel to A Study In Scarlet.

#626 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 02:20 PM:

PJ Evans @ 624... Those original microsckirted uniforms could be worn over black pants, and would look pretty good.

Exactly. They could have achieved the same look, and this without causing my wife to make it clear that there was no way she'd go see the movie.

Rob Rusick @ 625... Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock, called it a reboot. A prequel would be inconsistent with the established continuity - although there's been so much time travel in the various series that there may not be an established continuity. If I remember the original series correctly, Kirk had dealt with Captain Pyke at the Academy, but never served under him. Oh well.

#627 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 02:55 PM:

Serge @ 626: That's right; it was Spock who served with Captain Pike.

The sad* thing is, I knew that without looking it up.


*And by "sad" I mean "wonderfully geeky nerdy", which is far too long to type.

#628 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 03:05 PM:

I know that about Spock & Pike, because I just watched that episode a week or so ago!

Local channel is broadcasting TOS on Sunday afternoons. Yay for the TiVo which caught that!

#629 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 03:31 PM:

Ginger and Nancy Mittens... Besides that inconsistency about Kirk serving with Pike, the military uniforms of that early era were kaki tops and black pants, for men and women. (Goodness... We are nerds, aren't we?)

#630 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 03:45 PM:

Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock, called it a reboot. A prequel would be inconsistent with the established continuity - although there's been so much time travel in the various series that there may not be an established continuity. If I remember the original series correctly, Kirk had dealt with Captain Pyke at the Academy, but never served under him. Oh well.

It can't be a reboot, because Leonard Nimoy appears as (old) Spock. Which is too bad--when I heard they were rebooting Star Trek, I was so psyched. There are so many things that would only need tiny tweaks...women's uniforms, the proliferation of particles and technobabble in general, using Diane Duane's Romulans, and explaining that Spock was genetically engineered would pretty much do it.

#631 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 03:48 PM:

Also, what the heck is up with building a ship at a ground-based facility? It should be put together in Spacedock! (But then we couldn't have Kirk's angsty "I'm gonna fly that someday" moment...)

#632 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 03:54 PM:

Carrie S @ 631... I was wondering about that. You'd think they could have had the dock in orbit and achieved the same effect by having Kirk look up with superduper binoculars. Well, who knows? Maybe the movie will sweep us up and make us disregard that, and the skirts. Goodness knows we could enjoy a movie about an optimistic future where we won't kill each other into extinction, and this without abandonning our better angels.

#633 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 03:57 PM:

Carrie S @ 630... It can't be a reboot, because Leonard Nimoy appears as (old) Spock

On the other hand, when James Bond was rebooted, they didn't give the boot to Judi Densch's M. (It's my theory that M really is Miss Marple.)

#634 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 03:58 PM:

#631: Because it looks cooler if they build it on the ground.

Star Trek is no longer about the future. It is about Star Trek.

#635 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 04:12 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 634... Star Trek is no longer about the future. It is about Star Trek.

Maybe not. Watch the original trailer and listen to the background voices.

#636 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 04:27 PM:

One doesn't run a bead by hand on space hardware now and while I can see economic advantages to building the thing on the ground, that's one retro shipyard.

#637 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 04:34 PM:

The original version, IIRC, always put out that it was built in orbit - maybe pieces were built on the ground, but the assembly was done was Out There.

#638 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Skirts in space? Wouldn't be very practical in zero gravity. But then, the characters in Star Trek walk around on the floor and the space ship flies right side up, anyway, so I guess they don't have zero gravity in the Star Trek universe.

#639 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 04:54 PM:

Graydon at 636:
A retro shipyard?

Do they build retro rockets there?

#640 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 04:58 PM:

Regarding the Trek movie -- the producers and writers are walking a delicate line. While there are not enough Trek fans to supply the box office needed for a $135 million picture, you run the risk of alienating the base if you stray to far from the beloved parts of the original series. If you adhere too closely to the formula, you don't make a profit -- or worse, it just tanks.

Would the current re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica have worked if they just updated the FX and made it a little sexier? Doubtful. They made something new and edgy and exciting and all they used were the basic tropes of the series.

I'm hoping JJ Abrams has done the same, and judging from the previews, he may have pulled it off.

#641 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 06:29 PM:

Serge @ 626

although there's been so much time travel in the various series that there may not be an established continuity.

I suspect continuity was completely destroyed by that NextGen mission where Picard went back to marry Kirk's grandmother, just to see what would happen. I thought that scene were all the ship's cats went into superposition was very funny.

#642 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 07:34 PM:

Graydon @ 636... True, that is one retro shipyard, but how better for a visual medium to convey that people are about to embark on a grand adventure than by showing people building the ship?

#643 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 07:35 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 641... I'd pay good money (bad money too) to see that story. Heh.

#644 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 09:03 PM:

Carrie S @ 630... Diane Duane's Romulans

...and Mike Ford's Klingons.

#645 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 09:22 PM:

Serge @ 644: In tuxedos? I'd love to see that one.

#646 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2008, 09:42 PM:

Serge @642 --

People building the ship is fine; the problem is that they're using the wrong value of badass; they've got a tough-looking guy running a long fast bead with an arc welder by hand, on what would have to be mild steel.

I'm pretty sure Federation starships aren't made out of mild steel; if we can take on NextGen episode seriously, they're all non-Baryonic (=highly exotic) matter....

If the guy doing the visuals, presumably the director, has to have a real, physical happening for this bit, I'd expect the Electric Boat Company would give them footage of the vast and very cool deep welding robot used for submarine pressure hulls in return for a credit mention. You get the people in as the guy walking along the top of the new, smoking hot hull with the kill switch, or the folks feeding in hull sections ahead of the robot, or something.

What they've got isn't the future; its straight from the iconography of a "building liberty ships" propaganda film. Which is the wrong value of badass, even with the real sparks.

#647 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 12:07 AM:

Joel Polowin @ 645... No, not those Klingons. Heh.

#648 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 12:12 AM:

Graydon @ 645... Oh, I agree with you that it's all wrong. JJ Abrams may well know that it's wrong. But, for the general public who isn't that much into science & technology, it will feel right, especially if, as you pointed out yourself, they see it as straight from the iconography of a "building liberty ships" propaganda film.

#649 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 02:06 AM:

The other source for the ship-building sequence is the opening of In Which We Serve, which has the spoken line, "This is the story of a ship."

It'd be a great idea as the start of a Trek movie, but it would need to be done right.

And neither Noel Coward nor David Lean are working on this one.

#650 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 09:24 AM:

Did anyone else notice this? (The NY Times has a little item about it.) Back in our miserably lo-tech 21st century, the shuttle's first attempt at making water out of urine etc. via the new gizmo has failed.

#651 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 10:02 AM:

Dave Bell @ 649... I love that movie!

Faren Miller @ 650... I think I'd rather have a glass of tranya.

#652 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 01:02 PM:

In Star Wars movies, there is a lot of welding.

I think it was Mike Brandl who pointed out, after The Empire Strikes Back, that any scene where someone is repairing something, or building something, features welding. He speculated that in that particular galaxy, they hadn't invented the nut and the bolt, so everything was attached by welds instead.

#653 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 06:23 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 652... In Star Wars movies, there is a lot of welding.

It turns out that JJ Abrams is a big fan of Star Wars. As for the Jedi having no nuts... Arc light is visually more exciting than a monkey wrench.

#654 ::: Ralph Giles ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 06:58 PM:

What about 'hydrospanners' then?

#655 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 07:02 PM:

Ralph Giles @654:
What about 'hydrospanners' then?

Hydrospanner? Isn't that just a fancy word for "bridge"?

#656 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 09:35 PM:

Serge @ 653 ...
It turns out that JJ Abrams is a big fan of Star Wars. As for the Jedi having no nuts... Arc light is visually more exciting than a monkey wrench.

While the Jedi may have no nuts, they certainly have balls...

#657 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2008, 10:13 PM:

There's a fortune in it for the first grocery store to offer guides for people who never get out of the frozen food aisle except for the week before Thanksgiving. (Not me. The confused people blocking the aisles in front of me.)

#658 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 12:26 AM:

Bill Higgins@652:
It occurs to me that a lightsaber might be usable to make emergency repairs.

#659 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 12:52 AM:

xeger @ 656... While the Jedi may have no nuts, they certainly have balls...

Is that why there are no girls in the Jedi Tree Club's House?

#660 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 12:54 AM:

Argh. I meant the Jedi Club's Tree House. (With Calvin as Luke Skywalker, and Hobbes as Chewbacca?)

#661 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 01:02 AM:

Has anybody else watched The Black Knight on TCM this morning? It had Alan Ladd as a blacksmith who takes on a secret identity to fight Saracens who recently joined the Round Table. He has to, because King Arthur is too dumb to realize that any Saracen played by Peter Cushing can't be a good thing to have around. Patrick Troughton is somewhere in there. Oh, and it was produced by Albert Broccoli. Yes, that Broccoli.

#662 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 02:18 AM:

Serge: Get Rid Of Slimy Sith?

#663 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 02:21 AM:

Serge @660: Argh. I meant the Jedi Club's Tree House.

Why? Why can't the Jedi have a Tree Club, like everyone else?

#664 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 09:15 AM:

The Tree Club for Jedis? Is that anything like the Hair Club for men? Or is it a very LARGE piece of wood to hit people with?

#665 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 09:20 AM:

Paul Dunanson @ 662... Raphael @ 663... Eek! Darth Girl is approaching the Tree House Rebel Fortress! Raise cooties shields!

#666 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 10:25 AM:

#657
Or any of the other aisles. I think these are people who only visit the market for holidays or on weekdays.
I had trouble getting into the store. The person ahead of me had parked their cart in front of the handbaskets while searching through the newspaper rack just inside the door, and was taking their time about looking, too.

#667 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 10:47 AM:

Serge, light toy cars are ready!

Mary Aileen @664 The Tree Club for Jedis? Is that anything like the Hair Club for men? Or is it a very LARGE piece of wood to hit people with?

I think I like the second option more.


In other news, a right-wing blogger is demonstrating his deep understanding of the publishing industry (link goes to a post about the original post).

#668 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 11:00 AM:

Ursula L @ 568

Just had a flash drive start suffering an intermittent fault. Shows up with large files.

Thought, to heck with it, got the case open, souched the connections for the actual USB socket.

Seemed to fix things. I'm using a video file of Gunsmith Cats to check. Oh, the hardship!

My usual cheap flashdrive supplier is doing free postage at the moment. If my time was worth anything it wouldn't have been worth fixing the drive.

It's not a drive I plan to use for anything vital, just transferring bits of video to the portable.

#669 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 12:03 PM:

PJ Evans @666: Going into the store last Thursday, a woman had her cart pulled across the entry as she meticulously re-arranged her wallet, with the cash sorted highest to lowest and all the bills facing the same way. It was inspirational for the six people behind me, too.

I shouldn't be thinking about this, as today I must shop the Farmer's Market and two grocery stores. Standard weekend routine, except under combat conditions. Mostly produce, which is the zone of maximal confusion: not only is there the yam vs sweet potato problem as covered by NPR yesterday, there's people clutching recipes they've never cooked looking for vegetables they can' recognize, all too often ones which are out of season because they saw the recipe in Sunset in June and it sounded so good.

Don't mind me, it's just a little panic attack; I got cornered behind a pile of free-range turkeys at Trader Joe's yesterday.

#670 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 12:28 PM:

JESR @ 669... I got cornered behind a pile of free-range turkeys

Turkeys are that dangerous in Washington State? Must be all that coffee.

#671 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 01:02 PM:

Serge, these turkeys were thoroughly deceased. Caffiene was part of the problem, though, as a gaggle of first-time TJ's shoppers were east of my position, clustered around the coffee samples, squeeing and ooing and ahhhing about how good it was, and how cheap!

The other way out was blocked by the shift manager and his minion putting turkey carcases into the cooler and expounding upon the home-raised heirloom turkeys they had bought for home consumption.

Everybody was seasonally happy except me, what with the claustrophobia and all.

#672 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 02:05 PM:

JESR @ 671... What's a turkey heirloom? A turkey carcass that's been used by the same family generation after generation? Gravy from the grave?

#673 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 03:01 PM:

Serge @ #672, it's a turkey which makes a cameo appearance.

#674 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 04:05 PM:

Linkmeister @ 673... Heheheh

#675 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 04:06 PM:

Raphael @667:

Strange link. German publishers controlling Obama?

Does that mean the constitution might soon include a bit where the Founding Fathers sit down for a nourishing bowl of soup?

#676 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 05:37 PM:

JESR #657:
There's a fortune in it for the first grocery store to offer guides for people who never get out of the frozen food aisle except for the week before Thanksgiving. (Not me. The confused people blocking the aisles in front of me.)
The supermarket in Porter Square, being close to Harvard and other institutions full of culinarily challenged college students, had a very good guide for cooking a small Thanksgiving dinner, complete with pre-packaged kits for things like pies. I suspect, despite management changes, that they still do. I made the mistake of stopping there on the way home one day (near either Thanksgiving or Christmas) and spent some time helping students figure things out.

#677 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2008, 09:04 PM:

Did NPR point out that yams is not what most people mean when they say yams (which are a variety of sweet potato, and one I dislike; though I adore the
"classic" yellow type with the stringy flesh)?

Or were they just talking about the difference in treatment/recipes for the two most common varieties?

#678 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2008, 09:52 AM:

abi @675: Does that mean the constitution might soon include a bit where the Founding Fathers sit down for a nourishing bowl of soup?

As pedants on that old thread had noted, it will only mean that there'll be a hint seperate from the main text that a nourishing bowl (but inserted between two pages of it) of soup would surely have been nice for them. (I thought it might be useful to do some kind of disaster forecast that the next big bs talking point on the right-wing blogs could theoretically be a publishing related bs talking point.)

#679 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2008, 11:47 AM:

This being a more appropriate open thread that the more recent one:

Mitch Lurie has died at 86. The family is planning to make a 'heritage CD', according to the obit in the LA Times.

#680 ::: TexAnne sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2011, 06:45 AM:

Dunno what language, not going to JGI.

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