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August 2, 2009

Open thread 128
Posted by Teresa at 03:30 PM *

dubious flamingos small.jpg

“Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful, beautiful sunset? And he’s carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he’s carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you’re drunk.” —Jack Handy.

Comments on Open thread 128:
#1 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 03:41 PM:

Flaming Os! Do they come with pinstripes?

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 03:57 PM:

James Bacon says to tell you:

I, along with a gang of loonies, am running a UK and Irish Party on Friday night, up on the 28th Floor of the Delta. Any Brits or Irish or others are of course welcome to help serve drinks, but not continually to themselves.

First drink is free (especially if you are staff), and there is a free giveaway of interesting stuff.

8/9pm onwards. Friday. Delta Hotel, 28th Floor, Suite Ville-Marie 2823.

#4 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 04:16 PM:

That dinosaur story in the sidelights? So many kinds of awesome.

#5 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 04:21 PM:

This seems like perfect particle particle/sidelight fodder, particularly given the truly awesome headline attached:

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

(Seen on the blog of Gerry Canavan, who notes, "Not from the Onion...")

#6 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 04:30 PM:

...although, alas, the theory doesn't work.

Still a great headline, though.

#7 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 04:42 PM:

You know, Stephen, the best thing about that news story is that it's not on The Onion.

#9 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 05:12 PM:

When one’s under the affluence of incohol, the normal flying pink thing is an elephant, or perhaps a pig – flamingoes* are unusual...

(this year, the pig is sneezing and coughing as it flies.)

* flamingos?

#10 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 05:19 PM:

#8:  since it’s in the Daily Telegraph, dumb is a reasonable starting assumption.

But I think it’s based on the supposition that as we now have mammoth, Neanderthal and dodo DNA, these creatures could theoretically be reproduced.  I'm not sure if that’s valid.

#11 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 05:50 PM:

Carried over from OT 127:

dcb OT127#827: it was my mother-in-law's dog I had to feed with salt water and mustard until he up-chucked

Is that, then, the proper way to induce vomiting for a dog? Would the same go for a cat? What sort of amounts are we talking about here?

BTW, my cat has uncharacteristically poor appetite control -- possibly also due to the hand-weaning thing. I had to switch her to diet food, and I think she's still overweight. (Hard to tell under all that fur, and she's now old enough for her slowness to be explained by that.)

joann OT127#825: if cats are so unfond of water, how on earth did they get their not-quite universal liking for fish

They may not like being drenched (though kittens are often much mellower about baths), but they're fascinated by running water and dripping taps! (I suspect moving water looks really cool to their motion-sensitive vision.) And I've heard of cats paw-fishing, given the opportunity.

Mine unfortunately insists on drinking from a tap-stream (see prior comment on feline obsessions). In my last apartment, she could climb up to the bathroom sink, but here I have to leave the tub faucet dripping. :-( I tried getting a fountain for her, but she wasn't having any of it.

KeithS: I've also heard of a cat that ate his owner's entire "stash". Interestingly, they do seem to be affected by eating raw pot -- unlike humans! AIU, that has implications for either their stomach or liver chemistry. But then, catnip isn't hallucinogenic for humans (even smoked). Incidentally, cats are also affected by valerian, with apparently similar effects to humans (sedative).

#12 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 06:00 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @OT 127#814:

When you hear "You shouldn't do that", do you take that to mean "Don't do that", "You aren't allowed to do that", or something else?

Definitely, "don't do that" -- the word "should" exemplifies "social control via language". (Regardless of the motivation for such control, which can vary widely.)

#13 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 06:21 PM:

I was at the Bronx Zoo yesterday, and the flamingoes were looking rather pale.

The baby okapi was out, and delightful, and we saw an aardvark!

(I'd never seen an aardvark before, and they've had okapis for years.)

#14 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 07:13 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 8:

To answer the Telegraph's question: yes, especially if they're pygmy ones.

David Harmon @ 11:

Our cats were always fascinated by water, but didn't particularly like getting wet. I imagine this might have been different if we'd had an aquarium. Some breeds of cat do like water a lot, though, particularly the Bengals.

#15 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 07:15 PM:

They just need to pink up their diets. They could be giving them different food colors. We could have a rainbow of flamingos -- blue, red, green, orange, violet, yellow, mauve, golden -- but those stick-in-the-mud tree-hugging zoo fascists won't go along with it. Surely, there must be some place we can complain to!

#16 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 07:34 PM:

Ah, an open thread! Just the place to share my consternation at the mind-bogglingly bad Spanish translation of the first H.P. Book, H. P. and the Philosopher's Stone.

Background: Having read all the books at least twice in English, I got curious about the flavor of the story in Spanish. I wondered how the culture that brought us the Inquisition would deal with magic.

I still don't know, because the translation is so breathtakingly bad. Entire sentences shrivel into words. When the translator didn't know something, she guessed. In places she misunderstood the English and wrote Spanish that didn't happen. (I'm familiar with the warning “A beautiful one is likely to be unfaithful, and a faithful one is likely to be ugly.” This one is both ugly and unfaithful.)

Granted, H. P. was not a celebrity when the first book was published. However, the publisher seems to have tried for quality: the translator, Alicia Dellepiane Rawson, has several other translated books to her credit and has been publishing poetry in Spanish for a long time. I was gratified to see that the next three books were translated by a team of two people, not including Ms. Dellepiane Rawson, and the last three by another team of two.

Or, maybe I have my answer: the level of sloppiness indicates the regard in which the subject of magic is held in Spain. Some examples:

Near the end of Chapter 1, when Dumbledore was about to leave the darkened Privet Drive:
English: “twelve balls of light sped back to their street lamps”
Spanish: “the street lamps lit up.”

Near the beginning of Chapter 2, when the Dursleys contemplate taking Harry to the zoo with them:
English: “as though he was something very nasty that couldn't understand them, like a slug.”
Spanish: “as if they thought he was too stupid to understand them, like a worm.”

Throughout:
English: “You-Know-Who”
Spanish: “the Unnameable One”

In Chapter 6, when Malfoy, Goyle, and Crabbe try to steal Harry's candy on the train and Scabbers bites Goyle's finger:
English: “Crabbe and Malfoy backed away as Goyle swung Scabbers round and round, howling, and when Scabbers finally flew off and hit the window, all three of them disappeared at once.”
Spanish: “Crabbe and Malfoy backed away as Goyle shook the rat, which was howling, until finally Scabbers flew off and crashed into the window, and the three boys disappeared.”

Twice the translator lost the feeling and twice she lost the meaning of the English. Egad. I wish translators could be sued for malpractice.

Mostly I wish JKR would use some of her money to pay for a new translation.

Thoughts?

#17 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 07:38 PM:

David Harmon @ 11 ...
BTW, my cat has uncharacteristically poor appetite control -- possibly also due to the hand-weaning thing. I had to switch her to diet food, and I think she's still overweight. (Hard to tell under all that fur, and she's now old enough for her slowness to be explained by that.)

My largest cat is quite sure that the world is ending if he doesn't get fed regularly, although he was okay for self-feeding (until the discovery of diabetes in one of the others nixed that). He's definitely hit overweight at this point -- but carries his overweight better than many ... at last measurement he was ~15" tall at the shoulder, which is rather large for the average domestic feline.

Neither of the hand-weaned pair are bad about food at all -- they definitely eat what they need, not 'just because', so I'm not sure that I'd consider that to be a determining factor on its own.

#18 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 08:53 PM:

xeger #17: Hmm. Gremlin was of course never feral, and her first owner babied her, but there was another cat in that house who bullied her.* I'm now wondering if that might have included chasing Gremlin away from her food.

* The bullying got reversed when Gremlin simultaneously reached full size (bigger than the other cat) and became pregnant (thus more aggressive). Unfortunately for my friend, the other cat's owner was the lease-holder, which is how I wound up with a cat.

** yay for superscripts!

#19 ::: joel hanes ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 08:56 PM:

I've been walking on the dikes by the former salt ponds of South San Francisco Bay. Said ponds were purchased from Cargill some years back and added to the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge, and are very gradually being returned to a more natural state.

This year the shorebirds have found something tasty in the mudbanks, and it's been a treat for birdwatchers. The last couple weeks, thousands and thousands and thousands of dowitchers, willets, jacksnipe, whimbrels, avocets, and other wading birds have been massing into flocks there.

I claim that the quick aerobatic flight of a flock of dowitchers at sunset beats flamingos for beauty and grace, hands down.

#20 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 09:14 PM:

15" high is pretty big for a cat, all right! How long is he??
I wouldn't mind a whole rainbow of flamingos, especially during Pride Week, but I would have fears that some of the food colors might cause illnesses in them.
If someone does bring back mammoths, I think they should be all different colors...
128 is a significant number for us hex fans. The last open thread got me primed for this one.

#21 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 09:20 PM:

Ah, we are finally eight bits wide.

#22 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 09:24 PM:

re 11: My sister once had a cat that liked to get in the shower with her.

re 12: Um, "I would advise you not to do that"?

#23 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 09:34 PM:

Modern Times

THE [NEW YORK] TIMES published an especially embarrassing correction on July 22, fixing seven errors in a single article, an appraisal of Walter Cronkite, the CBS anchorman famed for his meticulous reporting. The newspaper had wrong dates for historic events; gave incorrect information about Cronkite's work, his colleagues and his program's ratings; misstated the name of a news agency, and misspelled the name of a satellite.
aka O tempura, O morels! <g>

#24 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 10:32 PM:

I should check Regret The Error to see if they've linked to the NY Times correction.

#25 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 10:38 PM:

I had picked up a microfilm reel viewer and some various reels from an ongoing 'garage' sale that local hospital volunteers used to run to benefit the hospital. The reels were books on film, and the viewer would project them onto the ceiling so the patient could read them in bed.

I read a few books this way. One book I only got partway into was 'Russian Assignment', by Vice Admiral Leslie Clark Stevens, U.S.N., describing his time as the U.S. naval attache in Moscow (1947-49). The notion of reading the Vice Admiral's report of his Russian assignment on microfilm entertained me somewhat.

One of the stories he told was of attending a picnic with other Americans posted in Moscow, and how an American reporter, Walter Cronkite (with AP at the time, IIRC) entertained the children (and some of the adults) by pretending he was in a Soviet military parade, marching stiff-leggedly about the grounds.

Google-searching to collect some of the details, I find that Vice Admiral Leslie Clark Stevens died on the day I was born.

Time's review of the book, Nov 16, 1953.

#26 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 10:42 PM:

I should check Regret The Error to see if they've linked to the NY Times correction.

#27 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 10:52 PM:

Angiportus @ 20 ...
15" high is pretty big for a cat, all right! How long is he??

RIght now I'd have to say he's more awkward than long... but I'm approximating that nose-to-tip-of-tail is somewhere around 36" (he will keep on making unhelpful feline movements).

Ah hah! Putting a yard stick down beside him and waiting for laziness to overcome seems to have worked -- looks like he's about 24-26" from nose-to-arse, so 36" including the tail makes sense...

Not exactly a small cat.

#28 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 11:10 PM:

It has also been pointed out to me that "measuring my cat" sounds remarkably like a euphemism for some other sort of activity.

#29 ::: siriosa ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 11:15 PM:

Open thread project report

My 60th birthday will be this October. (Since my last one I've been giving my age as "almost 60," because 59 is so dull.) I was stumped for an appropriate celebration, until a friend offered to fly me to NYC. Once my imagination got on the plane, though, it kept going: all the way to Paris. The idea lit me up good, and i started thinking that perhaps that would suffice for a celebration.

Then my bank capped my home equity line of credit at just about what I owe them, and that was my (I know, I know, fiscally irresponsible) cushion. So I decided no, I couldn't afford it; Paris was out of the question.

And then I sulked for a few weeks, because it was what I really wanted. My friends were no help at all. They said "There's still time" and "Something could turn up" and, worst of all, "I would donate to a fund to send you to Paris for your 60th birthday."

I put up a page, offering my books for sale, with a thermometer in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, and within two weeks I was halfway to my (fairly modest) goal. People from at least six different communities have agreed that Paris is where i should be when the odometer turns over, and they've backed it up with cash money.

At this point, I'm going whether the goal is reached or not: It's just a matter of how much falafel I'll have to eat and how few souvenirs I can bring home. If by any chance the goal is exceeded, I'll put the extra in a fund to publish more little photo books.

That's my project: wish me luck.

#30 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 11:27 PM:

xeger, now we know how long LongCat is!

Our cat is zucchini-sized. (That is a large zucchini, not a small kitten.)

#31 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 11:31 PM:

xeger @ 28 - har! That one has me smiling rather broadly.

Brenda @ 16 - as a translator, I naturally want to agree and disagree at the same time. A bad translation is Not Good, we know that; but one wonders about the deadline provided and the lines of support from the author.

Or then, maybe Ms. Rawson just shouldn't have been selected. From your examples, I suspect you're right, and that's the case. But I can't help but think that at least part of the burden of blame should fall on the publisher, who more than likely has dealt with the need to translate a book before, and should have some kind of proofreading system in place - perhaps they just wanted to save the money.

In re translation of H.P. specifically, I do wonder about the approach of the publisher; the Hungarian translation is ... odd. Everybody in the world calls the place "Hogwarts", so of course the Hungarian translator decided to call it "Roxforte". Nobody knows why. It's not more Hungarian or more easily pronounceable to Hungarians.

For the final volume, JKR (or her publisher) refused to allow translators access to the book before it was published in English. At all. So it wasn't officially available in Hungarian until February of the year following its summer release - I say "officially", because we all remember that a painstakingly page-by-page photographed version appeared on the Internets well before the date of publication, it was OCRed and cleaned up mere days later, and a volunteer team translated it into Hungarian - all before it was published in English.

JKR was not particularly popular with non-English readers in Hungary for this policy, I can tell you.

#32 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 11:38 PM:

xeger @ 27 and 28:

Instructions for how to compute the volume of your cat.

#33 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 11:46 PM:

Our local feline overlord has pretty normal foraging habits for a cat. He will hunt ice cream and occasionally yogurt bowls, and when he was a kitten he had a thing for raspberry or strawberry snack bars. And until last year, he didn't know what to do with mice. Then we moved to the country, and the score was: overweight cat: 25, humans: 2. This year, there's only been a couple, but zero sign of anything.

He's a big cat, maine coon, and his natural weight is around 20ish.

What really gets me is the way he runs. I always think that cats are agile and full of grace, but his running seems to be a brute force gallop, more like what I'd expect from a bear then a feline. There's a thundering noise that seems totally out of proportion to his species.

#34 ::: siriosa ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2009, 11:57 PM:

Eric @33, cat runs noisily

We have four, and three of them are capable of stealth running. The fourth, formerly feral, is twice as big as any of the others, but thinks of himself as the smallest cat (because the others were full-grown when he joined the pride as a kitten). He is very clumsy, and when he decides to do speed, it's not unlike a bowling ball dropped down a flight of stairs.

The others can *choose* stealth, but if they have a Statement To Make, they can be nearly as noisy as the big cat.

#35 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 12:14 AM:

Just so you know, all of you talking about pie in the last open thread are responsible for there being a cherry pie cooling on my kitchen counter right now.

#36 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 12:33 AM:

KeithS, #32: Cute! But it would work even better with a cylindrical box, because that would conform more precisely to the shape of the cat -- no wasted corner spaces. It would be fairly easy to make a cylindrical box using lightweight cardboard and packing tape.

Also, mmmm, cherry pie...

#37 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 12:41 AM:

For those who might be interested: 365 (brand) Orange Creme Soda + Breyer's chocolate ice cream = one kick-ass float.

#38 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 01:04 AM:

My cats' food theft is mainly meat and dairy products. They also like apricots, a lot, apparently as toys. If apricots are left out on the counter to ripen, a few will vanish, to be found later looking much the worse for wear down the basement stairs, or under a piece of furniture. The apricots will have some puncture wounds, but no signs of actual eating. It's something specific to apricots, because peaches, nectarines, and tomatoes can bask on the kitchen counter in perfect safety.

#39 ::: JHomes ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 01:04 AM:

KeithS @ 14
" Some breeds of cat do like water a lot, though, particularly the Bengals."


And then there's the Turkish Van, aka the swimming cat.

#40 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 01:32 AM:

eric @ 33 ...
What really gets me is the way he runs. I always think that cats are agile and full of grace, but his running seems to be a brute force gallop, more like what I'd expect from a bear then a feline. There's a thundering noise that seems totally out of proportion to his species.

Coming from a species that produces ballet dancers and Andre the Giant sorts, it's no surprise to me that not all felines are graceful (or agile...).

This doesn't stop me from snickering loudly every time my largest cat discovers that Newton's laws really do apply sufficiently well[0] at the surface of the earth for practical purposes...

which leads me to:

Lee @ 36 ...
"Presuming a roughly spherical cat ... "

[0] It's even more fun when the opposite reaction involves trying to corner at speed...

#41 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 02:06 AM:

No, cats can just manipulate gravity somehow.

The other day there was a huge clatter upstairs and I thought it was Siegfried because he's huge and noisy. Then I realized he was asleep on my bed.

I hollered upstairs and Yum! (all 6 lbs of her) came down the stairs with a clatter that should have belonged to a pony coming down the stairs.

Plus my Melisande could walk across the bed and not leave a mark in the covers, then she'd cross your body and feel like she weighted two hundred pounds. Per paw. (poke, poke, poke, poke.....)

#42 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 02:15 AM:

Joel Hanes @19,

Which specific former-salt-pond are you watching? Are these the ones by Coyote Hills park?

I've been promising to take some (1st time to Bay Area) grad students out to escape their classrooms and enjoy some local nature: this sounds perfect for a shorter trip.

#43 ::: KévinT ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 04:32 AM:

Michael Roberts @31:

Here "Hogwarts" is "Poudlard", which captures rather nicely the impressions carried by the original name.

Translating novels is a very fine art and must be awfully difficult.

The first translation of the LOTR I read had "Baggins" as "Sacquet" and "Sackville Bagginses" as "Sacquet de Besace". Brilliant choices to convey the small-town-country-side-ness and homeliness of the Shire to French readers, to whom "Baggins" would sound very alien.
They went with the English names in the movie and I find it very jarring.

Oh, and in the book, we had the Touque and Brandebouc families which sound a little bit Gascon to my ears...


#44 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 04:32 AM:

David Harmon @ 11. Apologies for delay in replying - we're having ISP problems.

Inducing vomiting (emesis) in dogs and cats:

Canine Medicine and Therapeutics Third Edition (Chandler et al., 1991) lists "salt and water (two teaspoonfuls in a cup of warm water), mustard (in the same proportions as for salt), or washing soda (a crystal placed on the back of the tongue."

Household remedies for emergency emesis suggested in "Handbook of Small Animal Practice" (Morgan, R.V. (ed.) 1988 include "syrup of ipecac (1 tablespoon), hydropen peroxide (1 tablespooon), table salt (1 teaspoon), mustard (1 teaspoon), sticking a finger in back of mouth. Syrup of ipecac is an effective emetic; however, the other methods are only about 50% effective and may be dangerous." The book also suggests syrup of ipecac for cats but doesn't give the dose, sadly.

The Textbook of Veterinary Medicine 5th Edition (Ettinger & Feldman) suggests oral syrup of ipecac as being "effective and safe" adding that "Only one additional dose is recommended if vomiting has not occured within 15 minutes". It doesn't actually give a dose rate. It also adds that "Orally administered hydrogen peroxide also effectively induces emesis in dogs and cats." and that "Large doses of table salt, though sometimes emetic, are not recommended because of the serious consequences of hypernatremia if vomiting does not occur."

I used salt and then mustard, both in water, as indicated in the first reference, because it was what I had available to me at the time. I administered them with a catheter syringe, which was the way I was most comfortable giving it. We llet him drink plenty of water, which reduced the hypernatraemia risk.

Feline Medicine and Therapeutics (Chandler et al., 1985) notes that table salt, a washing soda crystal or hydrogen peroxide "are very variable in their effects in the cat".

Ginger, do you have prefered methods (in the absence of veterinary drugs)?

I will warn you that in the case I mentioned we then had to drag the dog away from the vomitus before he ate it all again. Dogs!

You don't give emetics if they've eaten something like bleach or acid (causes more damage on the way back up).

#45 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 06:33 AM:

dcb @44: I used hydrogen peroxide in vet school -- my classmate/ housemate's dog chewed up a packet of contraceptive pills, shortly after being spayed. H2O2 works pretty well, and Suzie was not quite as happy that we were home. Professionally, I've used apomorphine into the conjunctival sac, which worked nicely. I've also had the pleasure of administering large quantities of activated charcoal. For very small values of "pleasure".

#46 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 07:16 AM:

KévinT #43: I have never read El señor de los anillos in Spanish, but descriptions of the films in the Spanish press when they came out acquainted me with the Bolsón family (literally the "Big bags"), which is a decent Spanishing of Baggins. A glance at the Spanish Wikipedia reveals the very un-Hispanic Tuk family, but the Brandigamos, with their echoes of late mediaeval romances. Sam, on the other hand, sounds totally Hungarian.

#47 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 09:58 AM:

KévinT @ 43 writes:
Oh, and in the book, we had the Touque and Brandebouc families which sound a little bit Gascon to my ears...

Nice -- that actually sounds rather appropriate for Merry and Pippin, especially on their return to the Shire.

#48 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 10:26 AM:

Thanks for the cat tales!

Our big old boy, Emperor Horton, is a Norwegian Forest Cat -- top weight, when he was younger, about 20 pounds -- and he definitely gallops (thundering hoofbeats in the dead of night).

As a longhaired "tuxedo cat," he gets furballs that can induce vomiting without our prompting, but a certain chunky wet cat food seems to speed the process -- always, like his noisier demands for feeding, when humans would prefer to be asleep.

He does *not* like getting wet, but in our mile-high but hot Arizona summers he spends a lot of time sleeping on the bathroom floor, looking like a very large, fuzzy doorstop.

#49 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:25 AM:

"Twenty-five largest fictional companies" article missed a few:

The multi-universe trading cartel in the H. Beam Piper books,

The giant advertising and agribusiness companies in The Space Merchants

The interplanetary mining and shipping company in Alien

#50 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:46 AM:

Erik @49: They must have gotten one of the wrong ones on the list, though, because the page has been suspended. Methinks power doesn't like light on it, even when it's fictional.

#51 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:47 AM:

Jonnie, our Mighty Hunter and Defender of the World Against the Race of Canines, had a thing for ham. Ordinarily he didn't have much interest in people food, but if he smelled ham, he would go into Search Mode and Find The Ham.

#52 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:49 AM:

Erik Nelson #49: The interplanetary mining and shipping company in Alien

That one is allegedly Ralston Purina.

#53 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:53 AM:

Fragano and KévinT - now I'm clearly going to have to drive up LOTR in French and Spanish. I have a nice collection of Dune in all the languages I can read (and some I can't very well, like Dutch and Croatian), but I don't actually like Dune as much as I used to. I guess having read it fifteen times in four languages burned me out.

#54 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:57 AM:

Erik Nelson #49: Indeed, there are any number of fictional interstellar corps whose numbers would beggar anything from the present day. I think they were trying to exclude "far future" entries, though some nearer-term dystopias (not to mention the Jetsons) made it in.

#55 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:58 AM:

See also:

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/List_of_fictional_companies

#56 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 12:54 PM:

More on the AP fiasco, for TNH and PNH:
http://laboratorium.net/archive/2009/08/03/the_ap_will_sell_you_a_license_to_words_it_doesnt

Summary: AP "license" form does no checking on whether your quote actually comes from their story, let alone where it comes from originally or whether they have the right to license it to you.

#57 ::: Bjorn ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 01:17 PM:

Since the "Twenty-five largest fictional companies" is still off line, I have to ask and hope that Banks' 'Business' was on the list?

#58 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 01:31 PM:

Additional Cat Tales:

Our Kedgie (a Maine Coon) can stomp like an elephant. She especially stomps across body parts, and down the stairs. My previous Maine Coon, Sweetie, would stomp down the stairs quite loudly, leading my mother to wonder how she could make so much noise when she was clearly not falling down the stairs. Yet at the same time, Sweetie did not stomp on any body parts, which would lead to my surprise when waking up to find her comfortably ensconced against me.

Brady, our orally-fixated cat, does not stomp at all. He does require lap time for kneading, although his kneading is more gentle than old Stripey's was (Stripey would dig in and then pull up before retracting the claws).

The late, lamented Buzz was a heavy-footed cat, but he was also the heaviest cat I've ever had (25 pounds before his diagnosis of diabetes). He wasn't just heavy, too; he was big.

#59 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 01:52 PM:

Lee @ 36:

It appears that the cat fills that box all the way to the corners. I think that cats are essentially viscous liquids.

Clifton Royston @ 56:

An interesting examination of the AP's motives from the Register.

Bjorn @ 57 (and others):

The top twenty-five link was to a blog post linking to this Forbes slideshow from 2007.

#60 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 01:58 PM:

...A kitten, in our trailer when I was a kid, who sounded like a full herd of elephants when she scampered, which I could induce with a wind-up plastic tiger. But one day she disappeared, as did the succession of 3 office cats in a place where I worked.
--Oh, and there was a neighbor's cat who liked granola.
Someday I'll have a cat again, and will keep it inside so it won't disappear.

#61 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 02:03 PM:

Bjorn #57,

The fictional businesses list felt strangely limited. A long-time player of Traveller will know of the Imperium-wide corporations, for instance, such as Tukera Lines and SuSAG. And I don't recall any company on the list which didn't feature in a movie.

#62 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 02:07 PM:

Dave Bell #61:

Yoyodyne made the list, and I'm pretty sure (as is IMDB) that _Crying of Lot 49_ never got filmed.

The missing one as far as I was concerned was Global Dynamics from _Eureka_.

#63 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 02:31 PM:

joann #62: On the other hand, Yoyodyne also appeared in the movie Buckaroo Banzai &c.... And did Atlas Shrugged ever get filmed?

#64 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 02:42 PM:

Teabaggers flood a Town Hall meeting out in Setauket, LI, and play "put the congressman on the spot" between spewing conspiracy theories:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOLs7Cybnqw

There's a strategy guide floating around that tells these goons how to organize and disrupt these meetings.

#65 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 02:42 PM:

#61 - and some that did figure in movies are missing, like Con-Am - Consolidated Amalgated Incorporated*, from Outland in 1981. The "Sean Connery plays John Wayne" one, not Berke Breathed's cartoon. Considering that the smallest of the fictional companies is Spacely Sprockets, at a measly $1.3 billion, Con-Am's got to be bigger. By comparision, Vale Inco's nickel operation is 12,000 people and $6 billion a year. And Con-Am has at least 27 mines with a thousand or so miners each. So it would have to be bigger than Spacely.

*I think that's a Looney Tunes reference. I can hear Daffy Duck's voice saying it. There is a real-world Amalgamated Consolidated Enterprises which is the parent of 1-800-flowers.

#66 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 02:47 PM:

#19, #42: I used to take long walks on Bear Island, a decommissioned salt evaporator. It's off of Route 101 in Redwood City, near the Century theater (from memory).

The path is an oval, about 3 miles around, with a trail down the axis in case you want a shorter hike.

Plenty of birds, and one big, long, mocha-colored snake who startled me when he shot across the trail while I was reading A Deepness in the Sky.

#67 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 04:01 PM:

The AP thing reminds me of something I read once about how in the early days of radio, ASCAP was against disc jockeys because if a radio station had a disc jockey it wouldn't hire a house band.

So BMI came into being to work with the new business model.

(this was something I found, as I recall, in Jorn Barger's Robot Wisdom weblog, back when that was.

#68 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 06:01 PM:

Six hours after I started writing this, when our ISP finally let me get online again:

Vicki @ 13: Flamingos do vary in colour depending on species of flamingo as well as the amount of carotenoid pigments in their diet: Chilean flamingos are supposed to be pale pink while well-coloured Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber) like those shown at the top of this page) are a really bright deep pink.

C. Wingate @ 22
Our cats hate falling water, but Sundae leaps up onto the side of the bath to lick water off the tiles after we've showered. Water deprived, obviously, despite the six or seven mugs and jugs we have standing around the house for them (emptied and refilled frequently, of course).

joel hanes @ 19
Sounds wonderful. I envy you. On the other hand, I did get to spend 15 minutes or so watching three young foxes playing in our garden yesterday evening. Just too dark for pictures, naturally. One of our cats, Freya, enjoyed the entertainment as well; I think she was taking play-fighting style notes ready for the next time she pounces her sister.

KeithS @ 32: Wonderful! One of ours, Sundae, does that. I think she has competitions with herself regarding how small a box she can fit into. It's fun watching her contortions when she's determined to jump into a tall, thin box. I keep thinking she's going to get stuck or break her neck, but so far she's always managed to squirm round until she's sitting upright in the box, looking *extremely* pleased with herself.

#69 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 06:06 PM:

Stefan, #64: Here's that strategy guide you mentioned.

Funny how when people tried to protest the policies of the Bush administration, they were excluded, arrested, or sent to "Free Speech Zones".

#70 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 06:12 PM:

#69: Town Halls are genuine, open free speech zones, which these Health Insurance Industry dupes are determined to subvert and make useless.

Fox News and the talk radio wankers will cheer on the idiots and proclaim it the Revolt of 2009.

Some MSNBC hosts will probably discuss that memo and its connotations.

The other networks . . . they'll tepidly report on the "protests" and not dig deeper.

I expect the most incisive reporting will come from John Stewart. I earnestly hope he rips them new arseholes.

#71 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 07:19 PM:

Strange outages today - io9.com, gizmodo both out of service. My geek fix has been lacking.

#72 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 07:43 PM:

Lee @ 69, I noticed that when Obama came here to talk about health care. People were allowed to protest outside the high school where he was speaking, with signs (of the "Obama wants to take away your freedom with Commie Muslim Soshulist Kenyan Health Care!!1" type). As they should have been, of course -- much as I think they're fools, I'll defend their right to spout foolishness if they want to. But it interested me that no one in the local media, or in the local political blogosphere, seemed to notice the difference in the official attitude towards protesters between a Bush visit and an Obama visit.

I can't decide if this comes from the Obama administration being more okay with dissent, or the local law enforcement thinking that IOKIYAR.

#73 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 07:46 PM:

More on the connections between conservative lobbying groups and "populist" protests:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/08/inside-the-tea-partiers-anti-health-care-organizing-campaign.php

The dead-simple counter to this is to write to your representative and senators. Tell them your views on health care reform, and also tell them not to be cowed by organized goons.

#74 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 07:58 PM:

Stefan, #73: In addition to that, if you know that your progressive Congresscritter is having a Town Hall event, send him or her a copy of the Strategy Guide and a note to the effect of, "Be prepared for people to try to sandbag you using the tactics outlined in this memo. This is an organized strategy campaign; have your defenses ready." The whole point of the strategy is surprise -- it won't work nearly as well on someone who's expecting it.

#75 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 08:43 PM:

I found another version of the top 25 companies here.

It seems to be missing General Products. (They did get Stark Industries.)

#76 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 08:56 PM:

Oh. My. Gods. Colbert just had Orly Taitz on, and she had NO IDEA he was making fun of her.

Then he had Ariana Huffington on, and she made fun of him. And he loved it.

#77 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 09:38 PM:

#41 --

No, cats can just manipulate gravity somehow.

For details, see Robin Wood's "Theory of Cat Gravity". Amazon has a couple of sample pages, and Larry Smith usually has copies at cons.

Warning -- industrial- grade cuteness.

#78 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 09:56 PM:

dcb #44: Thanks for the info. I'm not sure how easy it would be to get anything down Gremlin's throat against her will anyway, but it's good to know what to use if needed.

KeithS #32 & #59, Lee #36: I think that cats are essentially viscous liquids.

Pictorial demonstration

#79 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:20 PM:

There have been pictures from the Stone Zoo in Stoneham (on the other side of a pond from I-93) of flamingoes in the snow....

I called up the Congresscritter's office last week and got foaming at the mouth about Republicrap lies and misinformation, particuarly regarding healthecare...

#80 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:27 PM:

Steve @71:
io9 and Gizmodo are both part of the same company (Gawker Media), so both being down at once isn't completely surprising. Indeeed, this from io9 just now:

If you are having trouble loading io9, you are not alone. All of the sites in the Gawker Media Network are suffering from extreme slowdown. It has been happening all weekend, and is a problem that originates with our web host. Our tech team thought they had it fixed last night, but unfortunately the evil nano bots attacked us again this morning. The tech team is working nonstop on getting io9 back up again. Thank you for your patience.

#81 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2009, 11:39 PM:

Patrick @ 80 - Thanks...I saw that note on io9 a little bit ago.

I was wondering if it was a DDos attack, or just server-side shenanigans (i.e. rolling out software changes).

#82 ::: joel hanes ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 12:57 AM:

Kathryn in Sunnyvale @42

> Which specific former-salt-pond are you watching?

North end of San Antonio Road in Mt. View.
From the gate/water fountain/restrooms,
walk straight out (N) for at least half a mile.

When the mudbanks on the right are exposed at
low tide, the waders are there; at high tide,
they flock on the sandbar on the left.

#83 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 01:04 AM:

Henry Troup @ 65: Surely the 25 largest fictional companies should include General Products, maker of the starship hull? I suppose they get confused with that other GP company.

#84 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 02:33 AM:

In the spirit of Open Threadiness: unexpected use of sand.

This performance from the final of Ukraine's Got Talent (youtube link) took my breath away.

#85 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 05:21 AM:

In the interest of Godwin, I present this.

#86 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 07:17 AM:

I knew it. Nazi leprechauns. I hate Nazi leprechauns.

Well, it explains where they got the pots of gold from, I suppose.

#87 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 07:27 AM:

re 85: Darby O'Gill and the Green Shirts?

#88 ::: Daphne B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 07:38 AM:

I can't be the only one who read that particle as "In search of a Robot Cosmology".

Um, can I?

#89 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 07:57 AM:

Xopher #76: Since she put up with this chap, Colbert was a pushover.

#90 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 08:19 AM:

Daphne B @ 88

You aren't. And, until I read your post, I had no idea it said anything else...which made the Penny Arcade link truly perplexing.

#91 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 08:25 AM:

Move forward and you come back to the past,
you give up peace and friendship at the start
but still the monster won't let you depart;
anguish alone must hold on to the last.
Love smiles, but all its moments go too fast
and hope is faster here than any dart.
Anger and rage will rot the normal heart
while hatred journeys before every mast.
Time is no cure, nor change of sun to rain,
nor is the amaranth a source of steel.
Though each magician turns out just a liar
we turn to them to ease the steady pain
produced each day by turning of the wheel
knowing full well we can't avoid the fire.

#92 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 08:27 AM:

One would expect the mighty, if terrestrial, conglomerate General Technics (General Technics Inc., General Technics (Great Britain and Commonwealth) Ltd., General Technics (Australasia) Pty., General Technics (France) SA, General Technics (Deutschland) GmbH, General Technics (Scandinavia) Aktiebolaget, General Technics (Latin America) SA, General Technics (Johannesburg) Pty., Mid-Atlantic Mining Inc. and all subsidiary companies and corporations of the above) to make the list.

Unfortunately, it's not featured in a movie, and a fictional corporation from the year 2010 is going to be unattractive to moviemakers pretty soon. Have you celebrated your twenty-first?

#93 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 08:41 AM:

Soon Lee @ 84

Wow. Just wow.

#94 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 08:48 AM:

Soon Lee #84: Yeah, wow.

More.

Text (English) discussion..

#95 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 01:01 PM:

Hey, I found an unadvertised WTF site that the Navy vets might be particularly interested in... linked from "There, I Fixed It", here's the Navy Safety Center's Photo Of The Week.

#96 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 01:47 PM:

Bill Higgins #92: Is your computer named Shalmaneser?

#97 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 02:01 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 96: Is your computer named Shalmaneser?

Mine is.

#98 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 02:40 PM:

Open Thread query:

I've just watched "Fight Club" and have been looking up references on some of the old threads on ML. This has reminded me of "Max Headroom", movie and TV series, but I can't find it on Netflix. The Netflix wrapper for the FC DVD says there's a bonus disc, but Netflix isn't listing it either.

Anyone have any ideas?

#99 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 03:03 PM:

Two open thread queries:

One: Does anyone know anything about getting OpenOffice to work on a G5 Mac? The latest version that says it'll run on a PowerPC Macintosh is 2.4.0, but when I try to open it it just hangs up saying "Operation Timed Out". I looked on their help pages, and saw something suggesting it involved the Java Runtime Environment; but I tried both the workarounds posted there and neither worked.

Two: Is there a term similar to copy editing that runs across volumes of a series? If a character in a book is introduced as Timot, and later appears as Tomit, and later still Tobit, that's a failure of copy editing. What then of a character who is introduced in book one of a series as Itani Noyga (with an a) and then in book two is Itani Noygu (with a u)? Whoever copy edited the second book isn't at fault; they might not even have ever read the first one.

I'm reading Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet after reading Jo's articles about them on tor.com. I'm on the second book now, and while I'm enjoying the books this is nagging at me every time I see it.

#100 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 03:07 PM:

#98: There was no Max Headroom series. You just imagined it.

#101 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 03:38 PM:

- flings monitor at Stefen Jones -

#102 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 04:34 PM:

#85
Is that the same John Christopher who wrote the Tripods series?

#103 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 05:18 PM:

David Goldfarb @ 99:

#1: It appears they've done a proper Mac port since I last looked -- and done a version that will work on PowerPC Macs. Try this link: http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/download/aqua.html That way you don't have to futz with X11.

#2: "Continuity editing" would be my choice -- though maybe that's too broad.

#104 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 05:39 PM:

#98 - Max doesn't exist in DVD because the original production company went kaput several years ago, and no one knows who the rights belong to. I expect anyone who might have claim to it doesn't think it would make enough money to be worth the lawyer's fees and whatnot.

Out "best" hope is that some idiot studio decides to bastardize/remake it, and re-issues the original series.

#105 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 06:20 PM:

Thank you, nerdycellist. Given the haeryvnoyr aneengbe of Fight Club, I was doubting my memory of having previously gotten Headroom on DVD.

#106 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 08:04 PM:

Caroline@103: Looks like that was just what I needed! Thanks.

#107 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2009, 09:37 PM:

Max Headroom: you can occasionally find the original issue dvd in the used markets, but it tends to be pricey. And before I knew that, I found a great deal on the whole series! Only $18! For which monies I received somebody's ripped from VHS recordings of the Bravo TV broadcasts. (Still, better than nothing.)

And I'll buy a legal copy just as soon as someone will sell me one!

#109 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 12:20 AM:

Fragano Ledgister @91

Another lovely offering of words.

#110 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 01:10 AM:

OK, I see there's a US health care thread started. The politics is really looking intense now, in these parts.

Oh, look, the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

#111 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 02:45 AM:

Dave @110:
OK, I see there's a US health care thread started.

Yes, and if you felt like dropping a comment in about your latest extended visit with the NHS, or indeed any of your experiences with the Dread Socialized Health Care System, I'd be happy to see them.

#112 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 03:24 AM:

I'll consider it, abi, but any contribution from me will be a bit of a drive-by.

Call it an example of asymmetrical political warfare. The other side have the bribery lobbying, and seem to control the mass media. Well, this time next year some of the bastards will have elections looming. And that'll be too late.

I remember one book, a rather poor wish-fulfilment military/political fantasy, that managed to work in an outbreak of political lamp-post decoration in Washington. They should have hanged the lobbyists.

#113 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 11:22 AM:

David Harmon @ 78 and 108:

Thank you for the liquid cat demonstrations. Those are great.

Fragano Ledgister @ 91:

That's beautiful.

David Harmon @ 95:

I've been watching the Naval Safety Center's photo of the week for quite a while. It provides quite a few good illustrations of what not to do. I still think that this is my favorite one.

Open-thready question:

Does anyone here know anything about 7600-series ICs, particularly what a 7624 might be? I'm poking around inside a late '60s/early '70s multimeter, in case that's helpful. Google was not.

#114 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 12:24 PM:

re 113: That's definitely what we call a "field expedient".

#115 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 12:50 PM:

KeithS, #113: Russ suggests checking the Allied Electronics website, to see if they've got archived manuals or an interchangeability chart.

#116 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 12:56 PM:

Also re 113: my favorite (so far)

#117 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 01:41 PM:

KeithS 113:
Any indication of the manufacturer? Is this a digital display meter? 76xx isn't a standard "line" like 74xx, so other clues are needed. There are no 76xx anythings in my 1982 National Semiconductor linear databook, fwiw.

#118 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 02:42 PM:

KeithS #113: Re: electrical hack -- Ouch, a double Darwin Award in the making!

C. Wingate #116: Cute! I assume they'd skedaddle if someone actually went over there. (But if they didn't, I sure wouldn't argue with them. ;-) )

#119 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 05:23 PM:

(My last comment doesn't appear to have shown up after a few hours, so I'm trying again with less HTML. Apologies if it gets double posted.)

"Creative writers," here's your chance at a "big break":

http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/wrg/1304063534.html

snort

#120 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 06:40 PM:
One well-known irate author, after a rejection, wrote me "Who are you to reject my paper?" The answer, which I didn't send, is "I'm the editor."

—Economics journal editor R. Preston McAfee (via)

#121 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 06:52 PM:

Dori @ 119 - that one made me smile. I don't know whether he's cheeky or clueless, but I love it.

#122 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 07:58 PM:

Random irritation:

The last couple times I've tried to come to ML through the drop-down history, I've been redirected to B ing. Where, yes,Making Light is the first result in the "search."

Grrr.

#123 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 08:25 PM:

Dori, the reason your earlier version didn't come through was that it had broken HTML. The usual reason for that breakage (though I can't tell for sure since MT does strange things to it) is leaving off the quote marks in the anchor markup.

Since that broken HTML exactly resembles a common sort of spam, it gets blocked.

#124 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 08:50 PM:

John Houghton @ 117:

They're from an old Heathkit multimeter, and look like they're driving the nixie tubes. No manufacturer marked on them that I can see. Don't worry about finding them; I'll trace out the circuit one of these days.

Dori @ 119:

That's great. At least that poster realizes that they need some help with writing.

#125 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 09:53 PM:

Jim @ 123: sorry about that...

Oddly enough, even though it doesn't show up here, it does show up in the list when I view all my comments.

#126 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 09:55 PM:

Comic relief, to distract from the health care worries: The woman who wrote the hideously appalling Twilight books is getting hit by a plagiarism suit from a woman who wrote a hideously appalling self-published novel.

Among the similarities are "a scene in which the main character sees their baby for the first time," and the fact that "in both books the main character refers to his wife as 'love.'"

#127 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 10:34 PM:

On the 7624: I found a listing with this:
300V 150A Std. Recovery Diode in a DO-205AA (DO-8)package
It's here; scroll down to get to it.

#128 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 10:48 PM:

Upon first glance, I thought the particle was "In Search of a Robot Cosmology."

That is all.

#129 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 11:04 PM:

128: Now you've got me wondering where we might a robot cosmetologist.

#130 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2009, 11:27 PM:

@129: is that a robot who is a cosmetologist, or a cosmetologist who caters to fembots?

#131 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 12:06 AM:

Oh, J. Austin, that you should exclude mascbots (?) from your universe?!

#132 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 12:29 AM:

Carol@131:

I was so waiting for that;) I just wanted to have an excuse to write "fembots."

What I nearly wrote was "...or a cosmetologist that pimps your 'bot." But that sounded way wrong, and not indicative of the high-end services I imagine my aesthetician droids would provide.

#133 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 12:31 AM:

Or the services provided for high-end droids, natch.

#134 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 10:49 AM:

Wesley @ 126:

Oooh, looks like fun. I'll make the popcorn.

P J Evans @ 127:

Thanks, but that's not it. Don't worry about it, I'll trace out the circuit once I have some free time.

#135 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 03:14 PM:

@ David Goldfarb: Continuity editors. Oh yes. I know several series which need those, many of them published by a rather famous science-fiction and fantasy author. I know that one of the oft-cited changes was actually a retcon when she realized the implications of what she'd originally said, but most of it was the kind of head-desk moments that made me wonder if she'd gotten too famous and they weren't checking her work properly. (Names changing from book-to-book, partners inadvertently swapped, in later books such problems showing up in one volume.)

A little annoying. Though I stopped reading her work for other reasons. (I read one of her later books and enjoyed it up until the end, when my reaction became "What was the point of that?" She'd written an entire book that felt like a short story, with no major plot arc. Well written, but ultimately pointless.)

#136 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 03:56 PM:

@133

Or services provided by high-end druids.

You have to be careful.

#137 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 04:05 PM:

My wife Hilde once had a book dedicated to her, because the author had been talking about the book-in-progress at a local convention, and Hilde had pointed out that what she was saying was a major continuity error from previous volumes in the series.

"Oh, thank you!" the writer said. "I'll have to fix it. For that, I'll dedicate the book to you." (And somewhat to our surprise, she actually did.)

#138 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 06:06 PM:

Ooooh, high-end druids.... Hey, this is not the manuscript I'm supposed to be working on!

#139 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 06:20 PM:

B. Durbin, #135: MZB openly admitted that the continuity in the Darkover novels was ghodawful, with things like the same 2 cities being 2 days' ride apart in one book and 6 days' ride apart in another. It didn't bother me much at the time when I was reading them regularly; I wonder if it would bug me more if I picked them up again now.

The thing that did bug me about the Renunciates trilogy specifically was that it felt like she was arguing that any REAL feminist would of course become a lesbian, whether she was one to start with or not. I don't mind things like that in the voices of the characters, but when it starts getting into the narrative voice, I balk.

#140 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 07:14 PM:

B Durbin, I want to know whooo! Although I understand completely why you wouldn't say.

I got weird about Redwall continuity after a while, when the books started getting younger as I was getting older. A few too many twitches.

#141 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 07:27 PM:

KeithS
I though it probably wasn't, but it's hard to find that stuff online. I think the 7600s are pretty basic chips, actually (TTL?), but my memories are way old. (Okay, dumped question on Frisbie. He should have the appropriate references.)

#142 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 08:14 PM:

P J Evans @ 141:

The 7400 series (and related 5400 series), and 4000 series are pretty standard. Everything else, not so much.

#143 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 08:39 PM:

133, 136, 138 or high-end dryads?

#144 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 09:42 PM:

carol,

that you should exclude mascbots (?) from your universe?!

butchbots?

#145 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 01:44 AM:

Wesley@126: the final paragraph of that article ("I wrote The Nocturne with the intent of bringing readers into a completely new world of the fantasy and romance genres," Scott writes. "I have an award-winning script, and three other scripts in various stages. Wow. I love school, writing, music, and of course Boys.") just made my head explode.

#148 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 12:27 PM:

The neighborhood has already identified us as geeks, I'm afraid. One of the neighbors found a freaky-looking insect this morning buzzing around the kitchen, caught it in a jar, and brought it to me, saying, "You seem to know something about bugs. What is this thing?"

A couple of minutes of quality time with my friend Mr. Google revealed it to be a giant ichneumon. A stranger-looking wasp I have never seen in Indiana - it looks like something you'd find in the jungles of Borneo or someplace.

#149 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 12:53 PM:

Jo Walton writes about the Mike Ford panel at the Worldcon.

#150 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 02:17 PM:

#140: Well, it wasn't Marion Zimmer Bradley. And I do keep around many of her books; it's just the later ones which drive me up a wall.

This is as opposed to a fantasy author whose work I rather liked up until I read his award-winning trilogy which was a thinly-disguised Lord of the Rings. I mean, they even had an escape through a dwarf mine with a kraken at the door. I was so annoyed— not that he'd written this, when his other work indicated he was capable of original thought— but that it had won an award that I sold off all the books of his I owned and never went back.

I guess it was mostly frustration, because most of the world seems to think that fantasy is ONLY Tolkien-esque, and therefore you have books such as Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale shelved with Literature, because, well, that's not fantasy, is it?

#151 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 02:18 PM:

Dangit. I hate it when I hit post and THEN see the error.

"I was so annoyed— not that he'd written this, when his other work indicated he was capable of original thought, but that it had won an award— that I sold off all the books of his I owned and never went back."

#152 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 04:05 PM:

(Open thread? Check)

Anyone else having trouble getting to LiveJournal today? Either it hangs up "waiting" or loads a blank page.

#153 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 04:18 PM:

Mayr Aileen: http://status.livejournal.com/ says they're having database/network problems today.

#154 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 04:27 PM:

A quick google suggests the author/series (ferrous architecture?), and the Wikipedia entry pretty much confirms the Tolkien similarity.

But if that's the right book, no mention of any awards...

I'd be embarrassed to be associated with the publisher responsible for that bit of work.

#155 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 04:31 PM:

Wesley @126, will Nancy Stouffer now sue Scott for plagiarising her plagiarism complaints?

#156 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 05:13 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 152:

They were being DDoSed the other day. Maybe they still are.

#157 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 05:27 PM:

Elliott Mason (153): Thanks.

KeithS (156): That was my first thought, too.

It seems to be fine as of a few minutes ago.

#158 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 05:57 PM:

Open thread angry rantiness:

A while back there was a discussion on some thread about foreign aid, and I mentioned that I'd observed in Tonga how it's usually structured so that the "donor" nation benefits more than the recipient.

Well, the recent Tonga ferry disaster is a prize example of that, and its deadlier consequences. Looking at the AFP picture of the ferry in the BBC story here, it looks very similar in design to the Olovaha, the one I and Zora rode in the 1980s.

That ship was "donated" by Germany, which earmarked aid money to buy it from a German shipbuilder, and as a consequence it was horrifically unsuited for its intended use. The ship was a ferry, as all the reports have been noting, designed for carrying commuters and their cars for coast-hopping over short distances - in shallow waters - in the Baltic. The use it was actually needed for was travel of a day or two between separated island groups in deep ocean, many of them with no harbors so it couldn't even get close. Riding it was seriously unpleasant - once it got out into the ocean even a little ways, it would start pitching and yawing horrifically, as it was nearly flat-bottomed and top-heavy and unprepared for large deep ocean waves. A drive-on car entry ramp such as you can see in the picture was also completely inappropriate, as only a tiny fraction of the population in Tonga owns a car (or would have any use for one), those who do wouldn't want to take it between island chains, and the ship couldn't have landed a car at most of its stops - no harbor. With no use for it, having that ramp there created a huge and unnecessary extra risk of sinking. The accomodations were also designed only for short rides - bolted down little tables with benches, designed for commuters to sip coffee at - yet ended up carrying entire familes with all their bundled possessions (and occasionally livestock) mostly squeezing onto the floor between the tables and in the aisles.

Why a coastal ferry then, when it made no sense and was unnecessarily unsafe? Well, that's the kind of ship the German shipbuilder knew how to make, so why build something different? I am sure that's why Tonga ended up with this one too. There is little chance of the shipbuilder ever being held accountable for the 60-some who drowned, mostly women and children.

#159 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 06:06 PM:

B. Durbin@150:

This is as opposed to a fantasy author whose work I rather liked up until I read his award-winning trilogy which was a thinly-disguised Lord of the Rings. I mean, they even had an escape through a dwarf mine with a kraken at the door.

If we're thinking of the same person, I believe there is a reason for this. He had written some sequels to LOTR - professional fanfic, as it were - and the Tolkien estate, oddly enough, refused him permission to publish them. So he did a rewrite of LOTR, so that he could publish his other works as sequels to that.

most of the world seems to think that fantasy is ONLY Tolkien-esque, and therefore you have books such as Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale shelved with Literature, because, well, that's not fantasy, is it?

I wonder how true this is. Certainly when the word 'fantasy' is uttered, people tend to think first of the Tolkienesque stuff. But when you think about who the most prominent fantasy authors are, they would include J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke, none of whom write that sort of thing. Admittedly I'm looking at it from a British perspective, and all these writers are British - perhaps the American situation is different - but there again prominent fantasy writers would include, say, Naomi Novik, who doesn't write Tolkienesque stuff. I think all these people would be widely accepted as writing fantasy. So if some fantasy is ending up on the literature shelves - which no doubt it is, just as some science fiction does - the reasons must be more complicated than that.

#160 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 06:18 PM:

I expect some of you might be interested to see my notes on last night's "conversation" panel between Stross and Krugman. They are available on my LJ. Quite a memorable night!

#161 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 06:41 PM:

Andrew M #159: Well, even if you want specifically Epic Fantasy, there's always Scott Westerfield's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, which is similar in some ways while utterly different in many others. Of course, there's Robert Jordan, who I'd say was not especially Tolkienesque. Zelazny did an epic in installments, which struck off in a very different direction. Raymond Feist has been doing his in sections -- despite some traditional trappings, its not terribly Tolkienesque either (in some ways, it's closer to Zelazny's Amber). Brust's Dragaera isn't really epic, but does have some of the features thereof.

And there are many more authors out there who I never got into, starting with MZB....

#162 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 06:52 PM:

David Harmon: I think you mean Tad Williams, not Scott Westerfield?

#163 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 06:55 PM:

Oh yes, and Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight... I dunno about "unique", because he certainly "stands upon the shoulders of giants", but certainly unusual!

#164 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 07:03 PM:

Certainly when the word 'fantasy' is uttered, people tend to think first of the Tolkienesque stuff. But when you think about who the most prominent fantasy authors are, they would include J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke, none of whom write that sort of thing.

I think that from the outside it seems like they do write that sort of thing, much as to someone who doesn't listen to hip-hop Public Enemy and Run-DMC seem like the same sort of thing.

Those writers share a genre sensibility, and when most people talk about fantasy, that's what they mean, not that the book contains impossible happenings (which is true of the majority of the world's literature, making such a "fantasy" category useless for most purposes).

That said, I would say that Winter's Tale has that genre sensibility to some degree; like Little, Big (but unlike One Hundred Years of Solitude or Chimera) it's a borderline case that could plausibly have been marketed as a fantasy novel. But the publishers took a chance on getting a broader audience, and it paid off.

#165 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 07:30 PM:

Clifton #162: You are right, brain-fault on my part.

#166 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 08:47 PM:

Andrew, #159: The other thing that goes on in America is that "supernatural romance" has been brought forth as a separate mainstream-literary category, so that writers who publish in that genre (such as Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, Christopher Moore)are not thought of as "fantasy writers" at all. We had a longish discussion about this sometime during the last year.

#167 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2009, 04:16 PM:

Charlie Stross has put up the raw mp3 of his talk with Paul Krugman here.

#168 ::: coffeedryad ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2009, 06:03 PM:

KeithS@113: I thought 7600 series sounded familiar, so I tried "7600 series 7624 cmos" as the search terms. According to http://www.embeddedlinks.com/chipdir/n/76.htm it's a CMOS 8 Bit Buffered Multiplying D/A Converter, which sounds like a reasonable sort of thing to have in a multimeter, but I'm not sure it matches the time period.

#169 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2009, 06:53 PM:

I ran across this today:

...writing the consonants and skipping the vowels....A name for this practice, suggested by considerations of symmetry, is ebisceration. Evisceration being excision of the bowels, ebisceration connotes similar treatment of the vowels.

W.V. Quine, Quiddities, 1987, p.2.

#170 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2009, 10:55 PM:

David Goldfarb @ 106: Not sure if this is relevant to your Mac. I've got a Mac Mini with an Intel processor. I was using Openoffice.org, and switched to NeoOffice v3. Much quicker and less buggy.

#171 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 12:08 AM:

Seriously? I've been in moderation for a really long time--the YooToob link is only to a cute line-art animation.

#172 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 12:20 AM:

Since I know all the mods are really busy or sleeping right now, if anyone wants to see a charming animation about cats, go to YouTube and search for Simon's Cat. The one that cracks me up the most is titled "Fly Guy." The OMG! freakout when the fly is not quite dead is awesome.

#173 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 04:35 AM:

J Austin:
Your comment had a malformed link, which:
(a) gets filtered as spam, because spammers do that sometimes, and
(b) gives me no URL information with which to solve it.

Read and follow the "HTML Tags" recommendation. Watch the placement of your quotes.

And complaining about lack of moderator snappy service when it's the middle of the night in Europe and peak day at Worldcon? Not cool.

Seriously.

#174 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 06:30 AM:

J Austin and abi: here it is.

#175 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 01:28 PM:

Abi, I wasn't complaining. When I said, "since I know all the mods are busy or sleeping right now," that's all I meant. I should have worded it, "Since I now realize" but I didn't.

The "seriously" wasn't supposed to be rude, either, I've just never had that happen before, and I was trying to explain what I'd linked in the sentence after.

I apologize if a tone I didn't intend came through.

#176 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 02:24 PM:

Hey, you guys, I just wanted to say I appreciate what you've done for me the last couple years. Making Light was the first forum I ever bit the bullet and posted in, and the first one where I was engaged in conversation by another commenter. I rarely post anywhere but open threads, since I'm not as well read as most of you, and rarely have anything to contribute.

I lurk a lot, though, and come to Making Light so often that it has a permanent place in my drop-down history. That sense of familiarity means sometimes I speak too casually, thinking that we know each other, when we don't.

Anyway, just, thank you for being here.
:o)

J

#177 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 02:39 PM:

J Austin @175 & 176:
I'm sorry I was such a grump. I'd just woken up from an unpleasant and complicated dream that was, on reflection, an elaborate working-out of the ways I feel inadequate at Making Light.

(It took place in a class where the registration form included a box for how long one had known TNH. It was a lecture on some complex overlap between mathematics and social dynamics, given by someone Paula Lieberman had known since her MIT days. I was sitting in the wrong place, and got berated for it. Then when I'd moved to the right place—with my inexplicably-present sewing machine—I couldn't find anything on which to take notes. That kind of dream.)

Your presence on Making Light is welcome and appreciated. You should comment more.

#178 ::: Teemu Kalvas ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 03:13 PM:

David Harmon@161: As I was reading it just a couple of nights ago, I started to think of Brust's Vlad series as a reverse epic: the mainline events take place very rapidly (I'm not quite sure how rapidly, but Vlad's comments in Jhegaala indicate that it's within a few months). However, actually writing the series looks like it'll take around 30 years. (Only 6 books to go...)

Not that anyone would actually be able to write a typical epic in a few months.

#179 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 04:25 PM:

Teemu Kalvas #178: It seems to me that Dragaera doesn't have the structure of an epic -- that is, Vlad deals with a succession of crises, some on a grand scale indeed -- but they don't tie together into a grand arc.

That's the flip side of writing books that stand on their own, and Brust has demonstrated the point with his latest installment. Jheggala leaves out all the gods and wizards (not to mention the Empire), and doesn't even touch the fabric of his universe, yet it's a solid and meaningful addition to Vlad's life story. (Not to mention a nice escape from the escalation of previous volumes!)

#180 ::: SylvieG ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 06:19 PM:

Abi @ 177 My reaction to reading that was *coughspluttergasp*. Please let this lurker assure you that, by all that is good and gracious, you (of whom I am in awe) should in no way feel inadequate ANYWHERE, let alone at ML.

#181 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2009, 08:35 PM:

f y i
The main page crashed my browser while trying to transfer data from msnbc.

I'll grant you, my machine is kind of outdated, but I didn't actually try to play the embedded news video on the main page.

#182 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 01:24 AM:

Abi @ 177: Thanks for sharing your dream. I'm glad that I didn't have it -- if I had to fill out a form like that, I'd be flummoxed trying to remember if I'd met PNH at SunCon or was I just thinking of someone else from Arizona.

#183 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 09:36 AM:

Abi: Amen to SylvieG #177!

Re: the "When we were robots in Egypt" -- am I the only one who saw that headline, and immediately thought of "The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind?"

#184 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 10:17 AM:

Is that, then, the proper way to induce vomiting for a dog?

As mentioned in 44 and 45, when we had to do it we gave the dog hydrogen peroxide--took about 3 tablespoons, but then Cullen is a very big boy.

There ain't nothin' like getting a call from the dog's owners mentioning (several hours after letting the dog out to attend to his business) that oh, by the way, we forgot to pick up the rat poison before we left, don't let him out in the back yard alone. And then they couldn't remember whether they'd put out three cubes or four, and we only found three, so... Fortunately he hadn't eaten any, though that meant he had to go through the vomiting for no purpose.

Cat "food": When I was little I had a cat who loved popcorn; he'd eat seven or eight kernels before he got enough salt. My cat Ares adored the dehydrated chicken from soup mix, and also frozen peas (though not cooked ones). My current cat Sebastian likes to drink from human glasses when they're left on the table, just a lap or two (to the point that we have to be careful about hot liquids lest he burn his tongue). Neither he nor his sister will have anything to do with food containing tomato, no matter how much they'd ordinarily like the meat in question. Given the common cat aversion to citrus, this doesn't surprise me.

#185 ::: B.Loppe ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 10:33 AM:

David Harmon @ 183: No, I didn't think of that, but I did think of Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle.

#186 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 11:31 AM:

Meanwhile...

Twilight wins big at the Teen Choice Awards.

G.I. Joe is big at the box office (OK, it's selling toys, but it may be a well-made bit of froth).

And there is going to be a remake of Red Dawn

At least they're not trying to remake Went The Day Well?, which is a very different beast, politically.

#187 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 12:40 PM:

I'm back. Been a busy week, which kept me from dropping in; the highlights (details at my Lj, linked above): Acquired a scooter. Dropped said scooter (normal sort of thing). Needed a couple of stitches. Girlfriend got laid off, etc.

There were some lessons on self-aid; most important being... even when you don't think something is wrong (in my case a bruised knee turned out to be a cut knee), stop as soon as you can and take a look.

I know I added 40 minutes to my time from injury to treatment, and it might have been more like 2 hours (because of density at the VA).

Also, ponder one's bandages. I did a fine job of applying the bandage to my knee... if I wasn't planning to flex it. Since I had 15 miles to ride on the scooter (traffic to where I was was bad, plus the need to make a return trip), having a dressing which was uncomfortable added to general fatigue. Because I was already in some pain, I didn't notice the extra pressure so much until I was off the bike.

Other than that, I probably did about as well as to be expected.

About the surfer... who knows what will come of it. At the least he's damned clever. I did find some amusement in the, "it doesn't work article.

Diamond gets its strength from its crystal structure, which binds the carbon atoms together. Viruses such as polio and HIV exploit the symmetry of the icosahedron, a 20-sided dice made up of triangular faces.

Yep, D&D has invaded the world. An icosahedron is now defined as a sort of die.

#188 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 06:40 PM:

abi @ 177:

Nightmares are nasty things. I know I'm a day late, but I hope you're feeling better now. You definitely have no reason to feel inadequate here.

I think that's still better than the weird dreams resulting from eating a vending-machine roast beef sandwich at one in the morning. (I was in university. I was hungry.)

David Harmon @ 179:

What amazes me about Jhegaala is that Iynq fcraqf n tbbq puhax bs gur abiry pbbcrq hc va orq, naq vg'f fgvyy vagrerfgvat! (Rot-13ed, just in case.)

Terry Karney @ 187:

I hope that heals up quickly for you.

#189 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 08:10 PM:

David Harmon, #183, I dunno, but I thought of Mary Gentle's books with stone golems in them.

Terry Karney, #187, I'm so sorry to hear about all that. I hope things get better soon.

#190 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 08:22 PM:

To anyone interested, I took some notes about most of the Worldcon panels I attended and am posting them to my LJ, a couple a day, for the next several days.

#191 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 08:27 PM:

J Austin #171 Seriously? I've been in moderation for a really long time--the YooToob link is only to a cute line-art animation.

The link is broken and doesn't lead anywhere. (You can see it for yourself if you look in your View All By history.) Please try reposting, and make sure the syntax is correct, including quote marks around the URL in the anchor tag.

#192 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 09:01 PM:

#188 ::: KeithS @188: I think that's still better than the weird dreams resulting from eating a vending-machine roast beef sandwich at one in the morning. (I was in university. I was hungry.)

ObFuturama: Fry once ate an egg salad sandwich from a men's room vending machine on the interstellar freeway. Turns out it wasn't chicken's egg, but worm's egg (odds are, you've seen the episode).

#193 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 09:36 PM:

KeithS @188, Jhegaala: Abg gb zragvba gung ur genfurf gur fprar sebz gung orq, rffragvnyyl ol cher "gnyrag sbe znxvat gebhoyr".

#194 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 09:53 PM:

James Macdonald@191:

Abi explained my mistake in linking, and tykewriter already kindly fixed the cartoon's link for me @174.

With the way August has been going, my karma gremlins will laugh their asses off if I mangle the syntax again.

#195 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 09:53 PM:

J Austin, don't lose heart, we've all¹ had missteps. Try, if you can, to "View Source" on tykewriter @174. Same link, & works OK for me. Or copy/paste Example below thread & substitute URL & link text.

Terry K – *hoping all your hurts heal well*

¹ rhetorical "all" = probably most

#196 ::: siriosa ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 10:13 PM:

Open threadiness: The Katamari Damacy wedding in Idaho: http://www.ksweddings.com/aidra_ernest/

It made me smile, even though idaho wouldn't let *me* get married.

#197 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 10:17 PM:

Oops. Crossed comments with J Austin.

Just del from "Try" to "text" in 195, supra.

#198 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 11:02 PM:

Hmmm. I have a question that someone here has probably thought of a clever answer to. 13 month old is increasingly curious, and one of his favorite things to do is pull books off the shelves and flip through them. The bookshelf in his room is all toys at the bottom - problem solved (until he gets taller). The bookshelf in our room has been cleverly modified with metal dowels across the front of the shelves which have to be removed before the books can be gotten. That leaves the two bookshelves in the living room (cookbooks and Terry Pratchett - these are important!). The only suggestions I've gotten so far is to turn the bookshelves around or pack up any books we don't need until he's old enough not to do that. I tried to explain that if I knew what books I wouldn't need for two years, that would be fine, but I need all my books, just in case.

So does anyone have any tricks for discouraging playing with Mama's books without putting him off books altogether? So far I've been trying to go get one of his books every time he starts playing with ours and have reading time. This doesn't work when I'm still asleep.

The depressing part is, I actually don't have all of our books unpacked. All of my dad's science fiction book club copies we appropriated are still in boxes because we need another bookshelf first. I just have out the important ones, so it's hard to pare down further.

#199 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 11:07 PM:

Eclaire@198:

How sturdy are your shelves? If they're wood, or something that can take a little modifying, you could go to a Re-store and get cast-off cabinet doors to attach, then childlock like you would on the kitchen cabinets.

#200 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 11:18 PM:

EClaire @ 198:

My first inclination would be to make a J-shaped wooden baffle that would fit around the bottom of the shelves. (Front as long as the shelf is wide, side the depth of the shelf, and a small back piece to hook around the shelf so he can't just pull it over.) This, I would hope, makes it difficult for him to get it off, but easy for you if you need to. I have no practical experience at this, however, and will gladly defer to someone who does.

#201 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 11:19 PM:

It's this shelf from Target. They're actually really sturdy, and sadly, probably the nicest shelves we've ever had. The cookbooks are on the smaller version, with boxes in front of it at the moment. I like the idea of doors, though.

#202 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2009, 11:32 PM:

Cabinet doors come in a lot of sizes, and if you find some that will fit, but you just don't like them, it's amazing what a decorative paper glued into the inset will do. Papermojo has some beautiful "papers" with woven bamboo adhered to a viny background--I used them to decoupage a crappy melamine craft cabinet.

#203 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 12:25 AM:

Eclaire: Try heavy duty rubber bands strung across each shelf, just in front of the spines of the books. (It'll require you to put in small hooks on each side of the shelves in question, leaving a small hole when the assembly is removed.) An adult can coordinate stretching the band down with one hand to remove the book, a toddler can't. Then you continue with encouraging him to read his own books and not mess up yours; maybe leave one of the shelves within reach stocked with kid books.

#204 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 01:09 AM:

I just took a quick look at the edit history for Paul Krugman's wikipedia page and am finding myself amusedly curious...

#205 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 01:34 AM:

abi @ 177 ...
I'd just woken up from an unpleasant and complicated dream that was, on reflection, an elaborate working-out of the ways I feel inadequate at Making Light.

I detest being woken up while in deep REM sleep (and have been known to take quite some time to properly separate dream and reality after waking, which can only be described as surreal!)

#206 ::: KévinT ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 04:36 AM:

Open threadiness:
I've just stumbled on this article in the NYT on Jack Vance.

Very nice.

#207 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 06:17 PM:

EClaire, #198, is that attached to the wall so the baby won't pull it over? I'd buy/make smaller shelves to insert in the big openings and move all the books up, and put heavy things on the bottom.

#208 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 08:56 PM:

Yes, they're all attached to the walls. Definitely made sure to do that. Facebook says this should work for people who don't have Facebook. (I really ought to just sign up for Flickr.) And then the shelf in his room is this one. We tried to put the biggest books on the biggest shelves. I really like the idea of the rubber bands, as I think that will be the easiest/cheapest option. We can at least try that first. And who knows, he may outgrow it. He's gotten better about not going into the bathroom cupboards, and hasn't tipped all the food out of the cat bowl in at least a week.

#209 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 09:33 PM:

Anyone else use the Bixi rental bikes in Montreal? For casual users, it was credit card in the slot, $5 plus usage after 30 minutes. I think I used them three days out of five, including back and forth from the Delta to the Palais with party supplies. At present, I see one $5 charge, one for $6.50, and the third not yet posted. Annual sub is only $78.

Overall, I was fairly impressed. Thursday morning, I got stuck trying to find a place to return a bike.
Saturday morning, a truck came along and unloaded more segments to double the dock capacity at the Place des armes corner. It helps a fair bit to have some familiarity with Montreal geography -- and avoid the bigger hill climbs.

There are about 300 stations with about 3000 bikes. One evening I saw the perfect publicity video happen in front of me - a gentlemen in a natty suit, carrying a portfolio, came out of a building, unlocked a bixi, and pedalled off.

Ottawa has a trial running, but only four stations, which is not so useful.

#210 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 09:57 PM:

#208
Bungee cords might be useful versions of rubber bands for this. (This is very similar to one recommendation for making bookshelves earthquake-resistant but still accessible.)

#211 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 10:30 PM:

Does anybody know where there might be good (and not too small) photos from QED? Bill Higgins and I were talking about steampunk, after the Hugos were over, and he mentionned this series. I'd never seen it, and wasn't sure I had ever heard about it, but I thought I should mention when I do my steampunk-movie slideshow at the local SF club's meeting in November. A bit of googling revealed a bit more about the series, and there is even a YouTube clip, but little in the way of photos. Goodness, Sam Waterston is so young. And he looks good with a beard and dressed in Edwardian garb.

#212 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 10:58 PM:

EClaire: It's weird, but I can't remember exactly what we did for all of our books when our son was a toddler. It was only about 6 years ago! We have a *lot* of bookshelves. We kept him in a playpen or kept him in one area with a baby gate sometimes, but the rest of the time... I think we might have used the rubber band thing on some of the low shelves, but I can't recall for sure. I would think I would remember but I just don't. We do have our couch backed close in front of one row of bookshelves, so that may have been partial deterrence for those, but there are plenty of others.

#213 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 11:54 PM:

I keep hoping that the fact he's going for the Terry Pratchett and the cookbooks is a good sign. Did I mention he came into my room at 8 this morning with two board books and hit me in the head with them? I mean, it woke me up, sure, but I'd have read them to him anyway.

#214 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 12:40 AM:

Anybody else noticing problems with YouTube today? We can't get it to run here, and when we were over at a friend's place it wouldn't run there either. Have they been hit by the Russian DDOS attack?

#215 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 01:11 AM:

I've been seeing some particularly annoying commercials on tv, so I'd like to ask the audience here a question.

Has anyone, anywhere, ever looked at another person and thought:

"Oh, ewwwww! They have inadequate eyelashes!!!"?

#216 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 02:13 AM:

Bruce @ #215, sure. At those times I wanted to exchange butterfly kisses. ;)

(Who knew About.com had a "Teen Advice" page?)

#217 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 08:39 AM:

My copy of Design for the Real World has gone on walkabout again, so I can't look up the name of the two backed chair that is shown in it, but awhile ago I sat in a two-backed office chair that was almost as comfortable for me as a Balens Variable. (Can't afford an Aeron so have never sat in one, thanks.) Does anyone make a two backed chair doesn't cost a grand?

#219 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 08:53 AM:

#215 :  How sad that anyone’s response to someone else’s minor physical imperfection should be “Oh, ewwwww!”

#220 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 09:53 AM:

OpenThreadworthy: The big link making the rounds of my friends at LJ: Don't Be A Dick (by fragbert, whom I don't know). It's not as if he's saying things many of us don't know, or haven't said ourselves; it's merely said very well. Truly worth the minute or five (maximum) it takes to read. Here's a sample:

● Make it a point to compliment someone today. On anything. Everyone has something worthy of praise and admiration.
● Tell *everyone* you love exactly that. Life is short, shit happens, and the people who are important to us need to know they've had a positive effect on someone else's life. It's entirely possible that our own lives are measured solely on how we affected others.

#221 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 10:02 AM:

Hey! People of Making Light!

I love you.

#222 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 10:16 AM:

Thank you, abi.  We love you too.

#223 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 10:21 AM:

Bruce Arthurs @ 215:

I've never thought anyone had inadequate eyelashes (what does that even mean?), but there are some people I thought would actually look pretty if they laid off the mascara. This is not what the cosmetics companies want to hear, though.

Then there were the hair dye ads I saw in China, which, if I remember correctly, advertised that they looked natural but would also make you (female you, of course) look exotic and attractive to men. Much more than having that boring black hair. Blech. (I was waiting by the elevator. You really can't help but look at the obnoxious advertising TV stuck there.)

abi @ 221:

We love you too!

#224 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 10:32 AM:

Damn.  The inter-track ad on Baroque 24/7 just said “If you find an alligator in your car, five hundred dollars off.”

#225 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 10:56 AM:

abi @ 221... Moi aussi.

#226 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 10:57 AM:

KeithS @ 223... I've never thought anyone had inadequate eyelashes (what does that even mean?)

It means that they are easily browbeaten.

#227 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 11:11 AM:

EClaire--a different option for managing books with a toddler is to wrap the bookcases in question with a blanket or decorative throw. We did that with our son and it worked quite nicely--and also allowed access when we needed it. We used batik throws and it added a nice note to the room. I think I actually just tied the throw behind the cabinet, in a place I could reach.

A different problem was securing turntable and vinyl records. For that one, DH found some store window display cabinets on sale, which had heavy doors. The stereo was pushed way back, out of toddler reach (but not adult reach) and the records went into the storage space underneath.

I forget how we disposed of them when the son was old enough to leave the records alone, but as I recall, it wasn't a hard thing to do.

If you do Christmas trees, putting the tree in a playpen works quite nicely (assuming you do a smallish tree). Our cats also loved the idea, as it allowed them to drink the tree water unmolested.

#228 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 11:21 AM:

Serge @ 226:

Eyelash you not to make puns like that at this time in the morning, except that would be the purest folly(cle).

#229 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 11:45 AM:

In the spirit of "don't be a dick," all you folks here are great and a lifeline to sanity and rational thinking. Even you lurkers.

#230 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 11:45 AM:

WRT rubber banding or bungee cording bookshelves, I'd be some concerned about what happens should the stretchy part break or come unstuck.

You could tie sash cord or clothesline to an eyebolt on one side of the shelf, and do up a loop to slip over a hook on the other side.

#231 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 11:51 AM:

“If you find an alligator in your car, five hundred dollars off.”

The question that comes to mind is: Five hundred dollars off what? The car? The long-stay parking bill? Your next limousine rental?

I mean, this is the sort of money-back guarantee I'd rather not have. I'd rather just have the certainty that my car wouldn't contain an alligator in the first place.

#232 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 12:06 PM:

KeithS @ 228... make puns like that at this time in the morning

Lacking pluck?

#233 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 12:07 PM:

I don't wake up until I've had lashings of coffee.

#234 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 12:20 PM:

*dips whip in coffee, lashes Fragano*

#235 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 12:30 PM:

I'm amazed nobody's told us to put a lid on it.

#236 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 12:32 PM:

Bookshelves: When my daughter was little I was more worried about cats knocking books down on her. so we modelled our solution on ship-board bookcases: we took dowels, put an eye-hook in each end, and attached then to L-hooks on the insides of the bookscase, positioning them about half-way up each shelf in the danfger zone. Later, with puppies who chewed books, we just took spare shelves and wedged them in front of the lowest shelf of books. (Nearly all our bookcases are Ivar from Ikea, and there's a lot of neat stuff you can do with them.)

#237 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 01:13 PM:

ajay #231: "If you find an alligator in your car, five hundred dollars off." The question that comes to mind is: Five hundred dollars off what?

Five hundred dollars off the cost of the alligator option. You could have an exciting new career as a result!

#238 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 02:23 PM:

KeithS @ 223:

Speaking of exotic hair, I was at the Apple Store last week getting my laptop repaired, and saw that one of the store reps was a young woman with a full mohawk (buzzed to the skull on the sides) with tats up and down both arms. Gave me a nice feeling to see how punk was becoming mainstream.

#239 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 02:25 PM:

How else would you open a bottle of beer but with a Klein Bottle Opener?

#240 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 02:34 PM:

Bruce Cohen (STM) @239:
How else would you open a bottle of beer but with a Klein Bottle Opener?

Why, with the Friday Afternoon Hammer, of course!

(Saw one of these in the local hardware store on Monday. Really truly they exist.)

#241 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 02:43 PM:

Bruce Cohen at #238:
"to see how punk was becoming mainstream."

You can read about all the punk fashions in Planet Marie Claire.

#242 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 03:40 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 237:

I am now reminded of Gator Golf in Sam and Max Hit the Road. Time to play that again.

Bruce Cohen (StM) @ 239:

If the beer were in a Klein bottle, you wouldn't need anything to open it.

abi @ 240:

I know it's supposed to be a novelty (I hope it's supposed to be a novelty), but that hammer frightens me more than it makes me laugh.

#243 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 03:48 PM:

KeithS @242:

For a novelty, it's a fairly reasonable hammer. Heavy, seems reasonably balanced, your basic flat head to hit stuff with. I imagine it opens a bottle of beer pretty well too.

But yes, some of my reaction was your basic standard WWYS?*

-----
* What Would Yog Say? It's a useful test in some circumstances, just as WWJAT?† is in slightly different ones.
† What Would Jane Austen Think? Useful for processing "sex sells" billboards and ads.

#244 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 03:57 PM:

EClaire @198

I go for redirecting my almost 18 month old.

"Oh Honey, that's Mommy's book. It's not for kids. Should we go get you a book that's for you?"

She usually nods happily, and we go on over to the shelves of kids books and we commence reading/page flipping/pointing at cats/chewing on bindings.

#245 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 04:03 PM:

EClaire @198:

What we did was to cram the books into the bottom shelf so tightly that the kids couldn't pull them out. They did still tear the dust jackets on our set of Durants, but that beats total destruction.

#246 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 04:04 PM:

Erik Nelson @ 241... Planet Marie Claire sounds like one of the Federation's creepiest places.

#247 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 06:30 PM:

I've been trying to remember all day how my parents solved the problem of tinies and precious shelved books, and finally did: playpens. Ah, the good old days, when babies were caged like the wild book-eating animals they are.*

Also, all the big, heavy tomes were on the bottom shelves.

--
* My little sister's crib had a tie-down lid. It's amazing how much you learn with the first couple of kids.

#248 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 06:35 PM:

Oh, dear Ghu...

#249 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 08:41 PM:

I'm heading off to "vacation" for about 10 days, visiting family and old friends in NY and Mass. I'll be back on the 22nd or 23rd.

More precisely, I'm free-riding with my parents (coordinating everything has been "interesting"). Unfortunately, this has been too tightly scheduled to allow for meeting ML folks on the way, especially after allowing for downtime on top of travel. (It's possible I'll be able to check in from my sister's computer, but no promises.)

#250 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 09:07 PM:

Pericat, my brother also had a crib lid. For about six weeks, then Mom got tired of hugging him through the bars. I don't think I was as big a climber-- but my nursery had stone floors.

#251 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 09:45 PM:

Delurking to say I love you to all the folks who hang out at Making Light.

#252 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 09:49 PM:

And since I delurked once, I'll also say that I was momentarily tempted by the new stuff that promised to make eyelashes more adequate, since mine have always been thin, sparse and blonde (although not quite as blonde as my eyebrows) and prone to falling out excessively. But then I read that it could also change my eyecolor to brown and I realized I didn't need nicer eyelashes that badly. I like my eyes blue and would prefer to keep them that way.

#253 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 10:18 PM:

A tie-down lid? Good lord! I shall dream about that the next time he's crawled out of bed again and is wandering free. Honestly, I don't think there's anything within reach that is dangerous for him, and the books are very nearly the only thing I really need him to stay out of.

#254 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 10:57 PM:

Laina @ 251... Welcome, former lurker.

#255 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 11:24 PM:

And I love the entire Fluorosphere. I love you all. I love the lurkers who say nice things to me at WorldCon (yes, The Lurkers Support Me At WorldCon), the regular posters, and especially Our Hosts and the other front page posters.

#256 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 12:10 AM:

Laina, I have a post elsewhere that is being held for moderation but is about that issue (I think because I used bllsht talking about the product).

If you don't wear glasses, there are lots of very good cosmetic products that can extend eyelashes with the mere application of a mascara wand. They're a lot safer as long as you remember to change them out....I've seen three months and three weeks. All makeup is capable of growing bacteria (dry less than wet) and I'd hate to get an infection in the eyes.

#257 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 12:11 AM:

Earl Cooley III @237: I have a friend who worked on an alligator farm in Florida. The farm also contracted out to the state remove the nuisance 'gators' (alligator in your swimming pool, who you're going to call? ... and then who do they call?).

He showed a video he shot of feeding gators at the farm; it turned out to be the last day he worked there. You see some straight forward reportage — then suddenly the camera starts shaking wildly. An alligator lunged at him while he was filming; he jogged backwards as it did and avoided the alligator, but still twisted his ankle severely. Apparently, he took too much time off to recover to also keep the job.

He also had trained at the Culinary Institute of America, and his current work in New York is more along those lines.

So I like to say, I know a guy trained by the CIA (true) who wrestled alligators (a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much).

#258 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 12:15 AM:

[..] contracted out to the state to remove [..]

#259 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 12:18 AM:

Diatryma, the lid was originally on the crib for my little brother (I was a model Good Baby). The reason it sticks in my mind so is that one day my mom came to get my sister up from her nap a bit early, and caught her re-tying the knot.

EClaire, the lids are dead easy to make - couple hinges, plywood to fit, bit of rope... CPS might frown on the notion, but you know what spoilsports they are, always fussing about something.

#260 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 01:20 AM:

My brother's lid was the side of another crib, tied down. I don't think it had hinges at all. Lest you think my parents were completely insane, they had a knife on a shelf near the crib in case of house fire. And after the lid came off, my brother got out of bed every night for eight or ten years to sleep in theirs.

I was a model baby, but we also had a maid at the time. It's tough not to have a model baby when someone else is cleaning up.

#261 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 02:37 AM:

Paula Helm Murray @256:

Post's out of moderation. We don't moderate for swearing (that would be a goddamned fucking bullshit policy); it was something a regex caught that it shouldn't have. Need to do some fixing tonight.

#262 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 09:16 AM:

Laina @ 252:

"I take one to boost contentment, I take one to dull surprise
And there's one I only take to change the colors of my eyes..."

-- Nate Bucklin's "I Pop Pills"

"The spice melange, it's so cinnamon sweet,
I put it on most everything I eat.
It's addictive, too,
And don't it make my brown eyes blue..."

-- Tom Smith's "Crystal Gayle Killed Frank Herbert"

I must admit that I'm somewhat surprised and boggled about this. Even allowing for my usual antipathy towards body modification for cosmetic purposes... it still strikes me as a bizarre product to develop, sell, or consume.

#263 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 09:34 AM:

abi @ 261... We don't moderate for swearing

So Cambronne could come here and utter his famous mot without getting thrown out on his ass?

After the Battle of Waterloo, commanding the last of the Old Guard, he was summoned to surrender by General Colville. A journalist named Rougement reported Cambronne's reply as "La garde meurt et ne se rend pas !" ("The Guard dies and does not surrender!"). These words became famous and were put on a Cambronne statue in Nantes after his death. However, Cambronne always denied that he had made the "The Guard dies ..." statement. His reply, according to other sources, was the much more direct "Merde!" ("Shit!", a French equivalent of the English expletive "Fuck!"), which he also denied having said.
#264 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 09:55 AM:

Pedantry moment:  I think Cambronne is supposed to have said “La garde meurt mais se rend pas.”
A pity the verb is different (chier), so Rougemont could’t have mis-heard him saying “La garde merde ...”

#265 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 10:52 AM:

Speaking of off-color (innuendos, not eyes), did anyone else see Turner's combo* of Red Dust and semi-sequel (setting changed from Malaysian rubber plantation to African safari) Mogambo last night? Aside from the aging of star Clark Gable from one to the next -- early 30ish(?) hottie to graying established star, still with that twinkle in his eye -- it was interesting and amusing to hear the various ways the films' respective floozies, Jean Harlow and Ava Gardner, baited him. No "is that a gun in your pocket..." query from Jean here, but I think Ava had that line beat when she told Clark the friendly young elephant lifting his little trunk "reminds me of you."

*a lot easier to see them both during prime time in the West

#266 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 11:32 AM:

Faren Miller @ 265... Goodness. That being said, it's hard to top Some Like It Hot's references to masturbation. I always got a kick out of Hitchcock going around the restrictions, whether it's the train rushing into a tunel at the end of North by Northwest, or the following exchange in To Catch A Thief.

Frances Stevens: I called the police from your room and told them who you are and everything you've been doing tonight.
John Robie: Everything? The boys must have really enjoyed *that* at headquarters!

#267 ::: Teemu Kalvas ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 11:36 AM:

Jacque@248: I was particularly fond of the "translation" of Ecclesiastes there. It is a terrific example of how you should translate the meaning, not the words.

#268 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 01:37 PM:

John Stanning @264: then again, nowadays people do use merder to mean "to screw up". George Michael's apology to fans was translated thus by one people* website, for example.


----
*an example of the imaginative use of English by the French: le people = celebrities, and many pundits have groused about la pipolisation of politics in the wake of the Sarkozy-Bruni media circus.

#269 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 01:44 PM:

Oh boy, news reports say Cheney has been reading parts of his autobiography-in-process to friends in which he blames everything on Shrub wussing out because he wasn't tough enough to ignore public opinion! This is going to be more fun than the Twirl-A-Whirl!

#270 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 07:02 PM:

How does one say, "My hovercraft is full of meerkats." In Russian?

#271 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 07:28 PM:

Jacque #248: The translation of the Song of Solomon certainly has a certain something.

#272 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 07:29 PM:

Laina @ 251/252:

Welcome. The first post is always the hardest.

Bruce E. Durocher II @ 269: This is going to be more fun than the Twirl-A-Whirl!

It'll certainly be nauseating, anyway.

Dave Bell @ 270:

The ever-useful my hovercraft is full of eels in many languages page says that the titular sentence in Russian is "Моё судно на воздушной подушке полно угрей" (Moio sudno na vozdušnoy poduške polno ugrey). The Russian version of Wikipedia says that a meerkat is a сурикат (surikat, if my transliteration is right). Someone who actually knows Russian is going to have to combine the two.

(Ok, it's not quite what you asked for, but maybe it'll save someone else some work.)

#273 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 07:33 PM:

The other day my wife and I observed a goldfinch ripping the petals off a zinnia in our back yard. After the anthophobic avian finished it attacked another zinnia before flying off on some mysterious mission. Any idea what this was about. Neither Gail nor I is an expert on bird minds, or brains.

#274 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 07:58 PM:

Teemu Kalvas @267 & Fragano Ledgister @271: What I want to know is, where do people find the time to do this stuff?

(& Fragano: I persist in mis-reading your second name as "Legislator.")

#275 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 08:07 PM:

Since this is an open thread I'll change directions and throw in a more serious link. I think this is massive FAIL:

http://johncwright.livejournal.com/269139.html

#276 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 08:44 PM:

Have you guys seen Please Don't Eat the Daisies? I like this movie a lot and they have a baby who gets locked into a crib because he's so good at getting out. In our house, my younger brother got the crib because he was sick as an infant and I got the bottom drawer of the chest.

#277 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2009, 09:04 PM:

Fragano Ledgister (at 273), the goldfinch almost certainly was after the unripe seeds at the base of the zinnia's petals; they do the same thing to ornamental thistles. Wild plants with parachute seeds are either armored like thistles or close their faded blossoms tightly until the seeds ripen, like dandilions and hawkweed.

#278 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 05:08 AM:

Marilee @276: Oh my, I didn't know there was a movie (and a sitcom). It was my fave-book-of-the-week one summer when I was a kid. I tried reading Erma Bombeck at around the same time and ended up with a strong dislike of her, for some reason I can no longer recall.

#279 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 06:34 AM:

JESR #277: Thank you!

#280 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 06:38 AM:

Jacque #274: No Legislator I. Fortunately, or plagiarists would be hanging from lampposts.

#281 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 07:34 AM:

On the Harry Potter discussion: Le Magazine Littéraire reports that an international conference will be held at UNESCO on September 9 to discuss intercultural dialogue through Harry Potter translations. No mention of it on the UNESCO website yet, though.

#282 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 11:03 AM:

Two webcomic things: first, a Questionable Content tribute to Les Paul.

Second, I don't get this xkcd comic about Oregon, and the hover text is no help (there were no video games in 1952 as far as I know). Anyone know what he's talking about?

#283 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 11:16 AM:

Xopher @282 (b):
You are correct; the hover text should have said 119 years in the future.

#284 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 11:19 AM:

Xopher @282: The video game being referenced is Oregon Trail (et sequelae), which, um, tells the story differently. Though it does let you try to treat cholrea with asoeftida and whiskey, if that's all the 'medical supplies' you managed to equip your train with ... It was 80s vintage, not 50s.

#285 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 12:36 PM:

OK, thanks. I remain puzzled why the guy who writes xkcd thought that comic was funny. It's harmless, but usually there's a solid chunk of humor in xkcd, even if I don't get it. Seems like this one just isn't all that funny.

#286 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 12:47 PM:

#285: It's geek culture referential funny. That said, all it got was a shrug out of me.

#287 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 12:57 PM:

Xopher (at 285) I suspect that one has to have endured weird misapprehensions about the level of civilization in the upper left hand corner to find this particular xkcd amusing- or rather bemusing (certainly not activelyfunny). It reminds me, painfully, of being asked if we had electric lights up in Seattle now when I went to the 1969 National 4H Congress. The situation is better now, what with Microsoft, Adobe, Amazon and Starbucks, Nike and Intel joining Boeing as cultural referrants, but one still encounters surprise from elsewhere that northwesterners have cable television and mass transit.

#288 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 01:00 PM:

Oh. I see now, JESR. I don't know enough idiots to get the joke! I know that Oregon has its communities of nutbars, but outside of that it never occurred to me to think it was any less civilized than anywhere else.

#289 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 01:01 PM:

In lieu of my usual plug for Girl Genius, I submit one for the latest comic of Gunnerkrigg Court:
Just like regular cows! Only with lasers.

#290 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 01:16 PM:

JESR: We have Mass Transit?

#291 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 01:29 PM:

Regarding child-raising and cribs. Dad was in architecture school at the University of Oregon (go Ducks!) and we lived in student housing when I was a baby. Mom would leave me in a (lid-less) playpen with a hard-boiled egg when she needed to go down the street to the laundry room. The act of peeling the egg would satisfy my curiosity and keep me occupied just long enough for mom to do her laundry.

This would not have worked for my younger brother, who taught himself to locomote early just so he could climb the kitchen cabinets and disassemble the childproof door clips and toaster, all before he was a year old.

#292 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 01:36 PM:

Hey, eric, I live in the Intercity Transit area, which apparently has the best mass transit of any small to mid-sized population area in the US. Not that this helps if one is trying to get from my house to my sister's 1.75 miles east, because the buses only run clockwise on that route, and I could crawl there on my belly faster than I could take the bus.

However, compared to, say, Michigan, we can haz public mobility.

Now that I think of it, it's not unlike having Group Health through the State of Washington employee plan: not France, but way better than most people in the US.

#293 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 02:20 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 298:

Now I have to watch Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust again. I really, really want a cyborg horse.

#294 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 02:22 PM:

Er, 289. I may want to live in the future, but it's not here quite yet.

#295 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 04:44 PM:

Hawai'i used to issue mock statehood awards to people asking dumb questions about us. One of the most common of those questions was "Do you take US dollars?"

#296 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 04:56 PM:

Xopher et seq.: Actually the rather weak funny in that xkcd is in mocking the game itself for lack of realism, not in mocking the real Oregon in any way. This is Randall saying, what if all the actual pioneers used the successful strategies from the game in real life?

#297 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 05:11 PM:

KeithS #294:

I may want to live in the future, but it's not here quite yet.

I keep trying to live in the future, but never quite succeed. That bastard Time, he keeps running away but stys just out of reach, teasing you into thinking that you can actually catch him.

#298 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 05:19 PM:

Speaking of Hawai'i, I'm helping my sisters research their upcoming trip there, and we still can't decide between Maui and Big Island. Traveller profile: mid-40s, never been there, not into alcohol or partying, used to the tropics (they live in the Philippines). Does this tip the scales in favor of one or the other? Any and all advice welcome and gratefully accepted.

#299 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 05:38 PM:

John Houghton @ 297: That bastard Time, he keeps running away but stys just out of reach

That's rather piggish of him.

#300 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 05:44 PM:

KeithS@299: Better keep an eye on him, then.

#301 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 05:47 PM:

Maui caters more to tourists than the Big Island does, meaning Lahaina has a lot more schlocky t-shirt shops, Kihei reminds some of "Condo Hell", and Kahului has the airport and the biggest town with lots of shopping malls. It does have some glorious scenery and the road to Hana.

The Big Island is much less spoiled by civilization, and it has as much land mass as all the other islands combined. That means a rental car and a fair bit of driving to see things. If their health is good, they can hike a couple of miles to see lava flowing into the ocean at Waikupanaha on the southern coast. Inside Volcanoes National Park is Crater Rim Drive, parts of which are closed due to sulfuric fumes from Halemaumau Crater.

Hilo is a fun small town on the eastern coast, and Waimea is in cowboy country up north. The most scenic drive in the state, for my money, is the road from Kawaihae on the west coast north to Hawi. Spectacular green pastureland is on both sides of the road, falling away on the left into the ocean a long way away.

Can you tell I like the Big Island better?

#302 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 06:26 PM:

I like Maui but if you only have time to go to one place, either the Big Island or Kauai is probably a better choice.

In my experience, Maui has better snorkeling both over at the south end of the Kihei side, and up to the north in the Lahaina area. However, as Linkmeister says, many areas have become overbuilt with touristy schlock. Maui has one spectacular mountain and crater, the extinct volcano Haleakala; essentially the bottom two-thirds of the island are made up of its slopes. It's well worth a visit, but maybe not quite as special as the others.

The Big Island has live volcanoes, a wonderful rustic feel to much of it, some of the best coffee in the world thanks to the Kona growing region - really, walk into virtually any little coffee shack by the side of the road and you are likely to get one of the best cups of coffee you've had in your life - important history, and spectacular views and drives. It also has some extreme luxury resorts, particularly up on the Kohala coast, but they will probably have a much better time if they stay in small places and poke around. There are some very good bed and breakfast places in and around the town of Volcano, which are good choices if you want to explore the Kilauea volcanic area. Besides the highlights Linkmeister mentioned, the town of Captain Cook and the Kealekekua area are good for hiking, visiting the Kona coffee area, and historic sites including ancient Hawaiian settlements and the spot where Cook himself was killed. Kailua-Kona is the only really overbuilt and touristy area on the Big Island, and notorious for traffic jams; I'd avoid it except for briefly passing through if necessary.

Kauai is much smaller, but has Waimea Canyon which is breath-taking, and the Na Pali coast. If you drive up into Kokee State Park and take some of the trails there to the north, you can find yourself one minute in jungle, the next minute walking above the sheer cliffs of the Na Pali, looking down into a series of stair-stepped plateaus and valleys down to the sea. It's like nowhere else on earth. Head to the other end of the park and you're looking down into the depths of Waimea Canyon.

#303 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 10:00 PM:

A poem dedicated to our lovely host and hostess:

The Abridged Disaster:

Cultural Mem'ry, Resilience and Change:
Alas! none would dare to arrange,
A panel quite so bizarre and strange,
As the last Worldcon day of 2009,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas twelve-thirty in the afternoon,
And the fans took their seats in the room,
And the introductions were made,
And conversation began to degrade,
And one Panelist was heard to say-
What do we mean by Cultural Mem'ray?

So the filker ask'd his girlfriend to play,
Though the panel was barely midway,
And the editor stalk'd away,
Left the room without a delay!
Others felt they could not stay,
For ninety minutes to be spent this way,
As the last Worldcon day of 2009,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

As soon as fen from the coop had flown,
Rumor from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the tweets rang out all o'er the net,
Good Heavens! the strangest panel yet.
Shock'd witnesses to this Epic Fail,
Wonder'd who would believe this astonishing tale,
That ninety minutes could be spent this way.
Sensible programmers discuss and dismay,
How the disaster happen'd on the last Worldcon day of 2009,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

#304 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2009, 10:11 PM:

Just seen in the Most Recent Posts column:

Stefan Jones on Pushing Back That Darn Satan! on Panels and parlor games.

Now that's a lecture I'd like to attend.

#305 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:55 AM:

I'd like to thank the disaster panel for having me counting shots through the last several episodes of due south... ;)

#306 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 02:10 AM:

Is anyone else having trouble after upgrading Firefox?

It seems to have lost most of the registry addresses. Instead of restoring the dozen or so tabs and windows after a reboot, it lists them and freezes. It's taken me almost an hour to get this link up and functioning.

I can now have the main page and this Open Thread going at the same time. Nothing else will load unless I close one of these tabs, and not always then.

#307 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 10:18 AM:

Lis Riba @ 303: For the record, the filker who sang at that panel (Kathleen Sloan) is "Blind Lemming Chiffon's" friend, not girlfriend. If I recall correctly, they both live near Denver and were jointly in charge of filking at last year's Worldcon, a collaboration which they found worked out better than they'd have expected given significant differences in their personalities.

I've seen several reports of that panel. All agree that it got very bogged down because the topic was poorly defined. Apart from that, the comments vary from "but most people seemed to get along okay" to "OMG FILKERS WTF?!" The song "Take it Back" seems to me to be fairly well connected to the original program description, which includes, re: cultural memory, "it is given up voluntarily or taken away by force". I have no idea how well it connected with whatever the discussion had diverted to.

#308 ::: Vicki thanks Yog ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 10:34 AM:

This seems as good a place as any to thank Jim Macdonald for the first aid/emergency posts. Having read that sort of thing is useful when facing an apparent crisis first thing in the morning.

I say "apparent" because the nice people at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital (Allen Pavilion, the branch a convenient half-mile walk from my home) assured us that Andy had not had a heart attack, nor yet a few other unpleasant things. But at 6:15 Monday, I didn't know that.

When he woke me with "I think I'm having a heart attack," I grabbed a cup of water and two aspirin, handed them to him and said something like "chew these before you swallow them," and called 911. The paramedics came fairly quickly, did useful things, and took him [us] to the nearby hospital, where other helpful people ran more tests, asked questions, and eventually used telemetry and blood samples to rule out heart attack, say angina is unlikely, and rule out a pulmonary embolism. A stress test is in his future, but he is home, and all will be well.

One friend has said he was impressed that I remembered what to do in that situation; repetition helps, so thanks, Jim.

#309 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 11:49 AM:

I'm so behind on Making Light that I have no idea if there's been any discussion of that awful Worldcon panel anywhere else on the site, but I do want to say that Lis Riba's McGonagal pastiche in #303 is very funny, and, if anything, understates matters.

It's true that the subject was ill-defined, but honestly, the real blame falls to the individual who calls himself "Blind Lemming Chiffon." I have nothing against him being a filker, and certainly nothing against his declared devotion to the "great blues singers of old." What I have against him is the way that, in ten minutes of panel, he managed to shoot down--with preternatural skill--every single attempt to get an interesting conversation aloft.

As Teresa observed, I was neither the first person to leave the room, nor the first panelist to visibly despair.

#310 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 11:50 AM:

In other news, Teresa and I were very excited to discover that one of the biggest trending hashtags on Twitter at the moment is "#welovethenhs", but it turns out to mean something else.

#311 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:23 PM:

Patrick @309: I have great respect for Lemming as a musician and (quite clever) parodist, but ... in my experience, he's incredibly socially inept, and also holds a lot of very strange opinions.

Not a good fit for the panel, at minimum. Though the programming staff should also have given all the OTHER panelists some guidance about what on earth they were supposed to talk about! And I say that as someone who's helped out on programming staves in the past.

#312 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:34 PM:

patrick @ 309... What a coincidence. Yesterday evening, at the local SF club's meeting, someone who saw that panel, mentionned the whole affair. My understanding is that, when Chiffon started playing the guitar, your departure was the trigger for a en-masse evacuation of the room.

We watched 1941's King of the Zombies last night. Mantan Moreland was the only actor with the good lines. Upon hearing some voodoo ceremony's drums, someone asks what that was, to which Moreland responds:

"I dunno, but it ain't Gene Krupa."

#313 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:51 PM:

It's true that the panel suffered from an excessively terse precis. (Not for the first time, I want to reiterate to con organizers that panel titles and descriptions matter. Stinting on them, putting them off until the last minute, or editing them down to incomprehensibility, all damage your program badly. Don't do those things. Also: cute, jokey panel titles? Don't do those either, unless they're every bit as clear as a non-joke title would be.)

But the plain fact is that David Anthony Durham, Geoff Ryman, and I all could have improvised a decent panel no matter how bad the precis, if we hadn't had to deal with the surreally terrible Blind Lemon Chiffon. In the panel's first ten minutes, each of us came up with stuff that could have seeded plenty of interesting conversation. "Blind Lemon Chiffon" killed that panel, not the minor sins of the programming committee.

#314 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:58 PM:

Serge @ 312
I was at that panel (we few, we pathetic few)

I was already packing up my bag and getting ready to leave the room when Patrick walked out past me. I actually paused for a moment, because I didn't want observers to think I was leaving *because* of Patrick - rather, I was leaving for similar reason.

And, yes, after I stepped out, I stood around talking in the hall and saw several other people leave the room over the next few minutes.

#315 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 01:08 PM:

fwiw, I hadn't seen discussion of the panel here, but I've seen it blogged elsewhere by Kathryn Cramer (with photos), David Anthony Durham, Blind Lemming Chiffon, and twice by Cheryl Morgan: one and two, with song video.

#316 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 01:22 PM:

Was BLC the moderator? I had the displeasure of sitting on a panel once where every time we started talking about something interesting, the mod said "we're not going to talk about that," because it didn't fit HER agenda. She also shut me down when I gave counterexamples to her idiotic pronouncements of imagined universals ("All religions have laws" is the only one I remember offhand).

Given that BLC is a filker, I can also imagine that he might have started up singing over any attempt at conversation. But I'm imagining and guessing. How did he squelch it?

I'm asking because, while I intend to avoid BLC should I ever encounter him, I want to see if I see other such behavior at panels in the future.

#317 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 01:25 PM:

*goes to read those blogs, except BLC's*

#318 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 01:33 PM:

According to BLC, nobody realized that there was supposed to be a moderator. After I asked about it in his LJ post, he dug through his information and found out that "Geoff Ryman was the moderator. I don't think he was aware of it."

BLC is an excellent instrumentalist and a good parodist (though I sometimes don't follow his songs due to my lack of familiarity with the subject matter and/or original songs, or higher levels of surreality in his lyrics than I find to my taste). But I do find that conversations with him tend to lurch.

#319 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 02:04 PM:

OK, I looked at all the linked blog posts, even the BLC one.

Wow. What a flaming asshole that guy is. Read his post, linked above, after "TOPIC CHANGE." Here's a quote:

I do not agree to disagree with anyone, on any subject. I reserve the right to listen to them attempt to make a coherent argument in favor of their point of view. If they are unwilling to make that effort, it indicates to me that perhaps they are unable as well.
Or maybe they're just unwilling to waste any more time talking to a stupid douchenozzle. Ever think of that? This, by the way, is along with proclaiming that he habitually argues against what he himself believes, and then switches sides if they back down. He's basically asserting the right to annoy someone else as long as he cares to.

And then he had this bad singer get up and sing a bad song badly. Yeesh. She didn't know the song well enough to sing it without looking at a lyric sheet the whole time, and couldn't articulate them well enough to be comprehensible. Didn't know how to use a microphone either: it's supposed to go in front of your MOUTH, not in front of your guitar so as to further distort the words you're mumbling.

In all fairness, it might have gotten better after the first 30 seconds or so, which is all I could stand.

Note to filkers: filksinging is appropriate in the filk track. It is rarely appropriate elsewhere, and never in the middle of a panel. If a filk song makes a good point, quote its lyrics. Don't ask someone to come up and sing it. That's just wrong.

It's also particularly interesting that BLC would do so, given the quote above. By his own standard set there, he was unable to make a coherent argument in favor of his point, but had to do the live equivalent of cut-and-pasted talking points.

Walking out seems like the kindest appropriate response.

#320 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 02:44 PM:

Xopher, you're not being fair to Kathleen. It's a decent song (though not one of her best, IMHO). I don't know how much warning she had that BLC wanted her to sing it at this panel, and considering that this was on the last day of the con, I'm not too surprised that she wanted her lyric sheet there for backup. And it wasn't like her concert set, where there was someone to make sure that microphones were properly set up for voice and guitar; she was making do with the setup as she found it.

#321 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 02:51 PM:

OK. All of that adds to the inappropriateness of asking her to do it, though. And BLC should have thought to hold the mike for her.

#322 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 03:19 PM:

Jeez, Xopher, I usually need a lyric sheet in order to perform live. I'm crap at memorizing lyrics.

You're right, though, about Chiffon immediately identifying himself as one of those people who think it's awesomely amusing to argue multiple sides of an argument just to keep other people off balance.

(There are times when it's not obnoxious to do this--usually when the person arguing is genuinely conflicted. Not, as is often the case with a certain strain of con-suite dingbat, when the intention is simply to wind other people up.)

#323 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 03:27 PM:

OK, I was being a snob about memorizing. But note that I said "the whole time," not that I watched enough to see if she looked up occasionally. In other words, using a lyric sheet is one thing; no eye-contact with the audience is another.

But all in all: I'd like to take back all the criticism of the singer (Kathleen is her name per Joel). Wasn't her fault, though she might have shown better judgement by refusing when BLC asked her. It's all his fault. I shouldn't have been so mean about her performance, and I apologize to her and those who know her.

#324 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 03:46 PM:

Open-thread announcement, from two personal (IRL) friends of mine:

"Sepember OR September/October sublet in SF. Tell your friends. Ask them to tell theirs. Apartment's centrally located to MUNI, BART, Google shuttle, Mission, Castro, and Lower Haight."

Email me (snowmentality at gmail dot com) if interested and I will hook you up via email with the people doing the subletting.

#325 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 08:18 PM:

Joel, the song had little or nothing to do with the panel. It contains worthy sentiments, but they're not about cultural memory. I know that before the panel BLC said something to Geoff Ryman about a friend of his singing a song, so it wasn't an off-the-cuff bad idea.

I don't know anyone who was there who blamed Kathleen. She was an innocent bystander.

===

For all of you who've played Troll Bingo in these threads, here's an excerpt from a recent post in Blind Lemming Chiffon's LJ:

I enjoy being a devil's advocate. I enjoy arguing for positions on issues that I don't necessarily agree with. I see this as a mind-expanding activity. Unfortunately, one of the byproducts is that I run into people who most vehemently do NOT wish to have their minds expanded, who have their opinion, and who think all those who disagree with them are WRONG.

One thing that totally annoys me is when people say "Well, we can agree to disagree." I find that very insulting. It can mean a number of different things, all highly negative. My first guess, in most cases, is "I have already subscribed to a particular dumptruck that has loaded up my mind and I have no interest in talking to anyone whose mind wasn't loaded by the same dumptruck."

I do not agree to disagree with anyone, on any subject. I reserve the right to listen to them attempt to make a coherent argument in favor of their point of view. If they are unwilling to make that effort, it indicates to me that perhaps they are unable as well. I am willing to listen to others who wish to propound their preposterous notions in the forum of rational discourse, and expect to be extended that same courtesy. However, if they are not willing to listen to me and consider my thoughts, I have to wonder: how much of the rest of the world have they shut themselves off from, and how closed down are they?

Anyone want to take a stab at translating that into The Shorter Blind Lemming Chiffon? Longer analyses are also an option, if they're good enough. Best responses will get their authors declared Ascended Masters of Troll Bingo.

#326 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 08:21 PM:

Note: I consider that quote from BLC an almost perfect statement of its kind.

#327 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 08:46 PM:

Teresa, that quote hurts my brain.
I get the idea that BLC's favorite activity is starting arguments between other people.

(I know someone who has that same bad habit of arguing positions they don't actually hold, for 'fun'. It annoys me, and I'm not at all sure that said person doesn't actually believe some of those arguments. Said person also likes watching the Sunday morning talking heads, and watches CNN a lot.)

#328 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 09:29 PM:

It hurts my brain too, even though I'm starting to feel like I've been too severe with BLC. He was in over his head. Is it too late to take his name off that quote?

#329 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 09:33 PM:

You all are familiar with the proverb about not mud-wrestling with a pig because you both get dirty but the pig likes it.

The excerpt Teresa quotes @ 325 confirms it from the pig's POV.

#330 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 09:42 PM:

No, it's not too late to take BLC's name off the quote.

#331 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 09:49 PM:

Main takeaways from the MSRP/outlet mall Particle (useful to remember, if not terribly surprising to an experienced shopper):

* MSRPs for many things are essentially fictional reference points to inflate the perceived values of items that are rarely sold (and sometimes not even offered) at the MSRP. (In some states, the law, though not always enforced, requires that a store put an item out for sale at the fictitious "full price" before it's discounted. One way this gets done for items one only occasionally buys in department stores is that different largely indistinguishable brands take turns being "on sale", and those are typically the only ones that people actually buy any given week.)

* Stores in "outlet malls" are usually not actual factory outlets. (Which isn't too hard to figure out, given their locations and the lack of many factories nearby.) And the goods they offer are typically not the factory seconds or last-year's-leftovers of traditional factory stores, but often are items specifically made for the outlet stores, often of lower quality than goods of the same brand sold elsewhere. (The same is often true of branded goods made for large discount retail chains.)

You have to get almost halfway through the chapter to get to these somewhat useful bits. It took me some patience to get that far. Before then, I had to get past annoying doses of Smug Snobbiness (that mall's pretty bad -- it has stores that cater to large-size women!), and Statistics Made to Look Alarming Out of Context (can you believe that people shop at a mall in a densely populated metropolitan area 4 times more often than they visit a famous historic site? Or that Americans travel to outlet malls at astronomical distances that work out to-- hmmm, less than 40 miles per person per year?)

In some ways, the annoyances of the article are a strange reflection of the revelations. Alarming "Stats", like Big "Discounts", are both ways of setting up misleading contexts to persuade. And the attention paid both to Stores for Funny Looking People and to Stores for Funky Looking Brands are both ways of substituting status-conscious image for more important reality.

#332 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 09:56 PM:

Saw Miyazaki's "Ponyo" today.

It is definitely kiddie stuff. Little girl kiddie stuff, really laid back and shmaltzy in parts.

But man, when Miyazaki is a genuine fooking artiste, and is never afraid to get freaky. When the ocean goes wonky, stirred up by Ponyo (a magical goldfish turned little girl) and a sort of magical industrial accident, the result is sheer wonderous eyeball candy. Worth sitting through scenes of adorable old ladies cooing over a little boy.

#333 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 11:16 PM:

TNH, #325, when I read the part of that post where he says:

As I see it, that a musician (songwriter) on a panel might wish to express things in terms of a song is no more surreal than if a writer would want to express things in terms of words.

I thought that he's not expecting the authors to read from their work, which is really the equivalent. Talking on the panel is different.

Stefan Jones, #332, a 22-year-old guy at my bookgroup today told us that Ponyo was wonderful. I guess I'll have to hear more opinions.

#334 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 11:33 PM:

Sighted today... I wonder what one should think of a beauty salon advertising its recent opening with a giant inflatable Godzilla on its roof.

#335 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:02 AM:

#333: Don't get me wrong. Ponyo is wonderful. Literally, as in full of wonders. And there is nothing cheap or bland about it. Every scene is like a painting.

But there is a degree of cutesy that might turn off some.

#336 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:09 AM:

Serge @334
Is their motto "We can make you look like a movie star"?

#337 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:16 AM:

Serge @334: Wow.

Although I recall the TV presentation of 'Godzilla 1985' (sponsored by Dr. Pepper; the American release had some very specific product placement) had a commercial where the city-destroying stampeding monster was distracted by a similar monster with long lashes (and blond hair? ... that's likely a false memory).

Cosmetics tames the savage beast?

#338 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:22 AM:

Rainflame @336: Again with 'Godzilla 1985'. Before the movie came out, I recall reading a People magazine "interview" with Godzilla. Asked why it had been so long since he had done a movie, he replied 'he was waiting for the right script'.

#339 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:35 AM:

Teresa, #325:
"Anyone want to take a stab at translating that into The Shorter Blind Lemming Chiffon? Longer analyses are also an option, if they're good enough. Best responses will get their authors declared Ascended Masters of Troll Bingo."

Oh, sure.

Shorter Blind Lemming Chiffon: "Fuck you."

#340 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:43 AM:

Xopher, #319: *bristles* Kathleen is NOT a bad singer.

... and I see that Joel said everything else I was going to say, so I'll shut up now.

#341 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:55 AM:

331 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom @ 331:

re: the MSRP/outlet mall Particle:

I'm another non-typical shopper; I know what I'm looking for, I know the quality I want; I know my price limits. That said, I've had very good look at the Corning/Revere outlet stores. Three years ago, when I finally admitted to myself that my neuropathy was making too many inroads into my supply of china, I went for Corelle. The pattern I love is no longer in stores, but still sold at the outlets, so I got complete place settings for four, plus several serving pieces, at very reasonable prices. Likewise, a dozen years ago when I wanted the 16-qt. Revere copperclad stockpot, the outlet store had it for much less than any retail stores selling it; same quality.

I've also ventured intot the Jones NY store, once, for something to wear to the opera.

Otherwise - the "you're saving ALL THIS MONEY if you buy here" approagh just doesn't work on me, any more than one supermarket's item on sale will end up in my cart if the regular price at another store is lower.

I suspect I'm very much in the minority, though.

#342 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 01:12 AM:

Glenn Beck loses some advertisers after racist remark about Obama

I've learned to cringe and mash the channel changer button on the TV remote whenever I see his face or hear his... voice. I'm sure I would have thrown something had I heard his comment when it happened.

#343 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 01:17 AM:

Lee, did you also see that I regretted and retracted saying that? It was unfair and incorrect, and I apologize (again) for saying it.

#344 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 01:25 AM:

#325 Teresa

One of my college classmates was a Trotskyist. I was in ROTC. We agreed to disagree about politics, with the final exchange on the topic consisting of,
`"Do you still believe that Trotskyist shit?" I asked him.
`"Are you still in ROTC?" he asked me.'
By mutual unspoken consent, we thereafter avoided discussing politics ever again. We continued to converse on other topics, but stayed off that one.

#345 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 08:42 AM:

Shorter BLC: "I will poke at you by disagreeing with anything you say, and will not shut up even if I think you're right."

It's one thing to say "I cannot agree to disagree on this subject, because this is too important for me to be friends with someone who holds that opinion." That's quite different from someone admitting, even boasting, that he argues, vociferously, for things he thinks are wrong but gets offended when someone doesn't want to play, or gets tired of that game and would rather play bridge or a video game or go hiking by herself.

From a different angle, and more generally: if someone has no idea why they're on a panel, and no clear idea of what it's supposed to be about, telling the programming people "sorry, I'm not going to be on this panel" is a fine response. Waiting to see how it goes, and commenting to the extent one has things to say, is also okay: there is a difference between not feeling you have particular qualifications, and being ignorant of and/or not at all interested in a subject. The folks in the Green Room may not be delighted to suddenly have a three-person panel instead of five, but they'd rather have that than complaints about "how could you let that person do that?" or "why the *^%#T*#&%$Y scheduled that trainwreck?"

Handling "I don't know what this is about or why I'm here" by taking the panel over and not letting anyone else talk is Doing It Wrong. That would be Doing It Wrong on a panel anyway, even if the person was a recognized expert and had suggested the topic--it's a panel, not a one-person presentation--but is doubly or triply so in this case.

#346 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 10:15 AM:

#325 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 08:18 PM:

I Enjoy Being a Troll.

I'm a troll and by me that's only great!
I am proud that my outlook's disrespectful
And I vent at you and miscommunicate
I keep talking and you must not be neglectful

I adore spewing vitriol and pander
Devil's advocate a fun game that I play
And if you tell me I should take a gander
I insist I shan't and will not go away!

When I have a brand new troll-treat
With my thoughts of it on a roll,
I'm enthused as I chew my treat-meat
I enjoy being a troll!

And those who think me not cute or funny
And my words they want to black hole
I ignore their requests unhoney
I enjoy being a troll!

I wallow as conversation sours
I drool for emotion dumps and then,
I post on the Internet for hours,
And go on and on and on and on again!

I'm strictly a troll with wishes
And my future I know will be
All online with a bunch of fishes
Who enjoy all being fish talking to trolls...like... me.

When folks say I cause them trouble
When I try to pick at their soul,
My efforts I redouble,
I enjoy being a troll!

When someone aims words that smoulder
And says "leave with your burning coal"
I never give them the shoulder,
I enjoy being a troll!

When I hear derogatory whistle
And spews of word from thee,
I turn and I glower and I bristle,
But I'm happy to know the whistle's meant for me!

I'm strictly a troll with wishes
And my future I know will be
All online with a bunch of fishes
Who enjoy all being fish talking to trolls...like... me.

#347 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 10:16 AM:

Lee @340: I suspect that our (yours-and-my) definition of 'bad singer' vs. 'not a bad singer' is rather different than Xopher's, or most mainstream listeners ... because we are filkers.

And to a filker, the content of the song is about eighty times more important than the style and skill of the performance; to a nonfilker, things like audience-grabbing charisma and effortless, unconscious skill are *requirements*, not amazing enhancements.

The world just looks different after a year spent in filkcircles learning to love musicians for their LOVE OF music ... and learning to live by the song that Kathleen sang in that panel, coincidentally.

#348 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 11:04 AM:

BLC, quoted by Marilee in #333: As I see it, that a musician (songwriter) on a panel might wish to express things in terms of a song is no more surreal than if a writer would want to express things in terms of words.

I'm a musician too, and yet in 34 years of being on convention panels I've somehow managed to express myself without bursting into song.

Also, when I play in jam sessions with other musicians, I generally don't participate by delivering spoken monologues or reading aloud from my published writings.

The panel directly after the now-notorious "Cultural Memory" trainwreck, in the same room even, was "Fans Aren't Slans: Pathologies of Fannish Culture," with me, Chad Orzel, and Kate Nepveu. (Well-known British fan Steve Green was also supposed to be on it, but didn't show.) It went well, partly due to some very good preparation by moderator Kate. And in its wake, I find myself wondering if the continued fascination some of us have with the wrecked panel, and with Chiffon's remarks on the subject, isn't because Chiffon really does epitomize a kind of bullying that certain strains of fannish eccentricity slide into at their most extreme. What does Chiffon's quoted statement say, if not "I claim the right to behave in any manner in any context according to what I feel like at the moment, no matter what expectations and needs others present may have"?

Much is made of fans' tolerance for people with odd physical or perceptual characteristics, and TNH can certainly testify to the way fans, as a group, cope much more calmly and realistically with her narcolepsy and cataplexy than equivalent groups of non-fans do. But doesn't the idea that it's A-OK to express one's self in any manner anywhere--breaking into song on a panel, interrupting a lecture with firecrackers, attending a funeral in a clown suit--lead to exactly the opposite of a world that accommodates people of all kinds and with all needs?

Isn't it, in fact, the basic argument of the bully: I reserve the right to do anything in any context, no matter how unhappy it makes everybody else?

Law and social practice need a certain amount of tolerance. If we constantly bust people for every deviation from custom, we know what kind of society that gets us, and we don't want that kind of society. But if Chiffon genuinely can't see why people trying to get a public panel discussion going might be unhappy to be interrupted with a live music performance, then there's something wrong with Chiffon, and it goes a lot deeper than simple con-suite cluelessness.

#349 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 11:10 AM:

Paula, #346: LOL!

Elliott Mason, #347: Good points, and I agree. But see my #348. I wouldn't dream of interrupting a filk circle to insist on having a critical discussion of their songs and performances. Our customary notions of what's appropriate where are sometimes arbitrary--and often not.

#350 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 11:21 AM:

Patrick @349: I agree, and even aside from the non-overlapping magisteria issue, it's fairly inappropriate to interject into a panel discussion any contribution longer than, oh, 30-90 seconds (and while I adore the message of that song, IT IS LONG). That's egotisical timehogging, if I want to be as blunt as possible, whether you do it with a song, a lengthy off-topic anecdote, or a rant on the nature of reality as you see it.

I can imagine some future panel I might be on where I find it appropriate to quickly sing just the chorus of some very pertinent filksong, before tossing the Speaking Stick back to someone else, but I certainly wouldn't whip out all of Horsetamer's Daughter and feel it was my right to do so ... even on a panel about Darkover fanfic, which H's D totally is.

#351 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 11:25 AM:

Glinda, #341: We are very well aware of the difference between "saving money on something you were going to buy (or wanted to buy) anyhow" and "spending money you weren't going to spend on something just because it's on sale" -- the latter does NOT qualify as "saving money" IMO. We're also not big coupon-users, because 9 times out of 10 the company's store-brand product is cheaper than the name-brand with the coupon.

Elliott, #347: Yes, all of that -- but even by non-filkish standards, I would call Kathleen a good singer. She can carry a tune, accompany acceptably, and has a reasonable amount of stage presence. I've seen worse at coffeehouses, getting paid to perform.

#352 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:39 PM:

John Mark Ockerbloom @ 331 ...
(that mall's pretty bad -- it has stores that cater to large-size women!)

It's an unfortunate truism that stores which cater to the large-size crowd[0], and stores which cater to the high-priced-couture-knockoffs don't tend to be an intersecting set. Given that the premise of the article involved looking at items that fall into the 'high priced couture' category, it's a valid criticism to make about that outlet mall.

[0] Although it's rather distressing to see that a ladies size 14-or-so is considered large[1], and quite amazing to see quite how large a 'size 0' can be in certain types of store...
[1] ... which would be far less annoying if this didn't play into utterly unrealistic ideas[2] about body image, yada, yada.
[2] Wikipedia's entry on Standard US clothing sizes points out the way that clothing sizes have changed dramatically just in the last 30-or-so years (although they'd experienced change before that, as well).

#353 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:44 PM:

On outlet malls: using several gallons of gas to 'save' ten dollars isn't a good idea, IMO. I'd rather pay a little more for the stuff at the local mall, and save the time and traffic hassles for more interesting occasions (like conventions). (Been to Giant Outlet Mall. The kind of Giant Mall where the entrances have recorded messages to tell you where you came in, so you know where to leave to find your car .... Not fun.)

#354 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 12:45 PM:

Patrick @ 348... "I claim the right to behave in any manner in any context according to what I feel like at the moment, no matter what expectations and needs others present may have"

BLC is Harlan Ellison?

#355 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 02:49 PM:

#354, Serge: Not going there.

#356 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 02:52 PM:

I'm reminded somewhat of an experience in a high-school English class, in a debating module. Debate topics were suggested by the students and drawn by lot, then the participants for each side were drawn by lot.

"BIRT Marijuana should be cultivated in the school greenhouse." A stupid topic, I thought, so of course my name was drawn to be in that debate, on the supporting side, first speaker. There was quite a bit of amusement/snickering that I'd got stuck with it -- I was one of the top nerds in the school ("Hey, Einstein!") and had well-known difficulties with the doper crowd.

I asked the teacher if I could be switched to the other side, or better yet, to a different topic. Nope. She was grinning.

Okay, I thought. I'm stuck with the stupid topic, on the stupid side. My grade depends on making a good effort. Yeah, it's gonna be a joke, but it's not going to be the joke that they're expecting.

So what they got was several minutes of linguistic fudging on a theme of "cultivate" -> "made cultive" -> "shown to be related to cults", and an explanation of why it would be a useful thing to explain this additional negative aspect of marijuana use to the students.

The debate kind of collapsed in a pile of rubble. But I was pretty peeved about being forced into the situation in the first place. Honestly, I can easily see myself doing something similar now if I was stuck in a situation like that, though with enough prep time I would try to come up with a response that was more elegantly absurd.

#357 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 03:56 PM:

Catching up on my Locus reading and I've already found two books I want to get next time I go to the Bay Area. And that's from reading one issue I'm not done with yet. It's not like I don't already have lots of books awaiting my peepers.

#358 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 04:06 PM:

I think they may have gone to the expensive outlet mall to show the biggest discrepancies between suggested retail price, offered price, and realistic price.

For the last couple years, my distance-shopping rule has been that I have to know I will spend as many dollars as I drive miles. This is kind of the same as outlet mall sunk cost, but I have to already know roughly what I'm buying-- no impulse trips, no random bookstore runs. I also try to park as far away from the stores I'm going to as possible, but that's just that I feel weird not walking places.

But then, I am not a shopping-for-fun person, and to make matters worse, I was raised by another not-fun-shopping person, so we got a weird feedback loop going pretty early on.

#359 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 04:52 PM:

Linkmeister @301 and Clifton Royston @302, thanks for the tips!

I just watched a 12-minute short film called Signs and liked it, so here it is.

As for the freaky animals particle, IIRC I've only seen 2 of them in real life. The thought of increasing the count is akin to bungee jumping in my book: sorely tempting, but I'm not sure it's a good idea.

#360 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 05:34 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 346:

I like the song, but you've left me with the image of Blind Lemming Chiffon singing the song while getting ready for a date. Since I've never met or seen his picture, this leaves me with a picture of Nancy Kwan posturing and posing in costumes and bizarre hats while singing. Except that her face has been blurred out.

#361 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 05:53 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 360... Thanks. Now I'll never be able to watch this scene from "Flower Drum Song" without being reminded of BLC.

#362 ::: Mike McHugh ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 06:00 PM:

Joel @356: to take the good from the bad (season to taste, depending on POV), why not apply the techniques of redefining the debate as seen on Fox News et al? Instead of getting into linguistic fudging, just embrace the premise, and then say "but given these resources, we can do so much more". Maybe something like having upgraded the electrics and sprinklers to cannabis cultivation standards, saffron makes more economic sense, and so marijuana cultivation should be embraced as a gateway herb to hardcore spices?

#363 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 07:14 PM:

For anyone who is looking for a market for their dinosaur sodomy stories, here is a call for submissions for dinosaur porn, found via Susie Bright.

#364 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 09:49 PM:

The link adduced in post 275 must have been an epic fail all right; it yielded only an error message. Is it something someone here should go and investigate, or is it best not to get into it at all?

#365 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 09:51 PM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) #360: the image of Blind Lemming Chiffon singing the song while getting ready for a date

I think perhaps that I would prefer the musical stylings of Tommy Chong's Blind Melon Chitlin' in that role.

#366 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 09:54 PM:

Angiportus @ 364

It's cached on Google, at least for the moment. Of course, you can only read the tops of the comment threads. You can, at least, see the original post, however.

#367 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 10:52 PM:

Cally Soukup... Thanks again for providing that YouTube clip on how to make a ninja mask out of t-shirts a couple of months ago.

#368 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 11:01 PM:

Dinosaur porn clerihew:

T. Rex
wanted to have sex
but the plates on the back of Stegosaur
made his legs sore.

#369 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 11:04 PM:

xeger @ 352:

Thank you for posting that Wikipedia link on sizes. (My decades-when-I-was-underweight size 6 to 8 is now a 0 to 2? Dear ghods. *shakes head*)

And yeah, spending gallons of gas to save less than the cost of gas? *shakes head again* Not to mention that I hate shopping, other than the browse-through-the-thrift-store kind. Regular shopping, where I know what I need/am looking for, and the odds are that it won't exist, drives me even crazier than my usual.

#370 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 11:51 PM:

Phil and Dixie are back on-line. Xopher, please take note.

#371 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 12:03 AM:

Angiportus @ 364: He removed that post, citing Christian scripture that directs the faithful to not be hateful jerks.

#372 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 12:09 AM:

janetl, #371: AKA "eating one's cake and having it too". He gets to be a hateful jerk, and then he gets to be all sanctimonious about it. Twit.

#373 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 12:12 AM:

And now, Kaja & Phil Foglio's acceptance speech after winning a Hugo last week...
(I'm not sure why Agatha thinks mind-control worms were involved.)

#374 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 12:44 AM:

Thanks all. I knew there was a reason I wasn't that anxious to track down Wright's books. No, really, as a leftist who can't stand Fraudian theories (of repression or anything else)--Gaaaaaahhh. (I forget already which commmentator adduced the Fraudian reference, but the whole mess left a bad taste in my mind.)
(--Stegosaurs, anyway...HOW??)
Now, my real question--does anyone know of a program or an app that will turn music into an oscilloscope display on your monitor? I had a real scope once but it conked out just before I got my 1st CD player. Now I don't even have dancing equalizer-type bar-graphs.

#375 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 07:36 AM:

I'm beginning to think that leaving Anticipation on Sunday wasn't such a bad thing.

Angiportus: it isn't just leftists who have problems with Wright; Cheryl Morgan reported an interesting tangle with him some years ago. I don't know enough Freud to say whether it was responsible for the kinks in his "chronicles of chaos" trilogy, but even if his bricks are all there they're certainly arranged ... differently.

wrt malls (their discounts and travel costs), the local paper added fuel to the fire recently with an article about people who are driving to New Hampshire to avoid paying Massachusetts's slightly-increased sales tax. It didn't say how many of them were driving Hummers, and some of them claimed to be buying enough to make it worthwhile -- but $1000 of back-to-school supplies? I admit to having gone across the border once, but that was because (a) that was Penney's closest furniture store and (b) there are a lot of other furniture stores right there for comparison shopping; for anything less than a multi-piece set the drive wouldn't have been worth it. (And if I were looking for naked wood instead of upholstery I'd have gone west in-state instead; the price-to-quality ratio at the outlets in dead mills is excellent.)

#376 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 08:14 AM:

Angiportus, CHip: I decided to read his recent posts and comments before reacting. They vary between support for his sanctimonious offensive claptrap as "Truth" to be spoken in slightly gentler terms and a tangled logical analysis of the term "objectively disordered," indiscriminately mashing up Aristotle and the catechism. Jesus, save me from your followers, Jesuits most especially.

#377 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 08:39 AM:

You're blaming John C. Wright on Jesuits? That seems a bit of a stretch.

#378 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 09:14 AM:

... the local paper added fuel to the fire recently with an article about people who are driving to New Hampshire to avoid paying Massachusetts's slightly-increased sales tax.

Driving to New Hampshire isn't necessarily all that far. At the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, New Hampshire, the parking lot is in Massachusetts.

#379 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:26 AM:

Patrick, not exactly. That was referring to the oh so excruciatingly (heh) logical analysis happening in his comment threads that mashed Aristotle and the Catechism into a rather odd pulpy sort of caulk-like substance. Jesuits being the Catholic order most likely to run universities and the like....

#380 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 12:13 PM:

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are doing a Promenade Concert on Tuesday Night

Whether it'll be accessible netwise outside the UK, I don't know.

#381 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 12:29 PM:

Dave Bell @ 380... Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" on the ukulele?

#382 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 01:30 PM:

In news irrelevant to just about every subthread here, today I put on my right sock without using a tool for the first time since my surgery in March. It hurt, but I managed it.

Next goal: putting on my right sock without pain. This will require doing it WITH pain many, many more times, but hey, that's how you make progress with these things.

#383 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 01:40 PM:

Xopher @ 382: It may be irrelevant, but it's excellent news. You are finally beginning to heel -- er, heal!

#384 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 01:59 PM:

*follows obediently just behind Ginger and to her right; pants, waits for treat*

#385 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 02:04 PM:

Xopher (382): Wonderful news! May you continue to make good progress.

#387 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 02:12 PM:

Xopher @384: TMI

#388 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 02:33 PM:

Yay Xopher! (Having recently had my very frst cortizone shot for plantar fasciitis, I sympathize entirely with joyfully anticipating doing simple foot-related things without pain. It's marvellous!)

#389 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 02:35 PM:

Rob Rusick @387:
Xopher @384: TMI

Particularly when reading with my British English eyeballs in. The word "pants" is a real problem for me there. I keep trying to figure out what underwear is doing in the sequence, particularly considering the sexual orientations of the people in question.

#390 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 02:37 PM:

I am, however, hugely glad that you're healing from your surgery, Xopher.

#391 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:03 PM:

Drs Foster and Smith for those good pups.

But for you, Xopher, these treats.

#392 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:15 PM:

Xopher @ 382:

Good to hear you're recovering. I hope the pain goes away soon enough.

abi @ 389:

How about those golfers brazenly walking around the course in their knickers?

#393 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:23 PM:

# 325 Teresa

[taking two minute break from Regression Testing...]
Not enough time for the full treatment, so a sketching...

B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O,
B-I-N-G-O,
Troll Bingo is the game!

#394 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:25 PM:

KeithS @392:

My favorite head-exploding one is the old joke about the firemen. You know...

Q: Why do firemen wear read suspenders?
A: To keep their pants up.

It, well, reads differently in British.

#395 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:30 PM:

SF-related open threadiness, but sparked by brooding thoughts on the health care debacle debate:

What author's scenario is your favorite for the Balkanization of the United States?

#396 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:31 PM:

Adding to James D. McDonald's Safey and You... series

Things I Learned This Weekend:
--Defensive Driving classes pay for themselves. Because I take them whenever I can find them, I don't have to deal with insurance claims and car repair bills this week. Also? I get my insurance cheaper.

--GPS, cell phones and 911 Dispatch doesn't work the way I, my friend and (probably a lot of) others think they do.

I was nearly involved in an accident on the turnpike Saturday. As it was, I had to do some evasive maneouvering in hard rain on a surface covered in heavy runoff and random "ponds". The car that passed me going the speed limit (I was going about 55 in a 70 mph zone) hit a pond a short way ahead and spun out of control right in front of me. After spinning through the left lane, left shoulder and bouncing off the median, he came to a rest half in the right hand (my) lane and half on the right shoulder. Not fun.

I also had a friend riding shot gun and she called 911 as soon as I had the car stopped on the shoulder. T became irritated with the dispatcher because her cell phone said "GPS enabled" as soon as she fininshed dialing the last "1". The dispatcher asked for location and mile markers as well as other information before transferring her to the KS Turnpike Authority. This was inspite of T's active GPS tracking. The police showed up in a timely fashion.

Sunday, I talked to my eldest sister who is a 911 dispatcher for her home county (also in Kansas). I learned some things.

1) 911 cell phone calls (in the USA) go to the nearest cell tower and then to the first programmed dispatch office. That office can be in the next city or the next county or the next state, depending on geography, jurisdiction and service contracts.

2) GPS locations don't immediately flash on a screen in the dispatch office. A lot of time the dispatcher has to request it from the phone/tower/system.

3) Some cell phones only transmit the most basic information, ie "This is a cell phone."

4) If a 911 dispatcher is asking questions you think are idiotic or unnecessary because you have GPS on your cell phone, they're not. There is a good chance the dispatcher doesn't know where you are or if you should even be talking to them (as opposed to their counterpart in another city/county/state).

With that in mind....
A) Pay attention to mile marker signs when you are driving on the highway between cities. Most people are bad at estimating distances driven and/or time elapsed. "A mile or two" can be five or six in reality. Conversely, "Five or six miles" can be one or two.

B) It is okay to ask the dispatcher where they are located if they don't include that in the greeting. This can help the dispatchers do their job. (My sister gets 911 calls for a neighboring county. Most of the time she can, eventually, figure out they shouldn't be talking to her.) Sometimes dispatchers can transfer the call, sometimes they can't based on the system and the type of cell phone in use. Sometimes they have to rely on three way calling to get help rolling.

As a post script, I'll add that T and I passed two more single car accidents within the next 10 miles.

#397 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:45 PM:

abi @ 394:

Yes, yes it does.

#398 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:49 PM:

Woo, Victoria! Good going, and glad you took all those courses (and followed what you learned)!

Up here, not only do 911 calls go fairly randomly to three different states, sometimes they go to a different country. And the dispatch center may be hundreds of miles away.

We've gone to calls that turned out to be the right road name and house number, but should have been in a different town.

(Even if you don't keep an eye on mileposts, do keep in mind the number of the last exit you passed on the Interstate, or the last cross-street you passed on other roads. Narrow it down for the folks who want to help you. Somewhere amid the accident videos on the Internet I once saw video of some guys who were filming each other doing stupid stuff. One of them got a nasty open fracture, so one of them called 911 on his cell phone -- and had no idea where they were. Not even what street they were currently on. It was brutal.)

#399 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 04:45 PM:

Good to hear, Xopher. Yeah, recovering from surgery is often all about doing the things that used to be easy and painless many times until they are again easy and painless. Glad to know you're heading there again.

#400 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 04:59 PM:

(open thread? check)

If anyone's interested, I just put a few zillion pictures from my recent Alaska cruise-tour up on Photobucket. (I'm not the world's best photographer, and all I have is a cheap point-and-shoot digital camera. With a huge SD card.)

#401 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 05:20 PM:

#398

Yeah, I was pretty glad. Especially since I passed two more accidents after that.

Right address, wrong town is rough on everyone.

Things are spread out enough and rural enough where my sister dispatches that sometimes the dispatcher has to give the ambulance directions to the accident site (usually a farmer's field). Which is why navigating by landmarks can be tricky. The caller may know where Old Mr. Donald's Farmhouse was, but the dispatcher may not -- especially if the farmhouse in question was torn down 15 years ago. (And they have signage on the dirt roads, too, to make things easier.)

I'm considering on doing a piece called "Cell Phones, 911, GPS, and You."

#402 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 05:51 PM:

Up here, the 911 center hands the call off to the local dispatch center when they've got their information.

This has led to such wonderful dispatch instructions as "Remember where the kid swallowed the quarter last summer? Same place." Or, "Follow the telephone lines until they stop. You're going to the next house after that."

And yeah, the instructions, "Turn left at the brown house," which means "Where the Brown family lived back in 1930, currently occupied by a family named Smith; the house is painted yellow." That's ... tricky.

Even if you have your GPS on you and you can read off latitude and longitude, not everyone can figure out where that is and go to it.

#403 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 06:25 PM:

#402

At my day job, I have to occasionally give directions. I am also a disaster first responder for the bigger problems like buildings blowing up/over/down.

I'm also very familiar with addresses/locations like "the bean patch", "The McLeod place^" and "Kongs" which means nothing to people outside my family. The idea that the two communication systems over lap that much.... *facepalm*.

I know of one instance where the caller, in a three way with the dispatcher and ambulance, had to correct the dispatcher as in "go one more mile west, then turn right."

----
^which is exactly like your "turn left at the brown house" only the house and outbuildings were torn down fifty plus years ago so it's just an empty field.

#404 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 06:26 PM:

#402

At my day job, I have to occasionally give directions. I am also a disaster first responder for the bigger problems like buildings blowing up/over/down.

I'm also very familiar with addresses/locations like "the bean patch", "The McLeod place^" and "Kongs" which means nothing to people outside my family. The idea that the two communication systems over lap that much.... *facepalm*.

I know of one instance where the caller, in a three way with the dispatcher and ambulance, had to correct the dispatcher as in "go one more mile west, then turn right."

----
^which is exactly like your "turn left at the brown house" only the house and outbuildings were torn down fifty plus years ago so it's just an empty field.

#405 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 06:42 PM:

abi @394 said: My favorite head-exploding one is the old joke about the firemen. You know...

Q: Why do firemen wear read suspenders?
A: To keep their pants up.

It, well, reads differently in British.

Especially since in Britain, suspenders are understood to start near the waist and go DOWN, whereas in the States it's 't'other way.

I was gobsmacked and amused to discover that my little sister's Navy-issue* suspenders attach her SHIRT to her SOCKS -- no, really, they do. To avoid both Picard maneuvers and slouchy socks, I suppose, but I imagine the feel of the garters going down beside your legs in your trousers must be a peculiar sensation until one gets used to it.


* She's starting her second year at Annapolis this fall.

#406 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 07:18 PM:

New England directional sense:

I knew I was starting to acclimate when someone gave me directions that concluded with the phrase "It's right before the barn that isn't there any more" and I knew where they meant.

It frightens me to think that emergency services function the same way. Although I know better than to think they'd ever find my street on first go without the descriptor of "would be across from the pool except it doesn't go there" [1]

[1] Due to being a dead-end, which, if it went through, would come out across the arterial from where the city pool driveway is. But it doesn't, and you can't get there from here. Well, you can, but it's up hill both ways, especially in the snow. Which doesn't sound bad on a day as hot and muggy as today has been...

#407 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 07:29 PM:

ARRGH!!!! I'm going to vent here because I know you all will understand why I need to vent.

So we've moved to Indiana, as I'm pretty sure everybody here knows. And my daughter has done a lot of math, which many of you may know. Specifically, while home schooling, she did precalculus in order to do better in math competitions.

Cut to present: we want her to take AP Calculus. The AP coordinator at the school finds this a great idea. The assistant principal in charge of transferring credit says you have to take courses in sequence, but they have a computerized test she can take, and if she scores 94% or better, then fine.

Given a week and their textbook, my daughter works all the odd-numbered review questions (90 pages of a quadrille composition book), and goes to take the test. The testing software, apparently a program of local provenance, has multiple-choice and formula answers.

The formula answers must be character-by-character identical to be counted correct. There's one that was apparently counted wrong for spacing differences. She kept a list. All of her answers are mathematically equivalent.

Oh, but wait, there's more. The proctor was the Spanish teacher. So when my daughter drew her attention to this problem at the outset, the proctor told her to continue, and that they had shown her how to enter the answers. By which she meant that they had shown her how to enter radical signs. The proctor didn't understand that a mathematically equivalent answer is still correct!

I mean, she answered 5 root2 x^2 y^2 for one question (I'm taking ASCII liberties here), and the computer wanted 5 x^2 y^2 root2. You can't tell me that's even a more simplified answer!

The assistant principal also didn't understand her objection, after she argued it passionately. And so they sent her home, just like that.

The good thing is that she is lividly adamant that she is not going to be set back in mathematics by people who don't even understand math as well as she does. I think this may have been an insight situation for her in terms of the worth of authority figures.

But the bad thing, of course, is that we still have to fight to keep her AP Calculus. She's enrolled in it (school starts tomorrow) because -- wait for it -- the computer system was broken last week and they couldn't do this assessment yet.

So I've written the AP coordinator and the department chairman for math, and explained the situation. If they can't get my daughter into AP, I guess my next recourse is the fricking Board of Education, but something has to be done about this travesty of a skills assessment system.

So I repeat: ARRGGGHGGHGHG!!!!!

#408 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 08:34 PM:

Mark #395:
For reading, I'm partial to Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" but I'm not sure I'd want to live there.

#409 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 08:53 PM:

#407
I remember a couple of years ago at work, trying to explain that c*sqrt[(2*r)**2*p] (the 'official' formula for a number we need) is not different from 2*r*c sqrt(p). Not getting through, either.

#410 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 09:10 PM:

Geographical Mislocation: Oz settlements developed as separate immigrant colonies/countries. Both nostalgia and descriptive names led to many duplicated, triplicated, or higher multiples of town/suburb/place names in different States: Maryborough, Campbelltown, Coogee Beach and Stringybark Creek off the top of my head. Then there's streets; even within Sydney there must be* a half-to-a-dozen each Boundary Roads/Streets, Church Streets/Roads, Railway ditto.

[Pertinent Anecdote: I planned to meet a family at the "Don't Start War in Iraq" demo on steps of the State Library. Huge crowds, at least 500,000 in Sydney, which I thought explained missing them. Instead they were in Melbourne, at the Victorian State Library, in another giant mass.]
Then someone decided 000 (aka Triple-0, our fire/police/ambulance emergency) should be de-regionalized, possibly corporatized, certainly incentivized. Also mobile phones became common, so a calling number was harder to link to a location.

Distress and some deaths followed.

We're still developing effective protocols. (Recent death of a lost bushwalker who'd talked to 000 seven times is a different, though related problem.)

Also (#382), Yay Xopher! Keep it up. Always getting better. (See also Elise's hip replacement recovery.)

And abi (#394) hee.

*My street directory is not in This Place**.
** Directly opposite where The Hospital Used To Be.

#411 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 09:44 PM:

Michael Roberts @ 407:

I wouldn't trust anything other than a well-programmed CAS to grade free-form mathematical input. A pox on the idiots who put together that program, and the so-called educators who don't understand why it's crap.

Where is the math teacher in all of this? If the person teaching AP calculus can't vouch for your daughter due to organizational issues, that's dumb. If the teacher can't because they're incapable, I'm not sure you want them teaching at all.

(I will refrain from making the pun that the whole situation is completely ab-surd, since I don't think that word is in common usage.)

#412 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 09:48 PM:

Back at #306 I mentioned the computer woes I've been having. After doing a system restore and selectively upgrading, it's obviously Windows that's stepped on Firefox (I can't connect to Firefox even through Google anymore - Internet Explorer has preempted it on all levels). I looked through custom install to see if any specifically mentioned Internet Explorer, but didn't see any references.

Before I go through all this again, will someone point which upgrade(s) I should tell Windows not to do, please? The previous one crept in overnight. How do I say, don't ever do this?

#413 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 10:07 PM:

P J Evans @ 409: They're the same if you can be sure that 'r' is a positive value, at any rate.

#414 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 10:08 PM:

Carol (#412) … and if you tell MS your problem, they'll probably see it as a Feature, not a bug. See, it improves IE uptake!

#415 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 10:14 PM:

ObEnglish:

Apart from the rather amusing and occasionally embarrassing differences in terminology for items of clothing, or the sometimes confusing differences in names for food items, I do have a couple little translational foibles that I'm fond of.

Last I checked, the American English inside of the road is the British English outside of the road, and vice versa. Always fun when trying to tell people what lane they're supposed to be in.

And, one of my favorites: In American English, you hire people and rent equipment. In British English, you hire people and also hire equipment. You hire a car instead of renting a car, and so on. So when the builder says that he's going to go hire a stripper, he's talking about a piece of kit to help get the old wallpaper off, not a member of the ecdysial profession.

#416 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 10:16 PM:

#413
I don't think it's possible to have a negative radius on actual physical cylinders. (THe formula is calculating how wide the 'you really don't want to be here if this blows up' zone will be for a given pipe diameter and pressure.)

#417 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 10:21 PM:

#412
I suspect that it was an automagic download/update for IE; there's been one trying to get into my computer for some time.
(I always look to see what's in the update list, so I don't have to deal with stuff I don't want.)

#418 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 10:29 PM:

Carol @ 412:

You will probably find you now have Internet Explorer 8. Microsoft flagged that an "Important" upgrade in their automatic update system, meaning that you automatically got it whether or not you asked for it. Automatic updates are good in terms of securing serious security holes, but Microsoft exploits it in ways like this.

What you probably want to do is go to Windows Security Center (under Control Panel) and set the automatic updates to "Download but don't install updates". I set all my machines that way, and review the pending updates periodically so I don't fall behind on security-sensitive fixes.

And watch out for the shutdown button - when you see the shutdown button description change to "Shut down and install updates", don't click it until you have reviewed the updates it's planning to install.

#419 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 10:36 PM:

Last Friday, at the monthly meeting of Albuquerque's SF club, there was talk about the programming of Bubonicon, the local con I'll finally be able to attend, thanks to the lack of interference from work. I noticed that one of the panels has one Bruce Arthurs on it. Could it be our Bruce Arthurs?

#420 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 10:46 PM:

P J Evans @ 416: If the value of 'r' is entered directly, that's fine. If it's calculated by subtracting one set of coordinates from another... possibly not, depending on whether the values are otherwise validated. I've seen a couple too many cases of "but the equations are exactly equivalent, how can we be getting different results?" bugs.

#421 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:00 PM:

Joel, I think it's entered directly, or at least pulled from a database. (We usually know what the nominal diameter is.)

#422 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:04 PM:

The two big terminology changes we ran into when visiting New Zealand were first that a "hotel" in New Zealand is what Americans call a "bar" - no accomodations, just beer - and second that Kiwis call a "napkin" what Americans would call a "diaper". Fortunately we were forewarned about both of these.

One we didn't run into, but which makes for a lot of jokes, is that to New Zealanders "knock you up" means "get in touch with you" while it means something rather different to Americans. (Or at least involves a whole lot more touch.)

#423 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:07 PM:

So, Internet Explorer 8 is history, my Control Panel security is set to have me authorize any upgrades, I'm back to Firefox 3.0, and everything is finally up and happy.

Thank you, everyone, specifically Clifton. Knowing you guys were here helped me not go completely bonkets.

"bonkets?!" bonkers.

Or maybe not.

#424 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:08 PM:

Michael, #407: AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH, indeed. I had a similar issue when I changed high schools after my sophomore year. I'd been in honors math in my MI school, which meant I was ready to go into trig (senior-level) in my junior year; had I continued on in that program, I'd have had Calculus I my senior year. The administrators at my Fancy Private School in TN refused to let me enroll in trig, not because they didn't think I was ready, but because I hadn't come up thru THEIR math sequence. I wasn't even allowed to test out of Algebra II, which would have been a dead snap.

The difference between my situation and your daughter's was that MY parents wouldn't go to bat for me -- they never would, when Authority Figures were involved -- and it ended up having repercussions all the way thru my sophomore year of college (long story, not relevant here). Is there a college or university somewhere closer than Indianapolis, where you might be able to enlist the head of the math department on your daughter's behalf?

At any rate, tell her that she's got people out here pulling for her, and not to stop fighting. It's scary to realize that you know more about a subject than the teacher does, but sooner or later it happens to anyone who's bright.

KeithS, #415: That's why I don't use "inside" and "outside" to describe lanes (well, that and nobody I grew up with did, so I never learned that idiom) -- I use "right-hand" and "left-hand" instead, with appropriate adjustments for more-than-4-lane roads. This does, however, occasionally lead to the interesting construction of, "You want to be in the right-hand left-turn lane"...

Also, re strippers, nice turn of phrase there.

#425 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:28 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 422:

I remember reading Holmes apologizing to Watson for knocking him up at some awful hour of the night, suffering a moment of "huh?" that would make a lot of slashers happy, then figuring that the idiom has changed a bit in some places over the years.

Lee @ 424:

That still doesn't necessarily help when you're driving on the other side of the road, but it's probably less confusing.

Then there's Melbourne's right turn lanes on the left side of the street. At least I was warned about those ahead of time.

#426 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:43 PM:

KeithS@411 - the math teacher has yet to be invoked, that's true. I scanned my daughter's notes on the answers in question, and emailed them to the math department head and the AP coordinator. I should probably include the teacher as well.

#427 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:48 PM:

KeithS: You might (or might not) want to look at this: The Sexual Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

#428 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:23 AM:

Lee, it may help that my wife teaches (ironically) trigonometry for both Ivy Tech and IU East on their campuses here in Richmond.

The frustrating thing is that it's not that we're not capable of homeschooling her at an AP level. We are. But - unsurprisingly - she'd like to meet some people her own age who share her interests, which don't include sparklepires or the Jonas Brothers, but do include chemistry, math, and xkcd. (No, I didn't turn her onto xkcd - one of her math competition buddies did.)

#429 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:37 AM:

This is semi-relevant to both the healthcare reform thread and the PSA video that Jim just linked onto one of the older "Trauma" threads, but I'm not sure it properly fits in either of those.

Hypothetical question-- given whatever probable injuries were suffered by the surviving girl, anyone have an estimate of how much would be charged for her emergency care in the US? I'm assuming that the NHS would cover most of it in the UK, but I could be wrong.

#430 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:47 AM:

AKICIML:

My father seems to recall that the Emperor Diocletian was the one who told all the peoples of Europe to stop wandering and settle down in one place, and a lot more people before that were nomadic.

But we have trouble finding a written reference to that. Anybody know anything about this?

#431 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:58 AM:

By the way, Xopher, congratulations on the returning mobility. I can't keep up even with open threads, so I only vaguely realized you'd had surgery, and still don't remember for what - but recovery from anything is a blessing. Let's hope for not so much pain in not so much time!

#432 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 01:07 AM:

I'm having real trouble holding a single thought containing the words "sexual adventures" and "Sherlock Holmes".

#433 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 01:55 AM:

pericat @ #432, Read Laurie King's Mary Russell books. Sex between Mary and Holmes is implied, not overt, but it's undoubtedly there.

#434 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 02:06 AM:

pericat, #432: Then I suspect you'd better give the upcoming movie a pass -- from the looks of the trailer, we're going to find out more about Holmes' sexual escapades than a lot of people want to know!

#435 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 02:48 AM:

Clifton Royston #422:
Was this a recent trip? In many of the smaller towns, the local bar also provides cheap(ish) accommodation, so they are really hotel/bars. Sometimes we call them bars, sometimes pubs. Bars tend to be more upmarket.

As for napkin, I suspect you've got it confused with nappy. Nappy=diaper; napkin=serviette.

I'm not familiar with "knock you up", though I can see how it might cause confusion.

KeithS #425:
The infamous hook turn in Melbourne. There are good reasons (actually one big reason involving oncoming trams) for going left when you want to turn right. But it's quite intimidating if you've never done one, and it just feels wrong.

#436 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 09:08 AM:

Lee @ 434... we're going to find out more about Holmes' sexual escapades than a lot of people want to know!

"The 7-percent Dissolution"?

#437 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 09:51 AM:

Distress and some deaths followed.

So in Pittsburgh, there are a lot of hills. One of the things this has led to is city-built flights of stairs on some of the hills, because otherwise you can't get from one street to another that's only about 50 feet away...because 25 of those feet are up.

These flights of stairs are marked on street maps as streets. Which has led to a couple of problems when the route the ambulance was told to take involved a flight of steps that it could not, of course, drive on. In one case I think the victim died while the ambulance drivers were cursing and trying to figure out another route.

#438 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 09:52 AM:

The entire response of the math department head this morning was "I am forwarding your concerns to [name of assistant principal]." Gee, thanks, lady, that really ought to help.

#439 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 09:55 AM:

Although it did cause him to call me about three minutes later to say, "We need to talk." If I recall correctly, we need to talk about "all the information going around." Yeah. Because good education always involves information control.

#441 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 10:34 AM:

Xopher @ 427:

If your aim was to displace mental images of suspender*-wearing firefighters, I think you succeeded.

* No, I'm not going to say which translation to use; just guess.

Soon Lee @ 435:

Yes, the trams are the reason, and a good one too; it's still weird. Fortunately, most of my experience there was walking.

Michael Roberts @ 439:

*headdesk*

#442 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 10:55 AM:

Tim Walters @ 164, et al.

(Sorry for the delayed response; I've been away.)

I agree on the shared sensibility; but sometimes 'fantasy' seems to be used in a way that is much narrower than that, as when people say that fantasy is all about battles and kings and rightful heirs and so on. (I'm not suggesting this is a fair description even of the kind of works people have in mind - it's rather like the claim that all literary fiction is about English professors who seduce their students - but clearly it is a particular group of books that people are thinking of when they make it.) So I think there is a strange dissonance between what comes to mind when people say 'fantasy', and what the most successful fantasy - even that which is acknowledged as such - is actually like.

As for Helprin: I'm not sure what his other works are like. One reason why what might be thought of as science fiction and fantasy works often end up on the mainstream shelves is a desire to keep an author's work together.

#443 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 11:50 AM:

Well it's probably too late to be helpful, but when I was in HS, you could "opt in" to a higher level class than what your tests qualified you for. You and your parent had to sign a waiver saying essentially that you understood your grades might suffer on account of being too stupid for the class.

I was a high tester so I never had any issues (well, there was dropping down to average level english Junior year, but that was because I was getting a terrible education from the part time guidance counsellor they had teaching AP) and I never knew a waiver student who didn't constantly receive the best grades in the class.

#444 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:03 PM:

Thena @ 406: Once, a visiting friend of mine complained about the tendency of Southerners to do that. As illustration, she told me she'd asked for directions at a gas station that day, and the clerk told her "Turn right where the Krispy Kreme used to be."

"Oh!" I said. "You went to Ed McKay's!" (Ed McKay's is my favorite used book store.) She stared at me.

"What?" I said. "It's where the Krispy Kreme used to be. That's where it is."

(It's since moved up the road a bit, so now it's halfway between the IHOP and where the Krispy Kreme used to be. At least the IHOP is still there.)

#445 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:10 PM:

Michael, thanks, and I had my right hip replaced with titanium. That level of mobility is a sign that I'm in the home stretch of healing.

I have a feeling your troubles with the AP Calc class are about to be resolved. The AssPrin knows you can cause him some headaches, even if you haven't explicitly threatened to out his math test program as being mathematically stupid.

Everyone, the Sherlock Holmes book I linked to is what we'd call slash today, but it was written in the 1970s. I don't think I ever read the whole thing, but IIRC most of the sex is between Holmes and Watson, who are depicted as rather more buff and vigorous than you might ordinarily think of them.

#446 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:10 PM:

#444 and before - not just southerners. In the Ottawa Valley, the canonical example is "turn left where the big Canadian Tire sign used to be."

I think this is just a rural thing.

#447 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:12 PM:

There's a Laurie Anderson song where the directions consist of things like "turn left where they're going to build that big mall, and go past where they're going to put in that new apartment building."

#448 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:21 PM:

My family has been in our neighborhood longer than anyone but Fred, our ninetysomething neighbor who built his house there back in the day. We identify houses according to who lived in them back when we talked to the people who lived in them. There isn't a lot of turnover otherwise, though there is one restaurant that has been called "Memories, only it's not that anymore," because when we moved in, it was called Memories, and I think it changes every two years. The location is kind of cursed.

#449 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:30 PM:

Holmes: [after he learns Madame Petrova wants him to impregnate her] This is all very flattering, but surely there are other men, better men.
Nikolai Rogozhin: To tell truth, you were not the first choice. We considered Russian writer, Tolstoy.
Holmes: Oh, that's more like it. The man's a genius.
Nikolai Rogozhin: Too old. Then we considered philosopher, Nietzsche.
Holmes: Well, absolutely first-rate mind.
Nikolai Rogozhin: Uh-uh. Too German. Then we considered Tchaikovsky.
Holmes: Oh, you couldn't go wrong with Tchaikovsky.
Nikolai Rogozhin: We could, and we did. It was catastrophe.
Holmes: Why?
Nikolai Rogozhin: We don't know. Because Tchaikovsky, how shall I put it? Women not his glass of tea.

#450 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 01:01 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 422, Soon Lee @ 435
In the UK, "I'll knock you up" means "I'll wake you up in the morning" (presumably by knocking on the bedroom door). This was included in the Anglo-American phase book for a Worldcon in Scotland, to avoid misunderstandings by Americans taking severe objection to being told they would be made pregnant...

Xopher
Glad to hear the new hip is integrating well [nodding to the mathematical discussion]. Hope the improvement continues.

Michael Roberts
Sympathies. When someone won't give you the point in Trivial Pursuits even when your answer is correct, because it doesn't match what's on the card, it's irritating. When you can't get your marks in a test even when you're correct, because it doesn't photo-match the version on the computer screen - that's crazy/appalling.

#451 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 01:09 PM:

[Holmes is handcuffed to the bed naked with only a pillow covering him. A maid walks in and screams]
Sherlock Holmes: Madame, I need you to remain calm and trust me, I'm a professional. Beneath this pillow lies the key to my release.
[the maid screams again and runs away]

#452 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 02:18 PM:

Xopher... Hip-hip, hourra!

#453 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 04:34 PM:

KeithS #441:
Well, if lumberjacks are o.k. with them, why not firefighters?

Xopher:
Clearly, the more you put your foot in it, the less painful it gets...

#454 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 04:43 PM:

Soon Lee @ 453... In case you didn't know, your name was mentionned in a recent editorial of Asimov's.

#456 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 06:06 PM:

Last night I finished reading Locus's issue of a few months ago that had a special about the new meaning of Urban Fantasy. You know, the kickass heroines. I hate that word. 'Kickass' has baggage attached to it I don't care much for. Casual violence against someone who's not as strong.

#457 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 06:24 PM:

re Serge #419: Yes, that's me listed on the Bubonicon programming. Bubonicon's been one of my favorite conventions since 1973, and I've tried to make it every year.

Circumstances have kept me and Hilde from going the last three years, so we were really looking forward to getting back there this year.

Unfortunately...

...the vacation time I applied for to use for Bubonicon will need to be used for sorting and packing the household belongings of our long-time friend and 6-years backyard neighbor, Anne.

I mentioned here several months ago that Anne had had to have emergency abdominal surgery and was in very bad shape. She's still in hospital, still in very bad shape, stuck in an ongoing roller-coaster ride from Hell, with slight improvements followed by new complications and declines.

Even if she was able to walk out of the hospital healthy tomorrow, her medical bills -- nearly a million dollars already -- would leave her destitute and unable to pay her mortgage and other bills. (She's lived comfortably but not extravagantly off an investment fund for over thirty years; that will be completely gone.)

So even in the best scenario -- and her doctors' actual prognosis' range from bleak to very bleak to so-bleak-it-will-make-your-brain-turn-inside-out -- Anne would lose her house and have to move in with Hilde and me.

And that's why I won't be at Bubonicon this year.

(The above is a very, very, very brief recap of the last several months. Very.)

#458 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 06:52 PM:

Xopher, #382, good for you! But don't you want to put your left sock on, too?

Employer insists on seeing genitals of transgender employee.

#459 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 07:16 PM:

Marilee, of course not! That's...disgusting. No one wears LEFT SOCKS any more; what is this, the Twentieth Century?!?

No, the left foot must always be left bare so the Left-Footed-Wiggly-Toe gesture can always be made. And this must always be so, in sæcula sæculorum amen.

Or until the shoe is on the other foot.

#460 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 07:27 PM:

Bruve Arthurs @ 457... I'm sorry to hear that. Give Anne my best wishes.

#461 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 07:33 PM:

Serge @ 456:

I might have to dig up that article and see what it has to say.

One of the things that I'm not fond of about modern heroines is that they solve problems in a 'masculine' way. No, I've not cracked and started espousing some sort of gender essentialism, but the beat it, stab it, stake it, shoot it until it stops moving is a traditionally male approach to doing things. Don't get me wrong, Buffy and other shows with female characters like that are fun, and I'm all for more strong women characters in TV and literature and so on. I just can't help but think that it seems that the only way to be considered a strong woman is to become an honorary man with a snazzier wardrobe, and that doesn't quite sit well with me. On the other hand, I think it is important for that whole women can't do this barrier to be brought down, and what lessons are young women going to be learning if they read fantasy stories where the heroes are always men?

I don't know. Maybe I'm missing the point (it certainly wouldn't be the first time). I'm still trying to sort out how I feel about all this.

Bruce Arthurs @ 457:

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope that everything works out as well as possible, given the circumstances.

#462 ::: Kayjayoh ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 07:55 PM:

A question has been asked by a friend, and while I don't have an answer for him myself, I know that AKICIML*, so here it is:

So hmm: can anybody think of a real environmental technology, defined reasonably loosely, that was "predicted by science fiction"?

Any thoughts?

*All knowledge is contained in Making Light, of course.

#463 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 07:57 PM:

KeithS, #461: The thing about those "honorary man" heroines is that they make room behind them for other women who can be strong without having to "kick ass" in more than the figurative sense. Look, for example, at the first 3 seasons of Bones. Yeah, Brennan gets to mix it up physically with some very rough guys, but then look at the other female characters, both regular and recurring. Angela is the most traditionally feminine, and even she has a very non-traditional sexual past; Tam is a department head who can play hardball for her people and never blink; Carolyn... well, I sure wouldn't want to be on her bad side, and she's both older and larger than I am! In fact, the casting of Bones is a lot more gender-balanced than I imagine we'd see in a real-life forensics/FBI/Justice Dept. situation. And out of all of them, only Brennan plays the "action hero" stereotype.

#464 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 07:58 PM:

Now that it looks like the network is really going to show all 13 episodes of "Defying Gravity" that they've paid for (or at least more than 4, until the ratings tank completely), I"m curious what the Luminariat thinks of the show. My own opinion is that I could do with a little less of the sexual soap opera, but that I'm really impressed at the level of technical accuracy, at least for network TV. They even got what looks like a reasonable design for a long-haul interplanetary spacecraft, including living quarters on counter-rotating booms for artificial gravity. I'm not really impressed by the Venus EVA suit, but then I doubt that they really understand what 600° C and 90 atmospheres of sulfuric acid laced CO2 can do to just about any material. Oh, and they don't seem to understand that vs frireny crbcyr fhqqrayl unir gurve QAN punatrq gb or vqragvpny, gung gurl'yy fhqqrayl ybbx n ybg zber nyvxr (naq cebonoyl qvr bs nphgr betna snvyher nf gur punatrf bpphe).

On the other hand, the jury is still out on the McGuffin, which they talk about a lot in hushed tones, but haven't shown.

#465 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 08:16 PM:

By the way, yay! that the Firefox Leet Key plugin as been updated to support the current version of the browser.

#466 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 08:59 PM:

#446 and earlier
I read a newspaper article, where I was living in West Texas, that said that baseball league sign-ups would be in the 'such and such' building, without giving an address or any other information, and the company they were naming had been out of business for at least four years - some time before I'd lived there. I never did find out what location they meant.

#467 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 09:13 PM:

I don't read 'kickass' as having anything to do with aggression against a weaker opponent, more the opposite. Both ability and willingness to fight.

I think the 'like a man' thing would be mitigated if there were more urban fantasy (or for that matter, regular fantasy and science fiction) men who solved things 'like a woman'. It's the same dilemma as girls taking shop but boys not taking home ec-- it's okay to be more masculine than default, but not more feminine.

#468 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 09:15 PM:

Lee @ 463:

That's a fair point, and not one I thought of.

#469 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 10:43 PM:

KeithS @ 461... Lee @ 463... Diatryma @ 467... My comment wasn't an objection to women committing violence 'like the guys'. I couldn't care less, and not just because I've myself been on the receiving end of expectations based on one's plumbing. (Hmmm... That doesn't sound quite right.) To me, the word 'kickass' dismissively says to the victim "I can and do commit violence against you, but you're inferior and so I don't have to use full-bore means". That's quite different from doing what it takes to defend youself, even if t means kicking an adversary that's already down, aka 'fighting dirty'. I probably am saying this all wrong so I'll leave it at that.

#470 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 10:49 PM:

Serge, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I've always connected "kickass" with Rowdy Roddy Piper and bubblegum. Also, somewhat, with "opening a can of whoopass on somebody," which is generally (and admiringly) used in cases where the kickee didn't see it coming.

#471 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 11:10 PM:

TexAnne @ 470... Just goes to show, about the meaning of words. That being said, did you ever see Piper in "Hell Comes to Frogtown"?

#472 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 11:42 PM:

I can't remember who suggested Margaret Cheney’s biography of Tesla, Man Out of Time, when I asked for a recommendation, but I wanted to thank you. I finished reading it while I was in Canada, and it was time very well spent. Awesome.

#473 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 12:30 AM:

#472: Might have been me. A good book that gave Tesla all due credit while not pulling punches when it came to his decline.

Tesla couldn't bring himself to accept modern electromagnetism, nor quantum theory; he didn't think atomic power was possible. If he'd been born a few years later, he might have been in on those discoveries and not chased his obsessions.

#474 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 12:33 AM:

Serge @ 469:

Sorry, I know that. I started to write something and went off on a wild tangent. I understand your objection to the word as you understand it, and I think those are good objections. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same connotations to me. Perhaps I've just not run across it being used in the same contexts that you have.

#475 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 12:38 AM:

Serge, #469: I think we're having definition issues here; you seem to put a somewhat different spin on the word "kickass" than I do. This might be better discussed in person over a cup of hot chocolate. :-)

#476 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 12:48 AM:

KeithS @ 474... Darn definitions, eh?

#477 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 12:50 AM:

Lee @ 475... How long have we been trying to have that cup of chocolate? Almost 3 years now?

#478 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 12:54 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 473... The last part of his life made me feel so sad that, as soon as I had finished the book, I grabbed a graphic novel to cheer myself up.

#479 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 01:03 AM:

#478: Hopefully not Jimmy Corrigan.

#480 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 02:11 AM:

Serge #454:
Yes, thanks. But having been mentioned in Asimov's is not the same as having been published in Asimovs.

Clifton Royston #422:
I'm becoming more convinced that someone was having fun at your expense. "Looking you up" is the phrasing more likely to be used.

#481 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 02:12 AM:

In case any are interested who hadn't seen the earlier mentions or been following it, I've got notes of varying degrees of completeness from 16 of the 18 panels I attended at Anticipation up on my LJ. They can be viewed rather conveniently by just checking my August Archives.

Finally done! Whew!

Enjoy!

#482 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 03:23 AM:

Serge, #477: Not that long; the initial attempt was supposed to be at Denvention, but I was too busy in the dealer room. Then there was FiestaCon, but you were too busy with panels. Are you going to the Discworld con?

#483 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 04:48 AM:

Shorter BLC: If you don't want to argue with me anymore, you're wrong; and stupid.

re Wright I read the particled post, but as I am not a "friend" I can't comment, so I quit (not being able to take part/elucidate was doing no good to my state of mind, which is decidedly variable at present)

Elliot Mason: Of course they do. I have a set for my dress uniforms too. Keeps the front of the shirt flat.

Micheal Roberts: I just took the english placement test for college (long story short, I probably need an english class; unless my journalism credits count). The test (I passed) was horrible. The first part had the following:

Give the implied, or stated, information from the following:

"There are two kinds of pottery that I do. The first is mass production, mugs, kitchenware and other things which sell easily. This pays for the other sort, the more creative pottery which satisfies my artistic needs"

1: Artists waste a lot of valuable time
2: Mass Production and creativity are incompatible
3: Most people don't understand artistic objects.
4: Artists have to have an understanding of things other than art.

The answer... 2: Because the author implied the two were incompatible. Never mind the use of the modifier, "more" in the use of creative.

The other half of the test had a lot of "choose the best" for restructuring the sentence. Never mind that when 1/3rd of the content is left out of the choices (give a new beginning, then a couple of words, and then ask which is best) the rest of the content can be added in any number of ways which made 2, or 3, of the choices perfectly acceptable.

#484 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 05:00 AM:

Soon Lee: My guess is someone assumed New Zealand and England/Britain are the same for colloquialisms.

Jan Howard Finder (Wombat) tells a story of being a young man in England, making a pleasant acquaintance with a young lady, and agreeing to go to a museum with her the next day (memory tells me it was the Imperial War Museum).

She gave him the address of her flat and, said, "Why don't you come round and knock me up about 9?"

And then remembered he was a yank (he says it was probably the gobsmacked expression on his face).

When I was in Scotland (with a very mixed bag of squaddies, from London to Aberdeen), the equivalent phrase was, "Ring me/you up" even when this meant pounding on a door.

#485 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 06:14 AM:

When I was in Scotland (with a very mixed bag of squaddies, from London to Aberdeen), the equivalent phrase was, "Ring me/you up" even when this meant pounding on a door.

I've never come across anyone in Britain using "ring X up" to mean anything but "contact x on the phone"...

#486 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:19 AM:

Serge @ #381

I think it might have been the first time anyone sang Anarchy in the UK at a Promenade Concert.

#487 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:34 AM:

Terry @ #483

That's not an English test, that's an American test.

[insert smiley]

Quick, Sergeant, the Disemvoweller-Signal!

#488 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:40 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 479... Nope. It was Mézières's Valérian & Laureline. Speaking of graphic novels and Tesla, for my birthday I asked my wife to get me Five Fists of Science, in which Tesla, Mark Twain & others fight to stop Edison & Marconi from building a mysterious tower/device in a town called Insmouth.

#489 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:46 AM:

Lee @ 482... The only con left for me this year is local Bubonicon. I'd have loved to combine my next reminding-people-that-this-telecommuter-is-a-real-person trip to the Bay Area with the World Fantasy Con, but that won't work out. Next year? I'm hoping for a trip to NASFiC.

#490 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:59 AM:

Dave Bell @ 486... I see that they also did "Pinball Wizard", but it was mostly a vocal rendition. It needed more ukulele. Maybe some banjo too.

#491 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 09:17 AM:

I'm reading the July issue of Locus. I enjoyed Dozois's review of short fiction as usual, but I was amused of his description of Paul Cornell's "One of Our Bastards Is Missing" as a Ruritanian romance written by Charles Stross. Later he describes Paul Di Filippo's "Providence" as "...a grimmer Wall-E, or what Thomas the Tank Engine might be like if he had a flamethrower and wanted to score drugs..."

Wall-E meets Killdozer?
I'd go see that.

#492 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 10:11 AM:

JDM@378: yes, but that parking lot is most of an hour from the center of population (~Boston). I should have been clearer that these were people inside 128 (i.e., consider how much beyond the border you drive to get to Arisia or Boskone).

Mark@395: I'm not sure I'd call \any/ of them a favorite, as they mostly imply catastrophes or implausible events. Versions that stick:
* Vinge has done a number of bits that are more horribly plausible than he realizes given the weapons attitude he espouses.
* Callenbach's Ecotopia is just one breakaway, and more than a bit woo-woo; the later prequel Ecotopia Rising is more plausible, but he still doesn't get how reactionary northern California (past Napa/Sonoma and/or inland) is.
* If you count cases of never-assembled rather than disassembly, Modesitt's "Ghosts" trilogy and Shetterly's Captain Confederacy are both interesting.

Michael Roberts re calculus: if the bureaucracy won't unkink, your daughter should study calculus on her own (sounds like she's already got the mind for it) and take something interesting. I despised the calculus teacher, so my senior year was English, French, physics, economics, and musical composition; I did well enough on the AP, which was all the college cared about. (I had a good teach-yourself serial-problems book; can't remember the title, but surely something better has shown up in the last 39 years.) Sufficiently interesting courses may also satisfy her desire to find interest-peers. This is ~seconding KeithS@411; a sufficiently wedged system the teacher may not have the option to do the right thing, although it doesn't sound like that's the only problem here.

following up Lee@424: the way to make that work is to drive the teacher crazy until he \makes/ you test up. I shouldn't have had to do that as there were 2 students from my K-9 school 2 years ahead of me at the 9-12 school (i.e., the 9-12 school should have known that the K-9 school taught full-scale Algebra I in 8th grade), but it was amusing.

#493 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 10:20 AM:

Soon Lee @ 480: About 30 years ago when my family was hosting a British teenager on an exchange trip to Ottawa, he suggested the possibility of going downtown so he could, in his words, "knock up the British High Commission". There was a brief pause for parsing.

#495 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:17 AM:

I don't know if anyone around here bothers to watch "Nova" on PBS, but last night's show about fractals was great fun. ("Euclid be damned -- *this* is the way the universe works!")

The only thing that bothered me was all those beautiful color images, and no mention of paisley fabrics. Whoever came up with those a long time ago had the right idea, if not a formula to describe it.

#496 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:33 AM:

Dave Bell @ 494: I'm having a nice hot cuppa now, and I haven't set any speed records at all.

#497 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 12:24 PM:

Ginger, the official website rates the boiler at 23 cups of tea per second, which at full design speed is about 1 cup of tea every 11 feet.

Or you could just use this.

#498 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 12:43 PM:

Speaking of disasters, Colorado had two earthquakes this week. 3.7 & 3.9, if I'm reading it right.

#499 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 01:08 PM:

Dave Bell @497: about 1 cup of tea every 11 feet

I must say, this is absolutely the right idea. Where can I get one for myself?

Now if only I could get a solar-powered Green version, I'd be happy.

Well-hydrated, and happy.

#500 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 02:06 PM:

ajay: It may be they were unfamiliar with another means of phrasing it, and for lack of a phone used the other phrase, but use it they did.

#501 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 02:50 PM:

Robert Novak is dead.

#502 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 03:13 PM:

Terry Karney #484:
That's entirely possible. Also, given that we get both kinds of TV, American *and* British, we adopt many colloquailisms from both sides of the Atlantic. To say nothing of ones from our trans-Tasman cousins.

A reasonably Kiwi saying is "sweet as" meaning "great". An ex-colleague holidaying in America had to explain that no, he didn't say (or mean) "sweet ass".

Joel Polowin #493:
No sex please, we're British?

#503 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 04:03 PM:

Terry: noted without regret.

#504 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 04:06 PM:

Soon Lee @ 480... That may be true, but I can think of worse things than having one's name mentionned in Asimov's. Having my name stored on that CD on the Mars Pathfinder, or its being recently mentionned in the SFWA Bulletin aren't among those worse things.

#505 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 04:09 PM:

Terry Karney @ 501... I'm all chewed up inside.

#506 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 04:39 PM:

Terry Karney @ 483:

Ooog. Reminds me why I never, ever liked multiple-choice reading comprehension questions. I hope I'll never see one ever again.

Dave Bell @ 494:

I remember when Thrust SSC was in the news. This looks like great fun too. Reading the report, it sounds like they didn't design some of the systems for the temperatures they'd get in the Mojave Desert. It does tend to be a little warmer there than it does in Hampshire.

For everyone who hasn't seen it, a link to their website.

#507 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 05:13 PM:

CHip @492: Michael Roberts re calculus: if the bureaucracy won't unkink, your daughter should study calculus on her own...

Perhaps online AP Calculus at MIT?

#508 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 05:26 PM:

Faren Miller @495: The only thing that bothered me was all those beautiful color images, and no mention of paisley fabrics. Whoever came up with those a long time ago had the right idea, if not a formula to describe it.

If memory serves, that's covered in The Colors Of Infinity, along with church windows, Persian rugs, and mandalas.

#509 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 05:31 PM:

And speaking of PBS and Nova, Nova science now was talking last night about personal genomics. I was struck by the phrase "Google my genome," and got to thinking about how much technology is implied by those three words. And also, how long it would take to explain to somebody from, say, two hundred years ago.

#510 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 05:52 PM:

Jacque #509:

Two hundred years ago? Try even fifty!

(I occasionally play "The Door into Summer" game with myself: look at the headlines in the NYT, and see what would be totally incomprehensible to a time traveller (cold sleep or otherwise) from thirty years ago.)

#511 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:13 PM:

Bruce Cohen (StM), #464, I've actually been enjoying "Defying Gravity." I don't think there's a lot more soap opera than you get in written SF. I do think the command center manipulations may turn out to be too shallow.

#512 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:21 PM:

For those of strong stomach: Precious Moments Cathedral, described as, "America's Sistine Chapel".

I found photos

#513 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:39 PM:

#512: I'm still gathering ideas for a "HORRIBLE TRUE FACTS ABOUT OBAMACARE!" list. I think I'll include:

"You Precious Moments and Hummel figurines will confiscated by illegal immigrant home health care workers to test the for lead content, and never returned."

#514 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:45 PM:

Stefan @ #513, just as long as they let me keep my netsukes!

#515 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 07:58 PM:

Linkmeister: They can have my netsuke when they pry them from my cold dead fingers.

Seriously, I love netsuke. There was an exhibit at LACMA some twenty years ago, and I spent hours looking at them. So amazing.

#516 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 08:56 PM:

Terry Karney @ 512... I want to see HP Lovecraft's Precious Moments.

#517 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 09:08 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 513:

Now if you could work in something about all the light being sucked out of their Thomas Kinkade paintings as well, that would be perfect.

Serge @ 516:

No Precious Cthulhu, but Precious Kali and Precious Maggots.

#518 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 09:57 PM:

Jacque@498: and Minneapolis had tornados (as long as we're talking about out-of-geographical-range phenomena...).

#519 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 10:35 PM:

KeithS @ 517... Speaking of Kinkade and Lovecraft, did you ever see the Photoshop homage that Mary Dell once did?

#520 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 10:48 PM:

Precious Moments is just too close to home. Dr. P wants us to visit but he wants to be appropriately armed if he does (Paintballs...)

A dear friend of mine does "Precocious Moments" and has sold them at art shows and galleries. They're as evil as the Kali and maggots.

And as gleeful.

#521 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 10:48 PM:

Precious Moments is just too close to home. Dr. P wants us to visit but he wants to be appropriately armed if he does (Paintballs...)

A dear friend of mine does "Precocious Moments" and has sold them at art shows and galleries. They're as evil as the Kali and maggots.

And as gleeful.

#522 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 10:49 PM:

Precious Moments is just too close to home. Dr. P wants us to visit but he wants to be appropriately armed if he does (Paintballs...)

A dear friend of mine does "Precocious Moments" and has sold them at art shows and galleries. They're as evil as the Kali and maggots.

And as gleeful.

#523 ::: Dr Paisley ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 10:53 PM:

Ladies and gentlmen, I give you James Hollaman's "Precocious Moments":

He's been doing them for years, and the just keep getting better and better.

#524 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:04 PM:

Stefan @513, you can find some amusing ones through Twitter's #obamacarefacts hashtag:

  • @KitsapRiver: Under Obamacare, your Medicare will be replaced by a government program, as will the VA.
  • @Harbinger00: Under Obamacare, Ambulances will run on the blood of the elderly.
  • @jephjacques: Under ObamaCare, the CIA will replace the prozac in your tap water with its generic.
  • @kinkofry: Under ObamaCare, every hospital will play Yakity Sax 24 hours a day.
  • @jonrosenberg: Under ObamaCare, Pon Farr will be treated with the same medicines they use to treat Jamie Farr.
  • @iron_spike: Under ObamaCare, you can finally see a shrink and talk about your hysterical, wild-eyed, unreasoning terror of ObamaCare.
#525 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:08 PM:

Serge @ 519:

I have seen a Lovecraft/Kinkade photoshop, but I don't know that I've seen the Lovecraft/Kinkade photoshop.

Dr Paisley @ 523:

Unfortunately, that link wants me to log in.

Avram @ 524:

I am especially fond of the first one you quote.

#526 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:13 PM:

Update on the AP ruckus: still not much update. It turns out the software isn't local; it's a commercially available system called NovaNet - of course, I had asked specifically what software they were using, and he'd told me it was local to the school. If he'd told me the name before the exam I could have Googled it and prepared her a little.

Turns out what this is, is a "credit recovery" system whereby a student can be tested or essentially retake a course through the computer. It's used in a lot of places, but I still don't have an answer as to its ability to handle open-format answers.

The assistant principal said on Tuesday he'd follow up on Wednesday, having someone look at our daughter's answers in detail and verify that they were graded correctly, and that he'd call us. He hasn't called us.

Meanwhile, of course, today was her second day of AP Calculus (she got it by default while they weren't sure the computer system was going to work or not), where she is the 10th grader among 12th graders. Today there was a particular concept that none of them had heard of. Except my daughter, of course, who answered a question in class that nobody else could.

But of course, the computer says she's not properly qualified. And God knows we have to trust that.

Jacques up there somewhere - yeah, we already found MIT's courseware. Problem is she really wants to take the class with other kids. She's already done a lot of math at home on her own and she's tired of it; she'd much rather use her time at home for writing her fantasy novel.

Honestly, I'm kind of in agreement - she's getting to be a pretty damned good writer, and I'm eagerly awaiting each new installment of this latest start. So just from naked self-interest, I hope she spends more time writing.

#527 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:16 PM:

Serge @504: One of my sisters alerted me that my name was inscribed on a microchip in a space probe (Stardust — you'll have to scroll to find it in that list). She also told me that someone with my exact name was in jail for fraud in Missouri.

I have a lifetime membership in the NSS, grandfathered in (after a merger) from my lifetime membership in the L5 Society. So I figure that was the mailing list to be on.

So when the alien invaders appoint me as one of the Overlords of Earth (and not the 'other' Rusick), I will remember the people who treated me kindly...

#528 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:29 PM:

#475 Serge

I also find the term "kickass" itself offputting.

#461 KeithS

Violence-as-kneejerk-reaction instead of cogitation and intelligence as response, seems to be a trope of the times, alas. It's not "masculine" or "feminine," it's assholishness trumpeted as "alpha male" behavior.... I got irritated at Star Trek: Next Generation which had Denise Crosby as Lt whatever-her-name-was who as supposed security head, kicked first instead of -thinking-... the next character in the writers wrote to sometimes actually think rather than kick, as response to Problems....

Meanwhile, there is all that annoying "alpha male hero" stuff in book after book after book, I keep wondering why no one committed murder and mayhem on these never-apparently-restrained-from-acting-out-every-violent-thought characters, how did they ever to alleged adulthood?!

Once upon a time there was a place, a respected one, even, for people/characters who settled differences with creative solutions, which provided living standards improvements generally, rather than negative-sum outcome of WINNER gets most of the pot, loser has property and self-esteem and integrity of their hide lost, and corporate raider lawyer takes big chunk of pot, and the pot gets shrunk and cracked going forward. Today the "heroes" are lummoxes with bad tempers and offensive manners, boorish behavior, violent tendecies... loutish sorts, generally male, and with female who are either Civilizing Influences, or share SOME of the loutist habits...

#529 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:33 PM:

KeithS @ 525... From the fevered mind of Mary Dell... Cthulhu meets Kinkade and probably scares all the fish away.

#530 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:36 PM:

Rob Rusick @ 529... Let's be civilized about this. You can be the Overlord of the Earth, and I'll be the Master of Mars.

#531 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:38 PM:

#475 Serge

I also find the term "kickass" itself offputting.

#461 KeithS

Violence-as-kneejerk-reaction instead of cogitation and intelligence as response, seems to be a trope of the times, alas. It's not "masculine" or "feminine," it's assholishness trumpeted as "alpha male" behavior.... I got irritated at Star Trek: Next Generation which had Denise Crosby as Lt whatever-her-name-was who as supposed security head, kicked first instead of -thinking-... the next character in the writers wrote to sometimes actually think rather than kick, as response to Problems....

Meanwhile, there is all that annoying "alpha male hero" stuff in book after book after book, I keep wondering why no one committed murder and mayhem on these never-apparently-restrained-from-acting-out-every-violent-thought characters, how did they ever to alleged adulthood?!

Once upon a time there was a place, a respected one, even, for people/characters who settled differences with creative solutions, which provided living standards improvements generally, rather than negative-sum outcome of WINNER gets most of the pot, loser has property and self-esteem and integrity of their hide lost, and corporate raider lawyer takes big chunk of pot, and the pot gets shrunk and cracked going forward. Today the "heroes" are lummoxes with bad tempers and offensive manners, boorish behavior, violent tendecies... loutish sorts, generally male, and with female who are either Civilizing Influences, or share SOME of the loutist habits...

#532 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:50 PM:

KeithS, #525: Yeah, it's a Facebook album. They're cute pix, but not in and of themselves worth getting a Facebook account for if you don't want one.

#533 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 11:55 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 528/531... Mind you, those stories are fantasies, where people get to solve their problems in a physical manner that's safe and which would horrify them if they saw it happen in the real world. As for the zero-sum access to the Pot, we don't live in a world of unlimited resources anymore. We never really did, but people are starting to realize that there IS a limit and so, if the others get something, it means there's less left for our tribe.

#534 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:35 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 528/531... As for ST-TNG's idea of what a strong female character is... Heck, as for ST-TNG itself... The less said, the better.

#535 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 01:26 AM:

Serge @ 529:

I don't think I would remain as unflappable as that fisherman.

#536 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 03:21 AM:

I reckon the cheap characters are the ones who go straight to the violent resolution, falling some way below the serial-work characters who you just know will end the story in violent mode. Of course, there's still that famous line about violence being the last resort of the incompetent.

Essentially, I think it's the same sort of difference as between porn and erotic romance. The destination is the same, but one approach pays more attention to the journey.

#537 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 09:49 AM:

Terry Karney @ #512--

How about Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs instead?

Guaranteed to be far less dangerous to the blood sugar levels of viewers.

#538 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 10:03 AM:

KeithS @ 535... Neither would I. I guess this shows neither of us is a dedicated fisherman. (Oh and did you know that the French word for 'fisherman' is 'pêcheur'. One has to be careful with accents because if you write 'pécheur', that's the French for 'sinner'.)

#539 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 10:20 AM:

Michael Roberts @526

There might be a benefit to the administration moving slowly here, particularly since your daughter is performing so well in the class.

As her teacher gets to know her better and has an increasingly good sense of her capabilities, you should have one more person on your side as you deal with the challenges of standardized testing being applied to non-standardized kids. AP Calculus teachers do not, in general, have so many eager student breaking down their doors and begging to take their classes that they are eager to turn them away.

#540 ::: Joel P ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 11:02 AM:

Serge @ 538: "Je vous ferai pécheurs d'hommes"?

#541 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 11:13 AM:

Joel P @ 540... Yeah. Puns in the New Testament.

#542 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 11:26 AM:

Serge @ 541: I think there's something fishy about that.

#543 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 11:53 AM:

Serge @541:

I think the NT could use a pun or sΙΧ. ΘΥΣ do I appreciate Joel P @540, even if he's using a language I don't speak.

#544 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:01 PM:

CHip @518: and Minneapolis had tornados

Yes, I know. One touched down two blocks from my place at 34th & Emerson, summer of '81. Wee!!

#545 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:04 PM:

I know of at least one other pun in the New Testament, when Jesus tells Simon that, from this point on, he shall be called Peter. The French for 'Peter' is 'Pierre', which is also the French word for 'stone' as people who are fluent in Latin already know. (Yeah, I mean you over there.) That being said, in the French version of the New Testament, Jesus tells Simon/Peter:

"Tu es Pierre, et sur cette pierre je bâtirai mon Eglise."
"You are Peter, and on this stone I shall build my Church."

Puns do get lost in translation.

#546 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:31 PM:

Serge @545 The wikipedia article says that Peter/Pierre/Petra/Petros/πετρος is a translation of the apostle's Aramaic name Kephas or Cephas, all meaning "stone" or "rock".

#547 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:33 PM:

Serge @ 534:
"Heck, as for ST-TNG itself... The less said, the better."

Ouch.

(Why do I say "ouch"? Here's a clue.)

#548 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:38 PM:

Avram @ 524:

Under Obamacare your liver will be eaten with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Cadbury.

#549 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:41 PM:

abi @ 543:

Nice one.

Serge @ 545:

The pun is there in the Greek. I'm not sure if Petros actually existed as a name then or not, but it does now.

#550 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:41 PM:

545-546: mistranslation. Obviously the disciple should have been known as "Simon, that is called Rock."* Then the pun would have worked.


*or Cliff?

#551 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:43 PM:

Ginger: Serge @ 541: I think there's something fishy about that.

That's because it didn't scale very well, and the finish just sort of tails off.

#552 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 12:47 PM:

It wasn't a pun! Jesus was saying "I name you Rock, because on that rock I will build my Church." (Foundation of stone, foundation of sand, anyone? Hmmm...what IS the Greek word for sand?) It may seem like a pun now, because people have forgotten the meaning of the name, but JESUS didn't make the pun.

#553 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 02:06 PM:

If Jesus had built the church as a beach house instead of a fortress, I *would* be happier with it...

#554 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 02:09 PM:

Terry @#551: You could say it flounders in places.

#555 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 03:58 PM:

#554 pat greene: "flounders in places"

plaices, surely?

#556 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 04:01 PM:

linkmeister @ 555... It's apostlebility.

#557 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 04:05 PM:

Posted on Salon.com today...

Former Homeland Security head Tom Ridge appears to have confirmed what many already believed: The Bush administration wanted to use the terror alert level system for political gain.

I am shocked, shocked!

#558 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 05:36 PM:

It's quiet. Too quiet.

#559 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 05:40 PM:

That's because in blog comments, no one can hear you scream.

#560 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 05:52 PM:

Well, now I've another haddock.

#561 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 06:11 PM:

Xopher: I think, from the context, Jesus did make the wordplay; or at least the author did.

Ginger: If a haddock is your sole problem with Serge's language, you are found in good straits.

#562 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 07:33 PM:

#558 Serge

[Said with track shoes on, as Parthian shot....]

You've been seeing too many old movies, you haven't gotten past the bridge over the River Kwai yet.

#563 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 07:49 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 562... I was thinking of the scene from The Naked Jungle where Eleanor Parker suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night, not sure why, until Charlton Heston points out the total silence.

#564 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 08:24 PM:

Technical observation: The per-thread feed links (“You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread.”) have an extra slash in them; I presume this is accidental.

#565 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 09:46 PM:

The "turn where the Krispy Kreme used to be" is considered archetypally rural/small town, yes. So I was surprised, listening to the radio one morning, to hear the reporter say there was a traffic jam "where the gas tanks used to be."

Almost anyone listening would have known what that meant, and there really isn't anything else nearby to serve as a landmark, which is why the Elmhurst gas tanks were so regularly mentioned on the traffic reports. Well, that and the traffic patterns that meant that if there was a traffic jam anywhere on the Queens part of the Long Island Expressway, it was probably there.

#566 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 09:51 PM:

Linkmeister, #555, well if you're going to carp about it...

I do feel a little like a snook.

#567 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 09:56 PM:

abi --

Now I'm waiting for a big ugly monster to burst out of my computer screen.

#568 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 10:18 PM:

#561

I've always wanted to ask an Aramaic speaker if Luke 11:11-12 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?" contains a couple of puns.

#547 - The IMBD plot keyword "bartender" reminds me of that in some detail. That was one of the good ones. If I'm not mistaken, it also showed Deanna Troi doing really good active listening. I enjoyed it. You also made use of the holodeck without making it another "holodeck story."

I conjectured once that the TNG holodeck was not a human invention, but a piece of alien technology really intended for some entirely different purpose that humans had copied. If I'd been the captain, that thing would have been turned off and ripped out at the next opportunity.

#569 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 10:38 PM:

Oh, Cod..eel be a cold day in Hake before we quit fishing around for puns.

#570 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 11:00 PM:

Ginger @ 569... Because they're the sole reason you fin'd yourself here?

#571 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 11:18 PM:

Let's not be koi, Serge, puns are a major reason some of us find ourselves here.

#572 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 11:41 PM:

pat Greene @ 571... I thought people came here to find a chum.

#573 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2009, 11:47 PM:

I'll just perch on the sidelines and wait for Serge to trout another pun.

#574 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 01:25 AM:

Pun contests leave my floundering. I shark cod use some kelp.

#575 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 01:47 AM:

Stephan Jones: I'm sure there's a tuna possibilities. Unless salmon put lox on the dictionaries, you should be able to find some inspiration.

There are those who get crabby when the wordplay begins, but that's just the way things go, and they are swimming against the current.

#576 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 04:02 AM:

We are just prawns in the hands of cod.

#577 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 05:45 AM:

Dave Bell@576

Not all of us are that shellfish.

#578 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 05:49 AM:

You guys really are piscine about, aren't you?

#579 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 07:22 AM:

Abi, I was about to dash off a quick reply but I thought I smelt a rat. So I'm going to mullet over a while first.

#580 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 07:33 AM:

I was going to mullet over too but you beat me to it, so I'll just have to mussel in while salmon piano plays "As time goes by".

Cadbury.

#581 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 07:54 AM:

Cadbury Moose @ 580... while salmon piano plays "As time goes by"

And who plays the bass?

#582 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 08:17 AM:

I'm way behind on my ML reading (still on Open Thread 124, would you believe?), so this link has probably been posted already. But it's such a great thing that even if so, I hope you won't mind seeing it again:

Kyle Cassidy's photos of people at Worldcon (via)

#583 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 08:31 AM:

It's not that kind of dive (though the DEA found a roach in one of the ashtrays once and threatened to kick wrasse if it happened again).

Cadbury.

#584 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 02:38 PM:

Sarah S @539 - yes, that's exactly what I've been saying. So far, the calc teacher is happy with her performance, and the school has bigger problems right now, having suspended (!) more than 10% (!!) of its students for dress code violations during the first week of school. There are protesters out front every day and the police are fining people $200 for honking in sympathy.

This city was boring until I showed up; I'm telling you, chaos, panic, and disorder - my work here is just starting!

Anyway, my daughter's gotten through a week of AP Calculus and oddly enough is doing just fine. Which comes as no surprise at all to me, but that's probably why I'm not a school administrator.

#585 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 03:07 PM:

Congrats on your daughter's continued super-calculus powers, although at this point I may be equally impressed with her ability to follow the dress code.

No prints? No visible collarbones? I'd just give up and go steampunk.

#586 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 03:17 PM:

From Michael's link (584): prohibit students from wearing clothes with any distinguishing marks on them, including logos, stripes, plaid or floral prints [emphasis mine]

Are they out of their frickin' MINDS? What kind of rule is that? Did they communicate it to parents clearly well in advance of school-shopping season? What about families with several kids who pass clothes down to the younger ones? Are they giving the parents money to replace everything with plain garments?

#587 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 03:58 PM:

Mary Aileen #586:

This reminds me of certain how-many-tailors-can-prance-around-a-dressmaker's-pin-type incidents back when I was a senior in high school, damn near 40 years ago, when the girls were finally allowed to wear trousers, but not blue jeans. (The guys had worn blue jeans all along, as near as I, a junior-year transfer, could tell.) We could wear blue trousers, as long as they were not denim; we could wear jeans, as long as they were not blue denim (I had some pink corduroy ones and some red-white-and-blue-denim ones; both pairs were legal).

It all seemed to me to be remarkably restrictive, and happening just because they could, you know, make rules.

Michael, what's the ruling on athletic shoes, which to the best of my knowledge all come with some sort of logo on them somewhere? Does everyone have to go shop at Florsheim or something? Do you start wearing a logo if you put your messenger bag strap over your shoulder? What about handbags, which are also about 75% cursed with logos?

Oh, and what about the embroidery on jeans, and the (probably fake these days) leather labels on Levis, Wranglers, and even the jeans I got from LLBean the other day?

(Sounds to me like somebody bought stock in Lands End or something.)

#588 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 04:14 PM:

Serge @581:

"De plaice play de bass, and he sounding hot!"

#589 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 04:25 PM:

If I had to follow that kind of stupid dress code, I'd at least be tempted to wear the most obnoxious color combinations I could find. Blaze orange pants, fluorescent lime green shirt, and bright purple sneakers springs to mind. Or do they outlaw clashing colors, too?

#590 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 04:50 PM:

Here's the dress code (.pdf) straight from the horse's mouth.

I don't think I have more than 6 out of 40 t-shirts which don't have some corporate logo on them, whether the restaurant my sister works at, my former employer's uniform shirts, or team jerseys.

#591 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 04:52 PM:

FYI, the dress code stupidity is because some idiot in administration started listening too closely to highly paid anti-gang "experts" and then they started nit-picking and fretting about what would be the next so-called gang-banger clothing ID, so somebody else in administration had a not-so-brilliant idea. There's also a class--would be sophomores this year--of challenging kids out there that want to play the "how low can your neckline go" game. Or at least they wanted to do it in middle school.

Sigh. The rule is that kids will want to push the dress limits. You can either keep it minimal, go all whacko like these guys did, or go to uniforms. I prefer the first approach, even though it means I occasionally have to serve as the Dress Code Police with regard to hemlines, collars, and Stuff I Don't Want To See at school.

If you don't want to do that, then just suck it up and go for uniforms. The middle option satisfies no one and makes the problem a lot worse than it should be.

And as for gangbangers, the thing to do is to focus on behavior, not clothing. You can never keep up with the trends.

#592 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 04:53 PM:

From Michael's link (584): prohibit students from wearing clothes with any distinguishing marks on them, including logos, stripes, plaid or floral prints

At risk of sounding flippant... I live in Oakland. I have never heard anybody quoted following a shooting as saying "He was wearing chintz in the wrong neighborhood, man. You can't be doing that around here." Wearing red in the wrong neighborhood, wearing blue in the wrong neighborhood, standing by a sidewalk shrine for somebody else who'd been killed... all of those have resulted in people getting shot. Floral prints? Not so much.

#593 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 04:54 PM:

ajay@550: not quite. The plain Greek for 'rock' is petra (feminine): the name is Petros (masculine). Perhaps it should be translated Rocky?

#594 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 05:08 PM:

Michael Roberts @584: the police are fining people $200 for honking in sympathy

Interesting. Is this (the fining, not the honking) common practice? It seems to me a quite blatant restriction of free speech, and therefore I would presume (from my British understanding of US law) that it is unconstitutional.

#595 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 05:41 PM:

Jules @ 594:

From Indiana Code 9-19-5:

IC 9-19-5-2
Use of horn during operation of vehicle
    Sec. 2. The driver of a motor vehicle shall, when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, give audible warning with the horn on the motor vehicle but may not otherwise use the horn when upon a highway.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7.

So they're enforcing a law that's on the books that isn't usually enforced (since cops can't be everywhere), probably because they know they can make a lot of money on it by parking themselves there. Most states, as far as I'm aware, have laws like that regarding proper use of car horns.

#596 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 05:44 PM:

Thanks, Linkmeister (590). Interestingly, the "no stripes, plaids, or floral prints" bit is nowhere in there. In fact, the actual dress code sounds fairly reasonable. I suspect the problems stem from the exceptions: "discretion of the principal" and "minimal standards that may be modified to a more restrictive level" are very vague and subject to abuse.

Joyce (591): When I calmed down a little (and before I saw the actual dress code), it occurred to me that this might be a half-assed attempt to impose a uniform with actually coming out and saying so.

#597 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 05:52 PM:

A man in Maryland was fined because he flashed his car lights to let an oncoming driver know there was a speedtrap ahead. The man being a lawyer, he looked up the law and went to court. The judge agreed that the meaning of the law was that people couldn't drive with ongoing flashing lights and that it was not illegal to flash to notify about speedtraps.

#599 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 05:59 PM:

Michael, #584: Sounds like it's time to break out the tie-dye! Might one of the protesting parents be interested in hosting a tie-dye party? It's easy enough, although it is rather an all-day project. Ping me if you'd like more information.

Linkmeister, #590: I have a decent selection of plain T-shirts (mostly from Target), but that's because I like to show off my jewelry, and shirts with logos or artwork clash.

Lexica, #592: LOL!

KeithS, #595: Also, they might be able to claim that it was disturbing the peace -- another type of catchall ordinance that most communities have in place.

#600 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 06:42 PM:

re the honking: I suspect it's contestable, as a free speech issue, because political speech is a protected activity It would be something one had to get the ACLU involved with, unless one has gobs of money going spare.

I can also see the state's defense; this is a blanket prohibition, and therefore isn's selective about content, and so is a permissible incursion on the, fundamentally, absolute right to practice political speech.

Would be an interesting case.

#601 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 08:16 PM:

Terry Karney @ 600:

As a matter of public safety, I don't think there's anything wrong with laws regarding proper car horn usage. However, since it seems to be a targeted application of the law (although I'm thinking revenue more than anything else), there might be a case.

And now, a tangent. From The Return of Heroic Failures, under the heading of "The Fastest Failure of a Driving Test":

This seemed unbeatable until 1981 when a Lanarkshire motor mechanic called Thomson failed the test before the examiner had even got into the car. Arriving at the test centre he tooted the horn to summon the examiner, who strode out to the vehicle, said it was illegal to sound your horn while stationary, announced that Thomson had failed and strode back in again. Genius of this kind cannot be taught. It is a natural gift.
#602 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 08:45 PM:

Has that school administration ever heard of seersucker, or of Madras plaid? Both perfectly legitimate fabrics for summer shirts, and plaid. (Seersucker comes in stripes, too.)

#603 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 08:51 PM:

And I thought the dress code in my HS was strict. (almost wrote 'dress cod' there!)

Being in the mid-1960s, ours banned sandals, bead necklaces, skirts where the hemline didn't touch either the floor or the back of the knee when kneeling (including midi and maxi lengths), and, except for one day a year, blue jeans for boys. (Girls didn't get to wear any kind of pants. This was also before tee-shirts became normal outerwear for everyone.)

#604 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 08:59 PM:

Serge@545: there's a wonderful Durufle' motet on "Tu es petrus, et super hanc petram edificabo..."

Michael@584: I'm telling you, chaos, panic, and disorder - my work here is just starting! Are you by any chance a Quintarian heretic?

#605 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 09:05 PM:

Chip @ 604... Thanks. By the way, what is the English version of that phrase?

#606 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 09:12 PM:

Remember last thread I said I had at one time been rear-ended thrice within a few months, none of them my fault? Maybe I shouldn't have said anything about it.

Yeah, again - and solidly crunched this time. This time I was yielding to on-coming traffic at the "Yield" sign at the end of a freeway exit ramp, and CRUNCH! The Jeep Cherokee behind me bent its license plate slightly, and seriously crunched my rear bumper, trunk, and fenders.

I had the headrest properly adjusted, and while my neck feels a little bit achey, I don't think I've got a bad case of whiplash. I have the guy's number and insurance and all of that, but it's going to be a pain having to get a repair quote and leave it to get fixed.

#607 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 09:30 PM:

Serge: "You are stone, and on that stone I will build..."

#608 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 09:42 PM:

Serge @ 605:

NIV says: "you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church", but they're all pretty much the same. The only reason you'd know that there's anything linguistically meaningful going on there is if you have a Bible with notes and commentary, if someone else tells you, or if you already know the derivation of the name.

Other translations here if you want to check.

Clifton Royston @ 606:

I hope nothing bad develops out of that and that you're well.

#609 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 10:31 PM:

Andrew M. at #593:
Perhaps it should be translated Rocky?

"And now, I will turn water into wine!"
"Again? That trick never works!"

#610 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2009, 11:58 PM:

I'm not sure which is worst, the idea of Rocky Balboa as founder of the Church, or Donna Reed.

#611 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 12:34 AM:

re accidents (which came up in the palliative care thread).

I had a real one on the bike (which was a scooter). Bike is totaled (in all probability). I might be able to repair it, but that would be, in essence, a complete teardown and reassembley. It looks as though the frame is bent. Everything else works (well the throttle seems stuck at about 15 percent, but given the way things were torqued, I'm not surprised).

That said, it was a good wreck.

The guy next to me drifted, or thought about changing lanes, or something. I looked over a tad too long (I am a moderately experienced rider of motorcycles, but not a recent one), and the two cars in front of me stopped.

I had good following distance, and all the needed gear (helmet, leather jacket [the classic style, with the belt done up], jeans, boots; well above the ankle, and studded gloves).

I saw the stopped cars, hit the brakes, and saw there was no way to stop in time, so I laid it down.

It was over in an moment. The bike hit the ground (and so too my shoulder, hip and foot).

From the aches, pains, scrapes, and bruises, I have a pretty good idea of the next bit. My shoulder rolled, the helmet dragged, my head rolled, the front tire of the bike hit the driver side rear tire of the car, and the frame bent; shoving the fairing into my topside (right) knee.

I was, as one is, up in a moment. The lady in the car was out shortly thereafter, all shook up because she had never seen me (bike, good following distance, etc.).

Apart from the bike being totalled (it cost $800, all in, and I;m guessing the needed parts [fairings, frame] are about $400; a good used scooter is running about $500, and [if there are still some at that price] a new replacement would be $700 (I can live without delivery. I'll look into a new scooter, and then disassemble this one to sell/keep for parts. If I get an actual motorcycle, I'll offer this for a project, and then probably sell it for parts, but I digress) I'm fine.

Not having transportation sucks. I was gettig used to the idea of being completely independent of others again, but I'll be able to replace it in a month, or two; the belt will be a little tight, but the GI bill ought to be paying me by October.

It could have been a lot worse. It's the first time I've ever had to lay down a motorcycle. It was a lot less scary than the occaisions I've had to lay a bicycle down. Which may have been the speed of it all (I was doing about 40 when I saw the stopped cars, and something between 15-20 when I hit the ground).

I'd have to say time on bicycles, and horseback, helped a lot. Everyone I've spoken with about it says I was lucky enough to do everything right. I'll put it in the win column, under Victories, Phyrric.

#612 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 12:46 AM:

And... in relation to something abi said somewhere, and in reflection of a particle; the lot of you, posters, commentariat, and lurkers:

Bei mir bist du schön

#613 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 12:49 AM:

The problem isn't the dress code - as far as I can tell, yes, it's that old "anti-gang" canard (Richmond seems to be as addicted to consultants as any largish school district) - but the arbitrary application of same. I talked to a kid today who was suspended for two strips of Velcro along the bottom of his jeans.

No, Mary Aileen@586, they are not giving exemptions for people who can't afford a whole new wardrobe, and there are plenty of people in Richmond who fall into that category. Even if everybody were to want to buy a whole wardrobe, every store in town is already sold out of dress-code-compliant clothing. Long since, actually.

This morning, I saw three guys walking towards the school in drag; one complied with the dress code, one not so much, but the third was in a negligée that showed serious collarbone (no cleavage, but that was his anatomy, not the dress), so I figure he was suspended. The cops applauded them.

I heard about a family of three girls who'd all bought the same clothing; one was suspended, the other two were explicitly told the clothing was compliant.

I heard about a girl suspended for wearing a low-cut shirt with a tee under it.

The rumor at the school today (I heard this from Velcro Boy) is that Barack Obama is coming, and that he's against the dress code. I find it touching that Hoosiers consider Obama such a powerful agent of change, but as I was telling people, I wished he'd just go ahead and focus on healthcare.

Amazingly, they agreed.

I did check, of course. I can find no evidence that Richmond has even come near Mr. Obama's radar screen.

But after all the ruckus ... my daughter finished the week still in AP Calculus. This particular visit to the United States has been pretty interesting so far.

In re: Quintarian heresy - if it's heresy, then yeah, I embrace it. Is there some heresy against the Quintarian heresy that I could just embrace pre-emptively?

#614 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 02:59 AM:

I think Barack's at Camp David and then off to Martha's Vineyard with no side trips to Indiana.

Lessee, first Presidential vacation in first year of first term: I hope no Beware-of-Impending-Doom Presidential Daily Brief (.pdf) appears while he's there.

OTOH, I'll bet he'd respond differently than the last guy did the last time one like that showed up on August 6, 2001.

#615 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 03:12 AM:

Clifton Royston and Terry Karney, glad to hear you're both OK.

In other news, "What's Opera, Doc?" live.

#616 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 03:30 AM:

Michael, that's the feeling I get from the reporting: no consistent enforcement. It's also being alleged that the High School isn't following the specified general disciplinary process.

It sounds as though the principal is enthusiastically digging his hole.

Interestingly, the uniform I wore at school would have broken this dress code. Unless, when banning logos, they made an exception for a school logo/badge.

School cheerleaders?

I wonder what happened to those guys in drag that you saw?

#617 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 09:26 AM:

I would have applauded the guys in drag as well.

A cousin of mine got into a fight with her principal over dress code-- not for herself, but for a friend to whom she lent clothing. The two girls were, I guess, close enough in build that they could share shirts. The blonde one was consistently okay. The black one was consistently in violation.

All dress codes seemed to do in my high school was piss off the good kids.

#618 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 09:26 AM:

Vicki @565 said: The "turn where the Krispy Kreme used to be" is considered archetypally rural/small town, yes. So I was surprised, listening to the radio one morning, to hear the reporter say there was a traffic jam "where the gas tanks used to be."

Newcomers to Chicago are sometimes taken aback to discover that on the Eisenhower* the traffic reporters always report times "from the old Post Office to the Strangler." The former is blatantly obvious to anyone who's driven by it, because it's a massive building straddling the highway**; the latter is a mere nickname for the highway interchanges where the I290, the I355, and the 88 merge/diverge. This takes place in the suburb of Hillside, and so was rather inevitably named "The Hillside Strangler" for what it does to traffic years ago.

Michael Roberts @613: third was in a negligée that showed serious collarbone

My husband wonders why no one has yet tried a plain, modest outfit of black T-shirt, black pants, and long black trenchcoat ...


* They are also taken aback to find that everyone here calls the I290 the Eisenhower, plus all the other amusing bynames we have for our highways that aren't listed on most maps ... Sort of a variant of Cambridge, MA's unstated "We don't post street signs because if you don't know where you are, you don't belong here" policy?

** Also, it's for sale. I understand the asking price is a mere $3Million, which for a building that size is ridiculously cheap.

#619 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 10:53 AM:

#18 Elliott

Cambridge street signs go up, and students remove them to use as dormroom decorations--same thing happens to MassAve street signs in Boston, I remember them having about 24 hours at most before they disappeared. Even subway maps in underground stations sometimes disappeared.

#620 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 11:24 AM:

Michael @ 613

Have kids been suspended for wearing Richmond Red Devils t-shirts? It would be interesting if a large flock of kids showed up in a t-shirt celebrating their high school, and got suspended for it....

Yay team spirit.

#621 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 11:45 AM:

About dress codes violators -

I recently bought an "18 Hour" bra just for the novelty of getting something in my size in a national brand. I can't wear any neckline lower than a crewneck (which I generally find uncomfortable) with that ginormous bosom tarp.

Sometimes a girl can be built so that any non-turtleneck shirt shows cleavage, and therefore heavier or bustier girls will suddenly be violating the dress code just for dressing in summer/fall/spring appropriate garments.

Perhaps a long baggy robe and maybe a head covering just in case for those sluts who dare to expose their bosoms so wantonly.

Other possibilities for Dress Code protests: Dress Code compliant clothing worn backwards. Long sleeve shirt made into pants (or skirt with extraneous tentacles), pants converted to shirt. Orange jumpsuits.

#622 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 12:02 PM:

#618
The LA area has the Four Level (just what it sounds like, the 101/110 interchange in downtown LA), the Orange Crush (5/22/57 in Santa Ana), and Malfunction Junction (5/91 in, roughly, Buena Park).
We have freeways where you need both name and number to identify a location (because the names and the numbers are independent of each other) and one where no one uses the name (the 118, officially the 'Ronald Reagan Freeway').
There's one real landmark in the Valley (outside of the two airports): the Budweiser brewery.

#623 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 12:08 PM:

Michael @613

It would be interesting to find out what happened if a bunch of kids showed up to school wearing Richmond Red Devils t-shirts.

Would they suspend kids for showing school spirit?

(I had another similar comment go to moderation; I think I screwed up the link. Feel free to delete it, moderators.)

#624 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 12:13 PM:

LA has some of the same thing, with traffic reports; "the four level", "the E. LA interchange", "Sepulveda", "The Orange Crush".

They are perhaps, a little easier to figure out, but not always ("Sepulveda" is a stretch of the 405, which goes through Sepulveda Pass, not the street itself (which runs parallel to the freeway at that point), and not located near any named exit of that name.

The Orange Crush is a particularly nasty bit of interchanges and merges near the Halodome (which is now called something else; it's Angel Stadium, where the Rams used to play, and the Angels still do). The City of Orange is near by.

#625 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 12:56 PM:

P J: Or those (like me) who refer to (as does traffic, actually), the 118 by it's older name, "the Simi Valley Freeway".

I've never heard of Malfunction Junction. I tend to use numbers, more than names, because the numbers are consistent ("the Hollywood Freeway" for example, is the S 101, as well as the entirety of the 170, but in the same stretch N, the 101 is labeled the Ventura. We shan't even go into the oddities of the N/S 405 meeting the N/S 101; at right angles).

#626 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 12:59 PM:

Serge #610, presumably replying to Erik #609:

The name's Squirrel ... Rocket J Squirrel.

#627 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 01:02 PM:

Cally #622:

Looks like they have an exemption for clothing promoting official extracurricular activities.

#628 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 01:23 PM:

The dress code brouhaha reminds me of when the Beaverton schools banned shorts. It was June, and the weather was warm. Girls were wearing miniskirts, but boys couldn't wear shorts.

You know where this is going already, don't you?

Yup, two boys showed up at school wearing miniskirts. I recall seeing their picture in the newspaper, but I don't recall the outcome. I think I'd remember a disciplinary kerfluffle, so I believe the school administration conceded that round. One of the great pleasures of being subject to silly rules is to comply with the letter of the law, while doing things that make the law-maker annoyed.

#629 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 01:40 PM:

Dave Bell (616)/Cally Soukup(622): The dress code specifically allows school shirts.

Elliott Mason (618): No coats allowed indoors.

#630 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 02:26 PM:

janetl @627:
This dress code doesn't specify gender of skirt-wearers (though since shorts are permitted the heat pressure is off.)

So is anyone else thinking Utilikilts?

#631 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 03:00 PM:

abi (629): Yes, I was thinking of Utilikilts, too. Preferably bright orange with an obnoxiously-clashing shirt.

#632 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 03:25 PM:

Mary Aileen @628: No coats allowed indoors.

What do you suppose the issue was with coats? I can understand where the "polo or crew neck" rule came from. If you allow any form of v-neck, there's the potential to end up staring at a girl's chest and discussing what you see.

The school should just go with uniforms, but have some fun with it -- henchman jumpsuits, a la evil overlord. Based on my memory of parochial school uniforms, this will unleash a flood of creativity: subtle differences in white socks, the angle of your collar, and so on.

#633 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 03:39 PM:

janetl (631): I have no idea about the coats. I'm more concerned with the complete ban on hats and other head coverings. No exception made for religious requirements. They do allow wigs if prescribed by a doctor (e.g., for chemotherapy patients). Otherwise it's up to the discretion of the principal. Urgh.

My high school instituted a (highly unpopular) ban on hats while I was there. No idea if it had religious exemptions or not (afaik it wasn't an issue in that time and place). Otherwise, they only banned clothing that was "distracting." Very vague, that. (But I never heard that how it was enforced was a problem.)

#634 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 03:49 PM:

I read about Dress Code in schools and I ask myself if the Sixties, which had gotten rid of the thing when I was growing up, ever occurred.

#635 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 04:14 PM:

Terry, isn't there a huge interchange in LA called The Stack? Seems to me it has about five freeways crossing one another at that point.

#636 ::: Melody Nims ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 04:41 PM:

Kayjayoh @462:

"Environmental technology" as is environmentalism, or Environmental Science (as in the environments of buildings)?

Ed says he remembers a short story he read as a child that predicted "clean" coal. I always go to Verne reflexively with these kinds of questions...I'm not sure he's going to help me with this one, though. Hmm.

(Oh, and we all loved the Old Fashioned, thanks for the recommendation!)

#637 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 04:50 PM:

Serge @ 519:

I also did a Kinkade/Cthulhu mash* about that same time.


* I did the Monster Mash!

#638 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 04:57 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 636... Thanks. Somehow I had missed it the first time around. I noticed that the fisherman lost his head at the sight of his catch.

#639 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 05:09 PM:

re: dress codes -

Girls in Tampa were first allowed to wear slacks to school in 1972, when I was in 7th grade. The rules were strict: no jeans or denim, and the slacks actually had to be part of a pants suit; i.e., paired with an almost-dress. Oddly, the rules about skirt lengths were more lax.

The next year every rule pretty much went by the wayside. Why? That was the first year of busing; with so many kids being bused from one end of town to the other, there was no practical way to send anyone home for noncompliance. And yes, people did take full advantage. Ripped jeans! Hot pants! Halter tops!

#640 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 05:32 PM:

#634
That's the four-level. Two freeways. Don't be in a hurry if you're changing freeways: the ramp speed is something like 20mph. (Very tight curves.) It's an old design, but not as old as the Pasadena 'Freeway', which has short on and off ramps, frequently with a ninety degree turn on the exits and a stop sign right before the freeway on the on-ramps. (Those of us with experience avoid the right lane on it as much as possible. Better yet, we try to avoid the Psasdena entirely.)

#641 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 05:42 PM:

Did you know that Joss Whedon's grandpapa and father had been sitcom writers who'd worked on Leave it to Beaver, The Donna Reed Show and Golden Girls?

#642 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 06:21 PM:

nerdycellist, #620, I'm wearing a 40M from Decent Exposures under a collared shirt with buttons, the top button undone and about an inch above my cleavage. They'll work with you to get the shape you need/want.

Yesterday's WashPost had an article on a teacher dress code.

#643 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 06:56 PM:

Marilee #641:

Times have sure changed. In 1972, a fellow fencer, doing her student teaching, was forbidden to wear "hip-huggers".

#644 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 06:58 PM:

Elliott, #618: Freeways in Houston have names too, and it confused the bejeezus out of me for the first year or so until I got used to all of them.

What really becroggles me about downtown Chicago is the Wacker mess -- North Wacker, South Wacker, East Wacker, West Wacker, Upper Wacker, Middle Wacker, and Lower Wacker. All right there cheek by jowl with each other. If you'd been TRYING to find a way to confuse out-of-towners, you'd have been hard put to do a better job!

#645 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 07:21 PM:

Clifton & Terry:
Yikes! Glad it wasn't worse and you're (mostly) o.k.

#646 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 07:42 PM:

Terry At 624, (glad you're OK after the lay-down), you are familiar, I know, with the stretch of I-5 near me,which runs pretty much East-West from Tumwater to South Tacoma. Newspaper reporters, long-haul delivery drivers, and some new State Patrol employees write stories/directions/accident reports as if any street meeting I-5 at right angles was an East/West street. For a while that benighted source of geographic confusion, MapQuest, also incorrectly assigned E/W designations for directions off I-5. This lead to much entertainment when people were described as "proceeding east on Meridian Road" since the Meridian in question is the Willamette one, which is the north-south baseline for Washington and Oregon.

#647 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 09:03 PM:

Thanks for the good wishes, all. I'm feeling fine today; I took my usual dose of anti-inflammatories yesterday, and the neck was feeling fine this morning.

A rep from the other guy's insurance company had called me before the end of the afternoon, so I already have a repair estimate and meeting with the claims adjuster set for Monday morning. Pretty efficient, I must say.

Soon Lee, I didn't get a chance to respond to your earlier comments, but it sounds to me like what I was told about NZ colloquialisms was either yanking my chain, or perhaps based on slang forty years out of date. Pulling the legs of tourists is an ancient and honorable sport nearly anywhere in the world.

#648 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 09:46 PM:

Clifton, glad you're feeling OK. I've used Kuroda Auto Body, in case you're looking for a shop. That was before they moved to Waipio, though.

#649 ::: mcpye ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 10:03 PM:

#619 Paula L: I've seen street ID painted on corner walls or curbs (aka kerbs) in standard forms & places. Not impossible, but impractical & awkward to remove. Would local conditions allow those?

BTW, am delurking again to say I love this place (which is mostly the people).
My thoughts continue with the several yous out there having problems, whether jobs, lack of jobs, or injury or illness (including ongoing ones not always mentioned here). A large 'phew!' for Terry K's less-worse-than-it-might-be incident.

#650 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 10:10 PM:

Lee @643 said: What really becroggles me about downtown Chicago is the Wacker mess -- North Wacker, South Wacker, East Wacker, West Wacker, Upper Wacker, Middle Wacker, and Lower Wacker. All right there cheek by jowl with each other. If you'd been TRYING to find a way to confuse out-of-towners, you'd have been hard put to do a better job!

It's not our fault; Wacker's the only street left that does that: it basically takes a right-angle turn. Post-Fire, in the late 1800s, they bulldozed the existing streets and properties and straightened it all out to Burnham's plan, which is why our downtown doesn't look like, um, Boston, just to pick a somewhat random example.

The upper/lower (and /middle/, sometimes) thing in the downtown business district is to get delivery vehicles and the like in separate streams from the ordinary car-traffic. Works quite well, actually; and if you know how to Work the System, you can use it as a hyperspace jump to avoid a lot of the stupid car traffic and get the frell out of downtown quickly.

Also it's good for filming movies in (from the Blues Brothers right through to the recent Batman movie with Heath Ledger's Joker in it).

#651 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 10:57 PM:

I'm back from my vacation, happy but exhausted. Will take a few days to catch up.

#652 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 11:10 PM:

David Harmon... Welcome back.

#653 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 11:14 PM:

A question for people who work at Tor Books... The latest issue of Locus had a review of a book called The Affinity Bridge, by one George Mann. It appears to have been originally been published in England. I was curious about how its page count went from 416 to 336.

#654 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 11:22 PM:

Just when you think the Skiffy Channel can't get any weirder... A few minutes ago, I caught the ad for next week's latest Cinéma outing. It's called "Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus". I liked the scene where a big commercial plane's passenger looks out the window and sees the shark jump out of the ocean and straight at him.

#655 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2009, 11:23 PM:

School logos are specifically permitted, as the only permitted logos. Plenty of families figure it's a way for the school to extort money out of them.

Incidentally, having Satan as a school mascot means there aren't many fundamentalists in the public school system here. One more reason for the rest of the county to be afraid of Richmond. (Richmond being the Big City, y'know.) (Population about 30,000.)

#656 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 12:23 AM:

Elliott Mason @649: When it came out, a Toronto critic gave an appreciative review to the Blues Brothers movie, describing it as 'the first demolition musical'.

#658 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 12:49 AM:

Rob Rusick @ 655:

I still maintain that it was pretty much the last of the film musicals for quite a while. I'm sure Serge will be able to correct me if I'm wrong.

The only time I was ever in Chicago I mostly walked, so I didn't have to deal with driving. It's a lovely city.

#659 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 01:18 AM:

KeithS @ 657... I'm not really that knowledgeable about the musicals of the last 30 years, but Annie came out in 1982, two years after the Blues Brothers. No, I've never seen Annie beyond bits and pieces. I saw Nicole Kidman's death scene in Moulin Rouge and that was quite enough. Chicago? A big shrug. Besides that... Does Fritz Lang's Metropolis being given a rock soundtrack make it into a musical?

#660 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 01:19 AM:

KeithS, #657: The last time I was in Chicago, I parked my car at the hotel and just walked everywhere. Was quite pleased with myself for finding TWO cheap places for dinner in the heart of downtown, too! But first I had to get to the hotel...

#661 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 03:08 AM:

::: Mary Aileen :::
The dress code says "Shirts must be plain"
Which *would* exclude stripes,plaids and floral prints. (one of the press photographs tells of a kindergarten student who was sent home for wearing a striped shirt. -- I guess they need to start early practice on what it feels like under a "zero tolerance" regime.)

#662 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 03:31 AM:

#633 Serge

Uh, the 1960s were more than a generation ago, it's 2009, 1969 was forty years ago.... Microprocessors didn't exist, less computing power than a cellphone had was beyond the capability of the most powerful computers in the world at the time, there was little trade between the USA and mainland China, the Berlin Wall was still up, the space program was being cut back massively but there were expectations tht the space shuttle would soon be flying and assembly of a permanent US space station would begin, there were no female military cadets in the USA, no female military pilots and no female pilots at large commercial airlines, there were no cellphones and no CDs and no CD-ROMs and no DVDs and no inexpensive home video recording, no digital cameras, no Fux Noose...

#663 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 07:03 AM:

LA freeway names...it's a long-observed phenomenon in our family that my mother the Angelina refers to all freeways by their names ("Go east on the Macarthur freeway...") while my father, from San Jose, uses numbers ("Go east on 580...")

#664 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 07:42 AM:

P J @ 639: If you're ever in Connecticut you'll feel right at home on the Merritt Parkway, which runs parallel to I-95 from New Haven to Westchester County, NY. 20mph ramps with stop signs, two lanes each direction, and the state is legally unable to widen it because there are seven bridges over the road that have historical landmark status. (The Merritt overpasses are a splendidly diverse architectural collection; it's worth the detour if you have to drive through the area, and it's a better route to take than that stretch of 95 anyway.)

There are a couple spots where in the past ten years they've regraded curves and as a result thinned down the trees along the Merritt. This is a crying shame, because before they did that work there were stretches where the highway running under the wooded canopy in high summer was powerfully evocative of Zelazny's road through Arden.

#665 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 08:27 AM:

When I went to to LunaCon at the Escher Hilton the road I traveled from Worcester used the Merritt.

It really shouldn't have that high a speed limit.

But it is,at times, a lovely drive.

#666 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 08:29 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 661... I agree, and I remember July 1969. (That's the thing that got me out of my SummerCamp-induced depression.) But... All of those things that you mention were the result of Progress where one thing built on top of another, to the point where we now have a President called Barack Obama. Those are things thta could have been predicted. Could we have predicted that, in the case of schools for example, Progress would be reversed and we'd be going thru the same conservative crap that you and I went thru?

#667 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 08:52 AM:

Serge # 665

Yes, it's predictable, alas. I don't know if you ever read the old SF novel Syndic written back in the 1950s? It include pendulums swinging back to recidivist restrictions.... even though it was written in much socially narrower times than the past decade.

One factor in the current situation is that the majority of the US population was NOT in favor of many of the things done by the misadministration in 2001-2008, there really and truly are immoral, unethical, anti-democratic conspirings that have been involved.... and the current leadership seems mostly to lack the moral and ethical spines to deal with the abcesses in reasonable surgical fashion (as opposed to combinations of the river in Egypt, coverup, pretense of Not a Problem, or "just leave it alone and don't disturb anything."

#668 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 09:21 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 666... Yes, the Pendulum... I was thinking along those lines the other day, when I realized that it'll soon be 2010, the year of John Brunner's "Stand on Zanzibar". It got quite a few things wrong, and I don't mean that there are no AIs in our world. That book, like others of the late Sixties assumed that, if we didn't choke ourselves on our own garbage, there would be a continuity of Progress, but somehow they forgot that the forces of conservatism wouldn't just sit there and let the world become something not to their liking.

#669 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 10:00 AM:

Even after years of going to Chicago, though not driving, I still have no idea which highway numbers and names are connected. My family's philosophy of Chicago is that if you're going to the city, you park at one specific garage (we are creatures of habit) and then walk all over the place, and if you're going past it, well, it's going to suck no matter which route you choose, don't feel bad.

#670 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 12:42 PM:

CraigR (660): You're right, I missed that implication, probably because the next line is focussing on "messages" not color. Pants and shorts are also listed as plain only. But they don't say anything about skirts and dresses except for length. An inexplicable oversight.

#671 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 03:26 PM:

re the dress code (and coats). I suspect (from Micheal's description of how it came to be ) that it's to "prevent" a "Columbine Incident."

The code seems to be a CYA package, so that, should something go wrong the administration can say, "We did what we could."

Add the "consultants" and what you get is a mishmash of security theater, and movie plot worries.

abi: re names/numbers. One of the amusing idiolectal differences between the nothern part of the inhabited coastal zone,and the southern, is that somewhere North of SLO, the article gets dropped from freeway numbers. I noticed this, consciously, when reading, "Earthquake Weather". Tim, being from SoCal, has all the locals in Napa/SF saying, "the 101", etc. It scratched at my mind for a bit, before I recalled that isn't the way it's done up there.

I mentioned it to him. I don't know if he changed it for later printings/editions.

mcpye: Thank you. It's really touching that someone who tends to lurk mentions one by name. I'm touched.

P J: I rather like driving the Pasadena Freeway, esp. when there is no real traffic. It's got just enough quirks to require active driving, without being full of design flaws (like the reverse banked onramps I encounterd in Tenn. or the 10mph speedbumps on 25mph roads here).

Regarding confusions: The entire NW/NE/SW/SE of Seatle. Keeping track of which quadrant of town one is going to is strange (for those who don't know, Seattle is on a grid [mostly], and the street names/numbers are repeated in each of four quadrants).

#672 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 03:42 PM:

nerdycellist @620, I'm totally using Ginormous Bosom Tarp as my next band name in Rock Band.

I notice with the dress code that they say polo shirts or crew-neck T-shirts only -- does this mean that button-down dress shirts are forbidden?

I'd be very tempted to go in wearing the sorts of EGL-inspired clothes that Jillian Venters (Gothic Charm School) favors. I'd have to wear solid tights rather than striped, but there's noting in that code to specifically forbid a solid-colored, ruffled, knee-length skirt with a full petticoat underneath it, and if they REALLY insisted that polos or crew neck T shirts were the only acceptable shirts, I suppose I could layer a waistcoat over a T-shirt instead of a collared blouse. And a blazer isn't, properly speaking, an outerwear coat, so it doesn't seem specifically forbidden.

It reminds me a little of when we'd gotten our daughter several pairs of Tripp pants, because her school dress code only specified solid black, navy, or khaki, and didn't discuss ornamentation, only to have them turn around and outlaw excess zippers and D-rings, specifically in reaction to her looking too "fashionable."

#673 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 03:45 PM:

Serge @ 658:

I suppose I could play the No True Scotsman card and note that Annie was a Broadway musical before it was a film.

Terry Karney @ 670:

I think there have been similar discussions here before, but I think in the US it's only in Southern California that the definite article gets prepended to freeway numbers. Everywhere else that calls them by number calls them only by number.

As to dress codes, I'd say that the no coats indoors rule is almost certainly a reference to Columbine. Because, of course, anyone who's really interested in shooting up their school is going to say, "Oh, I'm not allowed to wear the proper outfit for that, so I won't bother."

Hmm... Would the current dress code prevent students from showing up in full garb?

#674 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 04:06 PM:

KeithS, #672: That would depend a lot on the garb. Most Renfaire garb, especially the female variety, would be Right Out. But I'd give $10 to find out what would be said about a young woman showing up in a cotehardie with a hell's-gate surcoat over it, or a guy in cotte and hose in a counterchange pattern. (It's not stripes...)

#675 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 04:18 PM:

KeithS @ 672... True, but I was going by when something was made into a film, whether or not it had originated elsewhere. In that case, should I exclude Pink Floyd's "The Wall", or Jeff Wayne's "War of the Worlds"? Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe" started as a movie, I think, but its music came from an older source. Then again so did the music of "The Blues Brothers". All this to say that, since the Blues Brothers, there have been more movie musicals than I had realized although I don't think they measure up to those of Hollywood's Golden Age. On the other hand, the oldies didn't quite have the destruction rating that the Blues Brothers did.

#676 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 04:38 PM:

KeithS (#672): The Return of Captain Invincible was in 1983, was not (TTBOMK) ever a Broadway musical, and is definitely a musical.

In fact, it's a musical superhero movie, with Alan Arkin in the lead role (and Christopher Lee as the supervillain, because, well, Christopher Lee.)

It's utterly cracktastic, and I should bring a copy to the next Fluorospherian Gathering just to see the look on everyone's faces....

#677 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 04:45 PM:

KeithS @ 672... Christopher Davis @ 675...

Mr. Midnight: Same old dreary demands. Self righteous, messianic, moralistic and increasingly tedious.
Captain Invincible: Fine talk from a sociopath paranoid schitzophrenic with delusions of grandeur.
Mr. Midnight: Thank you.

Speaking of superheor musicals, would Whedon's Dr Horrible qualify?

#678 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 04:46 PM:

Do the assorted Disney animated features not count as musicals? Even if they've got the same songwriting teams who created work for Broadway?

#679 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 04:48 PM:

Terry @ 670
Well, driving the Pasadena does have its points. For one thing, you qualify for an asteroid-belt navigation card like Han Solo has ....

(Did you ever notice that the South Pas police like to stake out Orange Grove southbound to the freeway, in that curvy downhill section?)

#680 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 05:00 PM:

Rikibeth @677: I count the 3 Ashman-Menken Disney films as musicals; the ones that followed, not so much.

#681 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 05:03 PM:

Lee @ 673:

Hmm... From the dress code that Linkmeister linked to above: "Form fitting or overly tight clothing may only be worn as undergarments." Combine that with the next rule: "Undergarments, such as boxer shorts, are not to be worn so that they are visible."

Looks like they just made tights, hose, tight jeans, fitted T-shirts, and, well, practically anything that's tailored to fit your body 'underwear' and hence not suitable for showing in public. All that's left are those ugly baggy jeans and shapeless T-shirts.

Oops: "Baggy pants, pants with legs that extend over the shoes to drag the ground, and pants with holes are not permitted."

Pants (and all clothing, per another rule) with holes are not permitted. How am I supposed to put them on? Looks like all that's left is for everyone to show up naked.

Serge @ 674 and Christopher Davis @ 675:

Hey, I'm learning stuff. Cool!

I just stuck The Return of Captain Invincible in my Netflix queue, because, well, it sounds like the sort of thing that might be fun. Also, Buckaroo Banzai, as I've never actually seen it (shock, horror).

And, no, I don't think that there have been any other musicals quite as destructive as The Blues Brothers. Pity.

P J Evans @ 678:

Where do I apply for my card, then?

#682 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 05:18 PM:

Rikibeth, I also wondered about Disney. I'd call them musicals, at least the ones that have singing characters and... hm, more than one song. I might include a criterion of people who know the songs-- a while back, I was stunned to learn that a bunch of Alpha students knew every word to "I'll Make a Man out of You" from Mulan and were willing to belt it out with occasional dance moves.

So, as with most art, it's not just what it is, it's what people do with it.

#683 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 06:04 PM:

Now I'm puzzling over why we say "take 84 west", but say "take the Banfield west". We don't say "take the Broadway west.

#684 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 06:28 PM:

Serge: Does Fritz Lang's Metropolis being given a rock soundtrack make it into a musical?

I'd say not, but there was an actual musical based on the movie. It's pretty bad, sometimes delightfully so, more often just painfully.

Also, Brian Blessed should not be allowed to sing. Ever.

#685 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 06:44 PM:

Rikibeth... Diatryma... True, those Disney cartoons are musicals. There is also the movie based on the musical based on the movie Hairspray. Anything else, besides pretty much anything from Bollywood?

#686 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 06:47 PM:

Jennifer Barber @ 683... He was that atrocious?

#687 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 07:58 PM:

I went to see District 9 this afternoon; fascinating, well made, exciting movie but not exactly an uplifting experience.

Afterwards I walked across the parking lot to a Goodwill Thrift Outlet. This is the end of the line for stuff donated to Oregon's efficient Goodwill Industries. All the stuff that doesn't sell gets trucked in and dumped in roughly consistent bins. (So, one bin might be 90% books, with an old golf bag and a waterbed mattress inconveniently thrown on top. And another might be 90% clothing, with a Rush Limbaugh hardcover lurking under a pair of toddler's pajamas)

Like the movie, fascinatingly squalid. I tried to come up with an analogy of how depressing the place was while rooting around for paperbacks. "A trailer home full of Hummel Figurines and dead puppies" is the best I could come up with.

#688 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 08:29 PM:

janetl @ 682: Now I'm puzzling over why we say "take 84 west", but say "take the Banfield west". We don't say "take the Broadway west.

To add to the confusion, some people say "take the 84 west." An example is song "If You Would Have Traveled On The 93 North Today" by L.A. band The Negro Problem.

To tie into the musicals thread, Spike Lee's film of former Negro Problem leader Stew's recent musical Passing Strange is getting rave reviews.

#689 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 09:26 PM:

The musical I'd like to see sometime is The Coney Island of Dr. Moreau.

(And no, I did not make that up. It's a real show.)

#690 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 10:04 PM:

Serge, if movies of shows originating on Broadway count, then we've got Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line, Rent, Evita...

#691 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 11:27 PM:

P J: Since I hate taking Orangegrove to the freeway (I much prefer the rolling start from Arroyo), no, I've never noticed that.

#692 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 11:37 PM:

Rikibeth & 689... "All That Jazz", eh?

#693 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 11:40 PM:

Eric Nelson @ 688... I like it. The sequel would be Island of Lost Soul Man. Starring Robert Townsend?

#694 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2009, 11:46 PM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) @464:
Vs frireny crbcyr fhqqrayl unir gurve QAN punatrq gb or vqragvpny, gurve rkvfgvat curabglcr jba'g punatr hayrff vg jnf qbar ivn gvzr znpuvar gb gurve mltbgrf. Ubjrire, gur vagrenpgvba orgjrra rkvfgvat fgehpgherf naq gur arj trargvp cebtenzzvat jbhyq or vagrerfgvat.

Xopher @552:
That kind of punning/"sidebands" is all through both Testaments. My Aramaic is virtually nonexistent (and what little there is is the wrong dialect) so I can't answer Henry Troup's question... although given a side-by-side translation I could probably find it and recognize by form. But yes, much is lost in translation; for example the story of Jacob's birth/naming involves a pun which is completely lost in English between "eqev" (heel) and "Ya`aqov" (Jacob). I don't know if non-English translations of the Hebrew attempt to reproduce it the way the "Peter"/"rock" appears to be in non-English translations

KeithS @601:
You do realize that in most cases such citations are not contested if the recipient challenges them at all?

#695 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 02:22 AM:

General open-threadiness: Abi, what happened to Lol?

#696 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 07:36 AM:

Er, isn't it a bit late to tell us about the market for Dinosaur Porn?

And it was all sodomy, anyway.

#697 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 08:29 AM:

dress code...

It's at times like this that there is an overwhelming need for "smart fabrics". Imagine the possibilities if everyone had clothing like Victoria Strowger and synchronized the colour and/or style changes.

(Visions of "Lone Star Planet" and the selection of shirts that ran the gamut in the most violent shades.)

Since it's not possible, I think the "all black" outfit suggested above would give them the most aggravation.

Cadbury.

#698 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 08:57 AM:

I've always been amused by the way 101 in the SF Bay area is considered to run North/South ... even when it's running East/West[0].

This leads to fun directions like:

Take 101 North to Mathilda North, then turn North on ...

[0] Although East and West streets also run North/South...

#699 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 09:30 AM:

Cadbury Moose @ 696... What if somebody hacks into the clothes's software?

#700 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 10:46 AM:

Is there some heresy against the Quintarian heresy that I could just embrace pre-emptively?

Well, you could always take on an animal spirit, like they do in the Weald.

That would depend a lot on the garb. Most Renfaire garb, especially the female variety, would be Right Out

Oh, no, you could even do full Tudor as long as you wore a partlet. And there are plenty of brocades that are neither striped, plaid, nor floral prints. Or how about houppelandes, male or female variety? Kimono would be more of a problem, since most of them are printed, but there are brocade versions available.

Girls could wear saris--there are plenty of sari fabrics available these days that have their borders woven, not printed, and I'll bet you could get a t-shirt with an appropriate neckline.

Burkas and Utilikilts sound good. And I'd love to see them enforce the No Hats rule on, say, an observant Jewish boy...

#701 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 10:55 AM:

Those with enough hair and hairspray could perhaps fashion their own hair into hat shapes. And ren garb for ladies would also work with doublet style bodices, which will cover the entire bosom.

Perhaps this dress code is actually part of an unannounced critical thinking class.

#702 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 11:17 AM:

geekosaur 693: If the name that means 'rock' was a pre-existing name, it's a pun. But...look, suppose I'm looking for my keys, and you find them, and I say "I name you Keyfinder," and people start calling you Keyfinder, and 1000 years later people say "Ghrf! Gansh upsa fnord ekkie 'Keyfinder' appuf 'gorsh mekrun'! Luff luff! Edg usshal!" ("Aha! That name 'Keyfinder' means 'finder of keys'! Ha ha! It's a pun!"—well, they'd be wrong. It may be a pun to them, but *I* wasn't making a pun, just giving you an action-based epithet.

So if there was already a name in use that meant "rock" and Jesus used that and explained it as he did, that would be a pun. But if he just used the Aramaic word for "rock," and it wasn't previously in use as a name, and he tagged Simon with it because he was going to build his church using him as a foundation, that's not a pun, just a granting-of-epithet.

Now I don't know which is the case. I haven't seen anything in this thread that was clear on that point.

#703 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 11:18 AM:

geekosaur @ 693:

If they're that interested, the police will show up to traffic court, but point taken.

As far as English translations go, the Fox Torah translation tries to point out right in the text where there's naming wordplay going on.

xeger @ 697:

The 101 does that from LA to out past Santa Barbara, too. It can be confusing.

Carrie S. @ 698:

I think that hats are allowed with permission. I also hope that the administration is clever enough to avoid a religious descrimination suit. Then again, the administration doesn't seem clever at all with all these silly rules.

#704 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 11:48 AM:

I see that the latest issue of the SFWA Bulletin has an interview with Tom Doherty, who highly praises Patrick for his work on Tor.com. Congratulations, Patrick.

#705 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 02:10 PM:

Xopher@701:

It's not just unclear from the thread. There seems to be some controversy as to whether the Aramaic 'Kepa' had previously existed as a name. People on both sides seem very confident. There is one published report of an attested use of the Aramaic name, in Egypt in the 5th century BCE.

#706 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 02:17 PM:

One of our users sent me the following:

How many developers does it take to load a record? It depends on who their boss is.
#707 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 02:30 PM:

nerdycellist @ 700:

Perhaps this dress code is actually part of an unannounced critical thinking class.

FTFY

#708 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 02:40 PM:

#639

(Those of us with experience avoid the right lane on it as much as possible. Better yet, we try to avoid the Psasdena entirely.)

Well, those of us living in Pasadena do find it useful. But the right lane is certain death, and we never exit onto surface streets, or enter from them -- get on at the beginning, and only get off onto another freeway. (Or vice-versa). None of these 90-degree exits with a stop sign, or on-ramps with a stop sign at the bottom, no merge lane, and a blind curve so you can't even see the traffic you're merging into.

#709 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 03:01 PM:

I've got a cousin who lives in Alhambra (California, not Spain). About fifteen years ago she turned 40 and had a birthday party to celebrate. I cashed in some frequent flyer miles and went over to attend.

I flew the red-eye and stayed at a Nikko Hotel in West LA. I got to it at 0500 on a Saturday morning. I went to sleep, got up, and headed east towards the party about 1700. I don't remember what freeway I took (10, maybe?), but I got to the interchange I needed to get into Alhambra and discovered that the exit was about six lanes over to my right with all of 100 yards available to cross those lanes. That was exciting.

#710 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 04:35 PM:

Today in incandescent fury:

New Jersey judge takes away adopted child from atheist parents!

(Originally seen over at MightyGodKing)

#711 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 04:37 PM:

Dammit, I got date-trolled. That happened, alright...in 1970. Check the date on the story...

#712 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 05:30 PM:

Skwid @709, 710: Poor child. Heartbroken parents. Do we know now how it turned out since? Was the family eventually reunited?

#713 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 05:37 PM:

I note you aren't the only one; the story is topping the list of Time's most read stories at the moment. As to Epacris's question, this appears to be the decision of the appeal; I haven't read it yet.

#714 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 05:43 PM:

Dress code update - well, actually not much to update, except two more anecdotes: a girl was suspended for wearing a low-cut shirt -- with a tee under it. That seems pretty cavalier to me. And another person was suspended for logos on socks.

This morning, there were a surprising number of solid-colored tees out there.

My daughter says people are wearing very, very bright colors to push the limits of annoyance without getting suspended. She laughed heartily at the hairspray idea, and we both laughed at the critical-thinking class suggestion.

(Sadly, this is Indiana. Critical thinking not required. My "representative" in matters of health care is Mike Pence. My Senator is Evan Bayh. We don't do critical here.)

#715 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 05:48 PM:

And now I have read it, I can summarise it: decision overturned both on state law and first amendment grounds.

#716 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 06:11 PM:

Thank you, Jules.

Good reminder that a story can look different if you follow it up (see also hot coffee in lap). Following them all up is prohibitively exhausting. That's a technique. Having dispersed group to tackle bits & assemble results is a blow for Truth & Justice. ("Justice is Just us" Pratchett's DEATH)

#717 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 06:36 PM:

I just told some "don't end a sentence with a preposition" types to correct 'Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.'

So meta.

#718 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 06:56 PM:

Michael Roberts @ 713: Don't forget -- under their clothing, they're all completely naked.

#719 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 07:03 PM:

Michael Roberts (713): another person was suspended for logos on socks.

I call foul. The dress code doesn't say anything about socks. (Although arguably they count as underwear under the "no-form-fitting clothes" rule, and thus are not allowed to be visible. A bit tricky with shorts and skirts.)

#721 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 07:26 PM:

Jules@712, Epacris, Skwid

Happy ending, both for the family involved and more generally.

Worth noting in particular from the decision:
No one appearing before this Court argues in favor of the trial court's determination. Attorneys representing numerous religious groups and adoption agencies and organizations have submitted briefs and appeared before us. They unanimously urge us to reverse the trial court and to make it clear that, in the future, our courts may not deny persons the right to adopt a child solely because of their religious beliefs or non-beliefs.

#722 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 08:08 PM:

xeger @ 697: And don't forget the way that 80 East and 580 West are the same piece of road — for the section going roughly northward through Berkeley, while you're on the road driving, you are driving on 80 East and simultaneously on 580 West. (Or you could be on 80 West and 580 East simultaneously, if you were heading roughly southward.)

And then there's the issue of "local north" and the way so many Bay Areans get thoroughly confused by the fact that the Coast Range isn't actually to the west, the way we think it is...

#723 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 08:42 PM:

#721 - Can you meet yourself if you traverse that piece of road too fast?

A similar architecture occurs around the western end of Lake Ontario (Ontario, Canada, that is.) But the signs simply say "QEW Niagara" and "QEW Hamilton" - in that area, both destinations are east, but one is south-east and the other north-east. And the road is running roughly north-south.

#724 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2009, 09:02 PM:

xeger, all the major streets through there seem to be north/south, even when they run east/west. (with exceptions: some really are east-west)
You get around it by not using compass direction except as reference points ('101 north') or by saying things like 'turn toward the mountains'.

(There are four places you can get to by going 'north' from LA: San Francisco (physically due northwest), Sacramento (roughly north-northwest), Reno (west of north), and Fallon, NV (going approximately due north).)

#726 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 12:47 AM:

PJ Evans @ 723... Your post's recitation of cardinal points makes me want to watch Hitchcock's North by Northwest.

#727 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 02:18 AM:

P J: Turn toward the mountains is local too, in the Valley, that means N, and S.

Right now, the Pacific Ocean is E. of me (by about a mile). It's a trifle odd.

#728 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 08:00 AM:

Serge @ 698

Assuming the shape & style is locked down - otherwise remote wedgies would be the order of the day - and only the colour is changeable, they could run it as a large display "board" at morning assembly (if you have morning assembly in the USA, of course).

A giant game of PONG springs to mind.

As does a slowly colour-changing screensaver.

Or having everyones outfit randomly change colour every few seconds....

Cadbury.

#729 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:10 AM:

Cadbury Moose @ 727: Unfortunately, the technology isn't quite there yet.

#730 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:12 AM:

Cadbury Moose @ 727... What if the clothes's software uses Windows and decides that an update is needed at a really inappropriate time and that you must reboot now?

#731 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:17 AM:

As far as English translations go, the Fox Torah translation tries to point out right in the text where there's naming wordplay going on.

After the events of the last eight years, I'd be inclined to wait until I can confirm that with the BBC Torah.

#732 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:18 AM:

Openthreadiness: check.

KNOWLEDGE SOLICITED:

My husband is taking college-level 'French 4' this semester, and wants some Francophone content to put on his iPod to work on immersion and passive fluency. He'd prefer North American Francophone content.

He is Canadian.

Therefore, he immediately went to go look at podcasts from CBC's Francophone side ... and found one show that purports to be daily but hasn't put a show in the podcasts for months, and one that has current shows but updates HOURLY.

Doesn't CBC Canada have things equivalent to As it Happens, or DNTO, or whatever: weekly half-hour or hour quirky current-events shows, etc?

Does anyone else?

I figured Making Light was a good place to ask for Francophone podcast recommendations. :->

#733 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:19 AM:

It took me a few years to adjust to not living north of where I was. I grew up knowing the front of my house faced north and everything was in the other direction. College was lined up along north-south lines, so either I worked or slept north (we also told compass-oriented freshman that west is Walgreen's, north is Normal, so you can orient yourself really easily). Then I moved, and home was east-- it confused me for more than a year. I still forget which way the map is turned sometimes.

#734 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:22 AM:

Serge @729 said: Cadbury Moose @ 727... What if the clothes's software uses Windows and decides that an update is needed at a really inappropriate time and that you must reboot now?

You mean the BSOD (Blue Shirt of Death)? Extremely unfashionable, but not actively harmful. :->

#735 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:25 AM:

Elliott Mason @ 731... Remind me in a couple of weeks. I have a friend up there who could probably answer your question, but she's in France right now and I think she's staying away from her email while in the land of her birth. (Strictly speaking, it's not the land of her birth as she was born in Vietnam when it was still a French possession.)

#736 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:36 AM:

Elliott Mason @ 733... Not so much the Shirt of Death's blue color as much as its collar getting so tight that your head winds up popping off your neck.

I think that JG Ballard's Vermilion Sands had one tale about smart clothes. They were biologically based, but they did experience wardrobe malfunctions, when they didn't accidentally kill the people inside.

#737 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 10:38 AM:

Elliott Mason @ 731: Apart from wandering around the schedules at http://www.radio-canada.ca/rdi/ghHoraires.asp, you might try contacting Radio Canada directly to ask them. There's also Radio Canada International which appears to have some podcasts in French: http://www.rcinet.ca/rci/fr/balado.shtml .

#738 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 10:48 AM:

smart fabric: remember Spider-Man's smart costume in the 80's that was a symbiotic creature with a mind of its own, and went for walks at night with him in it asleep?

#739 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 11:25 AM:

#723,#726 etc.

Stand in the place where you live. Now face north. Think about direction. Wonder why you haven't before. Your feet are there to be on the ground. Your head is there to move you around.

#740 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 11:51 AM:

I found this on Salon.com this morning.

You might think that President Obama and Congress designated Sept. 11th as a "National Day of Service" in order to commemorate the people who lost their lives in the terror attacks of 2001, and the spirit of volunteerism that followed. But Matthew Vadum is here to tell you different. In an article for the American Spectator titled "Obama's Plan to Desecrate 9/11," he says he knows what it's really about:
The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry.
#741 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 12:39 PM:

"Stop it. We're going to kill him properly."
- Agatha Heterodyne about one of the many guys who have a crush on her.

#742 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 12:49 PM:

#740 Serge

She's trying to cure him of something that would make him permanently dead, though. And she didn't want him to be in the Castle in the first place; it's a vast collection of lethal, vicious traps, and she doesn't want it wantonly killing people, especially not people she doesn't completely despise.

#743 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 12:57 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 741... True. Besides, he won't feel a thing because she'll have transfered his mind inside a house pet's skull.

#744 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 01:09 PM:

The current Girl Genius story line is not entirely unlike what I'm doing to the main computer at home.

#745 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 01:10 PM:

Elliott Mason @731: Québec Balado is a good place to start!

#746 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 01:27 PM:

C Wingate @ 743... Your computer is about to self-immolate? My wife's did that once. The story made it into a comic strip.

#747 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 01:33 PM:

Serge @ 740: She has her crushes too.

#748 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 01:45 PM:

The stupid dress code -- "Any article of clothing, jewelry, or accessory that could cause injury to oneself or
others is not permitted." This would seem to ban belts, for example, since people hang themselves with them, beat people with them, throttle people with them, fairly often.

Also shoe-laces (though there is clear reference to shoe-laces being permitted, elsewhere, when it says they must be tied).

Shoes themselves, of course, can also be used to injure others.

At least this would appear to ban high heels (since they injure the wearer).

The dress code was loosened while I was in highschool, and the parts they kept (like no jeans) were justified by "well, it'll be even stricter when you're in college". Which of course was not true, there were no dress codes when I was in college.

Dress codes most places disappeared while I was in college and shortly afterwards. When I see them coming back, I get really pissed. This was a huge victory that my generation won, and I hate to see it lost.

#749 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 02:07 PM:

Joel Polowin @ 746... Hers are a bit too literal though.

#750 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 02:10 PM:

Regarding that dress code, I'd be really tempted to get one of those full head-to-toe burkhas. Wear it cinched at the waist so it's not "baggy."

#751 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 02:59 PM:

Regarding the dress code, I still think that everyone should just show up naked. If they're going to be stupidly picky about their already stupid rules (logos on socks, seriously!), I'd just point out that all shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, socks, underwear, and so on have to have holes, just to be able to get your appendages through, and, per their own dress code, all clothing with holes is banned.

Besides, if you do that, no one can complain about the latest gang fashions or the latest fashion trends in general, and no one has to spend any money on buying new clothes.

I'm sure there's a flaw in this plan somewhere.

#752 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 03:42 PM:

re: #750, KeithS

I'd just point out that all shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, socks, underwear, and so on have to have holes, just to be able to get your appendages through

nitpick

Socks don't; you don't put your feet through a sock in normal use. The rest of your examples are OK, modulo arguments about the integrity of a buttoned skirt.

#753 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 03:50 PM:

I suspect that a Venn diagram or flowchart of the dress code would reveal that it is an autocratic ambiguity trap, meant to provide a pretext to punish antisocial behavior of all kinds; thus, capricious and inconsistent rulings are a feature and not a bug.

#754 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 03:54 PM:

I don't think a toga has a hole, nor does the older form of the Scots kilt.

#755 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:01 PM:

And now for something completely different: a new variation on the 419 scam.

Subject: YOU HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THE WRONG OFFICE!!!

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MY NAME IS MRS.FARIDA WAZIRI THE NEW ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION CHAIRPERSON IN NIGERIA,I HEREBY WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT,ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION, UNITED NATION ECONOMIC FOR EUROPE,EUROPEAN UNION,RESERVE BANK OF INDIAN,AFRICAN UNION FINANCIAL REGULATORY OFFICE (AUFRO) HEARD A MEETING ABOUT THE IMPOSTER AND SCAMMERS.I HEREBY WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT,IF YOU HAVE BEEN SCAMMED BEFORE OR YOUR FUND IS PENDING,YOU ARE ADVISE TO CONTACT ME THROUGH MY EMAIL ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON HOW TO GET YOUR FUND RELEASE.

REGARDS
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#756 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:06 PM:

Dave Bell @753:
The toga does not have a hole, but the toga virilis does have a stripe.

Other unholy garments include the sarong, the abaya, the chiton, the sari (thank you, Carrie S) and, as you mention, the traditional kilt.

#757 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:12 PM:

Wow... the Particle on "Knight Moves" hurt my brain; apart from the "not my kink" bits said to be arousing (not at either end do I see the idea of being stumbled in on, in a "stinking" toilet at all erotic), the mad passion the heroine has for sex with codpieces is just bizarre.

#758 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:22 PM:

Somebody on one of these threads linked to the ongoing British attempt to break the speed record for a steam-powered car. It's been broken!

#759 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:37 PM:

I expect that steamology students at Ninja High School will be overjoyed at the news.

#760 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:38 PM:

hedgehog @ 751, Dave Bell @ 753, and abi @ 755:

Nits successfully picked.

CHip @ 757:

Yay!

#761 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:42 PM:

Britain has a history of high-speed steam.

#762 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:51 PM:

Jules: 'I hereby want you to know' made me want to scream. With laughter or horror, I can't say; perhaps a mix of both.

#763 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 04:59 PM:

Diatryma: Walgreen's isn't west anymore, unless you live in the Alpha Gamma Delta House. They built a new "standard" Walgreens and shut the other one.

To me, west means home, from too many years of living west of New Orleans. After years of living in Portland, it still confused me that work was west and home was east. Now I'm back in New Orleans and things are as they should be. Although, that still leaves the confusion of the west bank being east of most of the city.

#764 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:00 PM:

*checks dress code furiously to determine whether codpieces have been specifically banned...*

#765 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:12 PM:

Raphael @694:
Abi, what happened to Lol?

Lol is still around. We took him to the vet, and he's not chipped. Martin called the dierenambulancie (approximately equal to the SPCA) and no one is missing a fixed ginger tom in the area.

Posters have had no effect. So we reach a decision point: keep him or call the dierenambulancie to take him to a shelter. It really hinges on Martin's degree of allergy.

He's mostly an outside cat, but we let him sunbathe in the library (just inside the back door). He keeps trying to come further in, of course. He was inside this evening, keeping Martin company while he watches Life on Mars, and all was going well. But I came into the room, and he wandered over to see what I was up to (and did I have any food?). I picked him up to carry him back to Martin, and he went from purring to clawing and biting from one step to the next.

I put him outside; we can't have a cat that does that, not with Mr Allergy.

So, still in between having a cat and not.

#766 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:15 PM:

Goodness. They just keep changing everything, don't they. Not always for the worse-- while the Andwax was fun, Caskets and More was better.

#767 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:15 PM:

nerdycellist @ 763... What does the code say about pieces of salmon?

#768 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:28 PM:

Abi @ 764 -

So, still in between having a cat and not.

Maybe her name should be Schrodinger?

#769 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:32 PM:

Codpieces with holes *are* banned. Which is just as well, half the point of a codpiece Is that people can't see what's behind it properly. (The other half of the point being the point, of course.)

#770 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:40 PM:

he went from purring to clawing and biting from one step to the next.

Some cats dislike being restrained in certain ways; my young male cat will bite and hiss if we try to pick him up off the lap when we are moving from sitting to standing. However, standing up and holding him against the body does not trigger any sort of malreaction. He simply waits for another surface to approach, and departs.

He's a very bite-y sort of cat, but 99.999% of them are gentle love-bites and happy things with no hisses or anger. He never breaks the skin, even when angry.

The lap thing took us by surprise and then took us a while to figure out the alternative. He's very insistent on lap-sitting, particularly at the computer desk. Pushing him off the lap just results in him holding on.

I grew up with a Maine Coon who was definitely an ouchy-bleedy* cat, so I am well-trained in tolerance. My partner is not, having been raised solely by dogs. This became important, as she was the one sitting at the computer working.

*Ouchy-bleedy.

#771 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:44 PM:

Ginger @ 769... My partner is not, having been raised solely by dogs.

This reminds me I haven't watched Truffaut's L'enfant sauvage since I was in college.

#772 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:55 PM:

re Street Names/Directions.

Where I live there are two streets (parallel, neither of them one-way). E. Bayshore, and W. Bayshore. They are, both of them, N/S streets.

Why East and West? Because that's the side of the freeway they are on.

#773 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 05:55 PM:

Ginger @769:

The problem may simply be fundamental incompatibility. Lol has circumstances where he claws*. Martin swells up when clawed. We're pretty well aware that there is only so much we're going to get Lol to change; can Martin live with cat scratch as well as itchy eyes and all the other hallmarks of cat-in-house?

We don't know yet.

-----
* Like, whenever we try to move him from hither to yon. Which, since he won't be driven and doesn't exactly come when called, can be a problem.

#774 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 06:01 PM:

And hurrah! My brother just got the call they've been waiting for. They're going to China in late October or early November to bring home their new daughter.

Name and age are still to be confirmed, but I'm going to be an aunt again!

#775 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 06:04 PM:

abi @ 773... Congratulations, Auntie Abi!

#776 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 06:18 PM:

For just a moment before what passes for sanity returned to my brain, I was convinced abi's brother was going to take Lol to China.

#777 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 06:20 PM:

Yay to more happiness in the world.

#778 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 06:23 PM:

And congratulations. Duh.

I have to start getting more sleep.

#779 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 06:42 PM:

abi (773): Hurrah!

Xopher (773): Me, too.

#780 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 06:50 PM:

Sigh. My second line was, of course, addressed to Xopher at 775. Looks as if I need more sleep, too.

#781 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 06:58 PM:

Terry Karney @771 said: Where I live there are two streets (parallel, neither of them one-way). E. Bayshore, and W. Bayshore. They are, both of them, N/S streets. Why East and West? Because that's the side of the freeway they are on.

My grandparents' domicile throughout my childhood was at 2130 N. Lincoln Park West. Many helpful people, over the years, 'corrected' the obvious 'typo' in their address ... making mail undeliverable, since the post office is picky.

It's not a disambiguation problem; there is no S. Lincoln Park West (it only exists on the north side of town), nor is there a street named Lincoln Park East. It's just like that.

#782 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 07:04 PM:

Serge @ 745:

I had an old iMac (the model with the internal CRT and the plastic body that looked like it had melted and then refrozen into a teardrop shape while in a stiff wind) that caught fire one day. Burned the video board and left smoke particles all over the inside. Second most spectacular computer failure I ever saw.

#783 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 07:11 PM:

Abi #773: My congratulations on your proximate aunthood.

#784 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 07:21 PM:

The particle on Knight Moves hurt my brain too and not just for the badness of the writing. It also left a nagging sense of deja vu.

I now know where I saw it before: here. After that it was a Particle on March 6th. There's nothing wrong with that - it's still hilarious.

#785 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 07:45 PM:

My parents live near Atlanta's North Decatur Road, an east-west street. It's north of the city of Decatur. Likewise, North Druid Hills Road is north of the Druid Hills neighborhood. But if you really want confusing in Atlanta, let's talk Peachtree....

#786 ::: Ralph Giles ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 07:53 PM:

So, I've been reading Dan Simmon's The Fall of Hyperion. I quite liked the Canterbury-Tales-in-Space form of Hyperion, but was put off by the sudden ending. I read Illium and Olympos and was also put off by the latter, which didn't help, so it was some time before I was convinced to try the sequel.

It really does continue the story, but it's not just a second half because the themes are larger, and different. It about humanity's relationship to god, and, science fictionally, our relationship to our institutions. It's a singularity novel written before Vinge gave the genre a name. And many other things. I've been quite enjoying it.

But what most struck me is that it's Keats fanfic. The whole series. It's even more fanfic than one might naively imagine. Wow.

#787 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 07:58 PM:

Abi @772: I do hope Lol finds a compatible home, where he may scratch without consequence. Clearly, Martin's health outweighs the cat's desire to be part of your household.

Some cats are more inclined to bite and scratch; it seems to be a personality feature. I've been lucky in having only one "dangerous" cat in more than 30 years. Of my current herd, only one bites.

@773: congratulations!

#788 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 08:00 PM:

Mary Aileen #784: Do you mean North Peachtree? New Peachtree? Peachtree Industrial? Peachtree Road? Peachtree Street? Peachtree Center Avenue? Perhaps you're talking about West Peachtree? In the eleven years I've lived in metro Atlanta, I've spent four years living just off Peachtree Industrial, and five living just off Peachtree Road (at two different locations, in different counties). I now live miles from any Peachtree, but work just a mile and a half from the low end of Peachtree Street.

#789 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 08:04 PM:

Bruce @781, <sighs, steps up to plate> … and the "most spectacular computer failure I ever saw" would be …?

BTW, how is LHC fixup going?

abi @773, familial felicitations!

#790 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 08:07 PM:

Ralph Giles: For entirely different Keats fanfic (and Byron and Shelley fanfic) you might look into Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard. A very strange book, even by Tim Powers standards.

#791 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 08:31 PM:

Dave Bell @ 760: Which reminds me, I forgot to thank Teresa for putting up a particle linking The Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage. Thank you, Teresa!

#792 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:00 PM:

xeger@697: that stretch of 101 (or something similar) was used to explain the meaning of "virtual" in the original hacker's dictionary. And merely going E/W instead of N/S is hardly remarkable; there are bits of I-5 in southern Oregon where your course on the northbound side is at least WbS, if not WSW.

Lexica@721: Boston-area can top that; the northern part of Fresh Pond Parkway in Cambridge is simultaneously MA 2 E, MA 16 W \and/ US 3 S (all state #'s)

Terry@726: Both coasts are fractiously fractal; I recall watching the sun set over the water in Kennebunkport ME (before Bush had made it notorious).

#793 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:08 PM:

abi @ 773: Congratulations!

#794 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:23 PM:

Latest Syfy Original Movie: MegaShark vs. Giant Octopus.

Garbage. Garbage!

#795 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 10:45 PM:

TMy housemate's brother liveson 5th Avenue Place NE in the town of Hickory NC, where you can give directions like "Take 9th Ave NE going west (it's one-way); turn left on 9th St Dr NE, then take the next right on 9th Ave NE. If you stay on [the first] 9th Ave NE, it turns into 9th Ave Pl NE when it crosses 9th St NE.

Arlington VA is weird, too, with north and south versions of numbered streets and parallel roads, discontinuous streets, etc.

The many Atlanta streets named some variant of Peachtree are said to be a scheme to confuse invading Yankees. (Some folks in Georgia still worry about this, ya know.) In the north, the Civil War is taught as history; in the south, it is taught as current events.

Peachtree Corner Circle in Norcross (a suburb of Atlanta) is not a circle at all. The nearest Trader Joes to me (not very near, alas) is at the corner of Peachtree Corner Circle and Peachtree Parkway.

#796 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 10:46 PM:

TMy housemate's brother liveson 5th Avenue Place NE in the town of Hickory NC, where you can give directions like "Take 9th Ave NE going west (it's one-way); turn left on 9th St Dr NE, then take the next right on 9th Ave NE. If you stay on [the first] 9th Ave NE, it turns into 9th Ave Pl NE when it crosses 9th St NE.

Arlington VA is weird, too, with north and south versions of numbered streets and parallel roads, discontinuous streets, etc.

The many Atlanta streets named some variant of Peachtree are said to be a scheme to confuse invading Yankees. (Some folks in Georgia still worry about this, ya know.) In the north, the Civil War is taught as history; in the south, it is taught as current events.

Peachtree Corner Circle in Norcross (a suburb of Atlanta) is not a circle at all. The nearest Trader Joes to me (not very near, alas) is at the corner of Peachtree Corner Circle and Peachtree Parkway.

#797 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 10:46 PM:

xopher @ 793... I know. I was impressed by the scene of the shark jumping out of the ocean to attack a passenger plane. On 2nd thought, 'impressed' may not be the right word.

#798 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 10:49 PM:

Argh. Double post ... sorry.

#799 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 12:14 AM:

Calling for directions in San Francisco:
'Where are you?'
'I'm on Market at Do Not Enter and Do Not Enter.'

(The street signs needed some improvements. Like being able to read them from both sides.)

#800 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 12:24 AM:

Tracie @79X: I had a neat what-a-coincidence response, but then I realized nothing actually matched up - the Trader Joe's I was thinking of was next to Peach ORCHARD Dr, one town over from Arlington, and I went there with a bunch of AtlantIan fencers. So close.

#801 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 12:28 AM:

P J: I've been on that part of Market. :)

#802 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 12:58 AM:

Ever tried to drive in Pinehurst, North Carolina? Concentric circles. Really.

#803 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 01:18 AM:

P J Evans (#798): Then there's the most likely apocryphal story of the soldiers recently transferred to Germany. They go out for a drive, get lost, and call back to the post for help.

"We're lost. How do we get back?"

"Where are you?"

"We're on Einbahnstrasse in the town of Ausfahrt."

(Bar Jnl Fgerrg va gur gbja bs Rkvg.)

#804 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:03 AM:

Aw, crap. Sen. Ted Kennedy has died.

#805 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:54 AM:

Goodbye to one of the great liberals. May the Senate honor his memory by supporting his cause of universal health care.

#806 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 06:14 AM:

Tracie #795: Don't you mean Peachtree Corners Circle? I used to live just a couple of miles from there.

#807 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 06:17 AM:

Randolph #804: From your mouth to the Senate majority's ears.

#808 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 06:18 AM:

803, 804: I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This is a major loss for the Democrats, and for everyone who needs health care reform.

#809 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 07:33 AM:

So what chance of getting a replacement who isn't a camouflaged Republican whacko?

#810 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 07:59 AM:

Dave Bell @ 808: Well, this is the People's Republic of Massachusetts. There's a fair chance another Kennedy will get it, but if not, there are plenty of Boston-area Ivy League liberals to step up.

The western reaches of the state are staunchly Catholic and quietly conservative leaning, but rarely make political headway against the Boston progressives.

#811 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 09:29 AM:

Dave @808, Mark @809: Yes, but unfortunately Mitt Romney gets to appoint. So either he's deferential and nice and picks someone Ted Kennedy would've wanted to get his seat, or ... he picks someone HE wants to have the seat, and we get a Republican.

#812 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 09:35 AM:

#810--What? When did Deval Patrick stop being governor of Massachusetts?

#813 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 09:55 AM:

Christopher @ 802 - yeah, I did a summer language program in Würzburg waaaay back in 1986, and walked a lot. It look me a lot longer than it should have to realize that Einbahnstrasse wasn't just a really twisty street that I happened to be crossing a lot.

#814 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 10:57 AM:

No one gets to appoint the replacement. Massachusetts requires a special election (which was, I believe, passed when Kerry was running for president. A cross between making sure Romney couldn't post a republican, and to give people a chance to run for the seat).

The time frame is 145-160 days from the vacancy.

So we have 59 Dem senators again (if you include der Liebermouse)

#815 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 11:16 AM:

Terry, #813: well, maybe that can become a reason to hold off passing a bad health care bill.

#816 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 11:42 AM:

I expect to see a lot of wingnut foaming-at-the-mouth hate today, and have put up a "bait" post on Facebook that may allow me to do some pruning of my friendslist there.

#817 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 01:50 PM:

#815: Has Fox News started its 24 hour Chappaquiddick Revisited coverage?

#818 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:14 PM:

It would have been nice if, instead of sitting on the health reform bill for weeks (because they could, not because they had to), they'd passed is while Kennedy was still alive.

For that, I will not forgive the Blue Dogs and the 'Publicans.

#819 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:27 PM:

PJ Evans, #817: Moses didn't enter the promised land, though he saw it.

I'm wondering if it might be good strategy to hold off until Kennedy's replacement is seated and try to pass a better bill in his honor. It might be possible to improve the public discourse in that period. I don't think the wingnuts can keep it up the crazy for the months currently required to seat a replacement.

Or maybe not.

#820 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:39 PM:

re 745: Last night at about 10 I was the one about to spontaneously combust. Our main house computer has increasingly had problems turning itself on, which I originally attributed to the power supply. Swapping it for a new one showed that this wasn't the case, so the culprit was determined to be the motherboard. Well, the machine in question is a 5yo Gateway, which has proven to be a particularly bad period to have purchased an OEM PC with an AMD CPU inside-- not because the boards were problematic, but because it turns out that in that timeframe I got a machine which is a mutant.

After the new power supply went back, we looked into the motherboard situation. Well, everything out there is some sort of ATX form factor, but it turns out that the Gateway has a BTX board-- the one irreconcilably incompatible combination. An exact replacement runs $180 and it is thought that we could do better/cheaper. Well, OK-- we have an old ATX case which we can empty out. We pick out an ATX board, which is incompatible with our memory cards, so we get newer ones which are compatible, and we get some USB ports because the old case has never heard of such a thing, and I start putting everything back together, saving the CPU for last. There's one tight moment when I discover that the new board only provides for one IDE cable and that I only have one which will reach both the HDD and the CDROM, but I eventually get everything hooked up. So here we are, with the four of us forming a human anti-static strap/chain to the closest radiator, and I flip the lever to release the CPU form its old socket, and my wife picks up the chip ([Sallah]"CPU. Very static-sensitive. You move it."[/Sallah]) and sets it in the new socket. Except that it won't seat. She tries to shift it around, and then I tried, and then I looked at the old socket and had a bad feeling, and the looked at the bottom of the chip and started counting pins. That's when I started swearing.

It turns out that about a year after our machine was made, AMD changed the pinouts on the Athlon 64. So now we're stuck between taking everything back and trying again with another board that has the older socket, or getting a new CPU to fit this one and dealing with whatever hell XP puts us through to have a different chip. Meanwhile the CPU is in one case and the hard drive is in the other.

#821 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:47 PM:

C Wingate @819:

At this stage in the affair, you might want to have a quick look round for sharks. Though of course this was not an upgrade of choice.

Good luck, and lots of it...

#822 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:59 PM:

#819: XP runs happily on many, many chips & chipsets, so that shouldn't be a worry.

#823 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:00 PM:

abi @ 820... Hopefully they're not mega sharks.

#824 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:10 PM:

Serge@822

Hopefully, the giant octopus will take care of the megashark...

#825 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:11 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 821... that shouldn't be a worry

I'm sure we often hear that in the town of Eureka.

#826 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:15 PM:

re 821: The problem acto Microsoft is that an OEM XP copy such as I have on my disk will not transplant from one CPU to another. One of the premises of doing this is that we could do this for quite a bit less than a much newer refurbed box; adding a new copy of XP (and perhaps Word 2003, which we have to have) is starting to push this to the point where that isn't true.

And the next bit of fun, should we get the patient reanimated, is that the second step after that is to get rid of the Google redirect viruses.

#827 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:39 PM:

Moving your old hard disk to the replacement machine may work. I've successfully done this with OEM XP HDDs in the past, and the only thing I've had to do was install the new motherboard's drivers.

You may find Spybot Search & Destroy of use in your malware battle.

#828 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:46 PM:

C. Wingate:
If OEM Windows rejects anything from this upgrade, it's more likely to be the new motherboard (or a new hard drive) than the new CPU. At this point you may as well go ahead and try a new one; I think currently single-core Athlon 64 CPUs are in the $20 range.

If you have or suspect viruses, once you get the computer to where it boots again, I recommend booting from something like the Trinity Rescue Kit CD, where you can boot into Linux, and while running from CD, download all the AV updates it needs, and scan the hard drive with several different AV scanners to make sure it's cleaned off and safe before booting into Windows. It's about a 5-6 hour time investment (mostly running unattended) but it essentially precludes any capability the viruses may have to disable your AV program or hide themselves from it when the system boots normally from the hard drive.

Because the standard AV programs don't get all forms of malware, I also recommend installing Windows Defender (free, directly from Microsoft) and installing/running either or both of Malware Bytes' Anti-Malware program and Super Anti-Spyware. The latter are trial-ware but you can install and run them initially, then decide if you want to buy them.

I had to do all of these in succession recently to clean off a client's laptop from the bogus "Windows Protection Suite" which is malware posing as an anti-virus package, and disables all your AV programs to boot. None of the standard AV programs seem to catch it, even when it's not disabling them, but the broader anti-malware packages all found it and removed it along with successively more bits of spoor from it.

#829 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:48 PM:

C. Wingate @ 825:

I haven't had any trouble moving an OEM XP install from one computer to another. If it does give you any grief, there's an automated number at Microsoft that you call. You just have to push a couple buttons to confirm that you've changed some hardware, and you'll be set.

#830 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 04:01 PM:

Hmmmm, you have given me hope here. We're keeping the hard drive, so if we can swap the CPU and not have XP gag on it, then it sounds like we should be able to get this thing to fly. Thanks for the advice.

As far as the virus is concerned, we have two of the packages running already. I have to say that the Trinity Rescue Kit thing sounds way too much like what Agatha and Gil are proposing to do. The office sysops guy says he has a CD that has worked well for him, so I'm going to give that a try if I get that far.

#831 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 04:35 PM:

C. Wingate: Well, don't blame me when your PC changes purple and red and green and then goes up like a torch!

#832 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 05:26 PM:

KeithS, #828: If I didn't already have a go-to guy for computer stuff here in the house, you'd be in danger of becoming him. :-)

#833 ::: Ralph Giles ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 05:30 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 789: Thanks for the rec. I'll camp the local library's copy. :)

#834 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 05:55 PM:

abi:
Congratulations on your new relation.

Epacris @ 788:
Thank you; I wasn't sure anyone would bite on that. Many years ago, when I was but a sprout of a hardware technician at Intel, I was doing an evaluation of a prototype board (an in-circuit emulator for the 8048 chip, IIRC). It was on a bus extender card plugged ino the the main bus of an MDS-80 (proprietary Intel microcomputer) chassis. For reasons that escape me now, I had the chassis up on the top shelf of my workbench, and had to climb up on the shelf and kneel just below the ceiling lights to get at the board. I was checking operation of the board under variable power supply voltage, when I slipped and applied 110 vac to the 5 volt line of the bus. The chassis power supply crowbarred nicely (though it made the most ungodly groaning noise), and was not harmed, but everything on the bus turned to crap within milliseconds, with attendant loud cracking noises, bright sparks reminiscent of shield failure from a direct phaser hit on an Enterprise class starship, and smoke pouring out from everywhere inside the chassis.

There was a stunned silence from the 10 or 12 people who worked at the nearby benches (mostly mechanical engineers and writers), then a burst of applause.

When we finally cleared the smoke out with a couple of big fans that the mechanical engineers used to test chassis cooling flow, I pulled all the boards and looked them over. On several of the boards nearest where the AC was applied the bus driver chips had all fried, blowing off the tops of their ceramic cases and burning holes in the PC board below them.

#835 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 06:09 PM:

#826, 827, etc: You can move a drive with XP installation to a new computer (I've done it), but you have to:

- do a repair install to ensure that all the appropriate drivers for the new motherboard are installed. Unfortunately this will affect any Windows system files updated after the version of XP on your system disk, so then:
- do Windows Update and let it install the new drivers, bug fixes, service packs, etc. Then:
- go to Device Manager and delete the old motherboard drivers.
- At some point Windows will ask for a validation and you'll have to call the Microsoft automated line. That shouldn't be any problem.

#836 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 07:20 PM:

Starting to catch up:

Knight Moves: I think our own Jim had the best response.

#837 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 07:37 PM:

David Harmon:

But your link points right back to this thread.

#838 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 08:39 PM:

re 834: Your instructions make me feel even calmer, as they line up with what we expected to have to do. We should with any luck have a CPU winging our way tomorrow.

#839 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 09:31 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 833:

I have never applied 110V to unwilling electronics, although I have to myself. I've nearly done 240V as well, but contented myself with making it go flash and crackle not too far away from my nose instead.

Then there was the time I was happily poking away at a circuit when the oscilloscope decided to start smoking. That was... not fun.

C. Wingate @ 837:

Jon Meltzer's instructions look right. Mine were assuming that you were going the route of a fresh install, then copying things over.

Here's the Microsoft KB article that has the product activation telephone number.

Open-thready question:

Does anyone have any recommendations for good apricot pálinka that I could obtain in the US within the next few weeks? I want to buy a bottle as a gift, and I don't want to buy bad stuff.

#840 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 09:42 PM:

C. Wingate: Before doing the repair install, it is well worth seeing if it will just boot into Windows or into Windows safe mode, which it may if it has some "generic" drivers which are at least close enough to the hardware on the new motherboard. If it manages to boot, then it should detect the new hardware and prompt you through installing the new drivers, and that would save you hours of pain first reinstalling Windows and then reapplying all of the service packs and security updates. This only works about 50% of the time in my experience of upgrades, but when it does it saves a huge amount of time. Since you're sticking with the same CPU and chipset family, it may have a better than 50/50 chance in your case.

#841 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 09:51 PM:

#834: One thing I left out: make sure that the BIOS is set to boot off the CD. You don't want to let the machine boot into an unrepaired and highly unstable Windows.

Also, I did all this with a retail XP on a home built machine. I don't know if an OEM XP will consider changing the board a license violation or not.

#842 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 10:24 PM:

Bruce @ 833
I was going to bite (my first thought on reading was 'what was the most spectacular one?'), but Epacris had beaten me to it by some time.

Frisbie had a new power supply short 110V to ground the first time he turned it on, but it apparently didn't damage anything else, and the manufacturer replaced the supply. (Untrimmed lead on a component: it was thoroughly trimmed by the short.) Description: a flash and a wisp of smoke. Followed, I suspect, by some four-letter words.

#843 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 11:28 PM:

For Jim MacDonald and others interested in medical stories:

From the Daily Mail

Guy has his appendix out---or so he thought. Three weeks later they had to go back in and get it again, this time after it had ruptured. My question is, what the heck did they take out the first time?

#844 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 11:58 PM:

Wyman Cooke @ 842:

Ah, the good ol' Daily Mail. Their crowning medical achievement has been to divide the world into things that cause cancer (mobile phones, power lines, small yappy dogs, bees, grass clippings, Labour, breathing) and things that don't (The Daily Mail, the Queen).

Not that I doubt the story, but I'm not in the least surprised that the Mail decided to run with it the way they have. They get a twofer this way: all the Americans descending to point and laugh at how 'bad' the NHS is (and how evil it is that Obama wants to implement socialized medicine, ohnoz!), and they get to make out that the NHS is incompetent and a horrible money sink (for which the solution is obviously to starve it even more).

#845 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 12:09 AM:

KeithS, wayback at 672,

Here in Buffalo, NY, we too refer to highways as "the 90," and "the 219."

I'm NYC born and bred, and I find myself talking about taking the 90 to 87 to get to my parents house downstate.

#846 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 12:28 AM:

Nancy C. Mittens @ 844:

I just did a Google search on "highway number definite article location" (without the quotes), and it seems like they do that in Ontario, Canada, as well. They do it in England too, but the numbering is different. "Take the A3", "get stuck on the M25", etc.

#847 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 01:16 AM:

A casual note: anyone who hasn't read The Big Book of Barry Ween, Boy Genius by Judd Winick has missed a real treat. If you think that this is appropriate for kids you're sadly mistaken--Barry is a strong contender for filthiest mouth in comics--but it manages to make me laugh whenever I read it. Barry is a ten-year-old with an I.Q that would be about 350 if it could be measured, but he's a ten year old with ten year old friends which makes passing for normal an adventure in itself. I picked this one up at San Diego ComicCon, and it's added a new phrase to our conversations around here that's joined the rotation along with "I saw Something Nasty in the woodshed!" and "Not a Flying Toy" and "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." and "My surname is Li and my personal name is Kao, and there is a slight flaw in my character." Namely, "You people are fucking with the wrong ten-year-old." I'm now officially distressed that nobody ever told me that one of the auction items for the Siegel & Shuster Society Charity Auction was that Winick would do a one-page Barry Ween adventure featuring the auction winner and that the winner would get to keep the original art. Now I'll have to keep an eye out for the out-of-production Barry Ween shirt that was done for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, even though my wife has made it quite clear that if I wore it in public I'd never be allowed in the house again under any circumstances.

#848 ::: KévinT ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 03:57 AM:

Elliot @731:

I listen to France Inter (kinda like a French BBC) podcasts:
here.

Then you have to choose the show you want. Here are the ones I like:
- 2000 ans d'histoire: history
- Le fou du roi: daily show with talented humorists
- Le masque et la plume: movie critics
- Panique au mangin palace: surreal, hard to describe...
- Rendez-vous avec x: modern history, presented as a conversation between two people (I LOVE this one)
- Tout s'explique: SCIENCE!

#849 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 05:09 AM:

Open threadiness: An article in the Guardian on secret food habits has led to a bout of self-confession on one of my mailing lists.

I'm quite disappointed that the insulation fetish particle was taken down from YouTube before I could view it. Warm clothes make me happy.

#850 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 05:22 AM:

Wyman Cooke @ #842

Ah yes, the Daily Mail. More accurately described as the Daily Hate[1] around here.

Cadbury.
[1] They have a "free" handout (entirely funded by advertising) "newspaper" in London,
which has been described as the "Two Minute Hate" since that is how long it takes to read the contents.
--
Being a paper boy or girl is a great first job, and also happens to
combine three of the most dangerous things children can do: riding
a bike in the dark, visiting strangers' houses and handling the
Daily Mail. - Guy Browning.

#851 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:08 AM:

Well, guys, now you're making me less calm. Here's what MS says:

Understanding that end-users, over time, upgrade their computers with different components, Microsoft views the CPU as the one remaining base component that still defines that original computer. Because the motherboard contains the CPU, when the motherboard is replaced for reasons other than defect, a new computer is essentially created.

#852 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:34 AM:

C Wingate @ #850 wrote:

"Well, guys, now you're making me less calm. Here's what MS says:


Understanding that end-users, over time, upgrade their computers with different components, Microsoft views the CPU as the one remaining base component that still defines that original computer. Because the motherboard contains the CPU, when the motherboard is replaced for reasons other than defect, a new computer is essentially created"

But earlier you wrote:

"the culprit was determined to be the motherboard"

Despite being a moose of very little brain, I don't think you should have a problem because both you and Micro$oft are in agreement:

M$: "when the motherboard is replaced for
reasons other than defect"
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
CW: "the culprit was determined to be the motherboard"

You are replacing the motherboard because it is defective. (You're having to replace the CPU because it only fits that motherboard, but that's irrelevant since motherboard failures will frequently toast the CPU (and vice versa).)

QED?

Cadbury.

#853 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:42 AM:

#839: I would do this (if at all) in safe mode. Some sources I've seen online say that if you do it in normal mode, you risk letting all the magic smoke out of the box. (I suspect you'd more likely get a blue screen)

#854 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 10:06 AM:

Happy Birthday, Fragano!!!

#855 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 10:20 AM:

C. Wingate @ 850:

From the stuff I've read in various places like the VMware forums, they'll usually still not give you any hassle over an OEM license. Changed some hardware, ok, done.

#856 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 11:02 AM:

Serge #853: Thank you!

#857 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 11:35 AM:

Once again, thanks for the help.

I've never done anything destructive to electrical hardware per se, but I did once build a weird Heathkit oscilloscope sort of thing for the school ham radio club. Of course, one must short the high voltage capacitor to ground before working in it, which I did through the usual expedient of sticking a screwdriver in, leaving a little pockmark on the chassis each time. Then came the day when I had my finger on the shaft....

#858 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 12:49 PM:

C Wingate on the Volts the Jolts:

Been there, done that, had to get a stepladder out to remove the screwdriver from the ceiling.

(Once I'd stopped shaking, of course.)

3:O(>

Cadbury.

#859 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 01:34 PM:

An "oh no they didn't" moment: Kansas Congresscritter calls for a great white hope for the Republicans.

I could believe that she might not have been fully aware of the original meaning of the phrase; what gets me is the "apology" (issued thru a spokesperson) that claims WE are to blame for interrogating the text from the wrong perspective not understanding what she really meant.

#860 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:19 PM:

Lee @ 858...

"The Great White Hope"
Starring James Earl Jones.

#861 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:22 PM:

#845 - definite articles on highway numbers.

As a resident of Eastern Ontario, I think of it as more a Quebec thing. My wife, a born Quebecer, talks about taking "the 20" or "the 40" into Montreal, while the Ontario side will say either "417" or "the 417". If there's a directional modifier, "417 West" or "416 South", the definite article becomes rare.

#862 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:25 PM:

Wow, and what a lot of lies they were spinning to cover her sorry ass afterwards, Lee! I think it's pretty clear that her intent WAS racist, and she thought it was a dogwhistle.

#863 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:26 PM:

Wow, and what a lot of lies they were spinning to cover her sorry ass afterwards, Lee! I think it's pretty clear that her intent WAS racist, and she thought it was a dogwhistle.

#864 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:29 PM:

I did not!

Well...maybe I did.

Sorry.

#865 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:59 PM:

Cadbury Moose @ 857:

I used to get bitten by the 120 VAC mains about once a month when I was a technician in the Army; came from usually being in a hurry and not stuffing one hand in a pocket to keep from completing the circuit. My last 6 months I worked on a mobile communications system set up in a couple of Korean War era ambulances. For some reason we could never get a good ground among all the pieces of equipment, so holding on to the fronts of two different racks was guaranteed to give you a 30 or 40 volt tingle. After a few days of that I got a lot better about keeping my hands out of the way.

#866 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 03:08 PM:

Happy Birthday, Fragano Ledgister!

And belated congratulations, abi! (And thanks for the status update. Hope it works out well.)

#867 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 07:22 PM:

Thanks, Raphael.

#868 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 07:41 PM:

Lee #858: Is the "Great White Hope" expecting to get knocked out?

#869 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:31 PM:

Mark@809: western MA is conservative only by comparison with the rest of the state; despite the best gerrymandering efforts of Republican governors, it has elected a Democrat to the House since the Republican incumbent died a couple of decades ago.

#870 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 10:22 PM:

Bruce C (StM) @833: Impressive indeed!
Thanks for the story.

Re C Wingate @743, 821, &c; various others @various: <checks for lucky horseshoe, touches wood, makes obeisance towards Fortuna> So happy I haven't had to do such stuff for the last few years. It's like 1920s motoring, & I just cannot put up with it nowadays.

@850: So there's the "reasons other than defect" issue – if you can say you were repairing a defect (how to prove that) it's OK.
But they also want you to retain & move your installation – their product – if you get a new computer or upgrade. Surely. There'd be procedure set to move it, awkward & a hassle, but there. Most awkwardness I see is in standard back & forth, trial & error, parts-swapping, &c, of repair & upgrade. Nightmarish thought if have to "re-authorize" each time. Sets up expectation of no tinkering; swap consumer-style "black boxes"; commodities like TVs or microwaves.

Rambling again. Sorry. Have to touch & go atm, leaving good thoughts for all in peril on computer-change paths ('ware sharks!).

#871 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 07:27 AM:

Not only do I finally get to attend the local Bubonicon this weekend, but a local rep theater is showing "Sita Sings the Blues" on Sunday. And I may have found new premises for the local SF club's meetings.

#872 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 07:29 AM:

Not only do I finally get to attend the local Bubonicon this weekend, but a rep theater is showing "Sita Sings the Blues" on Sunday. And I may have found new premises for the SF club's meetings.

#873 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 07:33 AM:

Oops. I didn't realize the original version of my post had gone out with the overused word 'local'.

#874 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 08:31 AM:

#850 C.

Microsoft thinks that the MPU is the definer of whether one has a "new" or an "old" computer? They're whacked... when I worked at InfoLibria, the same box sometimes had one Intel x86 chip in it, sometimes two... the boxes were dual processor capable, sometimes there were dual processors in them, sometimes one, and sometimes none (that situation involving having taken both of the processors and cannibalized them to put in two other machines.) Acer I think has some of its machines set for the user to pull out e.g. a single core microprocessor and replace it with a dual core microprocessor.

Most of the companies which do "limit licensing to one machine" use the MAC address of the card or on-board hardware for Internet network interface, the numbers for the hardware are supposed to be unique. If you have to replace the NIC --Network Interface Card--or get a new system board, you lose....

#875 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 09:20 AM:

Paula Lieberman wrote @ #873:
> Most of the companies which do "limit licensing to one machine" use the MAC address
> of the card or on-board hardware for Internet network interface,
> the numbers for the hardware are supposed to be unique.

Aha! Ahaha!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!

(Entire batches of network cards with duplicate or overlapping IDs have been reported in the past.)

Most "licence management" systems are badly broken, and certain companies (Yes, Quark, I AM
looking at you) deserve to go out of business and be nailed up as an example of how not to treat your customers[1].

Cadbury (Don't get me started) Moose
[1] Hint: The correct answer to "I can't read the install CD because it got damaged"
is not "We do not supply replacement media, you will have to repurchase the product.

#876 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 10:36 AM:

Me @#835, mcz #836: Whoops, let me try again:

Jim's riff on Knight Moves.

Other recent items from the web: FCC [finally!] investigates mobile-phone industry. Also, Scott McPherson is still holding forth on swine flu.

#877 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 10:55 AM:

Playing 'Doctor' with Agatha.
Eek.

(By the way, my wife thinks that Moloch von Zinzer looks like me when I had more hair and when it wasn't so grey. I think she means that in a good way.)

#878 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 11:02 AM:

Folks, could any of you spare some good wishes or healing energy for an injured Police Dog?

Bosco is suffering from gunshot wounds sustained earlier this week when his partner was attempting to serve a warrant on the perpetrator, who fired on both the dog and the cop.

The officer was shot in the leg, and treated and released from Grant Hospital. Bosco was taken by medical helicopter to Ohio State University's Veterinary Clinic, where he is currently in ICU.

The Dutch Shepard has some paralysis in his front legs, but is able to move his back legs. The vets are hopeful that as the swelling from the injuries go down function will return. Good news is that he has a hearty appetite.

I've had a candle lit for him all week...

#879 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 11:49 AM:

On Knight Moves: Author Jamaica Layne (whose real name is Jill Elaine Hughes) was a guest blogger on the Writer Beware blog, where she discussed the pitfalls of playwriting in America.

Reading her piece, it's hard to imagine the same person writing that thing that calls itself an erotic romance, which makes me wonder if it was written tongue firmly in cheek.

Then again, there are perfectly good writers who turn into Travis Tea when they try their hand at fiction, so it must be a lot more common than I believed.

#880 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:13 PM:

Lori Coulson @ 877... Good thoughts toward Bosco.

#881 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2009, 10:16 PM:

I expect some of you have heard the possibly-true story of the student who, after examining the rules of his university, stood up in the middle of an exam and demanded a pot of ale. (The punchline is that at the next exam he was fined rather more than the ale cost for not wearing a sword.)

It seems that even unwritten practices still have some force; a Harvard professor will be getting grazing rights.

#882 ::: Lee sees more goddamned spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2010, 08:15 PM:

@ 882. If this IP address resolves to anywhere in Texas, can you tell me where it is? Not that I have anything like a tactical nuke ready to hand, but I might know where one could be found.

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