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February 27, 2011

Open thread 154
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 05:06 PM *

The last of them, but not the least of them:

The little Love-god lying once asleep
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs that vow’d chaste life to keep
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warm’d;
And so the general of hot desire
Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm’d.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
Which from Love’s fire took heat perpetual,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy
For men diseased; but I, my mistress’ thrall,
Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.

Link back to Open thread 153

Comments on Open thread 154:
#2 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 06:16 PM:

The southern aspect of a season's tale
when clouds have parted and the days advance
with kinder sunlight into springs expanse
just at the point where hearts might seek to fail
is our new vantage. Right here we inhale
both air and sound, the enemies of chance
encourage hearts to feel the hope of dance
and with a new enlightenment to sail.
Good airs inspire the lungs and cause the feet
to find their rhythm with the season's change
in a new blend that came from over sea,
a deeper, wiser, measure of the street
bringing homeward what was once so strange
to make us in the end a bit more free.

#3 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 06:31 PM:

Rather than sit at the window and watch the windstorm whip the treetops around (I hate enforced weight restrictions after surgery since there's so little you can do) I've been trying to find somewhere to get advice about cleaning some beeswax I have. I know it's not really a ML sort of thing, but I'm hoping that someone here might be able to suggest where I could go for some advice on this. Suggestions, please?

As far as online news goes, is there any sort of "Candygram" like service which involves sending Wil Wheaton out to sing a song featuring "Don't be a dick" in the chorus? Because, if there is, I think we need to take up a collection so "RadioFan" gets a visit.

#4 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 06:45 PM:

If you're looking to get out solid matter, the easiest way is to put the beeswax in a pan of water and melt it: the wax will melt and float, but the impurities, which are generally either heavier than water, will not.

#5 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 06:58 PM:

I have a hard enough time minding my own beeswax.

#6 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 07:04 PM:

This is ten pounds of beeswax I got for $1.00 a pound because it had been stored outside and had gotten a black layer of crud in it: it's not really solid matter as such. (It doesn't smell like mold...pollen maybe?) I found an account online that said sending it through the filter stuff that's used for maple syrup would take care of it, but whatever they use for that in Maine sure isn't known here in Seattle.

#7 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 07:38 PM:

Bruce #6: Oh, at first I'd thought your clauses in #3 were connected! Anyway, about that wax, I'd guess you've already tried melting it and skimming or pouring off?

One hit on "filtering beeswax" suggested the "maple syrup filter" is a device holding filters, rather than just filter -stuff itself. Another mentioned paper filters used by restaurants for cooking oil. Diatomaceous earth was also mentioned as an option.

#8 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 07:48 PM:

Observation:

Dogs don't like it when their bosses spend all afternoon entering tax return information any more than when their bosses spend all afternoon playing Galactic Civilization II.

And here I thought it was a case of "Hey, you're having fun, and I'm here and not outside getting walked. Fix this!"

At least Kira doesn't jump up on the keyboard to get my attention.

#9 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 07:59 PM:

Cleaning wax comes with keeping bees (my father had a hobby: five or six hives, for a while). It melts at a fairly low temperature, and you can cut it in chunks with a hot knife to do part of it at a time.

I suspect what you've got is just simply dirty wax, but there might be other stuff.

probably more information than you want:
http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/waxmelting.html

#10 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 08:42 PM:

So which one is the least of them? I haven't read all 154. I should probably rectify that, maybe do one a day for five months.

#11 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 08:54 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @ 3 ...
've been trying to find somewhere to get advice about cleaning some beeswax I have. I know it's not really a ML sort of thing, but I'm hoping that someone here might be able to suggest where I could go for some advice on this. Suggestions, please?

My understanding is that you can do quite well by melting and then filtering the wax, plausibly using some combination of cheesecloth, or jam-filtering or coffee filters.

The wax is _quite_ flamable, so this is something that you really want to do outside (or somewhere that's exceedingly easy to control failures) -- and I'm told that it can also smell quite dire, depending on what's been mixed into the wax...

#13 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 09:20 PM:

David Harmon: Cooking oil filters--hmmm. There's a couple of restaurant supply stores downtown on 1st: I'll have to go into one when I can drive comfortably again. Thanks for the idea!

P J Evans: I suspect you're right. Thanks for the link: I'd never have thought of putting a block of the stuff into a burlap sack and boiling it, or the suggestion of panty hose stuff. I'll look into those as well. Thank you!

#14 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 09:22 PM:

xeger, #12: I checked with my partner, who uses his Gmail account far more often than I do mine. His backup method is simple -- he downloads his mail frequently to an e-mail client on his home system, which in turn gets backed up regularly. This is probably the easiest method for many people, although if you haven't been doing it to date, that first download is going to take a LONG time.

#15 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 09:31 PM:

My favorite chemist's blog has a new blog entry in the category Things I Won't Work With -- specifically, chlorine azide.

Aside from the piece's delightfully amusing writing, I thought it was particularly Fluorospherian because it only took four comments to turn to poetry -- and comedic Carroll pastiche, at that! Well worth it, and not even very long.

#16 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 09:38 PM:

xeger: Thanks for stressing the safety concerns. I'd planned to melt the wax (assuming I don't use the bag it in burlap and put it into a big pot of water method and let it filter out) outside in a crock pot, with a fire extinguisher at hand. I'll be looking into alternate filters now, thanks to David Harmon and P J Evans.

#17 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 09:43 PM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex - hey presto!

Crane photos from the Boulder contingent.

Sorry to take all weekend about getting these up.

Jacque, if you'd like a copy of the originals, stop by sometime with laptop or flash drive and I'll fork 'em over.

#18 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 09:50 PM:

OP: Indeed, many waters cannot quench Love, neither can floods drown it, for Love is strong as Death.

#19 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 09:52 PM:

Xopher, that's one of my absolute favorites. My high school chorus sang an arrangement of that psalm that has earwormed me for life, and I don't mind, because it's that lovely.

#20 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 09:59 PM:

On another site, someone posted that his girlfriend was mad at him for not getting her a Valentine's Day gift, even though she'd explicitly told him not to. He implied that in a previous year she'd also told him not to and gotten mad when he DID, because he hadn't respected her wishes.

The general consensus was "dump her and get a sane girlfriend." But some asshole piped up with "do they make non-crazy women?"

Well.

My response was "Yeah, there are plenty of non-crazy women. They avoid sexist, belittling men, though, so it’s not surprising that YOU’VE never met one!"

#21 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 10:01 PM:

Xopher, were there not various very practical obstacles in the way to such a thing, I would propose marriage on the spot for your response.

#22 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 10:02 PM:

The crockpot is probably safe enough.
My father had a solar wax melter for the first stage. It's basically a box painted black, with a transparent lid (and ventilation), with a large pan inside for holding the wax, that drained into a loaf pan where it cooled. (It's easier to store a brick than a bag of lumps. In fact, I have one of his bricks in my cupboard. It's about a pound of wax or a little more: maybe half an inch thick, and otherwise the size of a large loaf pan.)

#23 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 10:46 PM:

When I heard my former ISP was going to be moving all mailboxes to GMail, I transferred about 18 years of email correspondence¹ ² off their mail server to my home server and deleted it off their systems. (If there's nothing in the mailbox, there's nothing for Google to lose, right? Also nothing for Google to index and/or expose.)

I realize that's not an option for everyone, any more than rebuilding their engine is a good recommendation for most people's car troubles. All the same, it is not a given that the company handling your mail will care about it as much as you do.

¹ I'm a packrat, OK? And probably even more so when it comes to digital data.
² Being the one who set up the mailserver hath its privileges.

#24 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 10:56 PM:

Nicole: right there with you. I've sung at least three different settings of that Song of Solomon text in church choir.

Fade: That's sweet, thanks! Yeah, I was pretty proud of that comeback. Hence coming here to brag of it...though also I think it may be useful in other contexts, so I also came to share it.

#25 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 10:57 PM:

Melted beeswax is what one uses to coat the areas to be protected in each dye dip when making pysanky. I still have a little box of tools from the days when I did this. My kistka didn't look like the ones in those illustrations; they were more like a fountain-pen nib fastened to a small dowel, and you heated the nib in a candle flame and then pushed it into the solid beeswax to draw liquefied wax into the nib.

#26 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 11:03 PM:

Oh my . . . Anonymous declares war on the Koch Brothers.

http://www.anonnews.org/?p=press&a=item&i=585

#27 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2011, 11:14 PM:

Crane-folding subthread: Clearly influenced by my long-standing tendency to take fairly simple things and complexificate them beyond all recognition (though, at least in this case, not beyond sanity -- for which much thanks!★), my cranes are being folded not only from pieces of paper I find useful for well-wishing will-work✓, but I am, in quilting terminology, fussy-cutting them.

If anyone's curious, I know how to make sure certain parts of your paper end up out on the flat part of the wings where they're visible. Oh, and my count stands at 23, despite my toddler daughter's repeated efforts at helping ...

---
★ Why, yes, I really am that parenthetical in real life (especially when I've been reading a lot of Conan Doyle, Gail Carriger, or the like). Sometimes, even in spoken English, which awes some people.
✓ A reproduced woodcut out of Scientific American to wish him useful technological advances; pages from a Penzey's Spices catalog's recipe section to wish him copious, tasty, and nutritious food, etc.

#28 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 12:13 AM:

Elliott Mason, you cannot give me just that bit of origami knowledge and not follow through! I like having those bits of nifty in my brain.

#29 ::: M Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 12:17 AM:

#22
I strain hot beeswax through cheesecloth, then pour it into cocktail-ice cube trays.

#24
I used to do pysanky, which I learned from a Ukrainian woman. It was fun, but after 13 dozen eggs, enough. I still have my tools and dyes.

#30 ::: M Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 12:18 AM:

Oops. #25, not #24.

#31 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 12:33 AM:

Diatryma @28: Well, as long as it's of general interest. :->

There's two ways to go about it. The first expects you to know exactly the size of square you want to do your fold with, and the second expects that you have a desired motif/picture on the paper, and you want to make sure you get as much of it as you can right where you want it to go, with a maximally-sized crane.

Both can be done by eyeball when you've got experience with the method, but there are proportions you can go by until you get 'the feel'. I suggest starting with #1 for practice before moving on to #2.

Marked Template: Using a translucent substance (plastic sheeting, tracing paper, etc), cut out a perfect square the right size. The length of the side is hereby declared 'x'. Using a ruler or dividers, find its center, and then mark a square box around the central .25x of the template. Draw a border around the outside of the square about .625x (1/16th) in from each edge.

Lay your template over your paper and rotate and play with it until you get your motif near one corner, and with no part of it inside either the central penalty box, or the border. For extra credit and coolness points, line up the square so another motif or neat thing is in a similar placement on the OTHER corner.

Flexible Size: Find the motif/pic you want to use on the page. Decide which end should point out towards the tip of the wing. Crease a right angle around that end, leaving a bit of a border between what will be the cut edge and the picture. Now crease it again, straight up the middle, bisecting your motif (and the right angle). Cut along the previously-creased line, leaving (on a folded piece) one 45-degree cut edge and a lot of extra on the other end, 'inside' the creased corner.

Fold it at right angles to the current fold-line, with the new crease pointing at wherever you have the least paper -- there should be NO missing paper (from a ripped edge or the end of the sheet) inside the little 45-45-90 triangle you just made, which has one cut edge and two folds that meet at the right angle. Now cut again along the first cut line, removing excess paper; when you open it, it'll be a square with two crossing corner-to-corner folds.

Common to both: Folding Method: I'm going to skip steps and assume you already know how to fold cranes in general; there are tutorials out there. Make sure the side of the paper you want out is 'valley-folded' from corner to corner -- the fold-in-quarters-square folds should be 'mountain' on the good side. Once you have your little foldy square with the corners tucked in, look at all available 'square' sides. Before you do your make-a-kite folds on the open edges, make certain one of the motifs you want on a wing is FACING YOU. You will fold to the centerline OVER the motif, so that when you open up your kite into a canoe, it's facing away from you, not folded up tight at the bottom end.

#32 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 12:34 AM:

Error-correcting my own @31 -- I do actually know that 1/16 is .0625, not .625! I also swear I did read my preview, I just didn't spot the howler until after I'd pressed 'post'. Oh, well.

#33 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 01:32 AM:

Frank Buckles, the last US veteran of World War 1 died today. He was 110, as of the first of the month.

There are only two left, in all the world, out of how many millions?

#34 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 01:44 AM:

Terry @ 33

... Two living non-US WWI veterans?

Because otherwise I am really confused by your second sentence.

#35 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 01:47 AM:

KayTei: I think they're both British.

#36 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 01:56 AM:

re beeswax: It's not massively flammable (parrafin is has petroleum distillates in it). Beeswax is just fine as a molten object.

Back in the day, when pasting up the newspaper meant taking columns, or pictures, and gluing them to the page, the standard machine for applying the "glue" was in fact a device to melt beeswax and then apply it to the paper. It made it easy to move things around.

So when we got in in the morning, we turned on the waxer, and turned it off, eight to ten hours later, when we were done for the day.

#37 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 02:00 AM:

B. Durbin @ 35

Good to know. Thanks.

#38 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 02:00 AM:

Elliot Mason: Russian has a word for beginning a parenthetical statement. It gets used in speech. to go back to your question about my, apparently, idiosynchratic usage of the semi-colon; I am also quite parenthetical, and the study of Russian has not helped. I may be trying to have the same sense of verbal aside, through punctuation.

#39 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 02:33 AM:

Elliot Mason: Russian has a word for beginning a parenthetical statement. It gets used in speech. to go back to your question about my, apparently, idiosynchratic usage of the semi-colon; I am also quite parenthetical, and the study of Russian has not helped. I may be trying to have the same sense of verbal aside, through punctuation.

#40 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 03:27 AM:

@18, 19, 24: Does anyone have links to those pieces? I'd love to hear them. (It's my favorite verse; we read it at my wedding.)

#41 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 06:10 AM:

Lylassandra, 40: The one I've sung is by John Ireland, and is called either "Many Waters Cannot Quench Love" or "Greater Love Hath No Man." This seems to be a decent rendition.

#42 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 07:21 AM:

Stefan Jones #26:

Looks like it's "on"... I guess. A boycott? Haven't seen one of those in a while.

#43 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 09:00 AM:

From WFMU: Because Physical Wounds Heal. We're behind the looking glass down the rabbit hole now, folks!

#44 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 09:46 AM:

Could someone with the websearch-fu that I lack give me a hand?

I'm trying to complete an embroidery project that a friend of mine picked up at a garage sale. Of course there's none of the original floss, and the results of my burn test were highly inconclusive. It's way too shiny to be wool, didn't smell like silk, and left the wrong kind of ash for rayon, but it's clearly not a petroleum derivative since it burned rather than melting.

The piece is printed "Grayona Needlecraft Corp No. 8186/11 Size 36"".

If all else fails I can match looks rather than fiber content (in theory; one of the colors is very weird), but I'd like to try and get on the right track.

#45 ::: Kate Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 09:55 AM:

Carrie S. @44: Could it be mohair?

#46 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 09:58 AM:

Kate Shaw: Not a chance, way too shiny. I only did the burn test to distinguish between rayon and silk, really, but then my results were inconclusive. :)

#47 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 10:12 AM:

Xopher@20: Nice! Well, elegant, anyway. Definitely worth bragging about. ("Nice is overrated" :-) )

Now, I'm not totally sold on the concept of "sane human", other than perhaps as a goal to aspire to (too bad there's little concept of what one would look like). And I suspect that societal imbalances will cause statistical differences in the flavors of insanity of men vs. women.

But yeah, choosing by bubble reasonably wisely has in my experience exposed me to a lot less insanity, and a lot less stereotypical insanity, than some people seem to think is normal. I suspect it would confuse the person you were responding to, since my bubble contains a lot of people with avowed psych diagnoses; they just don't spend much time at all being "fucking insane" in the social sense.

#49 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 11:31 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @3: advice about cleaning some beeswax I have. I know it's not really a ML sort of thing

*giggle* ::SNARK:: Sorry. Hee hee.

#50 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 12:24 PM:

Carrie @44 -- Have you tried a differential test for cotton? Back in the day, a fairly high percentage of commercial embroidery kits used cotton thread of some type.

Terry @36 -- I will always cherish -- in a future-shocky sort of way -- the fact that my relatively brief time on the staff of MZBFM spanned the transition from waxed layout boards (along with sending out the artwork for half-tones or 4-colors as applicable) to entirely electronic layout (complete with requiring artwork to come in digital format).

#51 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 12:27 PM:

HRJ: Have you tried a differential test for cotton? Back in the day, a fairly high percentage of commercial embroidery kits used cotton thread of some type.

It looks too shiny to be mercerized cotton, but I could be wrong; would that just be another burn test, with some cotton for comparison?

#52 ::: Doug K ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 01:41 PM:

water, love and death always makes me think of Yeats,

Behold the flashing waters
A cloven dancing jet,
That from the milk-white marble
For ever foam and fret;
Far off in drowsy valleys
Where the meadow saffrons blow,
The feet of summer dabble
In their coiling calm and slow.
The banks are worn forever
By a people sadly gay:
A Titan with loud laughter,
Made them of fire clay.
Go ask the springing flowers,
And the flowing air above,
What are the twin-born waters,
And they'll answer Death and Love.

With wreaths of withered flowers
Two lonely spirits wait
With wreaths of withered flowers
'Fore paradise's gate.
They may not pass the portal
Poor earth-enkindled pair,
Though sad is many a spirit
To pass and leave them there
Still staring at their flowers,
That dull and faded are.
If one should rise beside thee,
The other is not far.
Go ask the youngest angel,
She will say with bated breath,
By the door of Mary's garden
Are the spirits Love and Death.

bathetically:
For Gmail, I just use the offline setting so that every time I log on, it copies everything to my hard drive, from whence backups. In detail here.

#53 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 01:51 PM:

Steve, #48: Hee! That's the principle behind our use of "cat training tapes" on areas we don't want the cats exploring, such as the dining-room table. Take strips of ordinary clear packing tape and lay them sticky-side-up on the table at night. Cat jumps up on table, cat encounters tape, cat concludes that table is not a good place to be, whether the humans are watching or not!

#54 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 02:18 PM:

Open-threadiness, small rant about my mother and technology . . . .

My mother (whom I love, though we are very, very different people and so of course there is friction between us) is technologically challenged. Most of the time she knows that and respects her own limitations.

But when she doesn't, I'm the one who has to go in and fix things.

Which is usually okay.

But not always.

Back in December, mom's oldish desktop became seriously virus-infected. This was annoying but not too troublesome since mother does no internet banking and virtually no online shopping. Mostly the computer is used by my teenager for school-related research, IM, and Fb. Fine and dandy.

So we went and bought a new desktop, and I set it up and installed all the software. The biggest problem was with the DSL, but a nice tech at Verizon and I worked out all the kinks there and all was well.

Until the printer died.

Now, you must understand that mom is comfortable making certain kinds of purchases on her own. She has bought TVs and VCRs without any problems, usually by sticking to brands she has owned before or by asking me or my brother for input. But when we converted to digital TV, I did all the hookups in her home and taught her how to use the converter boxes.

So mom thought she could by a printer, since it didn't seem that complicated.

So off she went and bought one. Without saying a word to me about it.

But then I had to hook it up.

And it never worked right--the paper feed was unreliable, I had to reinstall the software a couple of times and troubleshoot the thing . . . .

Which should have told me it was a lemon. _but_ I really didn't want to tell my mother she had bought a bad printer. So I did my best to get it working.

Except that every time my daughter tried to print something, it took forever and usually involved once again reinstalling the software because the computer and printer didn't seem to be able to talk to each other for more than a minute or two at a time.

And of course it was weeks before we finally threw in the towel, by which time mom had thrown out the packing carton and the store's return period had long come and gone. The printer manufacturer has been of limited-to-no help (mom on the phone to India is an oy vey moment) and I believe mom is now talking to American Express about solving the problem. (Which is, of course, my fault, since I knew when I installed the thing that it was buggy . . . . )

And somewhere in here my mother decided to buy a portable DVD player--which she bought primarily to hook up to a TV so that she can watch a movie over lunch and then take the player into another room to finish watching there. But it took me about 20 minutes to get her to understand that even though her TV remote said "DVD player," it wouldn't work with the portable unit since that unit _did not operate remotely_. And unless she wants to invest in a lot of cabling, she's going to get up every time she wants to pause or stop the DVD player, because the cable she has won't allow her to put the player near her chair and still reach across the room to connect to the TV . . . . (oh, and she had to return the first DVD player she bought because it couldn't connect to the TV at all, though she knows she told the salesperson that's what she wanted it for).

At any rate, there's still no working printer at my mother's place.

So now I need to get one for her. And I have to pick just the right printer, so that she'll never ever ever have a problem with it, or she'll complain about it to the end of her days.

Seriously.

I offered to buy one when we got the new computer back in December, but that was no good because "all she needed was the computer" even though the printer was older than the desktop . . . .


#55 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 02:36 PM:

Bruce @3

There are few things that are better at making light than beeswax.

"For the rest, whatever we have got has been by infinite labor, and search, and ranging through every corner of nature; the difference is that instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light". - Jonathan Swift

#56 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 02:54 PM:

Melissa Singer @ 54:

If she's only doing black-and-white prints, and she doesn't need the copy/scan functionality of the all-in-one devices, I would strongly recommend a small laser printer. They're reasonably fast, and don't need much in the way of maintenance. I have an older HP Laserjet (sadly not one of the really good ones) and I've not had to replace the toner in it for the ten years I've owned it. Of course, I don't really print a lot of stuff, but this does include my stint in university.

See the Budget Mono Laser Printers Group Test from The Register.

They also have reviews of inkjets and the all-in-ones there if that's the route you need to go.

#57 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 02:58 PM:

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little @17: crane photos

Wow, those are actually reasonably good photos of me. Quelle suprise. Also of you (no surprise). The one of you with Null Krinkly-Pants Laser-Cat makes me laugh. Would it be appropriate to offer those for inclusion in the making light and faces gallery?

#58 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 03:05 PM:

Melissa Singer @ #54, I have had terrible luck with an $80 Lexmark copy/scan/print all-in-one. There's a serious design flaw with a little plastic lever underneath the glass; it pops free and the printer concludes that the cover is open even when it's clearly closed. Because the lever is under the glass it's fairly inaccessible, which makes it worse.

You get what you pay for, of course, but I wouldn't have expected such an obvious flaw to get past the QC people. This happened when I tried to change an ink cartridge, something all users need to do regularly.

#59 ::: Kate Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 03:13 PM:

Melissa Singer @54: We bought a small laser printer last year (a Brother--not sure what model since I'm not at home right now) and it's been great. It's reasonably fast, the print quality is excellent, and the toner lasts a long time. It cost a few hundred dollars, but in the previous several years we'd spent at least that much buying overpriced ink and replacing crappy "all in one" printers. Of course, it only does black and white.

#60 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 04:07 PM:

Melissa@54, KeithS@56, Kate@59: Indeed, monochrome lasers are cheaper to run and faster at anything like comparable prices. If mono will do, strongly second the suggestion to get a laser.

We've had a nice little Brother laser printer at home for the last few years (5 maybe?); a 5250DN, which is near-perfect. Direct wired ethernet connection, duplex printing, quite cheap, totally reliable, decently cheap cartridges. And better than other things in its price class in that the paper tray holds 350 sheets. This means that a sloppily grabbed "half a ream" always fits (when empty; nobody ever refills a printer except when it's empty, anywhere I've seen). Not taking a full ream is a downcheck, but nothing in this size and price range does. (We occasionally do brief heavy printing, like when Pamela finishes a book and has to print two copies of a thousand page manuscript; but mostly we're quite light.)

I've got a good but small inkjet for photo-quality stuff, but I mostly print on the laser--which is two flights of stairs up from my computer. Still, the exercise is good for me, and taking the dust cover off the inkjet is a pain.

#61 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 04:10 PM:

KeithS @ 56: I agree that a small laser printer can be a valuable purchase if you are just printing black-and-white documents. My husband and I bought an HP Laserjet 5MP back oh, maybe 13 or 14 years ago now. It's been a real workhorse for home use, and is still going strong.

#62 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 04:18 PM:

Oh, gee, thanks for all the recs, which wasn't the point but is much appreciated.

Alas, the teenager insists on color, and I can understand why if she's printing stuff for school, where color makes a bigger impact (and can be the difference between having something displayed in public or not, regardless of the quality of the writing . . . ).

Though my codgerlike brain, recalling my own days in high school, 3+ decades ago, grumbles things like "in my day, teachers got blurry photocopies of images and coped just fine."

#63 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 04:53 PM:

"humans are the routers"
we also used to be the name servers.

#64 ::: Keith E. Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 07:00 PM:

General Open threadness:

Last week, I'm preparing my resume for a new round of job searching and as is always a good idea, I google my name. Everything is looking normal until I get down to the bottom of the first page of google hits and find that, along with my usual public pages is a Myspace page for a "Keith K. Kisser."

This is not me.

I shut down My Myspace account two years ago. Also, my middle initial is not K for reasons that I hope are obvious.

I contact Myspace and ask them to pull the page on the grounds that it's offensive, thinking it's a prank or joke in bad taste.*

Turns out, "Keith K. Kisser" is a legit account and the bald gentleman in the pictures who emblazoned Kay Kay Kay across his Myspace page is in a punk band. Myspace won't take down the page.

For the record: my name is Keith E. Kisser. I am in no way affiliated with Keith K. Kisser.

Also for the record: Myspace is well past it's sell by date and should be shunned like lepers.


_________
*Last month, I had a troll on my blog write a three part rant about how I was racist because I was opposed to the censoring of Huck Finn by replacing the N word with "slave". I assumed at first it was this troll, trying to punk me.

#65 ::: Keith A Kissel ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 08:16 PM:

Keith E Kisser@64,

I know the feeling. Coincidentally, our names are nearly identical. I score the first few entries on google for my name, but the next one after me is on a sex offender registry. For the record: not me. Discovering that one lead me pretty quickly to always keep a good, clear photo in a prominent place on my website. It also offers some pretty good incentive to keep my googlerank high.

I get regular speculation about whether my middle name starts with a "K". Of course, it does not. It gets old. I have to assume you feel the same way.

#66 ::: Keith E. Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 09:21 PM:

Keith A. Kissel @ 65:

It does. Though jokes about my last name tend to edge it out, ever so slightly.

#67 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 09:58 PM:

Umm, yum, ::lick:: *smack*

Just managed to salvage some week-old baked salmon that had been lost in the back of the fridge.

When I was little, my mom would make a salmon loaf that I really liked. Unfortunately, she made it with canned salmon, and I was hopelessly squicked by the bones-in (ew, ack, crunchity wrong wrong!), so she eventually quit making it altogether.

I haven't been able to find a recipe that seems right (or any recipe for salmon loaf, as far as that goes), so I just kind of faked it and made it like meatloaf, except with cous cous instead of breadcrumbs, and no tomato paste. Added some toasted sesame oil and roasted salted cashews.

OM NOM definitely food om nom nom....

#68 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 10:07 PM:

Melissa Singer @54, if another product review helps the data sample, I am VERY happy with my Epson Stylus CX9400 all-in-one. I don't think I've fully explored all its features yet, but I can vouch that print, fax, and copy all work beautifully, and one of these days I'll try the scanner and the thing that reads photo memory cards.

I have no idea how pricey it is. I got it from Freecycle, new-in-box. I love Freecycle.

#69 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2011, 11:58 PM:

Jacque #67: when not using slab salmon, I use the stuff in the pouches. More expensive but no bones. My dog loves salmon bones (which she doesn't get) and salmon skin (which she does, along with the liquid) but I hate getting only half a can of salmon per can.

#70 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 02:41 AM:

Hyperlocal News: Many catches up with Open Thread, finds Serge will be in Pleasanton this week. I don't go in to the office every day, but that's where my office is - ping me if you'd like to get together for lunch.

#71 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 03:58 AM:

M Evans: I strain hot beeswax through cheesecloth, then pour it into cocktail-ice cube trays.

I'd been planning to use silicone cupcake trays, myself. I'll keep an eye out for a silicone cocktail-ice cube tray.

Jacque and Sarah S: Yes, beeswax is good at Making Light. I missed that one. Har de harr harr. I think that, under Schedule 3 Narcotics as I am until the surgery finishes healing, I should get at least a little credit for managing a semi-coherent paragraph, inadvertent idiocy and all.

#72 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 04:13 AM:

@67, @69 - Here in the UK we can get tinned salmon without bones (and at a not-too exorbitant premium); is this not available for you guys?

#73 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:32 AM:

Jacque @67, "definitely food" is a great two-word review. heh.

#74 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:56 AM:

Boswell in the Baths

I lusted; wherefore here I lie, to cool
The heat of passion in the healthful springs,
That cool by heat. Such lethargy it brings:
To contemplate while steaming in this pool:
That I, who laid in stews, must stew once more;
Who once took sportive Venus hot to bed
Must now, with sighs, take Mercury instead,
And feel his coldness at the very core.

Shall I once more to Vauxhall for an Eve,
Or sally forth, (or fifth), for my delight?
I salivate without an appetite,
For now; but this is all I can believe:
That conscience gives a prick there is no doubt;
But not, alas, the other way about.


#75 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 08:47 AM:

Dave:

Very nice. A night with Venus, a year with Mercury.

#76 ::: Kate Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 08:53 AM:

Jacque @67: When I was small, my grandmother would occasionally make salmon chowder, for which she'd pick most of the bones out of the canned salmon. I liked the bones' texture so she'd give them to me in a little bowl. But I always washed them really well before eating them because I hated the taste of salmon (and still do). Sometimes cheap canned tuna has little bones. I do still love them.

#77 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 09:09 AM:

Jacque @ 67
When I was little, my mom would make a salmon loaf that I really liked...I haven't been able to find a recipe that seems right

This is my mother's/grandfathers recipe.

1 can salmon, bones picked out, flaked
Reserve the juice
1 tube Ritz crackers, crushed fine
1 egg
dollop mustard
black pepper to taste

Beat egg, mix everything together, add milk if needed to make a very stiff batter (about as stiff as whipped cream).

Bake or fry, eat with white sauce (yum) or stewed tomatoes (eww).

#78 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 10:57 AM:

Sam @ 77 - Close to ours, but my grandmother added half-an-onion and a rib of celery, diced fine (the other half-onion to go with the overcooked veg of the evening)

I like the sound of Jacque @ 67's concoction, and will be passing it on to appropriate parties (those who actually eat salmon).

#79 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 11:32 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @71: Schedule 3 Narcotics as I am until the surgery finishes healing

Yes, so sorry. If I was nearby, I'd offer soup or dinner or something nurturing.

I should get at least a little credit for managing a semi-coherent paragraph, inadvertent idiocy and all.

Sorry, not meant to impugn your intelligence or coherence. I'm just amused at the idea that any topic would be outside the perview of Fluorospherean expertise (with the possible exception of professional sports, and that's not even a bet I'd take). The apiary arts actually strike me as being a fairly hum-drum* topic, around here.

--

*Serge: you're up.

#80 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 11:45 AM:

Bruce @#71

What Jacque said at #79, with the additional comment that I'm incapable of not quoting Swift, given a good opening.

Sometimes I even wax eloquent about the perfection of his prose style.

#81 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 11:49 AM:

I have in my hot little hands paperback copies of John M. Ford's Star Trek novels, _How Much for Just the Planet?_ and _The Final Reflection_. Given to me by an utter philistine among Star Trek novel readers who does not look upon them as keepers even when all others, yea even those by Diane Duane and Barbara Hambly, get left behind. Contact me first at jbcroft, hanging out at that hot mail place, with your address and a bad joke or good recipe and I'll send them along.

#82 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 11:52 AM:

SamChevre @77: salmon loaf recipe

Heh. See how I did that there? Mention a lack of recipe, and they magically appear.

("Well, you know, Jacque, you could have just asked if anybody knew a good recipe." "Um, yes, well...I suppose...")

Kate Shaw @76: I liked the bones' texture

::shudder:: Well, I suppose that doesn't make any less sense than eating fried shrimp heads (too much chitin for me, personally).

Hm. Dried, I suppose you could make a little crunchy snack out of them, like potato chips.

Heh. We would have made the perfect partners. I get the salmon, you get the bones! Hee.

sisuile @78: I like the sound of Jacque @ 67's concoction, and will be passing it on to appropriate parties (those who actually eat salmon).

::preen:: Coupla points: as I had already prepared the salmon as a stand-alone entrée, it came pre-seasoned. For a loaf, be sure to add (if it doesn't already have it) salting (soy-sauce, in my case) and lemon juice. (Actually, I should have added a bit more of each to my loaf.)

Also, smush the salmon up before adding the other ingredients. Ahem.

Close to ours, but my grandmother added half-an-onion and a rib of celery

I did put some diced onion in. I wasn't sure it would work with fish, but it's hard to go wrong with onion.

OTOH, celery is not food. ;-) My mother was a big celery fan. It's not toxic, like say rutabegas, but it's not food, either. IMHO, of course. :o) (Although I can definitely see the rationale: if you're of the celery-in-tuna-salad school, celery in salmon loaf certainly makes sense.)

Oh, wait: one exception. Thanksgiving turkey stuffing absolutely requires celery.

those who actually eat salmon

Actually, I'll bet this loaf recipe would work with any fish.* Hm....

--

*Do you dislike fish in general, or just salmon in particular?

#83 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 12:26 PM:

That was quick --the John M. Ford books have been claimed!

#84 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 12:36 PM:

I did some interesting experiments with salmon loafish things back a while ago when I was under-employed and exploring the really really cheap options at the local ... hmm, "grocery" doesn't do it justice, but call it that. In salmon season, they'd pack up bags of heads, spines, and other bits cut off when filleting and sell them for less than a dollar a pound. (This store also has a delightfully varied "culled produce" section that I took advantage of during that era.)

I think my recipe ran something like "put the fish bits into a crock pot with a quartered onion, a couple celery stalks, and anything else lying around that's getting wilted. Simmer until the bones dissolve. Strain to separate the broth (which gets used on its own for soup). Season the resulting paste with herbs and spices to taste and mix in eggs, flour, and rolled oats in the same proportions you would for meatloaf. Bake in a medium oven until a skewer comes out clean.

The main reason for leaving the bones in wasn't so much an active preference for them as the problem that picking them out (given that the represented more than 50% of the mass) would have been way too much work.

Also: make sure to label the containers of frozen salmon broth because when you're expecting chicken or lamb instead it's very startling to discover you have salmon.

#85 ::: Toni ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 12:45 PM:

Which is better, i.e., easier to learn from: Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone?

#87 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 01:50 PM:

Also: Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant Hapus Pawb

#88 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 02:31 PM:

Janet Brennan Croft: Wow! You've reinveted "stone soup," only in loaf form!

That seasoned paste sounds like it would be a great adjunct to my Cream of Dinner recipe.

#89 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 02:52 PM:

Jacque @ #79, I'll volunteer for pro sports general knowledge.

#90 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 03:25 PM:

Jacque @82: Rutabegas aren't toxic; parsnips are toxic. Also jicama. Rutabegas are the secret ingredient in my sainted mother's beef vegetable soup, with the vegs ground up (to keep the rutabagas secret). They can also be substituted for or combined with white turnips for Armored Turnips. I'm quite fond of them with butter, salt and pepper, even though raw ones are surly and hard to cut up. Parsnips, on the other hand ... The good news is they won't kill your compost heap.

#91 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 04:12 PM:

Then there's the Rutabaga Boogie, Tracie and Jacque....

Don't know how long it'll be available, but there's a full version of Shaun Tan's Oscar-winning animated short The Lost Thing up at indiemoviesonline. A very thoughtful 15 minute piece, totally right for those who like Among Others.

#92 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 04:46 PM:

Parsnips? Toxic?

Jacque: most fish falls between 'eh' and 'ew' on my food preference scale, though I like tuna. I would much rather eat dead sea bugs. OTOH, my doctor, concerned about my heavy metal levels, pulled me off of all fish and shellfish for a while. (I maintain that it was more likely to be time as glaze-chemist + living with a recently disturbed lead water supply than my almost non-existent fish consumption. Still, not that much of a hardship. Her insistence on a lack of wheat? That's a hardship.)

Celery adds salt and fiber. Iirc (and it's been a while!), celery is one of the few plants that does well in salt marshes. It will absorb salts from the soil, making my grandfather happy because it was the only thing that would grow in the mini-marsh beside his house in northern IL where the winter road salt runoff killed everything else.

#93 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:06 PM:

Carrie S. @44: Cotton? Most embroidery kits I know of use cotton. DMC embroidery silks* seem to me to be shinier than Anchor, and that's before you go for the really-shiny ones.

To my knowledge, I've never seen an embroidery kit that didn't use cotton threads (tapestry, that's different). But maybe thats a trans-Atlantic difference?

* cotton, even if called embroidery silks.

#94 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:07 PM:

Linkmeister @89: I'll volunteer for pro sports general knowledge.

This then begs the question: Is there any K which I not CIML?

Tracie @90: parsnips are toxic.

Have to agree with you there. The one time I tried parsnips, I broke out all over my body with a hideous rash that took months to clear up. Odds are pretty good that the parsnips were correlative rather than causitive, but this is not an hypothesis I'm inclined to test.

Also jicama.

I'm okay with jicama. ('Sides, it's a silly word and fun to say.) No particular nutrition to speak of though. Sort of like vegetarian potato chips. Er. If you take my meaning....

Rutabegas ... can also be substituted for or combined with white turnips

EEK! Turnips are toxic, too. One of them is worse than the other; I can never remember which, though.

Armored Turnips Ahem...? :-)

sisuile @92: Celery adds salt and fiber.

It also has a bitter note that I really dislike.

It will absorb salts from the soil, making my grandfather happy because it was the only thing that would grow in the mini-marsh beside his house in northern IL where the winter road salt runoff killed everything else.

Cool! Probably doesn't grow in Colorado worth a damn, unless irrigated. Too bad, because I can think of a number of catchments that could benefit from its salt-absorbing properties.

Don't get me wrong. I don't oppose celery's existence. Celery is a perfectly lovely co-inhabitant of my biosphere. But, like a pine tree, I just don't especially want to eat it. Which, of course, leaves more for you! (Likewise turnips & rutabegas!)

'Sides, bunch-of-celery-leaves + budgies = hours of hilarity.

#95 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:13 PM:

A Dog and Bed update:

Ardala's latest habit is refusing to settle down to bed until both of her servant monkeys have tucked her in. She alternates bedrooms each night, and she will woof, sigh, get up, pace, etc, until Other Monkey comes in to give her some last pettings. In addition to the tucking in, my roommate attempted to read her a story the other night (The Monster At The End of This Book) but Ardala was singularly unimpressed. Perhaps next time we will try Where The Wild Things Are. This behavior seems to coincide with the removal of her bed steps. I picked her up this morning (Ardala, not the roommate) and put her on my bed, where she promptly had a zoomie, dug in the comforter, and settled into the warm spot by the pillows. I am now considering getting a sort of hybrid step/ramp thingy which will still not reach the top of my bed, but will allow access to my nightstand, from which she can then get on the bed. This dog is completely spoiled.

In non-related news, I was thrilled to learn that Mysterious Galaxy, my favoritist bookstore EVAR, will be opening a branch near me this fall. I can't wait!!!

#96 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:17 PM:

I'm not aware of health or food safety concerns regarding cooked parsnips; raw parsnips contain furanocoumarin, which can apparently cause phytophotodermatitis (for topical exposure to the sap) and (when eaten) may affect the metabolism of some drugs (as in the "grapefruit juice effect").

That said, I've eaten raw parsnip on several occasions and haven't experienced any trouble. (The parsnip-pine nut mash recipe that's partway down that page is excellent. If you like parsnips, of course.)

#97 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:24 PM:

In defense of the noble parsnip, I offer the following:

Turnips and Pasternaks from Anthimus

#98 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:45 PM:

Bedtime Stories for Dogs, ISBN-10: 0836221990

#99 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 05:48 PM:

We've been experimenting with jicama as a substitute for potatoes, with reasonable success. You have to dice it fairly small in soup or stew, because the more exposed surface area, the more it absorbs the flavor of the broth. Put it thru the food processor with onions, and it makes pretty good hash browns as well. They'd be vegetarian if we didn't fry them in bacon fat. :-)

#100 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 06:02 PM:

Xopher @ 24: I see what you did there! And how I confused the Song of Solomon with Psalms, I'll never know.

Lylassandra @ 40: This sounds like the arrangement my high school sang.

Jacque @ 57: By all means. I have no objection to those being horked into Making Lights and Faces. Glad you like; I tried to choose the least blurry of the ones we took!

ibid @ 82: My New Orleanian upbringing prompts me to protest, "Of course celery is food. Celery is one of the primordial building blocks of food. Along with onion and bell pepper." Except of course my mother's aversion to bell pepper meant I got a different version of that holy trinity at home, such that she added onion, celery, garlic, and green onions to the roux once it had roux'd sufficiently. She also puts celery in tuna salad and in the fantastic shrimp dip that she makes with mayonnaise, Zatarain's Creole Mustard, and just enough ketchup to make it pink. (Ketchup is a food coloring.)

and @ 94: it darn well grows in Colorado. Abbondanza sent me home from CSA pick up with oodles of it last year, some of which I helped harvest. And if one likes raw celery, harvesting celery is a lot of fun. You end up sitting in a whole heap of trimmings, munching away as you machete the next batch.

#101 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 06:34 PM:

The conversation has moved on a bit, but here's my family's recipe for salmon patties:

Drain the oil from a can of salmon into a bowl. Add one egg and beat/mix well. Add wheat germ, milk powder, and (if desired) corn meal to thicken well. Season with salt and sage (or anything else your heart desires). Optional: add 1/2 finely chopped onion. Optional: Add 1-2 stalks finely chopped celery. Add salmon to bowl, mix well. Shape into patties and brown in a little oil.

#102 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 06:34 PM:

Re: the Noble Parsnip
Best way I've ever had them was in a little pub between Cashel and Cahir - roasted with carrots, tossed with butter, honey, black pepper, and a little ginger.

Here, I tend to do Candied Root Veggies (carrots and parsnips in honey, orange juice, and ginger), or winter dinner (carrots, parsnips, onion, potatoes, and a little sage sausage. Possibly throw in barley instead of potatoes)

#103 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 06:38 PM:

Celery is FULL of vitamic C.

Not ascorbic acid . . . Crunch.

I typically only buy celery when I make salmon "salad" for sandwiches. That and green onions.

#104 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 06:41 PM:

While I agree that celery is not food, it IS a useful food additive. It contains a substance that, like MSG, enhances the flavors of other foods. I have empirically tested this by making otherwise identical batches of roasted veg with and without celery. The with-celery is noticeably tastier.

#105 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 07:03 PM:

Armored Turnips, as made in the Barony of Bhakail back in Anno Societatis Way-Long-Time-Ago:

5 pounds turnips
1 pound provolone cheese, sliced
butter or margarine

Peel and slice the turnips.
Parboil them; drain.
Butter a baking dish, generously.
Layer the turnips with the provolone cheese, starting with a layer of turnips and finishing with a layer of cheese.
Bake at 350 until the cheese starts to bubble.

=======

This is the small-baronial-feast version; tripled or quadrupled, it's enough for Crown Tourney or a kingdom Twelfth Night.

For home consumption, a pound of turnips and a bit over a quarter pound of provolone will accompany a family dinner, assuming everybody there likes turnips.

#106 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 08:03 PM:

JBC @81/83 - I'm long past the availability window for the titles but I remember them well - I loved The Final Reflection and still have a dog-eared paperback copy; I detested How Much For Just The Planet (I was a teenager and probably didn't quite get the humor - it was one of those books that looked like it was supposed to have been funny to someone, just not me) and haven't seen it in years.

However, Mr. Ford has the singular honor of having been, as far as I know, the only author to have sold me not one but two new copies of a book I could not stand. (The first, because I hadn't read it yet; the second, after I'd read it, because I'd loaned out the first copy to someone who then moved out of state and I wanted to have the COMPLETE collection....)

Wherever you may be now, Mr. Ford, I hope you're laughing... :-)

#107 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 08:30 PM:

HLN: Visiting Arizona man takes the wheel of the HMS Surprise in San Diego harbor. Despite his lack of naval experience, no damage or injuries are reported.

#108 ::: M Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 08:32 PM:

Here are some nontraditional pysanky

A mermaid of sorts
I call this joy

#109 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 08:46 PM:

Describing celery as 'full of' anything except water seems to be going a bit far.

It's got a substantially higher water content than milk, orange juice, or Coca-Cola, about the same as Gatorade.

#110 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 09:14 PM:

87
Diolch yn fawr!
(Also, ooh nice, another food blog!)

#111 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 09:18 PM:

My mother left the bones in when she used canned salmon. I won't say they taste good (to me they're like eating soft chalk), but they're certainly edible, for some value thereof. They'll mash up and disappear into the fish, too.

#112 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 09:29 PM:

I've never noticed bones in canned salmon. Sardines, yes, but not salmon. Huh.

#113 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 10:30 PM:

Catching up with culinary thread:

  • I'm with Mary Aileen #112: I've never noticed bones in canned salmon, only sardines -- and lately, even those often come boneless.
  • Celery is more a spice than a vegetable. In fact, it's three spices -- stalk, root, and seed.
  • Lila #104: Interesting! Rutabagas are a kind of turnip, which in turn is just a mild radish. I like turnips, sometimes even raw.
  • Lexica #96, it never occurred to me to eat parsnips raw!. Cooked mushy, with butter and salt, that's the way!.
  • I also note that both a small turnip and a parsnip are near-mandatory parts of my family chicken soup recipe.
#114 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 10:35 PM:

there are bones in the big cans of salmon. What is canned are big chunks of the actual fish, bones, skin and all(well, no heads and fins). It's just that the canning / cooking process makes them soft. As a point of interest, that kind of 'ugly' salmon has a lot more of the good things in it than the nice, small, tuna-sized cans of 'pretty' salmon.

Mashed as part of the process to make salmon cakes, no one notices anyway.

#115 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 10:46 PM:

I guess I'm the odd one out here -- I can't imagine not wanting to have bones in canned salmon. That's one of the best parts of it!

Then again, I'm also fond of fish cheeks and eyeballs, so mileage may vary...

#116 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 11:05 PM:

Jacque:Yes, so sorry. If I was nearby, I'd offer soup or dinner or something nurturing.

No problem: thanks for the thought. If this pain goes on much longer, I'm going to have to look into anger management: I ran into a page where the users of a device I want to buy were sending messages to the manufacturer about how they'd just found a bug and when will the bugfix be released and I found myself yelling "When hell freezes over, you impatient assholes!" I thought about posting a brief note suggesting the manufacturer has to verify the bug first and then debug the software before they could say when the fix would ship, but I was afraid I'd offer to kill them all with my bare hands instead...

I'm just amused at the idea that any topic would be outside the perview of Fluorospherean expertise

Clearly you missed the echoing cave Making Light became when I asked what the original phrase was that Pedro Carolino had, via a French-English dictionary and Portuguese-French phrasebook, bludgeoned into "For to craunch the marmoset." (Please don't suggest the theory that it's a garbled version of the Jamaican phrase "scrunch the marmot." I've read that one repeatedly on the internet, and there's never any sources given to flesh out the bones. I'm beginning to think that Mencken dreamed it up before deciding he could get a full column out of lying about when the first bathtub was fitted in the White House.) Crickets could have been heard. It doesn't happen often, but it *does* happen here--hence my hedging when I asked about beeswax cleaning.

Sarah S.: with the additional comment that I'm incapable of not quoting Swift, given a good opening.

I understand: I've been accused of looking for howlers just so I can quote the the rules from Twain's "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses."

#117 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2011, 11:51 PM:

Since I'm spending so much time in this Kennedy Rocker my tailbone is getting a little sore, so I've been looking online for a cushion set that cost less than $89.00. No success yet, but WOW...there are some seriously ugly cushions out there for rockers in general. I can't believe they're saying "That is gorgeous!" and I'm colorblind. And some of the ones for sale on eBay make you long for the subtle taste of Frederick's of Hollywood. The Kennedy Rocker versions may be expensive, but at least they seem to be solid colors like white or yellow--which is a substantial improvement over the eye-watering patterns and retina-clogging colors that I've been finding... Out of curiosity, are there any other items that sewers do which get hit with an ugly stick this big?

#118 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:05 AM:

I had a long-term subjob in an elementary school with an agreement with HyVee: all the K-6 classes got free Healthy Snack each day. The plan, I heard, was to start easy-- grapes, baby carrots, apple slices-- and then gradually add weirder stuff as it came along.

We got a plastic container full of white rectangular sticks. Like carrot sticks, like very large fries. No one knew what they were. We passed the container around to the kids for careful sniffing and all of us thought, "Oniony? Um."

"Daikon radish? They wouldn't do that to us. They wouldn't do that to us."

Then the sticks were discovered to be jicama, which the kids adored. Anything that can carry ranch dressing is good.

#119 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:14 AM:

I've got a copy of The Final Reflection around here somewhere that I would send on to a next stop. (that is, assuming that it's not already done that, since I can't quite find it right now) I'm still keeping my eye open for How Much for Just the Planet.

#120 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:28 AM:

Jicama sticks also lovely for dipping in guacamole. Just saying....

#121 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:30 AM:

Doesn't eating jicama give you the jicups?

#122 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:40 AM:

I like parsnips, think celery is a kitchen essential, and turnips are ok.

Jicama is nasty.

I didn't chime in on the beeswax, because I had been beaten to it.

#123 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 01:17 AM:

"Out of curiosity, are there any other items that sewers do which get hit with an ugly stick this big?"

Oh, I have been WAITING for some place I could talk about this. We were sent a Christmas box from my in-laws with many things for the kids and a bag for me. It may or may not have been that particular one, but the pattern is accurate—bright red, dark brown, sickly chartreuse. I looked at it and went, Oh God. A bag more repulsive to my sensibilities is hard to imagine.

My MiL called and asked how I liked it. (She was not the giver.) I hedged and told part of the truth—that I didn't have any use for it, because I don't use enormous bags. If I have something that needs that amount of space, I'm not going to be carrying it over my shoulder. I didn't say that the bag made me nauseated.

Probably just as well, because she said she hadn't been sure it was my style, but she rather liked it. So she ended up with it, and it's not moldering away in some back corner of my place. A win!

#124 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 01:38 AM:

B. Durbin, #123: Ye ghods. My standard description for something like that is, "It looks like a sofa." And there are indeed a lot of truly appalling upholstery prints.* Why someone would think of wearing one of them I have no idea!

Your story, however, reminds me of something that happened back when my now-ex and I were first dating. It was my birthday, and I opened up the package he gave me, and... it was a purse. A purse the size of a battleship, made of straw or something similar, with only one compartment, and shaped sort of like one of those leather drinking flasks with a narrow end and a wide one. (The zipper went along the top, so you could at least get into it easily.) I thought it was a gag gift, and burst out laughing... only to discover that this was actually something he had thought I would like.** I'm not sure which of us was more mortified.

Fortunately, it was exactly the sort of thing my mother adored, so it went to her.


* Don't even get me started on wallpaper patterns! I can go thru a book containing several hundred wallpaper designs and come up with no more than half a dozen that I would even consider remotely acceptable for any wall I had to look at -- and I'm lucky if I find even one that I consider genuinely attractive.

** In his defense, he'd never seen me purse-hunting at that point, and he never got me anything else that I didn't like; I put it down to "he didn't really know my tastes yet".

#125 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 01:59 AM:

Jicama can also serve nicely as "mock water chestnuts" if only the bland crunch is desired.

(And I'm trying really, really hard, but I can't be the only reader of this thread who cringes every time someone uses the words "salmon" and "can" in the same sentence.)

#126 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:17 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II: If they'd just stuck to the blue-with-darker-grapes (or blossoms or whatever) it would have been liveable-with, but the - contrasting, I suppose it could be called - paisley design on the endings, arms and centre of the stool cover is awful.

B. Durbin: that's awful as well.

Some years make, my flat got flooded. While various bits of good wooden furniture were going to be re-polished, I asked about getting a particular chair - re-uphostered. The samples I was sent (having asked for "tapestry" because it's a rather old chair, with wonderful carved wooden arms, and neutral/green) were awful - apalling patterns, colours nothing like what I'd asked for. I ended up asking if he didn't have a nice plain dark green, which he did, so I settled for that.

New word of the day: jicama. Seriously, it doesn't exist over here (the vegetable, that is).

#127 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:21 AM:

xeger @ 115: "Then again, I'm also fond of fish cheeks and eyeballs, so mileage may vary..."

Me too! They look so silly without them, the poor dears, bumping into things and their food leaking out all over--I hear they're rather fond of them as well.

#128 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 05:02 AM:

Parsnips: When roasted, they are scrummy. When merely boiled, they lose an important letter of your choice. I believe that this often leads to confusion, and it delayed my recognition of their true nobility by a couple of decades or so.

I didn't know they had poisonous qualities, nor have I ever buttered one.

Heather Rose Jones @ 97: Your second experiment sounds delicious, and I may attempt in a spirit of scientific rigour to replicate the results presently.

#129 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 08:30 AM:

dcb @#93: The thing is, this is an old embroidery kit, like 1930s-Arts-and-Crafts old; Shauna got it either at a garage sale or online. It was fairly common for those to have floss that was either actual silk or rayon. And I'm quite familiar with mercerized cotton floss; this stuff is shinier.

For that matter, I don't even know if it came in a kit originally, or if the pattern-stamped pieces were sold alone and the person who started the embroidery picked the floss.

Regardless, I think I'm going to hit the needlepoint shop this weekend and see what I can do to match the stuff by looks. I'd still love to know what's up with the origins of the pattern, just for coolness value, but it's irrelevant to getting it finished. :)

Re #108: What may be the coolest pysanky I've seen this year: It's on a goose egg.

#130 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 10:47 AM:

TexAnne (and Xopher!), I'm a little late getting started but I began folding cranes last night. My fingers DO remember how, yay! I think tonight I'll cut up some old maps for wishes for safe and happy travels as needed. You can tell me where to send them and how many you need at jbcroft at that place where the temperature of the mail is hot.

#131 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:09 AM:

On the subject of toxins, I just took a wee tiny taste of the...cheesecake, I guess you'd call it,in the breakroom.*

ACK PTHEH GAGGGHHH PTHOOEE!

It's, um, peanut butter.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love me some peanut butter. Nekkid on a spoon, in peanut butter cookies, even the occassional chocolate-covered candy.

But this...um. Not.

Most assuredly not food.

--

* Our breakroom serves somewhat the function of the family dog of days of yore. If it's at least plausibly edible, and you don't want it, put it there and somebody** will eat it. There are a few things that have gone untouched long enough to wind up in the compost, but it's pretty rare.

** Too often, me.

#132 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:18 AM:

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little @100: if one likes raw celery, harvesting celery is a lot of fun. You end up sitting in a whole heap of trimmings, munching away as you machete the next batch.

Pix! Pix! I visualize you with leaves sprinkled all over, including on top of your head. :-)

To be fair, I concede the possibility that celery could be processed in a manner which would render it food (cf. turkey dressing, above). I just haven't encountered such a thing. But the Universe is yet young.

Ketchup is a food coloring.

Breakfast, meet keyboard. Ahem.

Sort of like the brine shrimp in flamingos, eh?

#133 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:23 AM:

Debra Doyle @105: Well, hell, of course. Enough cheese and butter will turn anything into food. Road kill...swamp grass...asphalt...

#134 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:32 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @116: If this pain goes on much longer, I'm going to have to look into anger management

Oh, dear. You have my sympathies. It's amazing how having a chronic drain on one's system like that can cut into one's resilience. What does it to me is poor sleep. Three nights in a row of rowdy neighbors, and I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near polite society.

I take it your doctor is less than useful on this issue?

Clearly you missed the echoing cave Making Light became when I asked what the original phrase was that Pedro Carolino had, via a French-English dictionary and Portuguese-French phrasebook, bludgeoned into "For to craunch the marmoset."

Um...yeah, I guess so. ::blinks owlishly:: Wow. I wouldn't even know how to start looking that up.

#135 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:37 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @117: at least they seem to be solid colors like white or yellow--which is a substantial improvement over the eye-watering patterns and retina-clogging colors that I've been finding... Out of curiosity, are there any other items that sewers do which get hit with an ugly stick this big?

In the 90s, I used to subscribe to Threads Magazine, because it had really good technique articles, and was useful for idea-mining. However, EVERY SINGLE example garment they printed photos of was overwrought, self-clashing, and generally fugly (in an "Oh my gosh, I can't believe the model was willing to be photographed wearing that. I KNOW they PAID her, but STILL!" way). I could imagine flattering, classic, elegant garments using nearly every technique they showed ... but I had to imagine them, because the stuff in the pictures looked like they were made by someone's colorblind crafts-happy overcheerful great-aunt from some town so small they have to drive an hour to get to a Wal-Mart. Not to insult all small-town dwellers, I hope; just addressing a stereotypical character. I have no idea if they got any better; I haven't picked up an issue in years. I fished around on the website looking for examples, but didn't find any.

In re your cushion covers particularly, there are a bunch of currently trendy color combinations that I find horrendously grating; that aqua-plus-light-brown one you linked to is one of them. Orange and silver-grey is another, or orange and hot pink. Lots of people think they are TRULY AWESOME AND CUTTING-EDGE, but I can't stand 'em. Give me saturated jewel-tones contrasting with black any day.

B. Durbin @123: in re gifts of that sort ... my sort-of-cousin★ gave our kidlet, for her recent 2nd birthday, a big floofy blue taffeta dress-up dress (with a small Disney Cinderella portrait badge on it; easily removed) and a box/sorter with four pairs of Disney Princess Shoes, all of which bear cameos/badges of their respective movie tie-in characters which are IMPOSSIBLE to remove without ruining the shoes. When we blinked several times and looked at her, in the pause between opening and thanking, she said, "I had to get her something I KNEW you would NEVER buy her!" And she's right, but not exactly in a good way ...

We think we can peel off the face-stickers or paint over them with nail polish or something to anonymize the play shoes before she's old enough to know the names of the characters depicted. I should note that I personally have no problem with dress-up fun clothes, I have a problem with pervasive branding in general, and the Disney Princess juggernaut in particular. The giver genuinely has no idea why we object. All her kids, and the kids in their circle, are swimming so deep in the sea of everything-is-branded that it feels utterly normal to her; in fact, she once remarked in our presence that it's "impossible" to get anything non-branded of late. I bite my tongue a lot when this subject comes up. Before next Giftmas or kid-birthday, I think I better figure out a way to raise it, lest we get deluged with more of the same.

dcb @126: Yeah, you don't have any decent Mexican restaurants either. I think the two facts are related.

--
★ Her mother is sort of my-and-John's alternate mom -- she's definitely our kid's spare 5th grandparent. So her kids are kind of our cousins, in a fictive-kin sense. We see a lot of them and are friendly.

#136 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:38 AM:

Paula Helm Murray (114): Mashed as part of the process to make salmon cakes, no one notices [the bones in canned salmon] anyway.

That must be why I never noticed; we only ever used salmon to make salmon cakes.

#137 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:40 AM:

Jacque @131: I was bemused recently to hear a radio advertisement for a new product being proudly carried by Trader Joe's: peanut butter cream cheese spread.

Um, yeah.

File under "things you never knew existed until watching late-night small-station TV," because I was only up at that hour AND listening to the radio because the kid was having an up-every-2-hours-to-nurse no-sleeping night, and I was trying to not go mad from boredom as WELL as mad from sleep deprivation.

#138 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:41 AM:

Heather Rose Jones @125: I can't be the only reader of this thread who cringes every time someone uses the words "salmon" and "can" in the same sentence.

Are you old enough to remember the smell of a house after "fresh" fish had been cooked for dinner, in the days before modern shipping and refrigeration technologies became commonplace?

While admittedly a crime against nature, there are some things canned salmon is better than, believe it or not.

#139 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:45 AM:

Jacque: I take it your doctor is less than useful on this issue?

No, they've been good--in fact, when I pulled a muscle this weekend they agreed I should double the dose for the next few days and greatly reduce my activity so things will heal. The problem is that the most recent surgery was abdominal which means that I have an 18" incision across my stomach with a 3" incision running up to my sternum. This means there's a lot to heal up, and the oral painkiller is to be taken not more than every 4 hours. Since it takes an hour to get to full effectiveness, I get enough pain between hours 4 and 6 to get grouchy.

#140 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:57 AM:

Take two half breasts of chicken, skin on. Cut a half-thickness slit along the long axis of both. Stuff this slit with marinated herbed feta, capers and slivers of black olives (be generous). Season well. Tie the two halves together with kitchen string, with the stuffing on the inside. Brown this on all sides in heavy skillet with just enough hot oil to prevent sticking, remove. Add to the hot pan onion, garlic, sundried tomatoes, sliced peppers, mushrooms, in that order. Sweat them. Sprinkle with flour, cook through, add 1 cup chicken stock, and 1 cup red wine. Reduce this sauce a little and season. Return chicken breasts to the pan and turn the heat down to cook gently for twenty minutes or until done on fork test, turning once. Add two handfuls baby spinach leaves, cook through enough to wilt them.

Serve with couscous, flavoured as you prefer. Serves two.

#141 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 11:57 AM:

Bruce: One of the tricks I discovered when I had my last root canal (the recovery from which was a lot rougher than I had expected) was to take half the dose, twice as often.

You are, I trust, otherwise spoiling yourself mercilously?

#142 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:02 PM:

Heather Rose Jones @125 : I can eat salmon.

Especially lightly grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a side of fresh fruit salsa.

#143 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:05 PM:

B. Durbin: That's some pattern. Not the worst I've seen (the new couch that was abandoned at a little building I'm co-owner of featuring pictures of colonial tchotchke and psuedo-flowers in colors outside nature, all executed in polyester, still leads the pack), but not something I'd want to carry around.

dcb: If they'd just stuck to the blue-with-darker-grapes (or blossoms or whatever) it would have been liveable-with

As I said earlier I'm color blind so I'm going to have to defer to you on this one. Liveable, yes, but I hate to think of what definition of liveable the rest of the house would be.

Elliott Mason: In the 90s, I used to subscribe to Threads Magazine, because it had really good technique articles, and was useful for idea-mining. However, EVERY SINGLE example garment they printed photos of was overwrought, self-clashing, and generally fugly

Sounds like every American magazine on woodcarving I've ever seen, which is why when I get an urge to read about the subject I get a nice one from England the local B&N carries--90% less distressed, psuedo "folksy" gnomes and animals that way.

#144 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:14 PM:

Oh, dear. The cheesecake has now sprouted a Helpful Note:

Leftover b-day cake

MMMMMM!!

Very rich!!

Food that requires subtitles? Hm.

#145 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:17 PM:

Jacque: Bruce: One of the tricks I discovered when I had my last root canal (the recovery from which was a lot rougher than I had expected) was to take half the dose, twice as often.

Oh, we've done every dosage know to man in what seems to be every time interval under the clock over the past month. Thanks for the suggestion, but it's been tried. I'm just going to have to heal and outlive the pain.

You are, I trust, otherwise spoiling yourself mercilously?

As much as I can, being unemployed and under weight restrictions. Mainly my time is spent using my left shoulder as a cushion for the smaller cat, who now comes up and scolds me if I just sit on the couch and don't provide a shoulder to sleep on.

#146 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:18 PM:

Sounds like every American magazine on woodcarving I've ever seen, which is why when I get an urge to read about the subject I get a nice one from England the local B&N carries--90% less distressed, psuedo "folksy" gnomes and animals that way.

My favorite needlework mag these days is an Australian one called "Inspirations". They tend to avoid the cutsey, the "country", and the overly-modern, and as a bonus they assume in their directions that I already know how to do things like French knots. I only wish I could afford to subscribe.

#147 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:20 PM:

Jacque #133: ... celery?
Jacque #134: I wouldn't even know how to start looking that up. Language Log and/or Language Hat. Sorry no links, but my browser is acting up.

Dave #140: Into my Recipes folder... what do you call that?

#148 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:31 PM:

Elliott Mason @135 there are a bunch of currently trendy color combinations that I find horrendously grating; that aqua-plus-light-brown one you linked to is one of them.

Heh. What goes around comes around. Somewhat more than 40 years ago now, as a pre-teen, I selected the first item of clothing I remember picking out for myself in the store and loving. (We didn't do much clothes shopping in stores in those days. My grandmother used to make all my school dresses; they were fine and often very nice, and I usually got to help pick out the material, but it wasn't the same.)

Anyway, I loved with a deep and abiding love my brown bellbottom jeans with the big turquoise flowers, worn with a white button-down shirt. I believe my mother viewed the color combination the same way you do, but she had the courtesy not to harp on it.

I have just been reminded of those pants. That is all.

#149 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:38 PM:

Dave Luckett@140: I just might do that some day. Well, something like it. Without feta, capers, sun-dried tomatos, and probably black olives. And no doubt with other things. The spinach, added very late, is something I particularly wouldn't have thought of, which seems like a good idea now that it's been suggested.

All sun-dried tomatos I've experienced so far, which isn't that many because I'm a fast learner, have tasted and smelled musty to me. Not a pleasant thing. I might substitute a dollop of tomato paste or something to get what I imagine might be an effect somewhat similar to that intended.

#150 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 12:46 PM:

OtterB @148: I am often reminded that I Am Not Like Other People. For one thing, I grew up in the 80s, so hot pink and searing turquoise are almost neutrals for me. :->

I remember scoffing at my mother, sometime in my late grade school years, for being absolutely over the moon that 'her colors' were back in style. She bought multiples of every wardrobe basic (pants, turtlenecks, button-down shirts, skirts, etc), and only opened one of each to wear: the rest (often three or four of each color in each garment) were left in the plastic, stacked in bins at the top of her closet, for use when the first one wore out.

Then I realized in college that all the current colors were fugly to me ... and that I literally had to either compromise and wear stuff I hated, or wait for the colors to come around again. Needless to say, compromised a little (I now own, ugh, multiple pairs of brown pants -- at least I can sometimes find chocolate/coffee, instead of the lighter, greener hues) when I started looking like a ragpicker in worn-out clothes I loved the colors of.

It's all of a piece with selling swimsuits in February, I think; the clothing industry has so overspecialized itself to only survive because of overconsumption that it has to change the colors radically on a more-than-ten-year horizon, and pre-sell each season's clothes, to survive at all on the prices they charge. It makes consumers buy clothes to the industry's timetable and tastes rather than their own. And some consumers don't even mind ...

#151 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 01:12 PM:

About decorating and colors -

I'm with Elliott on the hatred of trendy pink/orange, brown/turquoise combos we've been given recently. I'm also quite tired of the giant tree and plant silhouettes they're slapping on everything. It feels instantly dated to the 70's to me. (also tired of: branches, animal horns used as dust-collecting objets. Guess we're done with the multiple useless spheres of crap.)

I've just redone my bedroom and discovered that if I don't want loud prints or bland, dirty looking neutrals, the search terms I have to use is "Shabby Chic", and damn is it hard to do a bedroom in pale colors without looking like it belongs to a 6 year-old going through a princess phase. Normally I'd gravitate toward jewel tones, but my bedroom is small and I don't want it to feel as cramped as it actually is. I think I'm going for a mostly white/super pale, glacier blue look just because I don't want giant two-dimensional plant life silhouettes or baby pink ruffles everywhere.

#152 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 01:30 PM:

Elliott Mason @150: Not just colours but styles. I loathe low-waist trousers. Refuse to wear them. Which means that, some outdoor clothiers apart, it hasn't been possible for me to buy any for several years now: the shops just are not selling any where the wasit band actually reaches the waist. I even saw one pair offered as "high-waisted: resting just below the natural waist". Even my favorite outdoor shop has been highjacked by the "pink and purple is what all women want to wear" brigade and haven't done any of their women's clothes in a decent green for years. And the mens stuff (colours and cut both preferable to what they're doing for the women) is mostly too large for me (I can manage the short-sleeved shirts, if I don't mind the sleeves reaching my elbows).

#153 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 01:36 PM:

Oh god, no decent green! I feel your pain, dcb! I'm a big fan of purple, but most greens look stunning on me. The last few years I've only found olive drab or neon chartreuse. So sad!

But I'm a big fan of low-waisted jeans, because my exceptionally short waist puts most pants buttons squarely in my navel (ouch!) or at the bottom of my ribcage. Why fashion has decided to follow the rules of Highlander, and refuse to manufacture more that "Only One" particular cut at any given time is completely beyond me.

#154 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 01:43 PM:

Nerdycellist @153: It's to make you rebuy the rest of your wardrobe. Seriously. Low-waisted pants make it exceptionally hard to look good tucking your shirt in, so you need to buy shirts that look ok (or even good -- witness all the lace-hem camis lately, meant to be worn hanging out under a buttoned-down overshirt with short tails) when not tucked in.

So they sell short-tailed shirts, meaning that even if you happen to still HAVE tuckable pants, you now can't buy any shirts LONG enough to tuck into them! And so on. It's a whole suite of style choices that mean you can't mix-and-match your old wardrobe (cut incompatibility, clashing colors, etc) with your new one, so you 'need' to buy matching outfits of the 'new' looks.

It is possible to get by frugally in classic looks under such a regime, but MAN is it WORK.

And in re real-waisted girl pants, Land's End is a decent place to look, especially the back racks. Their pants cuts are, though not declared to be, very fit-diverse. My fit problem is that I need the front-to-back-through-crotch seam to be very long, because of extra Junk In My Trunk compared to most fitting dummies. I know what size I take in Land's End, so if I grab all the non-horrid colors of corduroys in the right size off the rack, two or three will fit me without cutting me in half. When the tag with the Magic Number (inside the pants, it's a lot of digits, and basically individually identifies that particular exact item) is checked, there's a consistent similarity, so their back-end knows there are different cuts, but it doesn't show up on the price tag.

#155 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 01:54 PM:

B. Durbin @ 123: There are some highly disagreeable patterns on that page ("Hope Garden" and "Frankly Scarlet", for example), but I quite like the one you linked to directly. Go figure.

#156 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:01 PM:

OtterB (148): When I was about 13, in the mid-1970s, I picked out fabric for my mother to make me pants: bright purple polyester. Yes, I wore those all through high school. :)

Around the same time, my mother had the couch and easy chair upholstered in a black-white-and-orange stripe. Not *quite* as bad as it sounds, but pretty bad. She insists the fabric wasn't nearly that ugly in the small samples she was working from. (Note: she is very fond of orange; I am not.)

Also around that time, I went away to camp and came home to find that my mother had painted the bathroom orange. That was quite a shock!

#157 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:05 PM:

Random OT-ness: A couple of days ago, I had a fairly weird tactile illusion for a few moments. I was talking to my mother on the phone, and at one point I asked her what the temperature was outside where she was. She said she hadn't checked yet, and took the phone to a back door to check the outside thermometer there. Then I could hear her opening the door, and heard the background noise of the chilly air outside.

At that moment, the arm with which I was holding my phone started to feel slightly cool. Apparently, some part of my brain had decided that since there was the sound of chilly outside air coming from the phone, the part of my body closest to it should theoretically feel cold, and so it created a feeling of coldness there. The feeling stayed until my mother closed the door on her end of the line.

So I guess my brain kind of decided to believe its ideas of how things work rather than my lying temperature nerve endings.

#158 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:05 PM:

Elliott, #135: Awesome and cutting-edge, my ass; every one of the combos you mention is recycled from the late 60s/early 70s "psychedelic mod" era. Well, the brown-and-turquoise might be more from the late 50s; there were a couple of buildings in Nashville with that kind of color scheme (yes, turquoise ceramic trim on the outside) which dated from then.

Jacque, #138: We didn't eat fish much when I was growing up. But my supervisor at one of my past jobs liked to bring his lunch, which tended to be the previous night's dinner leftovers, and about once every 2 weeks it would be salmon, and you could smell it ALL OVER THE BUILDING for the rest of the afternoon after he'd heated it up in the microwave. Gah.

dcb, #152: +1 on the hate for hip-huggers; the last time they came thru I had the figure to wear them, but now I don't. You'd think at least the companies selling larger sizes would have a clue. Your best bet at the moment is to shop in thrift stores -- look for one near the rich/trendy part of town, because that's where the "I can't be seen in this because it's OUT OF STYLE" castoffs will be.

#159 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:12 PM:

B. Durbin @123: Ha! I knew that was a Vera Bradley bag just from your description. Ewwww. I love browsing the "Gifts for book lovers" area at Barnes & Noble, with all the journals with owls on them and pencil cases printed with cartoon robots, but then there's the omnipresent table of Vera Bradley merchandise, a cacophony of color patterns that are each in themselves cacophonous, and it's like a punch in the eye.

I like brown and turquoise together, though, and pants that don't quite come up to my waist. (dcb, if you're in geographical and adipose range of Lane Bryant, they might be worth a shot -- their "low-rise" jeans tend to hit even my generously bellied self at the ribcage.) Perhaps it's generational; I was born in 1981, so clothing that's reminiscent of the '70s strikes me as cool and faintly alien. If scrunchies and Zubaz came back, I would be utterly appalled.

#160 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:18 PM:

Living on the Upper Left Coast of the US, fresh salmon is a perk of the location (though a bit expensive for our current budget, so it's not something we eat all the time). However, there is a place for canned salmon: a simple and tasty hors d'œuvre.

Open a can of salmon and carefully extract and discard the bones and skin. Mix remainder with one package of good quality cream cheese (Philadelphia or equivalent; watch out for cheap brands with extra gum in them) and one green onion cut into small lengths. Serve as a dip or garnish.

#161 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:20 PM:

[Thought I'd posted this hours ago]

Carrie S. @129: Okay, that "old" might be - I've-no-idea-what!

I did -think- you would be familiar with the ordinary cotton flosses and have considered that possibility, but you never know when the obvious slips by, somehow.

You might be amused that I saw a cross stitch website recently where someone* was asking, with all apparent seriousness why the flosses were sometimes called "silks"...

I'm still on the lookout for patterns for animals, mainly to go on bookmarks**, so if you know of any, please let me know. Also a football and football boots (for one for my nephew), if you happen to see one

*the person writing the website and providing information about embroidery.

** projects of manageable size, which can then be given to people - so the pattern needs to be no more than say 30 stitches in one direction, can be longer in the other direction

#162 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:25 PM:

I have one of those Vera Bradley patterns on an umbrella. It is mostly pink and orange paisley. I got it in the hopes that it was so loud and hideous it would be hard to lose in the back of my closet or forget about on the subway. So far it's worked!

#163 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:31 PM:

Why toss salmon skin? Isn't that where a lot of flavor and vitamins reside?

#164 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:33 PM:

Ooh, I just noticed the "Link back to Open thread 153" near the top of the page. Well done, well done! /em taps_cane_on_floor

#165 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 02:53 PM:

Tim Walters, like it all you want. Take it, wear it, put it on your wall... but don't give it to somebody whose color profile tends toward jewel tones, who likes simple, clean lines, and who tends towards simplicity. It just... doesn't work.

Nerdycellist—I'm like you, except that my hips are so bizarrely proportioned (at least according to the clothing industry) that so-called low-rise pants don't work for me either—they're designed to fit around the hips, but my hips are lower. It's like this: most women's hips are like a pentagon on its point, and mine are like the Superman logo. Sucks in terms of finding pants; I have a style from Eddie Bauer that pretty much works, because it's loose fit and I can let the waistband slide low without it being obvious or uncomfortable. If I pull it up where it should be, it hits my rib cage because I need the tall legs.

I have found a perfect workaround for summer, though. I shop in the petites section for bermuda shorts or capris, and they hit me like regular shorts (the latter with perhaps a cuff.)

I like my body. I hate the clothing industry.

#166 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:00 PM:

David Harmon @147: celery?

Yes, enough cheese and butter will turn even celery into food. Seems like a horrible thing to do to innocent cheese and butter, but sometimes extreme measures are called for. (Might even work for rutabegas, but I 'spect you'd be getting into the ppb range. </snark>)

#167 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:11 PM:

@150-154: This is basically why my wardrobe of choice consists of solid-color mens t-shirts, yoga pants or mens solid-color sweatpants, and mens shirts used as a jacket.

I love hip-hugger jeans, but between my digestive issues and the, um, onset of age, I can't really carry them off anymore. (Made my own for years, though it's still hard to find pant-weight corduroy in non-horrible colors.)

I also love bright saturated colors in prints, but since my hair has gone gray, I can't really carry those off, either.

Most days, I feel like a monk or a nun.

#168 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:17 PM:

Lee @158: you could smell it ALL OVER THE BUILDING for the rest of the afternoon

Ah, yes. Weaponized salmon. We've encountered that here a couple of times. Fortunately, the population is small enough and well-enough acquainted that collective displeasure is generally Made Known rather promptly, and so it doesn't happen very often.

Far as I know, my reheated salmon loaf slipped by entirely unremarked. (Whew!)

#169 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:29 PM:

Salmon: I use the canned stuff for salads. I crush up the bones and mix in the skin. Add plain yogurt, celery, green onions.

I used to broil salmon steaks or fillets on a regular basis. Got out of the habit. I should really re-start.

#170 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:38 PM:

xeger @ 115 — If my paternal grandmother were still around to make her pressure-cooked chicken soup, I'd offer you a bowl. People who dislike or are squeamish about bones, don't read this: Orpnhfr bs gur cerffher-pbbxvat, gur iregroenr jbhyq trg gung graqre-rabhtu-ohg-fgvyy-avpryl-pehapunoyr grkgher. So good.

Bruce E. Durocher @ 116: Much, much sympathy. The last time I was laid out by an episode of back pain, I found that the higher the pain level, the fewer brain cells seemed to be available for problem-solving and decision-making. I wrote about it at the time on my LJ:

And trying to figure out whether and how to reroute my travel plans when it became clear that the bus I'd planned to catch wasn't on schedule — oy. I had to silently talk myself through the whole process: "Okay, you need to check for alternatives... yes, you do... okay... open the cell phone... good. Now... start the mobile browser... load the trip planner... wait, hit enter BEFORE you try to clear the text in that field... *sigh* okay... load the trip planner again..." And then the pain eased up a bit and I could almost feel the brain cells shifting from processing the pain to processing the problem at hand. "Yeah, that'll work. And if I miss that bus connection, I can transfer to BART. And if the bus I need at the other end isn't on time at the BART station, I can catch a taxi. No problem."
Elliot Mason @ 135: there are a bunch of currently trendy color combinations that I find horrendously grating

Oh, yes. As usual, Pantone has announced the colors for the coming season, and, as usual, I have rated it "oh, look, another season of fashion to ignore as completely as possible." Some of us just don't look good in cool colors, and all those colors have a cool tinge to my eye. And thank you for your succinct summary at 154 of the pants-waistline and shirt-length problem.

Regarding Lands' End, what's your impression of their quality these days? After Sears acquired them, I thought their quality plummeted. Haven't wanted to try again since then.

#171 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:43 PM:

One of my friends made Celtic knotwork pysanky until she moved on to other hobbies.

#172 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:45 PM:

Bruce @116: I must have missed the question last time you asked it. James Millington's introduction to the 1884 edition of the book suggests the French phrase croquer le marmot, which (if I translate my French dictionary correctly) means to wait a long time for somebody you are supposed to be meeting to arrive. Unfortunately, we are all doomed to mere speculation, as the original book did not list the Portugese phrases that inspired the translations.

#173 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:47 PM:

Lexica @ 170 ...
Orpnhfr bs gur cerffher-pbbxvat, gur iregroenr jbhyq trg gung graqre-rabhtu-ohg-fgvyy-avpryl-pehapunoyr grkgher.

Oh, absolutely! I do that when I make chicken soup, too :)

#174 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:52 PM:

Lexica (170): I do look good in cool colors, and I can only wear four of those ten. That's one reason "make skirts and blouses for summer" is on my to-do list this spring.

#175 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:53 PM:

The most important use for celery: blend 2 sticks with half an onion and garlic to taste. Fry lightly, then use as a base for making a tomato sauce. Definite improvement over almost any tomato sauce recipe that doesn't include celery.

#176 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 03:57 PM:

Lexica #170:

After something over ten years, I nned a new briefcase; my last two have been the Lands End nylon version of their simplest thing. So I went and looked at the reviews for what they've got now, and was dismayed at the number of people who were complaining bitterly about the quality.

OTOH, this is the first year their women's clothing colors haven't been straight out of the Crayola primaries + Lilly Pulitzer box that I can remember in yonks, being instead something that actually goes with auburn hair and a pale faintly sallow complexion. And some good styles. I think I'll drop my money there this year.

#177 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:00 PM:

Good lord, I can wear dark cool colors, but all of these wishy-washy pastels will look absolutely ass on me, with the possible exception of "russet" - which I'm sure is just "off" enough to clash with the rest of the browns in my wardrobe.

Bite me, pantone.

#178 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:01 PM:

JM @159: Perhaps it's generational; I was born in 1981, so clothing that's reminiscent of the '70s strikes me as cool and faintly alien. If scrunchies and Zubaz came back, I would be utterly appalled.

I adore watching old teenybopper movies from the period when I was in grade school. I was too young to be interested in them the first time around, but I was very aware of all the clothing trends (that I was too poor or uninterested in copying to wear myself). Corey & Corey movies in particular are time-capsule cultural snapshots of All That Was Once Trendy, and kind of horrifyingly silly. In particular, the ripped-jeans-with-bandannas-tied-at-the-joints look strikes my funny bone nowadays. I can't remember which of the C&Cs was the one where Feldman was a ghost and opens the movie in a way that now seems sort of Desperate Housewives/Sunset Boulevardy, but in that one the trend is in full flower.

I wonder what we're doing now will look THAT silly in 20 years?

While I'm musing on the subject, I find it fascinating that the only Corey & Corey movie that's had any staying power to speak of was Goonies, which really is its own thing more than a classic C&C.

Lexica @170: At one point I had a cracked tooth that was mid-root-canal for a day or two, due to scheduling issues at the surgeon's end. When I left the dentist's office I felt fine, and did not anticipate needing to fill my pain prescription. Then it hit me, and I could almost not be coherent enough to the pharmacist to reassure them of my name, address, and birthdate. This struck me as odd (even while happening; yes, I AM that parenthetical in my own head!), because on my own personal pain-scale, it was only a 5 or 6 -- I'd had much worse. But for some reason, all my usual work-through-the-pain, ignore-it strategies were UTTERLY ineffective. Tooth pain isn't the hurtiest pain I've ever had, but it is definitely the most brain-stealing. So's labor, though that's very differently hurty, on several axes.

In re Land's End, I've not noticed any change, but I always buy at the inlets (usually from the catalog returns), never from inside Sears, and it strikes me as very possible that the inside-Sears clothes are manufactured differently. Or just that I haven't noticed. The winter coat I bought from them this year is nowhere near as warm as the last one I got several years ago, but they're not the same model and it's hard to tell what the equivalency is supposed to be, for comparison purposes.

#179 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:06 PM:

nerdycellist #177:

I'm not objecting to russet; all the dark brown things I've gotten in the last couple of years go with nothing, but nothing, except black, khaki, cream, and white. Not even olive! Of course, I always knew chocolate was for eating, not for wearing.

#180 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:10 PM:

Lexica @ 170, re: the Pantone colors--hold it, I just noticed something. How come men get more vivid versions of the same colors? Mind you, only one or two of them look tolerable in either the male or female varities, but I'd definitely prefer the more vivid shades.

What is this, "All women wear pastels"? Yeesh.

#181 ::: V's Herbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:12 PM:

If you want to lose your afternoon looking at hideous "crafts" that people are actually trying to sell, take a peek over at Regretsy

#182 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:15 PM:

Jules:

Well, that phrase makes more sense than the Jamaican claim. I'm not sure from the introduction you linked to if James Millington actually got hold of a copy of "O Novo guia da conversação em francês e português," which is identified by Wikipedia as the book that Carolino used for his lash-up. If so, I'd be fascinated to see what English phrases, if any, come up near croquer le marmot...

#183 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:47 PM:

I generally ignore the trendy colours/styles, unless they suit me -- my shape isn't even vaguely similar to the average fit model.

On the topic of fun prints, this coat is something I made a while back, for a May Morning.

#184 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:47 PM:

Joann @ #176 and Elliott Mason @ #178

For things like coats and luggage, I'm a devoted L.L. Bean shopper. I've found their quality to be very consistent, and on the rare occasion when I've been disappointed with a product, I've found their policy of "we accept all returns, no questions asked, no matter the item's age or condition" to be exactly as stated. So when I ripped a seam in a bookbag because I lugged both the Riverside Chaucer AND the Riverside Shakespeare around in it together every day for a semester, boom, new bag.

#185 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 04:53 PM:

OtterB, #148: Oh yeah, I'm even noticing the "Flower Power" decals of the type we used to put on our notebooks back in junior high are back again.

JM, #159: Brown and turquoise can go together; it's very common in jewelry to see turquoise with picture jasper or other brown/tan stones, or with wood. The issue with the current fashion colors is that they don't invoke the forest or desert -- the shades being used are wrong for that.

nerdycellist, #162: Also, nobody else is likely to pick it up by mistake! (Or on purpose, with the thought that it looks like every other umbrella out there and so is a safe one to grab.)

Lexica, #170: I do look good in cool colors, but most of those read "warm" to me (yes, even the blues); I might be able to get away with a couple of them, but in general not. I'm still trying to replace my old teal leggings that died last year; when I can find leggings at all in my size, they've been nothing but dark neutrals.

Julie, #171: Wow, those are fabulous!

#186 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 05:11 PM:

Sarah S. @184: I have a probably-irrational aversion to ordering stuff from a catalog that I can't try on, because then if it doesn't fit I have to return it. And I mostly find the returning-it to be such a PITA (did I mention, irrational?) that I never do it, so I waste money on stuff I can't wear.

#187 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 05:17 PM:

Jacque @ 138

I haven't looked at the chronology of fish-shipping conditions over my lifetime, but having had the priviledge of spending 90% of my life within sight of the Pacific Ocean, generally the "fresh" fish I've eaten has, in fact, been fresh. (Had more to say but have to run to a meeting.)

#188 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 05:18 PM:

Lee @ 158: I have the figure, I just hate them. Thanks everyone for the store suggestions, but I'm in the UK... Yes, I keep looking in charity shops (aka thrift stores) but even those are only getting hip-huggers nowadays.

Elliott Mason @ 154: It's to make you rebuy the rest of your wardrobe. Seriously. And I refuse to play. I look for classic styles, all the time. If I can't find them, I don't buy. That's why I can still wear stuff I bought 20 years ago.

I rather like some of those Pantone colours (peapod, Blue Curacao, Beeswax, Silver Cloud), but their "Russet" is nothing like what I call russet. And I'd prefer the men's Turf Green and Flint Grey. Yes, they always get stronger colours while we're supposed to prefer pastels.

Julie L. @171: Those are gorgeous.Particularly the Celtic knotwork and the dragons.

#189 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 05:20 PM:

Elliott @135: Stick to your guns on the no logo, no licensed character front. It will make your life both harder and easier in times to come but it's so worth it. At almost 15, my teenager understands that having the word "Abercrombie" printed on your shirt does not make the shirt worth $$$ more than the same shirt from JC Penny and that branding is no guarantee of quality. That doesn't mean we didn't have struggles getting here, of course, both from the child and from friends and some family members.

I suspect it was easier, 10 years ago, to find non-branded "princess" stuff than it is now. Luckily my child wasn't solely driven by the princess thing, so dress up in our house also involved tiny graduation robes picked up at thrift stores (they make excellent wizard's robes), oversized plaid men's shirts and vests, and acres of scarves, feather boas, funny hats, and silly plastic jewelry (my thanks to the conventions that hand out Mardi Gras beads).

I suspect that I may have said things like "We don't wear licensed products" and "If someone wants me to advertise their company, I think they should pay me to wear their logo." around folks who were prone to those sorts of gifts, and told stories about picking logos off items we'd received as gifts, until the point seemed to penetrate. I tried not to say "don't buy this for us" but to make general philosophical statements or to point out sources of more acceptable gifts ("Did you see the wonderful Playmobil castle?--it comes with dragons!").

My own little piece of hypocrisy is that I love the Disney theme parks. And I do own a few Disney items--but they are not things I wear in public.

#190 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 05:25 PM:

xeger (183): The colleague sitting next to me and I both think that coat is awesome!

#191 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 05:26 PM:

Sarah S #184:

I buy stuff from Bean's, but I'm not enamored of their current color palette, and as for the briefcase, they (like just about everyone) have mostly switched to messenger bags, which don't have double handles on top. I can't wear a shoulder strap (stuff slides right off), and the crossbody version does not play well for anyone not wraith-thin up top. Their briefcases are either heavy materials, or have extra flaps that make them too thick.

I'm about to switch over to my William Morris-patterned tote bag, I swear, even though it's partly pink. If I can find it; I can't recall seeing it since the move two years ago.

#192 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 05:28 PM:

dcb@152: I found jeans at Macy's that sit at my waist. Bought 2 pair, I was so excited! I have a high waist, but I simply do not feel comfortable in low-rise pants.

As for colors, I look best in jewel tones. Anything with too much yellow (be it orange, red, or green) is, as my daughter would say, a fail, and brown, unless chocolateish, is deadly. Shopping is _fun_.

#193 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 06:28 PM:

David Harmon #147. Och, it hasnae a name, to quote George Macdonald Fraser, although he was referring to a certain form of scotch whiskey that had not, perhaps, paid the King what his government thought it should.

#194 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 08:05 PM:

Earl Cooley III @163:

I personally will snack on the skin all day, but I've become accustomed to cries of "Ew! Gross!" when people even see it, so I routinely just tell people to toss it (or give it to me).

#195 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 08:15 PM:

AKICIML: A couple of friends of mine are looking for novels they remember only vaguely. The first one says:

Once upon a time, perhaps 20 years ago, I read a mystery novel set during a production of Macbeth. The director of the play was the victim, the detective was laid up in the hospital recovering from something, and the key to solving the murder was figuring out who the director was planning to unveil as the third murderer (a witch), when this had been kept secret from the cast. I think the last line was the quote "Light thickens".
Unfortunately, I cannot at the moment recall the name of the author, the title of the book, or the name of the detective. The detective was a male. The author was not Ngaio Marsh, and the book is not her final mystery "Light Thickens"; I'm looking for the mystery where that is the last line, not the title.
The other friend says:
As coincidence would have it, these past few days I too have been thinking about a novel I read decades ago. I believe it was written in the 40s or 50s. I have occasionally searched the Web for references to it, with no luck. It is a sort of reverse murder mystery. Early on in the book, the narrator's brother-in-law has some sort of drunk/violent episode that the narrator sees as a threat to his sister. Unpremeditatedly, the narrator kills his brother-in-law by hitting him over the head with a large, oddly shaped cigarette lighter. No one else is present, including the sister. The narrator immediately, and dispassionately, starts thinking about ways to cover up. The rest of the book is a study in psychology wherein we are continually wondering whether he will get away with it, and how.

The hero's friend, who becomes his girlfriend, is named Wiggy. I thought this would help in my searches, but it doesn't. I remember the book as a large-format paperback with an orange cover.
Anyone recognize these?

#196 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 08:20 PM:

O.K., it's clear that I've been stuck in the house just so I can go insane. My apologies if I've gone into this before, but bear with me please. My sister has dyslexia, which was magnified by being taught the old "shape of words" method (which "See Spot Run!" was created to teach) rather than reading alphabetically/phonetically. They just got a fiber optic connection instead of analog cell phones that were the only way their valley had to communicate (the company apparently had to tunnel through a mountain to get near them) so she and her husband got their first computer. It took 3 months to convince her they needed an external drive ("But I don't want to store the internet!") despite her agreeing that because I used to do tech support I have some experience in this area. Additionally my pointing out that I don't have a Win 7 machine here to use so I could match what is going on with her machine if necessary didn't trump the fact that I'm her little brother and that Apple computers are expensive, so they bought a Toshiba laptop with Win 7 and expect me to do tech support via Skype calls from central Oregon.

I've been doing pretty well with their problems, mainly because I'm NOT my brother-in-law's little brother and he calls when things crash, but I'm starting to get worn down with calls asking "What is Prt Scrn?" at random times of the day or night. Are there any places they can rent a video (oh god, I hope so, because Sis is extremely frugal) or buy one for cheap that's akin to a Dummy's Guide? A written guide will do no good at all here, and if I keep taking calls on how to turn the volume up and down on the computer I'm going to go into a corner, lift a cement block over my head, and burst, thus ending my tech support cares once and for all...

#197 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 09:56 PM:

Bruce @ 196

Youtube an option?

#198 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 10:01 PM:

Is it evil of me to be quietly delighted that this racist asshole in the Netherlands that I know from another site just got fired from his job for cussing out his Polish boss and telling him he shouldn't be allowed to supervise real Nederlanders because he's just a rotten Pole?

(That's not how he describes it, of course, but allowing for his lying and self-justification I'm guessing that's what happened.)

If it is, then evil I am and evil shall be. You should hear what he says about Muslims!

#199 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 10:11 PM:

Xopher: I don't see that as evil.

To me, your delight is the delight one feels at seeing all right with the world: children snug in their beds, pot of tea bubbling on the hob, people being treated in the ways their own actions make them deserve to be treated.

Mind, sometimes it's nice if the world has mercy in it, but people who push their luck sometimes find it isn't there to be pushed anymore, if you know what I mean.

Mind, I think Murphy's Law is a manifestation of godhood at work, so maybe I've got a twisted point of view. :->

#200 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 10:19 PM:

KayTei: Youtube an option?

Since they've on fiber-optic they should have a faster and better connection than the horrible ADSL connection I have. Is there an introductory series there you can recommend? Considering the crap that's mixed in there I hate to have her try something at random...

#201 ::: M Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 10:28 PM:

#129
Lovely, lovely goose egg pysanky. Thank you for the link, Carrie S. I never thought to search for pysanky on Etsy. Doh!

#171
Julie, nice Celtic pysanky. Thanks for the link! Beautiful things.

I have diabetes and neuropathy. I probably will never do eggs again. But as I wrote, I still have the tools and dyes, so who knows?

m


#202 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 10:32 PM:

How about telling him that 'godverdomme', which is what he claims he said, is Polish for something really nasty and obscene?

I admitted in the same post that I made that up. I wanted to give the guy a moment's panic, not a heart attack!

#203 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 10:42 PM:

Wow. One of my pictures (What Dreams?) got posted on reddit.

Let's just say the traffic to that photo is atypical.

#204 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2011, 10:43 PM:

If celery is a spice, how come it goes bad after a week or two? (Says the man who wishes they sold celery by the stalk, so he could buy just two or three at a time.)

#205 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 12:49 AM:

Elliot Mason @ 135: My family also have what you call 'fictive kin'. Fictive doesn't quite march with the way any of us think of such things, so I eventually called in kin's sib-word to help: kith-brother, kith-sister, kith-niece. (That's for clarification or specification only: in general, none of us use qualifiers except under such circumstances as one might refer to one's brother as one's half-brother if so he were, i.e. not very often at all).

Xopher @ 198: Not evil, unless appreciating the spring of all fairy-tales is evil.

#206 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 01:08 AM:

Bruce @ #196, tell your b-in-law and sister to go to the local branch library and ask the librarian for computer training CDs. I just checked my library and there are plenty available there.

#207 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 01:58 AM:

Celery seed doesn't go bad. (More so than any other dry seed.) And before you ask, I've seen dried flaked celery (stalk) sold as a spice too. But I didn't get the impression it was worthwhile.

This evening I boiled and mashed the parsnips, carrots, and celeriac, and then tossed the lot in with crumbled pork sausage. It wasn't very fatty sausage, was the only flaw in the plan -- so the result didn't fry noticeably -- but it was tasty anyhow.

#208 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:12 AM:

I am looking for a really detailed online glossary of Victorian and/or Civil War costume terminology that explains the differences among a demi-toilette, home costume, morning dress, etc. I don't seem to be able to brain tonight--I can't ask my search engine the right questions to get the sites I need. Surely there is something out there?

#209 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:33 AM:

Jenny Islander @208: would this Victorian sartorial glossary help? (First result on googling "Victorian costume glossary", and it looks as if it would have much of what you want....)

#210 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:42 AM:

Linkmeister: ...tell your b-in-law and sister to go to the local branch library and ask the librarian for computer training CDs. I just checked my library and there are plenty available there.

Good idea! I'd suggested that they check with the library for classes several times, but had gotten resistance because it's 40+ minutes each way. CD's or DVD's might fly better.

#211 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 03:20 AM:

Victorian costume glossary

That was what I was missing. Wow, I'm tired.

That page did clear up a lot of things. Thanks!

#212 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 03:36 AM:

Xopher @195, plugging the phrase "light thickens" into Google Books turns up Light Thickens by Ngaio Marsh: "Four murders. Three witches. A fiendish lady. A homicidal husband. A ghost. No wonder Macbeth is considered such bad luck by theatre people that they won't mention its name out loud. But the new London production of 'the Scottish play' promises to be a smash until gruesome pranks begin plaguing rehearsals. And when the last act ends in real-life tragedy, Chief Superintendent Alleyn takes center stage-uncovering a heartbreaking secret, murderous jealousy, and a dark, desperate reason for 'murder for foul'..." I'd bet that's it.

No luck on the second book, though.

#213 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 03:42 AM:

Terry Karney @ 203: Great photo.

Cranes: 61 folded. I have some good folding time (local train journeys) this weekend, so I'll see how many more I can manage before thinking of stringing them and sending them.

Morning delight: I opened the curtains on the patio windows this morning and caught sight of something moving fast at ground level. Stopped, waited a moment, and discovered a beautiful field mouse, with rich brown fur, large ears and huge dark eyes. Tried to take a photo, but it didn't like the beam the camera puts out for focusing. Hope I didn't drive it away.

#214 ::: john ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 06:41 AM:

Avram @ 212: From Xopher's original request at @ 195, "The author was not Ngaio Marsh, and the book is not her final mystery "Light Thickens"; I'm looking for the mystery where that is the last line, not the title."

I wonder if it could be one of Simon Brett's Charles Paris novels, where the detective is a jobbing stage and television actor? I don't remember one featuring a production of Hamlet, but I haven't read them all by any means. The earliest was published in 1975.

#215 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 07:28 AM:

Hyperlocal news: Englishman completely immersed in book, gets to bit set in Exposition Park, has to return to Primary World London until stops laughing like drain.

#216 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 07:28 AM:

Hyperlocal news: Englishman completely immersed in book, gets to bit set in Exposition Park, has to return to Primary World London until stops laughing like drain.

#217 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 08:07 AM:

M Evans @#201: I discovered while making my treasury that a great deal of the Etsy pysanky are made by three or four shops. It made things a little difficult, and I ended up with two shop duplicates pretty much by accident.

I have this urge to get an ostrich egg somewhere and do an insanely detailed egg. At the scale usually used for chicken eggs, all over the ostrich egg. It'd take forever, but it would be so cool.

#218 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 08:36 AM:

Is it evil of me to be quietly delighted that this racist asshole in the Netherlands that I know from another site just got fired from his job for cussing out his Polish boss and telling him he shouldn't be allowed to supervise real Nederlanders because he's just a rotten Pole?

No.

It's part of every religious and ethical tradition I'm aware of that justice is important, and to be longed for and celebrated. And part of justice (not one of the fun parts) is that the evildoers suffer. (Which is why "I believe in the forgiveness of sins" is one of my prized lines in the Creed.)

#219 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 08:54 AM:

Xopher:

Nothing wrong with feeling a little glee, as long as you don't let it spill over into doing or saying something that you might regret later.

My better half recently had a similar experience. Apparently the head of the company she was fired from last year left unexpectedly shortly after she did. And the new director did a clean sweep of the management. Everyone seems to have landed on their feet with the notable exception of her direct manager. The one with the 25 hour work week and the habit of saying "Y'know that big project that you were going to have finished by the end of the day Tuesday? I think you should finish it before you leave tonight" right before walking out the door at 4:00 on a Friday.

It was partly the proof that her firing had more to do with politics than anything in her performance that lightened her step for a week after that. ("See, board members, all the problems in my department were her fault! I was a good manager who dealt with the problem! You should keep me on even after my friend and protector the Executive Director has left!")

But there was more than a little schadenfreude in there too.

#220 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 09:25 AM:

Gray Woodland @205 said to my @135: My family also have what you call 'fictive kin'

We don't call them fictive to their faces (though they wouldn't mind, they're an academic family), that's the technical term. I became aware of it my freshman year in college, when I took a basic sociology course.

We got to the chapter on kin-structures, and early in the lecture, the prof said, "How many of you have fictive kin? Raise your hands." Nobody. "Ok, how many of you have someone you call your aunt or uncle, even though you know they're not related to you by blood or marriage? One of your parents' friends?" Quite a few hands. "THAT is fictive kin, and you all have some. Now, in our society, the choice and addition of fictive kin tends to be casual, but in some societies it is more regulated ..." and on with the lecture, now that she'd related it to US instead of leaving it some Foreign Thing they do in Foreign Parts.

To their faces, we don't really call most of this family anything but their names. The matriarch is Gunga, since that's what her first grandchild named her, and she's definitely our kid's extra grandma. One of her daughters is jokingly the 'triplet' of me and my sister-in-law -- we are staggeringly siblinglike, the three of us, when gotten in one room.

#221 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 09:25 AM:

Peter Watts continues his recovery from necrotizing fasciitis. He has posted pictures on his blog and a progress report here (not for the squeamish).

#222 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 10:50 AM:

Xopher @ 195

The book where the mystery centers around the identity of the casting of the Third Witch in Macbeth is Bullets For Macbeth, by Marvin Kaye. I was just thinking about it the other day.

#223 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:15 AM:

Jules @175: Definite improvement over almost any tomato sauce recipe that doesn't include celery.

Not. ;-)

(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

#224 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:24 AM:

Lee @185: "Flower Power" decals

You mean "ricky ticky stickies?"

#225 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:24 AM:

Xopher, Chris: Reminds me of the Head Honcho at my last non-consulting day job. He had a habit of hiring a new salesman in January, and then firing him about 2 days before the distribution of Xmas bonuses. He did this at least 3 times that I was aware of.

Then our company got bought out by a large corporation... and the following year, he got let go about a week before Xmas. I won't say there were active celebrations in the break room, but there was a distinct sentiment of "serves him right, the bastard" among those of us who were left.

#226 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:28 AM:

Bruce @ 200

I admit, it was just a first thought, and I hadn't chased it down to that level of detail. I talked to my husband, who does this stuff for a living, and he recommends either training videos/dvds or training programs with built-in emulators, so they have a safe space in which to follow directions and make any mistakes they might otherwise be worried about. His comment on Youtube was actually that it's a bit problematic because the screen is small, and you can't watch youtube and use the computer at the same time (live and learn!).

It occurs to me that mac, at least, had some pretty good built-in tutorials last time I was using one (something like fifteen years ago). I used them to try to teach my computer-phobic grandfather how to use the computer. And now I couldn't even begin to tell you where they were located or whether they've continued to provide that level of support.

#227 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:32 AM:

Jacque, #224: I don't recall ever hearing that phrase, but like this. Except that's just a reproduction of the decals, and I've seen the decals themselves stuck on things much too new to be hold-overs.

#228 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:38 AM:

M Evans @201: I have diabetes and neuropathy.

Not necessarily a show stopper.

#229 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:41 AM:

Terry Karney @203: That's a wonderful photo! (Has it been cheezburgered yet?)

#230 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:51 AM:

Alan Beatty #204:

Herewith I reproduce this Tuesday's grocerying conversation:

DH: What are you doing?
ME: Getting a stalk of celery.
DH: One stalk? But, but ...
ME: I only need one. By the time I cook something else that needs it, the rest of the big celery would be all to mush. (Takes stalk, weighs, prints out label) See? Why spend $2 when this stalk is only 16 cents?
DH: You seem to have a point.

#231 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:53 AM:

Elliott Mason @220: 'fictive kin'

Ah! That's the term I needed for this annecdote. (Do a Find on "Susan's Family.")

I later figured out that, since they live in Lamar, Colorado, they are obviously "The Lamartians."

#232 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 12:01 PM:

Lee @227: Yup. "That's the man, officer." I had assumed it was trademark, but when I googled, it seems to be a generic term. The current (meaning the last 10 or 15 years) manifestation in Boulder is Moe's Bagels. Absolute genius: only way to obtain proper ricky ticky stickies was to get their promotional stickers. Eye-catching, distinctive, and memorable. (Of course, they don't give out unbranded stickers.)

#233 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 12:59 PM:

OMG

Latest thing to appear on the break-room table: Coffee glazed macadamia nuts.

Makes up for yesterday's peanut butter cheesecake, and then some.

Wow.

(Macadamia nuts, I'm concluding, are evilevilevil. But in a good way.)

#234 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 01:32 PM:

Jacque@233: Boil nuts for a few minutes in salted water. Macadamia nuts are good in this, as are cashews, pecans, walnuts. Don't think I've tried Brazil, filberts, or almonds. Toss nuts just out of the water (wet) with granulated sugar until well coated. Let dry in a single layer until thoroughly dry. Now, deep-fry them until the sugar turns golden.

THAT is evil. (I think it's from Mrs. Chiang's Szechuan Cookbook, my first Szechuan book, but I haven't looked at the recipe on the page for two decades).

#235 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 01:55 PM:

Elliot @220:
early in the lecture, the prof said, "How many of you have fictive kin? Raise your hands." Nobody.

I would have, because when you have a "pseudo-grandfather" (referred to as such in his presence), it's a short leap to understanding "fictive kin".

Had it just been my "grandmother on the mountain", I'd have probably left the hand down.

#236 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:01 PM:

Steve Halter @221:

Very much not for the squeamish, since you don't get the advantage of the cut like you do if you go to his blog.

Having said that, Wow! Wow wow wow. Human bodies are neat, even when they're in trouble. That's cooler than the photo my husband took of my C-section.

Ahem. I may be slightly strange.

#237 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:10 PM:

Interesting crossover between two previous ML topics:

Dervaes "urban homesteaders" engage in plagiarism.

(For those coming in late, the Dervaes family discussion was a sub-thread here, starting at comment #87.)

#238 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:11 PM:

joann at 179: I've recently started wearing chocolate brown stuff, and I think (she said cautiously) that it goes well with blue stuff. I'm wearing brown tops and blue jeans, and no one seems to look at me funny. (I wouldn't much care if they did. The only person whose fashion sense I have to please is me.)

Question: what are "jewel tones"?

#239 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:14 PM:

Lizzy L @238: emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, et alia.

#240 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:29 PM:

abi@236:Yes, I quite agree, it is not something you want to have happen, but it is interesting in the abstract. And, he does provide balloons and cats with balloons.

#241 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 02:53 PM:

Elliott Mason #239:

Whereas I go best with wine and sherry tones. With a dash of mustard.

#242 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 03:01 PM:

KayTei: I talked to my husband...he recommends either training videos/dvds or training programs with built-in emulators..Youtube...a bit problematic because the screen is small, and you can't watch...and use the computer at the same time.

Ah, well, those are all good points which once again lead us to the question of where to get good training videos and how much. I'm going to recommend (again) she check with her town's reference librarian...

mac, at least, had some pretty good built-in tutorials last time I was using one (something like fifteen years ago).

That brings to mind unboxing my old Mac 128 and playing the audiotapes (with specially recorded Windham Hill songs) on how to set up and use it. Those were the days.

#243 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 03:50 PM:

Lexica: Much, much sympathy. The last time I was laid out by an episode of back pain, I found that the higher the pain level, the fewer brain cells seemed to be available for problem-solving and decision-making.

Yes!

#244 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 04:01 PM:

ddb @234: No, dear, I think you're beyond evil into explicitly Satanic.

#245 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 04:08 PM:

@ Peter Watts: Dear ghu. The pebffungpuvat bs gur zhfpyr snfpvn are really cool, though. Reminds me of the time I qvfrpgrq n fanxr.

#246 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 04:22 PM:

I seem to have been drawn into the crane vortex*, although I doubt I'll be able to make very many.

*platypus, murnival, serpentine

#247 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 04:23 PM:

Jacque@244: <preen>!

#248 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 04:24 PM:

abi @ 236: Perhaps you have the soul of a veterinarian. I won't ask you where you got it, nor even to put it back.

Those photos are lovely! Nice healthy tissue, nice granulation in the later photo -- that's what will pull the skin back into place during scar formation.

#249 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 04:31 PM:

ddb @247: :-)

#250 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 04:35 PM:

ddb@234

What did the original Szechuan recipe use for nuts? They can't have had macadamias, walnuts, or pecans, and I don't think of Sichuan as rainforesty enough for cashews.

#251 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 04:45 PM:

thomas@250: I'll try to remember to look in the actual book (if my memory is wrong that may not work too well, though). I'm pretty sure the book said "use any nut you like" and talked about the commonly available ones (in the USA) that were good. It may have talked more about the original ingredients, but I don't remember.

This particular book was perfect for me in the 70s. It was written by an American couple who had a Szechuan woman, the "Mrs. Chiang" of the title, working for them as a cook (I think both in China and here; but maybe only in China). So, they addressed issues of getting ingredients in America at that time, and substitutions, and such, which were all very useful to me. And Mrs. Chiang may have already done some adaptation before teaching them the recipes. I remember a discussion of how most of the "shrimp" dishes were originally intended for crayfish (I believe a map of Sichuan province makes obvious why), for example.

#252 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 05:10 PM:

Steve Halter @221 and the ensuing Watts discussion -- particularly fascinating to me is to be able to see which fascia appear to have been attacked. Since fascia are everywhere, there's some really interesting anatomy being demonstrated there (and I don't have the soul of a vet, just the interests of a massage therapist).

#253 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 05:29 PM:

Re deep-fried nuts -- if you add a little cinnamon to the sugar, you'll get something remarkably like the (highly-addictive!) snacks one can buy at the Texas Renaissance Faire. They use cashews, pecans, and almonds, so any of those will certainly work for this. Peanuts probably would too, but they have more of a competing flavor of their own than the others do.

#254 ::: vee ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 05:41 PM:

thomas@250: Wild guess says peanuts, via the Portuguese. Cashews show up in Chinese cooking, as do almonds and walnuts. I have no idea of the time frame or original sourcing of any of those, though, especially not as pertaining to Szechuan cooking.

#255 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 06:13 PM:

#67 ::: Jacque
OM NOM definitely food om nom nom....

Just because this is an open thread:

My friend has a baby who recently turned one. I often visit, and often feed him when I visit.

I have taught him to say "Nom nom nom".

We now return you to your regularly scheduled open thread.

#256 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 06:24 PM:

Cheryl @255: Okay, now it's time to start taking bets on how long it will be before lolcats expressions start turning up in Webster's. (And how they will handle the etymology.)

(No bets on the OED; ISTR hearing that they've already started a section on Fannish in recent years.)

#257 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 06:33 PM:

Cally 222: Thanks! I bet that's it. I'll check with my friend, but it sure meets the criteria.

About the bigot in the Netherlands, he still hasn't explained exactly what happened or what the bosses SAID about why they were firing him, despite being asked repeatedly. His latest comment on it was "I blasphemed." I doubt he's referring to his utterance of 'godverdomme'! He's never going to admit that he deserved it.

About the cranes: I hope you all know how overwhelmed I am by this. I just don't know what to say. I tear up (like now) when I even mention it at all, even in writing. It means more to me than you can imagine.

#258 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 06:41 PM:

Xopher: :-)

#259 ::: V's Herbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 06:43 PM:

HLN- Upon attempting to section a bus schedule for crane paper, local woman discovers a distinct lack of talent for paper guillotines. A careful survey of fingers reveals none missing.

#260 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 07:10 PM:

Cheryl @255: My six year old has coined the term "omnomcious". This tickles my funny bone.

#261 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 07:35 PM:

Naomi Parkhurst @260: "omnomcious"

Mine as well!

#262 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 08:48 PM:

Fictive kin: My grandmother turns out to have been my aunt, and her husband, whom I thought was my grandfather, was actually her unrelated husband.

My other grandfather, who (because my mother was born late in his own life) I only knew as a prophet-eyebrowed, lantern-jawed patriarch of gloomily censorious mien about everything, turns out to have been an enthusiastic cross-dresser - and this nearly a century ago, when getting about in public dressed in women's duds was, uh, not encouraged.

Does it count as fictive, when what you "knew" turns out to be so incomplete that it's misleading?

#263 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 08:54 PM:

Computer training videos: have they considered checking at an office supply place?

frex: http://www.officemax.com/technology/software/learning-reference-software/product-prod3000243
(I know there are more; this is the first one I saw)

#264 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 08:59 PM:

Walnuts and almonds are possible in China - they're native to the Middle East. (I understand that ginkgo seeds are edible. I don't know if they could be substituted.)

#265 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 09:02 PM:

Regarding eggs: I have an acquaintance who does decorative eggs for money. She was impressed when I recognised both the egg (emu) and the work she had copied onto it (a globe of Drake's Golden Hind voyage).

#266 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 10:03 PM:

P J Evans: #264: I understand that ginkgo seeds are edible. I don't know if they could be substituted.

Well, they're pretty bitter, so they could probably use the deep-fried sugar! My understanding is they're not so much "food" as a medicinal or "supplement".

#267 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 10:15 PM:

Also: New from Hyperbole+½, The Scariest Story.

#268 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 10:40 PM:

thomas@250, Lee@253, Vee@254: The recipe is indeed in the book I remembered. It's called sweet fried nuts (tianzha hetso), it doesn't contain salt, and it includes an anecdote that Mrs. Chiang liked to pick nuts from trees in the yard as a child, and deep-fry them in sugar like this. Doesn't mention what kind of tree nuts they had in the yard, though.

The Schrecker's first had this dish at an elegant Hunanese restaurant in Taipei, and later in Taiwan. In Taiwan black walnuts were used. They specify pecans in the recipe, saying they can't obtain black walnuts. So using a mix of other nuts was my idea (just like me).

Also, the back dust-jacket photo shows Ellen Schrecker in New York Chinatown with Chiang Jung-feng, so clearly they brought her back to the US with them for a while.

(P.337 in Mrs. Chiang's Szechuan Cookbook by Ellen Schrecker with John Schrecker.)

#269 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2011, 11:23 PM:

Going around:

A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a corporate CEO are sitting at a table.

In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it.

The CEO reaches across the table, takes 11 cookies, and looks at the Tea Partier.

"Look out for that union guy," he says, "he wants a piece of your cookie."

#270 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 01:53 AM:

I just got back from seeing a production of Cats. Yes, Cats, the musical that has gotten a bit overexposed over the years, and oh god, it's Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it makes no sense, and on and on...

(I hang out with theater types. Andrew Lloyd Webber is Not Cool. (Stephen Sondheim is Cool.))

My God. They redeemed it. This crew took this tired old production and made it freaking awesome. How?

The Victoria Grove
Institute
for
the
Mentally
Infirm.

I love Ed Trafton. You never know when he's going to throw you one of these splendiferous curveballs...

#271 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 02:00 AM:

B. Durbin: Why am I suddenly thinking of Marat/Sade?

#272 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 02:20 AM:

Fashion note: Anyone remember the "seasons" theory of which colors you look good in? Incomplete, to my eye, but useful to know nonetheless.

I have a slightly olive skin tone that throws people—it's literally three points greener in an RGB system than your typical fair English. Every time I order photos from the studio where I work, I have to make that specification if I'm not the one doing the color-correction or they end up with half a dozen reject photos where everything's slightly magenta.

What this means is that people suggest corals and turquoises and oranges and yellows to me and I have to hold them up to my skin and say, look at what it does, I can't wear this. (Actually, since it's usually my MiL, it's much simpler to have Evil Rob say No, it makes her look dead. Well, faster.)

I need the cool tones, preferably in highly saturated versions. I can do red IF it's not going to fade towards orange, because orange is Right Out. So I say "jewel tones" because everybody understands emerald and sapphire and garnet. In reality, there are a lot of other colors I do well with, but that's my safe route.

—>Tangent: I have a theory that people with an eye for color tend to decorate in colors that suit their skin tones. This would explain Martha Stewart and why I cannot get on board her decorating palette.

#273 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 02:21 AM:

Elliot Mason: Because you've read Pamela Dean's Tam Lin and can't get that one play title out of your head?

#274 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 02:42 AM:

B. Durbin: ... I've read Tam Lin. It mentions Marat/Sade?

In re colors and skin tone, I am very low-melanin (except in spots -- literally. Freckles, on large swaths of my body), but all my NON-melanin skin pigments are very like that of fairly dark American black people. So I look good in all those weirdly saturated colors Sunday suits come in -- deep purples, etc. I used to find it fruitful to shop at plus-size stores in predominantly Af-Am neighborhoods, rather than in the paler ones; they had noticeably different palettes on sale, even in the same brand of store.

Except the green/yellow/orange side of the spectrum, which is tricky -- SOME of those, I'm good in, and some make me either magenta (feverish-looking) or yellow (jaundiced). Oh, and pinks. Almost all pinks are Problematic. And I look better in scarlet/ruby reds than tomatoey ones (purply reds, not orange ones). My skin has a faint greenish cast to it, especially where/if I've tanned, in summer. I've never had any problem with photo-correction, so probably not quite as extreme as B. Durbin's, but noticeable once I point it out.

Lately I end up wearing a lot of medium-to-dark blues, because of what's available in the thrift store and how that selection interacts with the dual axes, "I like it" and "I look good in it". I do have, and adore, one brick-red-and-orange-and-beige loud plaid shirt. It's a bit louder than that picture makes it look, but not eyesearing, just SATURATED. And contrasty. I love it to bits. :->

#275 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 05:42 AM:

Since I've gone gray, I really need to rethink my personal palette. But <irritating whine>I don' wanna....

#276 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 08:00 AM:

I basically don't pay attention to the colors of my clothes-- I have a few shirts I don't wear ever because they make me feel ungorgeous, but that's as organized as I get. Wait, no, I lie: one of my college roommates told me blondes look good in brown, so now I have some brown things. Most of the rest is purple-blue-turquoise, pink because I don't mind it, or a printed T-shirt.

#277 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 08:19 AM:

Open Thread Query: Advice/experience/request for info:

I'm presently nursing a ? stress fracture in my second left metatarsal. BUT I think there's also something else going on in that foot. I was booked in for a session with a chiropractor, which I cancelled because I spent the day cycling to the GP & the x-ray department with the ? stress fracture instead...

Has anyone had experience with physio/osteo/chiro, particularly for sports-related problems? I booked with this particular chiropractor because he examined me briefly at the London Running Show (they had a stand there, suggesting they're interested in runners' problems) and said then that I had a problem with my left foot, which was probably what was causing my recurrent ileosacral joint strain problems. I've previously seen that the shape of my left foot walking across a force plate is very different from my right foot (and from other people's feet). However, I've never previously been to a chiropractor or osteopath (I did have physio after a dislocated shoulder 10 years ago).

Any recommendations re. whether a physio, osteopath or chiropractor is a sensible choice?

#278 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 09:32 AM:

I'd vote for a physical therapist/physiotherapist, but then I'm a PTA. It's also possible that the correct option is (D) podiatrist.

Musculoskeletal problems are one of the primary areas of practice for PTs, and interpreting and correcting gait abnormalities is a major focus of their education. Chiropractors have a very different view of the organization and function of the body than either PTs or osteopaths do, and it's a view I do not believe is supported by good evidence (though clearly a good many people disagree).

For a more objective view of the differences among the three, here are U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics descriptions of the education and scope of practice for PTs, chiropractors and osteopaths (this article includes information on both M.D.s and D.O.s, but distinguishes where necessary).

#279 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 09:33 AM:

Elliott Mason@274: Perhaps the shirt is not the sole cause of your expression, but in the photo you certainly seem very pleased about something!

I've got pretty good color discrimination and memory (stereotypically unusual for a man, I know; but it's okay, I don't have names for all those colors), but I've never learned about color palettes for skin tones. When presented with an actual combination that people think looks awful, I'll generally agree that it's a bad idea, so I don't seem to have drastically different opinions about what goes together; but I haven't systematized the knowledge. I tend to wear plain colors, about everything but pink (well, I avoid most pastels, really; but pink most strenuously). Typical geekish not-caring-about-clothes.

#280 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 09:43 AM:

I'd start with an osteopath, of those three. But better yet would be a sports medicine specialist, IMO.

Yes, your personal anatomy is probably different from that of others. Osteopaths pay attention to that, in general. Chiros mostly work with the spine. You also probably have some soft-tissue quirks, which a well-trained massage therapist might help with.

Some chiropractors would be good for you to work with; some osteopaths, bad. Going through a sports medicine person as a gatekeeper is more likely to find you results you'll like. A stress fracture in the foot is a fairly typical sports injury, so a sports specialist is likely to have referred more people out for working with it.

I speak as a massage therapist who works for/with a chiropractic office in Seattle.

#281 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 09:47 AM:

Dave Luckett@262: Some years ago at a bbq/pool party, my mother, aunts, and a cousin were sitting around talking about members of previous generations of the family, all of whom had been dead for some time by then, and all of a sudden began discussing the various affairs conducted by the men. My jaw was on the floor!

The women all looked at me like I was nuts--apparently this was open news in their generation but simply had not percolated down to mine.

Most of the people they talked about were people I knew only at the ends of their lives, so it really re-grooved my images of them.

#282 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:36 AM:

Open thready economics link: This link shows how much worse stagnating wages look, when you account for declining labor-force participation. The median[1] wage for men working full-time has been more-or-less stalled, once you adjust for inflation, since the 80s. But the median wage for all men has dropped quite a bit since the 80s. The difference is, the men at the bottom aren't working full-time. Many aren't working at all, or aren't working on the books.

It's common to see discussions in politics and economics about exploitation. That is, I'm paying you to do something, you'd do the work for any wage/benefit/working condition combination above X, I'd pay to have it done for any below Y. By improving my bargaining position relative to you, I can try to drive that wage down as close to X as possible. (I can't make you work for less than X, short of literal slavery. And even for slaves, there's a floor below which you can't survive to keep working.) Stuff like union-busting, moving production to places with a vast number of hungry unemployed people, keeping your employees as ignorant as possible of alternatives, or moving employees into a remote company town make it easier for me to bargain your wage right down to X. And that's nasty.

But there's something much worse than exploitation. Explotation means you're of some value to someone. It means you could conceivably have some bargaining power, because someone wants the coal you're mining or the crops you're raising or the toys you're manufacturing or the code you're writing. They at least have to pay you X, and it's not crazy to imagine getting them to pay you more, perhaps even somewhere close to Y.

What's worse is when you're not worth exploiting anymore. Y is less than X--you're not worth paying any amount you'd be willing to work for. Nobody is exploiting you, in that case, they're just not dealing with you at all. Call it uselessness.

My sense[2] is that in the 19th century, a great deal of poverty was caused by exploitation. And my sense now is that a great deal of poverty, especially in the rich countries, is caused by uselessness. It's not that the landlord is squeezing you for that last bit of surplus above bare subsistence from your farm, it's that there's no land for you to farm that's worth having you farm, and the landlord doesn't want anything to do with you. To be useless is to be utterly disposable, w.r.t. the economy. That's much worse. And it seems like that's happening, over time, to more and more Americans.

This happens both on the job side and on the retail sales side. What's a food desert, except a place where people who sell decent food have decided it isn't worthwhile to do business at all? They'd exploit you if it paid, but you don't have enough money to be worth exploiting, given the high crime and taxes, and lousy services and infrastructure, where you live.

[1] If you sorted the list of incomes, and chose the one in the middle, you'd get the median. People measure median wages instead of mean wages because the folks at the high end make so much more money that the normal average (mean) gets heavily skewed by the multimillion dollar CEO and investment banker salaries.

[2] I have an incredibly lame grasp of history, so I may just be wrong here.

#283 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:47 AM:

Lila: Thanks for the input.

That information about osteopaths was interesting because it's totally different to over here, where osteopaths are NOT doctors (I don't think we have an equivalent of a D.O.), but more like chiropractors or physiotherapists - osteopathy is a discrete speciality concentrating on diagnosis and treatment of problems related to altered body mechanics, function and posture.

My step-mother would prefer me to go for an osteopath or physio rather than a chiropractor. The chiropractor I was thinking of does NOT seem to think everything is due to the spine (I said I had a sacroiliac joint strain and his response was that actually I had a foot problem).

Tom Whitmore: thanks also. Question is how to get to a sports medicine specialist. There are lots of physios, osteopaths and chiropractors around who focus on runners/sports problems, and I can just ring up and book an appointment. There are less sports medicine doctors around, and it's probably quite a lot more expensive to see one.

I -know- I've got something going on with my left foot/ankle - for example my ankle mobility (dorsiflexion) is lower on the left (I can stand about an inch further from the wall and touch my knee to the wall with my right leg, compared with the left) - and then there's that force plate test (my left foot really did show an unexpected shape, so much so that they had me repeat it, and it was the same again. And of course it's on the left that the stress fracture showed up - but then I'd been favouring a right calf strain until a couple of weeks previous, so I might have been putting extra pressure on the left.

I suppose the question is whether it's a joint thing per se, to be treated by manipulation, or whether it's a soft tissue problem (tight muscles/tendons) which need to be stretched, etc.

I'm somewhat biased against podiatrists because (from what I've read) they seem to want to put everyone into orthotics, while I'm heading for the minimalist shoe route (basically diametrically opposed).

As for my personal anatomy - well, my elbows don't bend as much as they "should", which was a problem for archery, but isn't (I don't think) directly relevant to my foot problem...

#284 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 12:12 PM:

P J Evans: Computer training videos: have they considered checking at an office supply place?

I think one of those is further out than the library, but I'll suggest it.

#285 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 12:26 PM:

Elliott 220: So, adoption is one of our culture's ways of formalizing fictive kin? I realize that many adopted people may object to the idea until they understand the technical nature of the term, but kin are either genetic ("blood") or fictive, correct?

Also, all in-laws are fictive kin, is that right? And my genetic uncle's wife (unless she's also related to me by other means) is my fictive aunt?

I just want to make sure I have this exactly right before I start using the term, which is going to be quite useful to me...I have a much bigger fictive family than genetic!

About colors: I tell people I look good in colors you'd see in a Persian carpet. 'High-saturation colors with a lot of blue in them' doesn't actually convey much to the average person, I find.

#286 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 01:09 PM:

Xopher #285: I'm not Elliott, but I'm pretty sure that's not what it means. There may be a special term for non-blood relations, but this is more about "Aunties" and such who don't even meet those rules.

Also, the formal rules about cousins and uncles/aunts are probably a matter as much of English definitions as social custom.

#287 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 01:51 PM:

Xopher@286: I think it's more about people to whom you have no connection by blood or paper. In-laws are "true" kin, related by blood through spouse, to whom you are related by paper.

otoh, my "nephew" is not related to me either by blood or by paper. however, I've known him and his mother since he was about 2 (he's almost 11 now), and we're pretty close. We eat meals together (he, his mom, me, and my daughter), go on vacations together, generally hang out together, done Thanksgiving and Passover together, etc. etc. etc.

Not every day, nor even once a week anymore (high school has put a crimp in our family socializing). Definitely a strong emotional bond. For some years now my daughter has referred to this boy as her brother (she's 4 years older), so I've been calling him my nephew. That's what the relationship _feels_ like, though I actually know this child better than I know my non-fictive niece.

I also have a fictive sister (a former roommate) and my mother for a while had a fictive daughter (a different former roommate).

#288 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 01:54 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 274 — oh, I like that shirt! I would wear one like that quite happily and consider myself snappily dressed.

Regarding nuts, I'd posted this recipe earlier. If one wants sweet & spicy nuts but doesn't want to hassle with frying, it works very nicely.

#289 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 02:19 PM:

#260 Naomi Parkhurst

My six year old has coined the term "omnomcious".

Oh, well done! I like it!

#290 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 02:24 PM:

Xopher @286: 'fictive' versus 'real' varies from culture to culture. Modern US culture defines one's adoptive parents, one's blood-uncle's wife, etc, as 'real' kin. However, there is a culture in the Amazon that likewise defines as 'real' kin everyone who had sex with your mother during the time her pregnancy was evident -- they are all your fathers. Your mother's mate (or, if unmated, the one she had sex with MOST) is your main father, but the others all consider themselves 'real' fathers, and would teach you useful skills and trades, and contribute to your upbringing.

In our culture, my mom's very best friend in all the world, with whom she mostly shared childcare duties (toss all 4 kids together and one mom watches them while the other does something, or two-moms-plus-four-kids go to a pool together, etc), is not 'real' kin, but she's still my Aunt Holly to me. My godfather's ex-wife was very much part of the family (she wasn't his ex till after he was my godfather, if you get what I mean), but had no legal or widely-understood-in-the-culture relationship to us.

Sociologically, fictive kinships do not have a real-versus-fake feeling to them; that's an unfortunate side-effect of the word chosen for the jargon meaning. Generally it means the same thing as fannish 'found family'.

Melissa Singer's nephew is definitely fictive kin, sociologically, and ALSO is not 'real' kin by the standards of our modern American society.

#291 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 02:59 PM:

Jacque @ #275, if turning gray (I'm told it's silver, but that's family for you) were the sole criteria for clothing color compatibility, I'd have had to turn my entire wardrobe over back when I was 32.

Now, if someone figured out colors which would attract attention away from male pattern baldness . . .

#292 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 03:11 PM:

Regarding gray, it's surprising how many defective digital cameras are out there. The pictures they take of other people are fine, but the ones they take of me show gray hair and add 30 lbs to my frame. I gonna write Canon a letter....

#293 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 03:36 PM:

Linkmeister #291: Now, if someone figured out colors which would attract attention away from male pattern baldness . . .

Well, a certain Emperor's courtiers found some that matched! ;-)

#294 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 04:26 PM:

dcb @277: Has anyone had experience with physio/osteo/chir

Not sports-related, but, yes. I managed to inflame a nerve-root in my neck. I saw the physiotherapist my doc sent me to five times, and every single freakin' time1, he managed to re-injure me—just with his diagnostics.

I then started asking around, and when I hit a recommendation for an osteopath who's name I'd heard positively in another context, I went to see him.

Between his work (I saw him five times, too.) and the Pilates variant4 that his business partner put me onto, my neck issues cleared up entirely within a few months. (It may have been less, I forget.) As a side effect, I also fixed the very painful problems I'd been having with my: ankles, knees, hips, lower back, and 20-year-old upper-back injury I'd gotten from a fall off a horse.

WRT this Pilates, I never did manage to figure out how to hurt myself with it. When I went in for my hysterectomy, my gyinie commented on my "strong abdominal muscles." When they were decanting me into my bed after my surgery, the nurse was setting up the little inspirator thingie I was to use during my recovery to keep my lungs clear. "How tall are you?" she asks, flipping through the booklet that came with it.

"Five-four," I say, picking up the thing and inspecting it.

"All right, let's see. By the time we discharge you on Sunday, I'd like you to be able to do—"

I stick the valve in my mouth, take a breath. Look at the indicator. The pointer sits at 3000.

"... 2400 milliliters." She smiles. "Okay, then!"

I also lost a shoe-size and gained an inch in height while I was doing this stuff. (I need to get back to it.)5

My 2¢.

--

1 Me? Still angry?2
2 After the fifth time, I had a BFO3 and thought to myself, "Maybe I should stop going to this guy...."
3 "Blinding Flash of the Obvious"
4 Yes, this is a shameless plug. Why do you ask?
5 Now, to be sure, I got very lucky in that the beginner level teacher was really really good. Unfortunately, the Ron Fletcher work isn't widespread. But they do have DVDs. I've got some on order6. I'll let you know if they're any good.
6 I am seriously unimpressed with the web design on their checkout. "Forgot password" returns a password in cleartext (alpha-num only), and doesn't seem to give the option of changing it once you've logged back in.

#295 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 04:29 PM:

ddb @279: Elliott Mason@274: ... in the photo you certainly seem very pleased about something!

Actually, smug is the word I would have used. :-)

#296 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 05:07 PM:

Jacque @295: I don't get to go out fully en homme very much, so it was exciting. Also, that was a steampunk-themed convention, and I was very pleased to at the last minute (a) borrow that tailcoat, and (b) realize that my Loud Orange Shirt worked well with a skinny black robe sash I had kicking around to fake up a Wild-West-style menswear look.

#297 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 05:31 PM:

Lexia @ 170 - I can do probably 3 or 4 of those colors. Thankfully, I stocked up on the jewel/royal blue the last couple of years and should be able to get through this summer. Being a pale redhead with rosacea means I tend towards cool colors, so they won't clash with my hair or my face. Bright jewel tones are lovely, but I tend towards the dark reds, dusky blues, forest greens, charcoals, and chocolates. Even then, I do a lot of blue - from dark sapphire to ice, with some blue-teal occasionally thrown in. When I actually let my hair go grey (instead of remaining a redhead by boxed fiat), I won't have to change much of the wardrobe.

I have the low-rise pants problem as well, mostly because if they fit around my hips, the waist is too large (I'm stealing the comment about hips like the superman logo!). So I now have 5 pairs of slacks (3 black, 1 grey, 1 brown) from the thrift store and a whole lot of skirts and dresses. From April 1 to Nov 1, it is a very, very rare thing to see me in pants at all and winter is me living in wool skirts, wool dresses, and leggings/tights (often wool) and resorting to pants when it's just too nasty out.

Because of the job, I generally don't leave the house in less than a business-casual wardrobe, which makes the solution of mens' clothing Right Out without massive amounts of tailoring. Or, I could hit my local fabric store and www.burdastyle.com and make whatever I need.

In related HLN: Finished my first utilikilt last night, for a friend for con this weekend. Theme - heroes. http://twitpic.com/464tld (yes, that's quilting cotton, yes, I lined it. Pockets to be added at a later date. Recipient is happy even if i'm not.)

#298 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 06:09 PM:

sisuile @297 said:Recipient is happy even if i'm not.

My VERY FAVORITE thing about making craftsy things for other people is that they almost never care about what seem like the big flashy neon I-suck-so-bad signs all over whatever it is I made. :->

Also, I don't have to find room to store it. But the other one's way out in front.

#299 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 06:14 PM:

Chosen family is much on my mind these days. Especially the chosen sister I'm staying with right now, and her brother who is, as of sometime last week, my brother too; it's hardly our fault if our mothers never met, now is it?

(There are various levels of illness going on here, which is why I'm visiting right now; we would welcome any good thoughts, prayers, or positive energy you can spare.)

#300 ::: Timothy Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 07:07 PM:

Much to my surprise, I've developed a taste for dressing up in middle age, and can often be found in a jacket and tie.

It turns out to be surprisingly difficult to find a jacket/shirt/tie combination flamboyant enough that people don't ask "did you come straight from work?" Without going full Hartwell, that is.

#301 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 07:22 PM:

TexAnne, encouraging and helpful thoughts from here. I know they're glad to have you there.

#302 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 07:51 PM:

"I'm stealing the comment about hips like the superman logo!"

Glad you like it! Other side effect—it confuses the heck out of my OBs, who have underestimated my kids' weights by more than two pounds, because I apparently hide an awful lot in that compressed space.

#303 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 09:33 PM:

Timothy Walters@300: If I see friends in a jacket and tie, I ask them if they got the job :-). This is especially useful as a way to put pressure on people who tend to overdress for work.

#304 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 09:50 PM:

Midterm grades are due. I'm grading my second set of essays this weekend. Out of the, ahem, oysters I am finding some "pearls". For example:

According to Goldman means of morality was that of religion; which denounce anything against the normality in the society. The denouncing of birth control by Goldman was a relation to women’s rights and was seen as negative.

Goldman shows comparison of how the prostitute is mistreated by law and society with that of a married woman whom are barred to child birth with absolutely no say in the matter.

Another circumstance is having a woman involved in a relationship where she is not in love with the man, but is forced to have sex yet resulting in children born to an unhappy couple or the woman that continuously having children due to not having the option birth control available. This creates an unstable environment for the child. These situations should not neglect the responsibility of female’s being responsible when having sex, but it does lead to Goldman’s point of having an option to sexual contraception and abortion if needed. Humans are naturally sexual beings. Taking away a natural process is neglecting behavior of human nature.

#305 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:03 PM:

Fragano @304

Please tell me that writer's native fluency is in a language other than English. And that it was from a time-limited examination written with a broken writing instrument that splodged out the missing words.

#306 ::: Justin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:27 PM:

AKICIML:

Hi, I'm a lurker here, but I want to talk about this and I don't know who else to talk to. I sincerely hope that this is taken as evidence of my great faith in this community, and not simply desperation.... I've always felt that I was part of the community here, even if I've only made one or two silly posts.

Anyway, I've been delving into earlier threads, and some of the posts dealing with autism and Asperger's seemed uncomfortably familiar. I eventually (after several months of thinking about it...) decided to see if I was "on the spectrum". I was never consciously aware of avoiding the question out of the fear of shame (even if I was the only one who knew), but I suspect that was part of it. Which is a slight problem for me, but much more for others.

I took the Baron-Cohen test and scored 31 -- where 32 means autism. This feels right to me -- I've always felt like I was just on the precipice of understanding the people around me, without ever having the chance to climb that precipice. Please note -- I understand that the human psyche is not this simple -- 31, "You're fine!"; 32, "You're autistic, pardon me while I adjust this coat....

I also know that this is not a diagnosis or really anything more meaningful than what I said in an online test -- but as I said, it felt true.

Anyway, I'd like to know several things, if y'all wouldn't mind:

1) Is the Baron-Cohen test worth a damn? I admit I haven't gone deep into the Google on this subject because I really don't want to run into people who think autism is some kind of socialist conspiracy....

2) Having scored a borderline score on the Baron-Cohen test, would therapy be a good thing for me? I've always thought I could muddle through my own problems, but if my perceptions differ a lot from those around me, perhaps an outside opinion would be helpful. Well, now that I say that -- an outside opinion is useful to anyone (but, of course, I was a Psych major....)

2a) (Okay, this is reaching) Assuming the answer to the above is yes, does anyone know a therapist in the DC area I could talk to?

Regardless of your reaction to what I've said, I want to thank those of you to post here for...well, posting here. I don't think you realize how important it is to us who only read your words.

Thank you.

#307 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:30 PM:

Thena #305:

Those are taken from several essays. The writers are all native speakers of English. They had days (indeed weeks) to prepare for the essays since the topics were listed in the syllabus I issued at the beginning of the semester; the only issue of difficulty was the due date, which was delayed a week because of the horrible weather at the start of the semester. All the essays were produced on computers.

#308 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:33 PM:

B. Durbin: I thought of Marat-Sade immediately too, though my reason is that I attempted to direct it once. Oddly, I was just mentioning it to my psych prof last week.

#309 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:36 PM:

Justin @ #306: I can't speak to the worth-a-damness or otherwise of the Baron-Cohen test, but this page might be a starting point for finding a therapist, if you decide to go that route.

Good luck!

#310 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:36 PM:

@Fragano

Can we reboot the educational structure of the English-writing world and start over with the alphabet? Do you think it would help?

#311 ::: Justin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:37 PM:

Argh -- "those of you who post here", not to. I suppose I should just be happy that I didn't fall prey to the evil double post....

#312 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:40 PM:

Justin, I don't know anything about the topic you're asking for help with, but as for the error...I read it as you intended it without noticing the mistake.

#313 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:43 PM:

Appros of the Beowulf socks, a friend made my hubby PI socks. Start at the top of one of them, the (I think the yellow stripes) count out PI.

Blue and white, kind of plain for Doc Paisley though. Still lots of fun.

#314 ::: Justin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:53 PM:

Xopher, thank you -- I know this is strange, but because of my longtime lurkeriness, I think of you as a friend.

I appreciate the goodwill mental copyediting on your part....

#315 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 10:58 PM:

Fragano: You have my sympathy. I just finished writing a compare and contrast on Gorgias and The Analects.

I've done better, but for some reason couldn't find the frame of contrast until yesterday (the paper was due today) and I've been short sleep all week.

So I banged it out last night, and then did a fairly stiff rewrite this morning.

So it was only about 5 hours of writing (and I know not how much noodling) to get 1500 words.

#316 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 11:06 PM:

Terry Karney: I know nothing of the play other than the title. Which is pretty impressive. The Cats performance I just saw was so phenomenal and done so well (and pretty hopeful, actually). The setting made it so the play touched me more than when I saw it in its original setting (an alley full of cats.)

Plus the fact that they had a television (twelve feet up, out of the inmates' reach) that was playing Thundercats before the show began was just so apropos...

#317 ::: Justin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2011, 11:52 PM:

Terry,

(Hmm...delurking seems to be addictive...)

Some time ago[0] you posted a link to an introductory talk you gave to a church group about why torture is bad. I thought it was wonderful to see, but I was wondering if there was any more -- not writing, which I know you've done, but you speaking from your experience. There are people who I love who need that message, but I'm not sure the short form will do it.

Okay, I seem to be the new demandy guy. What I'm trying to say is that I think you made a very eloquent argument against torture in just ten minutes -- for people who need 30 or 60 minutes, could you suggest anything?

I personally think that you should be given all the time you need to explain all of the implications of torture on all of our wondrous 24 hour channels, but I can't demand that (well, I can, but I can't expect any results)....

Sadly, many of my loved ones have bought into the fear that the news is intent on selling -- and one way to keep them safe is to make sure that those evil(!) terrorists(!) can never hurt them again...what it does to the rest of us? Well, that's for lily-livered liberals to whine about....

[0] That is to say, I don't remember exactly when -- my brain is currently timesharing Open Threads 124 and 154....

#318 ::: Justin ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 12:01 AM:

And, and...

B. Durbin -- Andrew Lloyd Webber isn't cool? Oh, well, good thing I never paid attention to coolitude....

That said, a production that can make Cats a coherent whole? That's a talented production/direction team. I love most of Webber's shows, but Cats...well, I saw it once.

#319 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 12:25 AM:

Justin @306:

I don't know if the Baron-Cohen test is worth a damn, beyond serving as a rough guideline. What I do know is, I score a 29 on it, and my boyfriend scores a 35. His lovely wife scores an 11.

I don't have any practical advice on finding therapists. (I have a much more pressing issue for which I'm working with a psychiatrist right now, but when I've brought up the spectrum stuff they don't want to address it.)

In practical terms, it helps to know what issues you want to address. Social skills? Well,the way I like to put it is that I've had to derive rules of social interaction rather than intuiting them, and it made my younger life fairly hellish because I hadn't done all the deriving yet, but I do okay now. It helps that I'm a geek who socializes with other geeks, and I only simulate a non-geek when I absolutely have to. it also helps that I'm an extrovert rather than an introvert, and so the craving for social interaction has made it worth it to me to do the deriving. Boyfriend is an introvert. His strategy has been more along the "remain quiet so as not to screw up" lines, and also learning by negative example -- he's big on Don't Be That Guy.

But there's more to it than social skills. You may experience some degree of sensory processing or integration issues. Mine were noticeable enough when I was a kid that my parents got me evaluated by a physical therapist, who said there wasn't anything intrinsically wrong with my gross motor coordination and proprioception that increased practice wouldn't correct (in other words, send her outside to play instead of letting her stay inside reading books -- I was not thrilled about this idea, and compromised to the point of climbing trees to read my books) but that I had a high degree of sensory defensiveness (meaning, you could tickle me from about six inches away from my actual SKIN, and freaked out at loud noises, and so on).

I have, over the years, assembled a series of workarounds for the sensory issues. For the ticklish stuff, it helps that I've gotten to an age where other people have some MANNERS, and don't attempt to tickle me, muss my hair, or otherwise invade my bodily space unless we're already intimate. (I was a four-year-old with Shirley Temple ringlets who regularly scolded great-aunts for mussing my hair. Apparently even the scolding was cute because I got away with it.) Also that clothing companies have started printing their tags into clothing instead of sewing in itchy ones printed on Tyvek and attached with nylon monofilament, so I don't have to cut out as many tags as I used to. I also carry foam earplugs with me -- I started doing this for rock concerts, to avoide hearing damage, but noticed it helped with noisy bars, too. My boyfriend is more heavily affected by noise than I am, and his workaround for it was "get drunk for pain relief." I regularly hand him earplugs now. Eventually he'll get in the habit of carrying his own.

My best friend has a sensory issue around touching things that are gritty. I made her very happy recently by suggesting that she could eat the delicious-but-gritty honey roasted mixed nuts with CHOPSTICKS, and thus avoid having the icky feeling on her fingertips.

One book I've found very helpful for learning coping strategies with the sensory issues is Raising Your Spirited Child. I got it to cope with my own offspring, but noticed just how much of it applied to me. It's worth a read.

So. I guess the point of this is: you're not alone, therapy might be good if you wanted help deriving the rules of social interaction, and there are ways to work around the various sensory issues. Wouldn't hurt to pursue it to the extent of your medical coverage, but even without professional help, there are things you can do.

welcome to the club, we've got jackets.

#320 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 12:26 AM:

Justin: I need to get in touch with the guy who filmed the hour, or so, that I did in Monterey. I don't know that it's on the web, but I'll bet you can get it from him.

I'll look into it.

#321 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 12:34 AM:

TexAnne @ 299 ...
(There are various levels of illness going on here, which is why I'm visiting right now; we would welcome any good thoughts, prayers, or positive energy you can spare.)

Good thoughts, positive energy, and earnest entreaties to the universe headed your way...

#322 ::: Justin ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 01:23 AM:

Rikibeth,

Thank you, thank you, thank you.... I guess part of my problem is that I don't think I have a right to complain. I am privileged in so many ways, it seems churlish to complain about my relatively minor problems.

I thank you because you addressed my problems as real -- no matter what I think of them.

I don't know where I fit on the spectrum, but I think I'm on it...that being said, I know I'm in a much better position than many -- if I had to derive the basic rules of our society's behavior, I did it before I was old enough to understand them. What I'm understanding now is that my introversion is not simply a preference, but, perhaps, a predisposition. Not a bad thing, just a way of being. Not necessarily the best way of being (for me, at least), but it isn't something that I'm just choosing arbitrarily. That means something to me. I'm not sure why.

For example -- and this is just something I'm thinking about now, so please forgive me if my ideas still have some jagged edges -- I know that I would love to talk to any random person who went to a con, but I've never gone to one. I've never even wanted to go to one. Too many people, scary. I know that the people at AverageCon[0] will have two or three orders of magnitude more things in common with me than a random person from my mundane life, but.... I don't know I worry that I'll like the wrong books or authors. I worry about that here, even (which I know is silly).

Ah, hell, I'm out. I don't really know where I was going with that.

Thanks for listening, though, it means a lot to me.

[0] Yeah, what are you going to complain about? We said it was average....

#323 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 01:47 AM:

Justin,

About the cons -- well, I guess that's where my extroversion comes in. I went to my first SF con the weekend of my fourteenth birthday, because I was blessed with a friend who was a second-generation fan, and whose mother brought her to cons, so I got to tag along. I cannot describe for you the feeling of delighted relief I felt when I experienced it. Sure, there were a ton of people there, and most of them were strangers. But they were strangers who liked what I liked! It was EASY to strike up conversations with them! They didn't mind if I babbled enthusiastically about stuff, or look at me funny -- they babbled BACK! And, you know, more than a few of them were boys roughly my age, and some of them were even CUTE boys my age, and others were girls my age who didn't look down their noses at me, and there was a Regency Ball where I got to dress up like a princess, and, generally, I was in HEAVEN.

Maybe there's a local campus with a science fiction society where you could go to meetings. Smaller group, less intimidating? And for a lot of them, you don't HAVE to be a student to attend.

The nice thing about cons is that they have panels, often on a lot of different subjects, and they publish the panel schedules before the con starts, on their websites, and so you can go in planning to attend panels on stuff you already like, and that way you've definitely got things in common to talk about.

It's also possible to be introverted without it being a spectrum thing. Introverts happen. It's real enough. I thought I was one for years, and, around mundanes, I can still look like one -- but, no, it's more that I was an extrovert who didn't know the damn rules and kept screwing up and found the screwups incredibly exhausting. But given the way I wither and pine without decent social contact, I don't think I am one.

Anyway. This stuff is real, it's manageable, and learning to work with your own defaults is always useful. Best of luck sorting it all out.

#324 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 03:15 AM:

Justin, in terms of thinking about therapy -- you've got a lot of resources already, from having been a psych major, and I'd hope you have some idea of what kind of therapy feels right to you. Don't know anyone in DC, unfortunately. But I think the perspective of another person will help you, no matter what: and you seem to have realized that. You are worth it, and it doesn't matter whether someone else has it worse. You can only work on yourself, where you are.

In terms of cons, and feeling uncertain about them -- this is another case where I'd suggest you might want to read Among Others by Jo Walton, which Patrick pushed here a few topics back. I think it might help.

#325 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 03:48 AM:

Justin,

First off, welcome to the ranks of the commentariat. Lurkers are of course a part of this community, but it's a pleasure to hear a new voice in the conversation.

My own experience of Asperger's is that it has been tremendously useful to have a name for some of the things that I've always done or been, but never felt were OK. Knowing why was a big way to give myself a break, and in many cases, that made it easier to mitigate or live with them.

I'd second Rikibeth's comments about sensory issues. I've learned over the years, for instance, that too much visual or auditory clutter tires me out. Having the TV on in the background, or having too many messy spaces around the house, can really fry my brain. And these sensory issues cross over, too; when I'm overstimulated in other ways, my arms start to itch in a particular fashion.

My other observation about Asperger's and autism is that it includes a lot of fear and anxiety. I saw an interview with Temple Grandin in which she said, "My primary emotion, most of the time, is fear." And I know exactly what she means. It's probably the product of a childhood spent with very little idea when I'd done something catastrophically bad and was going to have to deal with what seemed to me to be random emotional reactions. It's possible to overcome this, mostly by sheer momentum, until you can trust that things will go well most of the time. I was 40 before I started to rely on the fact that, because most of the people whom I have met end up liking me, therefore most of the people I encounter next will too.

It's important to look for the strengths in the syndromes as well, though. Autism and Asperger's are not diseases; they're descriptions of neurological profiles, and contain some profound gifts as well as challenges. In my case, my ability to find deep patterns in volumes of disparate data is tied to the sensory issues I mentioned above. In one case, the fact that I can't "pre-filter" the data and ignore it is a problem, but in the other it's a strength. I've made a good career in QA because anomalies jump out at me even before I realize I've read the dataset.

Also, the skills we learn are often better grounded than the skills we exercise by instinct. When I learned to compensate for my difficulties in social interaction, I acquired a skillset that allows me to do things like community moderation.

#326 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 06:47 AM:

Thena #310: Oddly, some students learn to master the intricacies of the English version of the Roman alphabet, and the odd grammar and syntax of the English language. The ones who don't also seem to suffer major failures of logic.

#327 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 06:57 AM:

Rikibeth @319

you could tickle me from about six inches away from my actual SKIN.

This just thunked a mental connection into place really hard. I knew I had tendencies toward Aspergers. I never made the connection of long distance tickling being a sensory issue, but of course it is.

Thank you.

#328 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 08:24 AM:

dcb @283: I'd been favouring a right calf strain until a couple of weeks previous, so I might have been putting extra pressure on the left.

Heh. In the immortal words of my old karate teacher: "Be careful how you limp; you might screw something else up."

Interestingly, he's now an MD who specializes in sports medicine.

#329 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 08:57 AM:

Linkmeister @291: Now, if someone figured out colors which would attract attention away from male pattern baldness . . .

Actually, I can tell you with considerable confidence that it's not the clothes that draw attention, it's the eyes (and the 'tude). Being fit helps the latter (not least because of the impact on posture). But you don't have to be Patrick Stewart to draw the attention of the [gender of your choice].

I commend to your attention this gentleman. He's a coworker of mine, and I've been known to get quite silly in his company. He is not unattractive in an objective sense, but mostly what makes him worth a second look is who he is. And he is very much himself.

I think our dear Mr. Xopher is another fine specimen. If I may say.

#330 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:02 AM:

Openthreadiness...

I came across the following by Patrick in LOCUS's issue 600.

Summoning a terrific community into being was never our plan, but once it happened we both felt (and still feel) a non-trivial responsibility toward it. More recently we've been less active on Making Light, because of other commitments, and a lot of the slack has been taken up by our co-bloggers, Abi Sutherland in particular.

Woot!

#331 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:08 AM:

ddb @303: If I see friends in a jacket and tie, I ask them if they got the job :-)

I mind the time that both Fred Haskel and I were in business dress* for the costume ball at a con. The reactions of the other fen were hilarious. I was startled to discover that the suspicious half-step-back you see mundanes take at the elevator are mutual.

When I see men in formal business attire in the grocery store, I will often tease them that Boulder has an ordinance outlawing ties.**

--

* Fred at least had a Smurf as a watch-fob.

** Boulder is renown for its casual dress code. I'm told that, at NCAR in days of yore, the way you could tell the staff from the tourists was that the tourists were wearing shoes.

#332 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:17 AM:

Justin @306: Delurking is good. Hi there! More formally: welcome. (You know abi's gonna ask if you write poetry.)

Nothng substantial to contribute to your inquiry but: asking questions is good. Getting second opinions is good. Going with your gut is good.

Justin @317: Hmm...delurking seems to be addictive...

You seem sharp and interesting. By all means, leave the cloak down! :->

#333 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:20 AM:

I've never seen Marat/Sade, just heard of it, but the full title does explain why that production of Cats brings it to mind.

Though, as a long-time furry-fan, I likely see Cats in a different light anyway.

Oh, you want the title?

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade.

But it has a plot, I understand—a story, that is, or maybe a thesis and antithesis—which I am not sure that Cats manages to have. That's a sequence of loosely-linked set pieces. If you want something with a story, maybe you should do a deal with Diane Duane—her feline wizards might work in that mode. It's no sillier than having actors on roller skates pretending to be railway trains.

Actually, the style of costuming in Cats seems well within reach for a Hugo masquerade, if you could find the right people.

#334 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:37 AM:

Terry Karney @320: Justin: I need to get in touch with the guy who filmed the hour, or so, that I did in Monterey. I don't know that it's on the web, but I'll bet you can get it from him.

I, also, would be very interested to see that.

#335 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:49 AM:

Justin: You're in DC...if you like, I can put you in touch with Jon Singer. He deals with ADD and so may have a line on the therapy pool in the area. He's worth getting to know in his own right, and he's a great person to intoduce you to local fandom.

I endorse Rikibeth's reports/recommendations wrt fandom and, in fact, Jon is my grand-fan (I met him at my first con). He knows everybody and he's had a lot of experience introducing folks to the community. A great way to get your feet wet, especially if you're prone to introversion, is to just tag along with him and let the converstation flow around you.

#336 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:54 AM:

Serge @330:

Without going back into the conversation on the previous Open Thread, I'm touched that he said that. And thank you for bringing it to my attention.

#337 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:56 AM:

(Also, open threadiness: I have not given up on the Babylon 5 rewatch series. I'm simply in a deathmarch project at work and haven't had the time to do the next writeups.)

#338 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:59 AM:

Oh, Serge, in case it slipped by, Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little @17 put up some pics that might be appropriate for Making Light and Faces.

#339 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 10:17 AM:

Jacque @ 338... Indeed... Nicole... May I make use of one of those photos? If so, got a favorite?

#340 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 10:41 AM:

Hyperlocal news... Man got a very nice bonus from employer. Man planning trip to brick-and-mortar bookstores and to web-based ones.

#341 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 11:17 AM:

"Andrew Lloyd Webber isn't cool? Oh, well, good thing I never paid attention to coolitude...."

I should perhaps mention that my theater geek group tends towards the highly musical (as in music majors and opera singers.) In other words, there's music snobbery going on.

As for the production, it didn't so much make Cats a coherent whole as provide a plausible rationale for the incoherency. It was staged as sort of the happy celebration of a bunch of patients who have seized on T.S. Eliot as a means of explaining their lives. (Old Deuteronomy was this little girl with a stuffed tiger that they all respected, for example.)

Glad to see you join the conversation, Justin!

#342 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 11:22 AM:

Hyperlocal news: area grad student gets to purchase heavily discounted gift coupons to Moe's. Is looking forward to using them.

#343 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 11:30 AM:

Continuing the midterm slog. Ouch.

The prostitute becomes a victim because of freely and sexual desires and soon becomes marginalized and mistreated by law and society.

The fascist theory believes in a totalitarianism type of administrative system.

Confucius believed a leader to be benevolent and virtuous two things that were neither part of Mussolini’s character.

Well’s Barnett was an active women’s rights advocate and she was a fighter against universal suffrage.

#344 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 11:51 AM:

Fragano (343): That third one isn't too bad; it just needs punctuation after 'virtuous'.

#345 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 11:53 AM:

Fragano @ 343... Well’s Barnett was an active women’s rights advocate and she was a fighter against universal suffrage

Suffering succotash!

#346 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 12:03 PM:

Justin -- Welcome!

Well, one way to get your feet wet in fandom gradually, in a controlled fashion, and with solid control over most of the sensory environment, is through text-based online forums. You've found Making Light. You might look at tor.com and see if the comment threads under the articles that interest you are of interest. (ML is not by plan a "fannish" venue, but Patrick and Teresa are very long-time fans, and a lot of their friends are from fandom, so there's a solid core of fannishness here anyway.)

SF fandom has been my primary social group since I found it (back in 1972, sort of; much more seriously from 1975). Definitely my people. I like it a lot, and have dragged a number of people into it (with some of them it's even stuck).

It's also a collection of people many of whom grew up socially challenged in various ways, and a set of people enough of whom have trauma around rejection that it's not very good at getting rid of people. We have our share, or perhaps somewhat more, of the assholes of the universe.

A lot of fannish events are big-group events, even though fandom contains a lot of introverts. I suppose it's inherent in being group events.

#347 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 12:11 PM:

@ 346... It's also a collection of people many of whom grew up socially challenged

"I've never been so insulted!"
- me
"The night is still young."
- Abi

#348 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 12:30 PM:

Mary Aileen # 344: I'm still trying to figure out 'neither part'.

#349 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 01:03 PM:

Fragano @348

I think there's a confusion of "neither" with "not":

Confucius believed a leader to be benevolent and virtuous: two things that were not part of Mussolini’s character.

Or something like that. I suspect hypercorrection.

#350 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 01:11 PM:

Fragano (348)/Naomi (349): Or "...neither was part of Mussolini's character." A bit awkward, but not impossibly so. Much better than the rest of the gems Fragano quoted (although that's an awfully low bar).

#351 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 01:15 PM:

Justin #306: That sense of recognition is probably a better guide than any test. While autism isn't something that can be "cured" by therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can be useful for building your executive abilities, dealing with anxiety, and other useful items.

As noted by abi above, just knowing what's going on is an enormous help! inter alia, I recommend the books of Dr. Temple Grandin for a highly educated autistic's perspective.

#352 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:00 PM:

I haven't seen the Baron-Cohen test before; it's an intriguing object. A lot of the questions strike me as having a significant overlap with generalized introversion (not enjoying socializing with others, liking to work alone) and less with the things I particularly associate with autism-spectrum behavior (touch sensitivity, difficulty filtering input, inability to read social cues). I wonder how predictive the former really is: as Rikibeth notes, there are plenty of spectrum types who love socializing, but just don't know how. Being bad at something tends to make one dislike it as well, but that's a second-order symptom, isn't it?

I was also struck as I was answering the questions by how much my answers have changed since I was a child. I scored a 27 today, but I would have scored much, much higher when I was 15 on aspects like comfort with socializing. Words like "compensated" or "matured" strike me as entirely wrong, because I don't see the way I approached the world back then as bad, just limited--I feel like I've expanded the options available to me, not abandoned anything or learned the "correct" way to do it.

#353 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:05 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 348: "I'm still trying to figure out 'neither part'."

I read "two things that were neither part of Mussolini’s character" as an acceptable variant of "neither of the two things were part of Mussolini's character." Maybe that's just my dialect?

One could say "two things that were both part of his character," correct?

#354 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:06 PM:

Serge@347: I had a bunch of epistemological land-mines to navigate around in writing that. For example, I'm not an introvert, don't especially have rejection issues (more than normal), and by fannish standards didn't grow up particularly socially challenged (took a while to figure that out). But I wanted to use an inclusive "we" for fandom, especially to acknowledge the bad parts. And I think of ML as a "fannish venue" since that's where I know P&T and for that matter Jim and Avram from, but there's nothing explicitly fannish about it really, and some of the people here I believe want to avoid being associated with fandom.

So, well, we'll see if I stepped on any of them.

(I'm not reading your post as complaint or objection, more as using mine as a comment hook, with perhaps a bit of wry acknowledgment.)

#355 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:07 PM:

Naomi Parkhurst @ 260

I now find myself thinking of the phrase 'the omnivorous in pursuit of the omnomnicious' as a good way of describing certain members of my family (including myself) on certain occasions.

Heather Rose Jones @ 97: Are you sure it's parsnips that Anthimus has in mind? One thing that makes me wonder - him being Byzantine - is that I've never come across a parsnip in Turkey; nor indeed found anyone in Turkey who had the slightest idea what I was talking about when I try to describe one.

We do on the other hand have plenty of carrots, including ones that are the right colour (as opposed to those
politically contentious mutants from the Low Countries,) which are a key ingredient in Beef Schadenfreude.

#356 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:07 PM:

heresiarch @352 said: there are plenty of spectrum types who love socializing, but just don't know how. Being bad at something tends to make one dislike it as well, but that's a second-order symptom, isn't it?

I thought for decades I was an introvert, because I had massive social anxiety, and rubbed so many people the wrong way on first acquaintance that I found the entire prospect of encountering new people (especially in LARGE GROUPS ZOMG) exceedingly stressful.

Turns out I'm actually an extrovert with bad social skills. Despite my strong instinct to react to stressful periods/depression by hermitting up, I actually do BEST mentally if I have regular verbal social-grooming behavior in groups of fannish people.

I never knew I liked hanging out with people until I found large enough sample sizes of the people I like to hang out with -- so I always scored introverted on personality tests. :->

#357 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:24 PM:

praisegod barebones @355

"I now find myself thinking of the phrase 'the omnivorous in pursuit of the omnomnicious' as a good way of describing certain members of my family (including myself) on certain occasions."

I love it! A nice bit of -- oh help, I know there must be a name for rhyming the beginnings of words instead of the ends, but it's not coming to mind.

#358 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:33 PM:

Serge @339: Nicole... May I make use of one of those photos?

See Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little @100. As to favorites, I'm going to presume to speak for both of us: I think you can safely use your aesthetic judgement.

#359 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:37 PM:

heresiarch @352: I too thought that a number of the questions on the Baron-Cohen test were measuring general introversion, rather than specifically autism spectrum problems with social interaction. In particular I felt that some of them were strongly suggestive of the type of introversion described by the Myers-Brigg system, where introverts may well enjoy socialising, but feel drained rather than energised by doing it. I had that shock of recognition when I first encountered the Myers-Brigg description of being the life and soul of the party for an hour, and then wanting to go home and recharge in a quiet corner Right Now Please. I don't score as spectrum on the B-C screen, but I do score higher than average, and I think that's mostly down to questions that also pick up people who are highly M-B introverted.

#360 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 02:52 PM:

Jacque @ #329, the male-pattern baldness line was mostly a wisecrack. I don't think about it much, and turning into my father (who also had it) wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to me.

#361 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 03:29 PM:

ddb @ 354... Let's put it this way. Some people seem to have social skills built into them. Some people learn them easily. Some learn them with great difficulty, and I definitely was in that group. In other words, I was pulling your leg.

#362 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 03:56 PM:

Jacque @ 358... You're up, right here, and Nicole is here. Let me know if you want the captions changed.

#363 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 04:20 PM:

Elliot Mason @ 356: "Despite my strong instinct to react to stressful periods/depression by hermitting up, I actually do BEST mentally if I have regular verbal social-grooming behavior in groups of fannish people."

Agreed! Though I would still say I'm an introvert, because while I love socializing with the right people at the right time, it's still (a) something I want periodically rather than always and (b) something that leaves me needing some *hyperfocused on something else* time.

Julia Jones @ 359: "I had that shock of recognition when I first encountered the Myers-Brigg description of being the life and soul of the party for an hour, and then wanting to go home and recharge in a quiet corner Right Now Please."

I know what you mean--when I first read a MB description of my personality type I was like "HOW DID YOU GET IN MY BRAIN!?!", but in a good way. Ironically, I think since then I've become a much less extreme example of that type: reading that kind of description allowed me to start thinking about different ways of perceiving the world that didn't come down to "Yes, but this way is much more effective, don't you see?"

One of the best parts of understanding who you are is that it helps you figure out who you can be.

#364 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 04:45 PM:

heresiarch @352: I was also struck as I was answering the questions by how much my answers have changed since I was a child. I scored a 27 today, but I would have scored much, much higher when I was 15 on aspects like comfort with socializing. Words like "compensated" or "matured" strike me as entirely wrong, because I don't see the way I approached the world back then as bad, just limited--I feel like I've expanded the options available to me, not abandoned anything or learned the "correct" way to do it.

YES, THIS. I was struck, when answering the questions, by how I had to differentiate between "how I have learned to behave now" and "how I dealt with the world before training myself to be otherwise." And which answer did they want? I decided that questions where I still felt like I was "faking it" to get the more socially adept/less introverted answer got the more introverted answer, and that questions where I went "oh, yeah, I used to be more like that, but it's not as strong now" got the less introverted answer. And I still got a 29.

I suspect that, as a twelve-year-old, I would have been OFF THE CHARTS.

#365 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 04:57 PM:

Justin 317: (Hmm...delurking seems to be addictive...)

Oh, good! Stay delurked. Ever write any poetry?

And isn't Baron-Cohen that jerk who made that awful Brüno movie?

Jacque 329: Why, thank you! I'm fatter than that now, but working on it.

#366 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 05:03 PM:

Xopher: The one who wrote the test is Simon Baron-Cohen. The jerk you're thinking of, Sacha Baron-Cohen, is his cousin.

#367 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 05:03 PM:

Xopher: The one who wrote the test is Simon Baron-Cohen. The jerk you're thinking of, Sacha Baron-Cohen, is his cousin.

#368 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 05:03 PM:

Baron-Cohen test I just took it, out of curiosity, and got a 23. However, there were six questions I really couldn't answer as posed, and put either 'mildly agree' or 'mildly disagree' as the probably least distorty answer available. The way they asked the question was simply not a single spectrum answer, to me! It's a sometimes-this-way, sometimes-that, it-depends thing, and can be anywhere from one end to the other of their scale depending on external circumstances.

I learned most of my social skills consciously, after entering college. And I only started really getting comfortable/good at faking it and interacting with non-fen positively a very few years ago.

#369 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 05:04 PM:

Oops! Double post due to error message! Sorry!

#370 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 05:19 PM:

AKICIML, Plumbing Division:

We have a damp spot☁ in the corner of our basement. Our current mitigation system, while working, is labor- and electricity-dependent: we lay clean towels carefully folded atop the area that seeps, point a fan at it, and run a dehumidifier nearby with its humidistat set to 45% so the overall basement doesn't get moldy enough to eat my books.

The best-case, real long-term fix♦ recommended to solve what we presume to be the underlying problem☘ is rather more money than we wish to spend, considering we're only living here until we can manage to close on another house, move out, and sell this place.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Currently the towels get damp and act as a wick for the fan to evaporate from, and the wet never spreads past the towels. However, we have to keep changing and bleaching them so they don't get moldy, and we've been effectively running a fairly heavy-duty air conditioner in the basement all winter, which is a nontrivial addition to our existing (fairly small) electricity expenditure.

--
☁ There's a slow seep in through tiny cracks near where our greywater out-flow pipe dives vertically into the concrete floor.

♦ That is, jackhammer out that entire corner's concrete slab, fish around with the pipes, replace the problematic part. Possibly would also involve going outside the foundation, if the pipe problem is there; the foundation wall is only about 2' from where the pipe goes vertical and comes out of the floor. THAT would REALLY be expensive, and involve removing our back porch and doing a lot of earthmoving as well.

☘ We're pretty sure there's a rotten/broken pipe somewhere in the dirt under our concrete slab, which is leaking and effectively charging an artesian aquifer under our foundation somewhere, which then infiltrates back into our basement through any available hairline cracks. We've had basement-waterproofing companies come in and refuse to take our money when we asked them to just slap something in the cracks to waterproof them; the pressure is high enough it'd only last a month or two, and they won't do it. We're pretty sure this is the right answer because we DID hire some goons to take up the floor and investigate. They found a section of rotten pipe, replaced it, and repoured some concrete ... which reduced the problem from a 15-gallons-per-day arterial spurting to the current level. A decided improvement, but in no way a true fix.

#371 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 05:41 PM:

Rikibeth, I was joking. Sacha Baron-Cohen has never done anything remotely useful in the sciences, as far as I know.

#372 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 05:57 PM:

Xopher, I endorse your strikethrough -- but they really ARE cousins!

One of those things that hangs around the edges of my mind like Helena Bonham-Carter's political connections, and so on.

#373 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 06:10 PM:

heresiarch @363: I too found the Myers-Brigg descriptions of personality types useful for understanding other ways of looking at the world. Not least the "aha" moment where I really got that the people who liked nothing better than to party on and on and on like the Energizer Bunny were not faking it. I'd grasped it on an intellectual level, but not really understood it at the emotional level until I read the Myers-Brigg description of introversion/extroversion.

#374 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 06:18 PM:

Naomi Parkhurst #349: That was probably what was intended.

#375 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 06:21 PM:

Heresiarch #353: I'd have written "two things, neither of which was part of Mussolini's character.

#376 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 06:41 PM:

Naomi @ 357

I'd use "front rhyme" in that context. I get that it also includes alliteration, but I'm not aware of any more narrowly-defined technical terms that require the entire first syllable to match.

#377 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 07:45 PM:

KayTei @ 376

Works for me! Thanks.

#378 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 07:52 PM:

Serge @362 Jacque ... You're up, right here, and Nicole is here. Let me know if you want the captions changed.

My caption is okay (I was kinda going for the Vanna White vibe), but Niki's almost made me choke on my salad. (In case anyone is wondering, the laser-cat is Null.)

#379 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 07:55 PM:

370: We had to deal with a more severe version of the same thing, and what the plumber did was pick a likely location further along the line, punch through the concrete there, and reroute the line to run along the wall to the new location and then back into the slab. We had gone through the "just fix it where it enters the slab" solution too, and it failed more or less as you described; an additional feature was that the line ran directly under the ancient concrete wash tub, which are almost impossible to move without destroying. The second, thus far successful solution ran to about six (wall clock) hours of labor.

#380 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 08:15 PM:

C. Wingate @379: Alas, it goes immediately out of the house and under at least 3' of dirt the rest of the way out to the sewer main. We've already had up all of it that's actually in the basement.

#381 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 08:34 PM:

Jacque @ 378... Caption changed.

#382 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 08:53 PM:

For the water in the basement problem, one second-best solution is a sump and a sump pump.

Basically, dig a 2-ft wide, 2-ft deep hole in the basement floor, put about 4 inches of gravel in the bottom, and put a sump pump in it. Fill it up with gravel.

Basically, you're providing a sub-floor drain.

#383 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:15 PM:

Alright, praisegod barebones @355, I'll bite -- Beef Schadefreude?? I know and love Schadenfreude Pie, of course. Always glad to add more schadenfreude to my diet, though.

#384 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:21 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher III @116: When I was busily acquiring free eBooks for my reader I picked up a volume of the complete Poe that consisted of criticisms. The first thing in the book is Edgar A. unleashing the full force of his discernment on (if memory serves) William Ellery Channing, Jnr., which is a laugh riot for anybody not named William Ellery Channing. It's followed by a look at Cooper which, alas, is not the hilarity fest that Twain's was, but is somewhat tempered by a review that's far more positive than I'd have expected.

Still, it's interesting to read Poe's criticisms. I bought the Library of America volume that's nothing but, and it shows him instigating feuds with other writers (and critics), some of whom may be sock puppets. This volume was titled (or referred to online) as if it were Poe's complete works, but turned out to be part of a series which, when completed, would have been the complete works. Might have been Google Books. They're more likely to go with an incomplete title like that than Gutenberg.

#385 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:22 PM:

Jacque @138: An apocryphal story about canned salmon (and by the way, I have wonderful memories of Aunt Nell's canned salmon casserole, complete with those lovely bones) is that a famous press agent was approached by a canner of salmon with a problem: his salmon was white instead of pink, and nobody would touch it. He was in despair, and close to bankruptcy when the agent had him add a line of type that increased his sales hugely and caused the other canners to go after him in court. It said: "GUARANTEED NOT TO TURN PINK IN THE CAN."

Alas, it never happened, but that didn't stop Bennett Cerf from running with it as if it had, and leading me to believe for decades that it was true.

#386 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:22 PM:

Melissa Singer @189: I always liked printed T-shirts with ads for local places, particularly if they were someplace far away. I still rue the day I could no longer wear my T-shirt bearing the name, "McCoy Tree Surgery" of Cherryvale, Kansas.

Also, I saw a T-shirt in the mall with just the face of Perry the Platypus in his "Agent P" identity taking up the whole front of the shirt. If I wore T-shirts at all, I'd wear that one. Every few years I get to design a shirt for someone. I recently did one for the Autumn Moon Festival here, and it turned out to be popular — by which I mean we sold ten or twelve more shirts and had to print up another batch — partly because I designed them on black shirts, so college kids who didn't care for white shirts bought them.

#387 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:24 PM:

Serge: Very good. :-)

#388 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 09:26 PM:

I posted this in a moribund thread a half dozen comments before the end. I now give it a second chance at being seen.

In Which We Take Leave of Our Hero

He sat at his table, dregs of Victory Hunny unlicked on his cheeks. He sat very still, not even brushing away a fat fly that came to inspect the glistening stickiness on his face. He tried to hum a hum, but all he could think of was “Three fours are fifteen.” And sometimes it came out “Three fours is fifteen,” and he didn’t know which was which. Owl came by with a Very Important Message about the Progress in the War Against Heffalumps and he listened attentively to it.

It didn’t matter. He knew that the Heffalumps would be defeated, just as he knew they would always be fighting them. It did not bother him a bit to hold both these thoughts fervently. He smiled slightly and hummed, “Three fours are fifteen.” He would do anything for Christopher Robin. He would give Eeyore over, just as Piglet had given him over, and for the same reason: love. The love of wonderful Christopher Robin, from whom all goodness flowed.

A tear twinkled from one eye and slowly tickled its way down his cheek. Winston Pooh was happy, happier than he’d ever thought possible. He was a Silly Old Bear.

#389 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 10:04 PM:

Kip W @385, in the version I heard, the salmon company hired PT Barnum to come up with an ad campaign.

On, and nice work @388. It took me a moment to figure out what was going on there. "Victory Hunny" should've clued me in, but my eye had skipped over to "three fours are fifteen".

#390 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 10:43 PM:

The problem with the Mussolini comment is (after the question of punctuation) a subject verb disagreement; neither takes were, or a partition, "neither was a part of...."

#391 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2011, 11:01 PM:

praisegod @355 -- Are you sure it's parsnips that Anthimus has in mind? One thing that makes me wonder - him being Byzantine - is that I've never come across a parsnip in Turkey

Anthimus's word is "pastinacea". Since the term is ambiguous, Mark Grant translates it with "parsnips and carrots". Although Anthimus is identified culturally as "Byzantine", his culinary treatise was written while he was the ambassador of the Ostrogothic king of Italy and is addressed to the king of the Franks, and there are a number of references and ingredients that reflect a more northerly cuisine (e.g., the use of butter). But in any event, although classical sources seem to use "pastinaca" promiscuously for both carrots and parsnips (Pliny discusses several different plants using this word as part of the name -- none sufficiently described for clear identification) both plants seem to have been in regular cultivation in Italy since well before Anthimus's time and that seems a better guide to what he might have intended than Anatolia would be. (And I refuse to get into the debate about the appropriate colors of carrots in historic cookery at the moment.)

#392 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 12:05 AM:

Open Threadiness: I think this guy has been mentioned here before, and if he hasn't been, he should have been.

Book Sculptor.

#393 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 12:40 AM:

B Durbin: I'm not quite sure how I feel about those. They are stunning, in more ways than one.

On the one hand, way cool, on the other... ... those are books.

#395 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 12:53 AM:

Saw The Adjustment Bureau this afternoon.

I'm . . . I . . . I'm having a hard time remembering it. It was slick, handsome, well acted, moderately intriguing, especially early on. But, as was my experience with Inception, it didn't make a deep impression.

A few weeks ago I bought, from the Walgreen's $4.00 DVD bin, a copy of The Orphanage. But I'm not sure if I have to watch it again. You don't forget a movie like that.

#396 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 01:18 AM:

Beef Schadenfreude

Ingredients:

A sufficient quantity of beef.
(1 kilo/2 pounds did 6 hungry adults and assorted small folk last time I cooked it; I won't make a stab at suggesting a cut since the ones you get here don't correspond to anything you could find elsewhere, but something you can stew. Shin might be good.)

Black (ie purple) carrots - about a pound

Black beer (not a stout; what you really want is a German dark beer; but last time I topped it up with a weissbier.) - about an English pint, maybe a bit more.

Pickling onions (or shallots, if you can get them)

Mushrooms - probably optional, but good for sweetness.

Salt,pepper, bayleaves

Plenty of time. (requires an overnight marinade and a long slow cook the next day)

Method

Put you beef in a large pottery bowl - (definitely not metal). Chop your carrots quite thin, peel but don't chop your onions. Add to the bowl of beef. Season - salt, pepper, bay leaves.
Add enough beer to cover. Cover, put in fridge over night.

On the morrow: Take a large, flat-bottomed pan. Fish the chunks of meat out the marinade - which you'll need in a moment - pausing to notice that thanks to the carrots it is now the colour of red wine. Add some oil to the saucepan - brown the meat.

Add the carrots, and pickling onions; also the mushrooms - button mushrooms, or what they call here fındık mantar - 'hazelnut mushrooms' - probably being best.

Now add your marinade to the pan, along with any left over black beer. Possibly a spoonful of sugar, if you're worried about bitter residues from your beer.

Simmer on a low heat for several hours until purplish black and omnomnicious. (It's important that it really is a simmer, or your beef will end up leather-like in its toughness.) Serve with mashed potatoes and yorkshire puddings

Serve to 6 hungry Goths. (If Goths are unavailable, you may substitute Ostrogoths, Vizigoths, Huns or Vandals according to taste.)

#397 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 03:26 AM:

TexAnne @ 299: Heartfelt best wishes and sympathies. My own choice-kin have just come out of a mighty cruel year, and that's a hard thing to stand by and see, even if one can sometimes help around the edges. Take care of yourself, too: slips by the wayside, sometimes.

#398 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 04:13 AM:

TexAnne @299: I hope the cranes sprinkle some collateral healing as they pass through your possession.

#399 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 04:43 AM:

Kip W: Bruce E. Durocher III

II, not III, actually. My parents chose II because every Junior they knew was a ringtailed SOB. It's not correct according to Post, and my wife has a been running a long-term guerilla war to get me to quit using it, but I keep pointing out that it is what's on the birth certificate...

When I was busily acquiring free eBooks for my reader I picked up a volume of the complete Poe that consisted of criticisms. The first thing in the book is Edgar A. unleashing the full force of his discernment on (if memory serves) William Ellery Channing, Jnr., which is a laugh riot for anybody not named William Ellery Channing...I bought the Library of America volume that's nothing but, and it shows him instigating feuds with other writers (and critics), some of whom may be sock puppets.

If the Library of America edition includes the essay on Channing you mention I may just pick that up. A friend of mind was kind enough to drop by Value Village for me and pick up a pair of pants good enough for me to wear to go to a store and get my own pants (losing 75 pounds--fifty by choice--purely shoots the shit out of your wardrobe), so I should be able to go to bookstores again soon.

#400 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 07:32 AM:

Confucius believed a leader to be benevolent and virtuous two things that were neither part of Mussolini’s character.

Confucius believed a leader should be benevolent and virtuous...

The second part of the sentence is confused, but the first part is plain wrong. Unless the student was talking about a particular leader who Confucius believed to be benevolent and virtuous.

#401 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 08:16 AM:

Re parsnips:
I haven't made this parsnip spice cake yet, but I fully intend to. Parsnip cakes were apparently once as common as carrot cakes.

David Harmon @ #266:
My understanding is [gingkgo seeds]'re not so much "food" as a medicinal or "supplement".
Actually, ginkgo nuts are quite a prized ingredient in several east Asian cuisines (though I'm not sure about Sichuan specifically). Yan-Kit So's Classic Food of China says "Mild and tender, they are a favourite of vegetarians, providing a viscous texture to a dish." The fruit surrounding the nuts has an offensive smell, and the pulp can irritate your skin if you have a sensitivity to it, so gloves should be worn when harvesting. Also the nuts can be toxic if eaten in large enough quantities.

(I'm sure this has been mentioned on Making Light before, but the odd and hard to spell word "ginkgo" appears to have resulted from the Japanese name being misread in two different writing systems: first giving the second character of 銀杏 (ginnan) its alternative value of kyō and then mistranscribing something like "ginkyo" as "ginkgo".)

David Harmon @ #286:
There may be a special term for non-blood relations ...
Those acquired by marriage are called affinal kin.

#402 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 09:04 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 395... Ah yes, "The Orphanage"... When I saw it, two young women came in with their quite young kids. It took only a few minutes before they realized this wasn't a Shhirley Temple kind of movie, at which point they promptly left.

#403 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 09:42 AM:

I haven't seen "The Adjustment Bureau" yet. Speaking of Hollywood and Philip K Dick... It's my understanding that Ridley & Tony Scott are behind a miniseries based on "The Man in the High Castle". I'm not sure that's good news, as I remember their version of "The Andromeda Strain". Now, if someone would do "Ubik"...

#404 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 11:02 AM:

praisegod barebones@396: Why ceramic and not metal? I don't see anything in that marinade that will bother any of my metal bowls, and I marinate been and chicken and shrimp in metal bowls regularly. (Stainless steel, however; perhaps it's a hangover from when people with "metal" containers had something more reactive?)

#405 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 11:13 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @399: Hard to believe, but I even looked twice before I posted that. My dad's a III, so I'm apparently darn near hardwired to keep going once I've typed II. But fear not! Once I've embarrassed myself publicly this way, it'll be at least a week before I do the same damn thing again… and after that time, it'll be a whole month or more! (Just kidding. I'll never make that mistake again!)

Googling poe "ellery channing" under the books category gets me several links. Here's the first one. (Here's something that may be interesting: "Eureka," which at a cursory glance looks like Poe's Huge Theory of Everything. It's over 150 pages, and I'm afraid to even sample it.)

And I was wrong to say "William Ellery Channing, Jnr.," as the William Ellery Channing here considered — "He is a, and by no means the, William Ellery Channing" — turns out to be a nephew, not a son.

#406 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 11:16 AM:

More openthreadygoodness: Classic 1978 pet cemetery documentary The Gates of Heaven can be streamed online for free! And the place it's at is apparently a video site that specializes in streaming documentaries, so for all you folks with way too much time on your hands, this could be the perfect solution!

#407 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 11:22 AM:

Continuing to mark essays. Wondering what local number for the Samaritans might be.

Emma Goldman was positioned that women’s characteristics and beliefs mount them into who they are.

She not only focused on birth control, but on seal freedom for women in general.

Women of all ethnic and culture groups, although different, some had a similar interest in the idea of women rights.

Goldman means of morality was that it masked itself as the concept of religion, which prohibited anything against the norm; which in relation to women rights refuses the idea of Emma Goldman as well as birth control.

In order for women to liberate themselves they need freedom however unlike Goldman Beauvoir didn’t encourage freedom from morality, but inferiority.

#408 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 11:29 AM:

Fragano (407): Ouch! I suspect that "seal freedom" is a typo for "real freedom".

#409 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 12:07 PM:

And I was wrong to say "William Ellery Channing, Jnr.," as the William Ellery Channing here considered — "He is a, and by no means the, William Ellery Channing" — turns out to be a nephew, not a son.

'Junior' also used to be used to mean a younger man of the same name. So, while it's not the current usage, it's still correct.

#410 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 12:20 PM:

Stefan @ 395 -

We saw The Adjustment Bureau yesterday and enjoyed it. It's essentially a love story, and I thought it was told well. They restrained the special effects and let the story carry the movie.

In contrast, we also watched Russell Crowe sleepwalk his way through a thoroughly dismal Robin Hood on HBO last night. Aside from Cate Blanchett's performance as Marian, everyone looked like they were thinking, "Why the hell am I stuck at the tail end of the 12th century? Isn't there a lighter century elsewhere?"

#411 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 12:21 PM:

Stefan @ 395 -

We saw The Adjustment Bureau yesterday and enjoyed it. It's essentially a love story, and I thought it was told well. They restrained the special effects and let the story carry the movie.

In contrast, we also watched Russell Crowe sleepwalk his way through a thoroughly dismal Robin Hood on HBO last night. Aside from Cate Blanchett's performance as Marian, everyone looked like they were thinking, "Why the hell am I stuck at the tail end of the 12th century? Isn't there a lighter century elsewhere?"

#412 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 12:51 PM:

With all the discussion of ginkgo nuts, bear in mind that as one of the links mentions, they definitely contain a neurotoxin. They must be boiled for a long time to be safe to eat at all. Once boiled, eating a few is harmless, but I would be concerned that eating a lot, even over a long period of time, might still be bad.

The distantly related (and equally ancient) cycads are responsible for ALS-PDC, a degenerative neurological syndrome found in Guam, with similar symptoms a few other places in the world where cycads were used in folk medicine. There are a bunch of papers on cycad neurotoxins in Neurology behind a pay-wall. There is still argument about exactly which compound is the neurotoxin, but no question that there is one.

#413 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 01:05 PM:

Mary Aileen #408: I suspect the same thing.

Since this morning I have learnt:

Women of this time were expected to marry, bare children, and be happy.

I wondered why they weren't supposed to clothe their children.

#414 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 01:31 PM:

Fragano @ #413, Baring children prepares them for the boiling pot. Happiness results from having the additional sustenance. Clothing may add fiber, but certainly not flavor.

#415 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 03:04 PM:

Fragano @ 413: I would have suspected your pupils wish to cloth the children instead, based upon my recent reading.

#416 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 03:11 PM:

I am morally certain that anyone reading this deep into an Open Thread will be as delighted by the jewellike, exuberant, besotted paean to language in this particular audio 'podgram' by Stephen Fry as I was.

There is apparently a text/transcription version, but I can't imagine it holds a candle to him speaking it.

Failing that, any non-language-maven Fluorospherians will definitely enjoy this photo of Mr. Fry dressed as a Klingon. And probably a lot of the language-lovers, too. :-> I have no idea as to the context of it, but it almost doesn't need any, does it?

#417 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 03:12 PM:

I apparently used Words of Power in my preceding post, which is now held for review? Or maybe the two URLs were a problem ...

#418 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 04:06 PM:

Elliott @417:

Your second link is borked.

May I take this moment to put my professional hat on* and extol the virtues of testing things? Preview is a great opportunity to check whether your links work.

-----
* It's 8 1/2" x 13 1/2"†. It has bells. Because nothing's foolproof until I say it is.
† You know, foolscap.

#419 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 04:25 PM:

abi @ 418... I for one would welcome a photo of you wearing said chapeau.

#420 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 04:38 PM:

abi @418: I coulda sworn I did. :-> In any case, it should have been this picture.

#422 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 06:37 PM:

Elliott Mason #420: Oh man, that's hilarious -- a Klingon geek!

#423 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 07:19 PM:

Andrew W.K. tweets:

PRT TP: N vwls.

I'm not sure that's actually a party tip. Maybe a tip for how to keep party poopers under control.

#424 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 07:27 PM:

I read the sentence I post below several times. I then checked the BBC for reports of any earthquakes in the vicinity of Highgate Cemetery.

The goods and services are sold for far more than the price of wages which ideally allows the socialist class to remain on top of the working class.

#425 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 07:45 PM:

Fragano at 424:

Those are all words in a language I know, but the sentence has no meaning.

Maybe it's a koan.

No. No, it's not.

My brain hurts.

#426 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 08:09 PM:

You know, I'm a little uncomfortable mocking people I don't know and haven't worked with, simply because they are less fluent in my native tongue than I am. I find that I am a little surprised that more people in this community aren't sensitive to that. It seems a strange intolerance, coming from this community.

#427 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 08:29 PM:

@426 - I suspect what you're seeing is a bunch of writers wincing at language abuse. I know that's my take on it.

If I believed that Fragano's students were non-native users of English, or that they were collectively assumed to have some other difficulty of language usage, I'd be far more willing to cut them some slack. I might even cut any individual among them some slack for if I were interacting with them on a personal basis.

But anonymously? on the internet? I am appalled. And snarky.

#428 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 08:40 PM:

KayTei, we're sympathizing with Fragano's pain in having to grade such awfulness. We're making fun of the sentences.

#429 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 08:51 PM:

I'm sympathetic to the desire to support. I just think there should be better ways to sympathize, than abusing others for not having the same talents the people here are blessed with.

I have the same reaction when I hear people being criticized for not being good enough singers. It's one thing to have those talents (as I do), and be able to tell between skilled and unskilled (as I can). I personally feel that it's another thing entirely to engage in the kind of overt contempt that takes the enjoyment out of learning new skills.

Not everyone learns every skill equally quickly. In my experience, this kind of public mockery just makes people who aren't fluent or innately talented feel marginalized and like there's no point trying to learn things that are hard for them. And like they have to hide or avoid the things they aren't good at. I find that really sad, and I can't bring myself to participate in creating that kind of social environment.

#430 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 09:06 PM:

KayTei #s 426/429:

My students, when confronted with the barbarities they commit (generally because they write essays they night before they are due), have the grace to admit that they are bad. I'm not asking for much, but I'd like to see ideas presented clearly. I also hold office hours. I invite students to discuss difficulties with me. Few take advantage of the opportunity.

The sentences I've been sharing are from essays by juniors and seniors, not freshmen. All the students are native speakers of English. All of them have taken freshman comp. All of them have an abundant supply of excuses for the low quality of their expository writing.

#431 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 09:35 PM:

@426-430

I'm going to step away from this particular discussion now, because it's touched one of my really, really sore spots w.r.t. internet communities.

#432 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 10:17 PM:

I'll bow out as well. It's just a thing that makes me tense. There've been a few of those kinds of conversations here of late. Think I'll try to take a break for a while.

#433 ::: J Homes ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 10:53 PM:

To all who offered their good wished to Gavin.

He's back now. He doesn't seen to have been badly affected. He's not talking much about it, but that's normal for him.

So, again, thanks to you all.

J Homes.

#434 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 11:18 PM:

I'm watching an episode of The Simpsons which would rate as daring social science fiction with satirical touches a couple of decades ago.

#435 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 11:20 PM:

So it's past the deadline for big prestigious writing workshops and little ones too, and now we try to raise money for scholarships.

Alpha's fundraiser this year isn't a wee zombie story but several wee stories written and illustrated by alumni. As with last year's fundraiser, this is run by Alphans.

So if you have a spare five bucks lying around, help support young writers. Alpha's one of my favorite things in the world, and I really want everyone who has a chance to go to be able to and not be held back by lack of funds.

#436 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 11:43 PM:

Fragano @413 -- on the other hand, I expect "seal" was a spelling-autocorrect error when the person typed sexal (missing sexual in a way that led to seal as the replacement). And the one you quote in this comment becomes even sillier if you remove the first comma....

Not intending to add to the snarkiness with the first comment, though the second does a little.

The question of what kinds of errors are more likely to show up with an auto-correct feature strikes me as an interesting one. There was a case recently where someone in England was killed because an iPhone autocorrected the work "mutter" to "nutter", and the recipient took offense.

#437 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 01:00 AM:

Fragano @ 424: It makes perfect sense to me. The socialist class socializes all the assets and profits and distributes them amongst Society. Working people are no more members of Society than they would have been in Jane Austen's world. It even looks dreamily familiar.

I am drawing a blank on the name of the aristocratic socialist who suggested that socialism, like champagne, was too good to justly remain the exclusive property of guys like him. My view of two-way socialism is by no means his, but he was dead right about the nature of the one-way kind.

Since it bears a remarkably close resemblance to a one-way market economy, it also offers enormous potentialities for either bipartisanship or spirited debates about the angels' disco, according to the needs of any given section of Society.

This last hypothetical arrangement, in which the rulers reap insane riches with their right hand* and simultaneously regulate everybody's lives for the greater good** on their left, is admittedly so absurd that it could never occur in real life. Nonetheless, it vividly illustrates the profound insight of your essayist, and I look forward to hearing very presently that he has made his mark on the world, quite possibly as Vice-President of a major Western nation.

* Via the forces of a market which they own, and whose rules they change as the greater good** moves them.

** $CHING!$

#438 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 01:02 AM:

I don't know if this is sufficiently 'poetry' to qualify towards my Necessary Yearly Contribution, but it's what I've written lately.

It is a parody song lyric, to the somewhat obvious tune by Queen. If you want to add to the realism of the experience, you could start rhythmically doing a "stomp-stomp CLAP, stomp-stomp CLAP" backing track before you start reading the words. :-> I hope to debut it at FilKONtario at the end of the month, in their songwriting contest.

.

Kiddo, you're a girl, with your blonde curls
Playin' with your food, gonna be a big kid some day
You got milk on your face, you big disgrace,
Wavin' your spoon all over the place.

Singing, we will, we will feed you.
We will, we will feed you.

Kiddo you're a baby, maybe
If you live to grow up, gonna take on the world someday.
You got cheese on your face, you big disgrace,
Wavin' your noodles all over the place.

Singing, we will, we will feed you.
We will, we will feed you.

Kiddo, you're a minor, whiner,
Pleading with your eyes, gonna make you take naps someday.
You got pants on your head, and eyes of red,
Somebody better put you back into your bed.

Singing, we will, we will feed you.
Sing it! We will, we will feed you.
Everybody: We will, we will feed you.
We will, we will feed you.
Alright.

#439 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 02:13 AM:

Julia, #373: For me, it was realizing why getting an actual assignment out of one of my co-workers felt like pulling teeth -- he was an extreme E, who literally didn't know what he wanted me to to until he'd talked his way thru it in front of me. Didn't make it any more fun to deal with, but at least after that it didn't feel like he was being deliberately obtuse.

Also, reading the MBTI book was like having one lightbulb after another go on about my conflicts with my parents. (I'm INTJ; as far as I can figure out, my mother was ESFJ and my father was ISFP. You perceive the potential for problems.)

Bruce D., #399: If Henry and Edward and Richard can be II, I don't see any reason why you can't. :-)

Backing way up to the discussion of colors: technically, I'm a Summer, but I'm on the dark end of that range, so I can also wear Winter jewel-tones in moderation. But then I screw with everything by dyeing my hair red; it's a blue-based red rather than a yellow-based one, but it still lets me get away with some Autumn shades that I otherwise wouldn't be able to wear at all. Good colors for me are pretty much anything in the blue/green/purple end of the spectrum, dark reds, and occasional forays into gold/rust/brown/tan.

The other thing that helped my fashion sense a lot was finding a book about body types and realizing that I was a Romantic; flowing, drapey clothing looks really good on me (but not the ruffly-fluffly stuff with frills and lace), whereas I'd been trying to wear things designed for a much more angular body type.

#440 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 03:25 AM:

@431-432: I'm taking midterms today and tomorrow. Maybe I'm old, but I like to see people upholding basic standards. Someone mentioned to me when I went back to school that, in their words, "it's the student's responsibility to learn." One of my classes is basically 400-level chemistry, which I am taking without any 200- or 300-level chemistry and 20 years after the 100-level chemistry. What do I do? WORK HARDER. Now maybe I'm insensitive because I've got a high IQ, and a lot of time on my hands, and I'm a grownup. But apparently these students have taken and passed classes in how to accomplish the basic tasks.

["Advanced batteries and fuel cells", if you're wondering. With a whole lot of electrochemistry to start with. At least I know the electric parts.]

#441 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 07:18 AM:

Hyperlocal news... Man gets up, turns on TV's "Singers & Swing" music channel, and finds it playing Duke Ellington's "Blue Serge". Is the Universe trying to tell man something?

#442 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 07:29 AM:

Gray Woodland #437: You've brightened my morning.

That sounds like Saint-Simonianism, but I'm not altogether sure.

#443 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 08:13 AM:

Tim May @#501, re "ginkgo": I don't know if you got that explanation from the same place I did, but I thought I'd link to my source* for elucidation purposes.

*Almost the very last thing on the page

#444 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 08:54 AM:

I loved the radio astroturfer piece, and I'd love to see more coverage of it. Can anyone point out a news piece or blog article that goes into more depth about it?

This follows a broad pattern I've found interesting my whole life, from that critical evening years ago when Pat Robertson taught me a terribly important and valuable life lesson[1]: The many ways in which news and media more generally (reality shows, call-in shows, game shows, interviews, sports coverage, sitcoms, dramas) distort or hide reality is still quite interesting to me.

[1] His 700 Club News, which my grandmother watched (ahem) religiously in those days[2], ran an expose on the dire threat of Dungeons and Dragons. In format and content, it was indistinguishable from other exposes of hidden dangers on other news shows. It came from respectable sources (TV news anchors with all trappings of reliable authority, backed by a religious leader's authority). And it was so completely ridiculous and counter to my own experiences and knowledge that the illusion that this kind of news piece was the least bit trustworthy was shattered forever. Thank you, thank you, Pat Robertson. You gave me a wonderful gift that day.

[2] My grandmother gave up on him a little later, when he became openly political (fine by her) and Republican (definitely not fine by her). My grandmother was crippled her whole life by not having a Christian Socialist party to join.

#445 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 08:55 AM:

Elliott Mason @438: You're onto something here. It could also work with "You must, you must FEED ME," but that's just me thinking the back rhythm befits a child banging a spoon or bowl on a high chair. Pfff, it's fine the way it is.

Particle (Amber): You don't often see two specimens so well mounted.

#446 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 08:59 AM:

Serge #441: How are you feeling today, Serge?

#447 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 09:09 AM:

Kip W @445: It's sung from the parents' perspective, because I'm doing it back-to-back with the other half (We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions); the chorus of the second part is "We are the parents, we are the parents. No time for sleeping, 'cause we are the parents ... of the girl!"

Also, that's just how the original was structured.

#448 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 09:40 AM:

albatross #444: This sort of deceit is something every generation seems to discover anew, but we have complaints of much the same from Imperial Rome and older cultures.

It's a serious possibility that our evolution -- and especially our recent leap in intelligence -- owes a great deal to an arms race in that battleground of deceit! Certainly a great deal of it is customarily devoted to analyzing the behavior and trustworthiness of others!

#449 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 09:54 AM:

Albatross @444

I'm with your grandmother. I want there to be a Christian Socialist party. It's right there in Acts!

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

On the other hand - I like my nice house and my full closet and car and stuff. I am willing to work for social justice and pour my time, energy, and money into helping those who haven't been given as much, I just dread the day God says I should really work on that sharing in community thing. (I'm territorial. It makes me a bad Christian. I'm working on it. Slowly.)

#450 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 10:04 AM:

Poe's Channing take-down can also be found here, along with other works, on the website of the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore. One can imagine Channing bleeding just a bit every time anyone read the piece, whether he knew it was being read or not.

#451 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 10:14 AM:

Fragano @ 446... Pretty well, actually. Today is a day-off and, aside from two short meetings, I expect the day to consist of relaxation, then a trip to a bookstore, followed by more relaxation.

#452 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 11:16 AM:

Great news!

My wife, Susan Krinard, has sold a contemporary fantasy trilogy to Melissa Frain at Tor Books via Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. The first volume, "Mist", will be published in October 2012. It's about Mist, a Valkyrie who believed she was one of the few who survived Ragnarok, but realizes the fight is far from over when frost giants and other long-forgotten enemies begin reappearing to menace the modern world.

#453 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 12:42 PM:

Congratulations, Ms. Krinard!

#454 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 12:50 PM:

Serge @ 452 - Congrats to Susan!

#455 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 01:29 PM:

Woohoo! Congratulations, Susan!

#456 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 01:30 PM:

I just came over here to convey Serge's news, and I see he's posted it already.

The cool thing is that I had no idea Melissa Frain was doing this deal -- I only heard about it when I read Serge's LJ just a few minutes ago. We're a big house these days, with several very energetic young editors rapidly building up their lists...

#457 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 02:20 PM:

Serge #452: Congratulations to Susan!

#458 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 02:36 PM:

sisuille:

Yeah, though I have to say, I'm just as happy not to have the enforcement mechanism for their sharing of all things in common in use these days. Even in the early church, with folks we now call saints guiding the whole thing, you can't completely overcome human self-interest, and the harder you try, the uglier your methods must become.

#459 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 02:38 PM:

Jacque @ 294: I've managed to book a free 1-2-1 "intro to Pilates" 30 minutes for later this week. Mostly it will be talking about what I want Pilates to help with, but apparently I'll also be shown a few exercises. Then I can make a more informed decision whether to pay out for some classes in that (I do want to strengthen my core to help my running, anyway, and it might help with the sacro-iliac thing as well). The same centre does physiotherapy and sports massage, and has an osteopath, so I might get talked into an initial physio session and see where I go from there. The chiropractor I talked with back in November did seem to know what he was talking about (looking at my foot, not my spine, when I'd originally talked of a sacro-iliac problem) and I was intending to book a session with him last December but with the snow I was avoiding going into London. Now I sort-of feel bad if I decide I'll go to someone else without a good reason. (which I know is silly, but...).

Jacque @ 328: Yes - at least I'm aware it might be a factor.

#460 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 02:41 PM:

Thanks, everybody.
I'll tell Sue.
Meanwhile I'm doing the Walter Huston happy dance.
(If you don't know what that is, you can see it HERE on YouTube.)

#462 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 04:04 PM:

OT: Are copy editors supposed to check the spelling of foreign words in the books they copy-edit? If so, someone needs to have a word with whoever copy-edited Ian MacDonald's 'The Dervish House' for Victor Gollancz. It's set in Istanbul, and practically every Turkish word mentioned seems to be misspelt - often in ways that make it not even a possible Turkish word. /ykgoml

#463 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 04:20 PM:

Serge: Convey my heartiest congratulations to Susan.

#464 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 04:31 PM:

#642: Praisegod: It's set in Istanbul, and practically every Turkish word mentioned seems to be misspelt - often in ways that make it not even a possible Turkish word.

I suspect there was a problem with the Turkish font sometime between the copyediting/proofreading and printing. The Turkish font at the press didn't exactly match the Turkish font at the publisher.

Perhaps?

#465 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 04:41 PM:

Serge @#452: Congratulations! That's great news. And the premise of the story sounds terrific.

#466 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 04:45 PM:

Serge @452 - Congratulations to Susan! And it sounds interesting. I'm sure you'll give us a reminder head-up closer to publication date (hint, hint).

#467 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 05:32 PM:

Serge, pass on my congratulations! I look forward to reading them.

#468 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 05:34 PM:

Serge, congratulations to Susan! It sounds like a pretty interesting read.

#469 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 05:38 PM:

Okay, so we have established that it is possible for me to do the splits. This is not to say that I am capable of doing the splits.

You know how Seattleites are reputed to freak out when it snows? This can be taken as a first approximation for how Boulderites "cope" with ice storms.

I can walk okay if I move like I have a cast on my right leg from rib-cage to toe. Getting up and down is...a challenge.*

Why haven't I gone to the doctor? A) I'm inclined to give it some time to see how things evolve. B) Today (and probably tomorrow, by the weather report) is not a day to be seen quickly in Urgent Care.

Question for the Aikidoka in the room: I've had enough martial arts that I can usually fall pretty cleanly. But when it comes to slipping on ice, it seems that I have no influence over the angle of my drop.** Any suggestions?

--

* I'm afraid the boys are not going to get out to play today. Leaving aside the challenge of picking them up when it's time for them to go in, the idea of stepping over the little fences that cross the room to keep them from killing each other makes me shudder.

** I mean, aside from getting back in shape. That one's a no-brainer.***

*** You know it's time when your boobs feel bruised from the g-forces.

#470 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 05:45 PM:

Lee @439: The other thing that helped my fashion sense a lot was finding a book about body types and realizing that I was a Romantic.

Cite, s'il vous plaît?

#471 ::: V's Herbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 05:53 PM:

Open thread:

What's that? You need a font that is only ampersands? Of course you do!

#472 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 06:02 PM:

Here's a take on self publishing from someone who's pretty successful at it: things that need to be said.

#473 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 06:25 PM:

Serge @452: I echo congratulations to Ms. Krinard! That actually sounds like an interesting story.

#474 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 06:27 PM:

Thanks again, all of you!

It started when she wrote a story for a Tor anthology that'll come out this summer,and Sue decided she wanted to do more with the character.

#475 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 06:29 PM:

dcb @ 459... intro to Pilates

"Stwike him, Centuwion! Vewy woughly!"

#476 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 06:41 PM:

dcb @459: SCORE! See also: w00t!!

it might help with the sacro-iliac thing as well

I can predict that, if they are reasonably competent, this will almost certainly help with the sacro-iliac thing. Like I say, when I did mine, I wound up fixing things I hadn't even realized were broken.

Now I sort-of feel bad if I decide I'll go to someone else without a good reason.

Finding someone else who has a broader ranges of services available is a good reason, IMHO. Nevertheless, I hear ya. (I've had this problem with vets; I found a good vet fifteen minutes walk away, which led to me abandoning my beloved practice thirty minutes by bus across town. I still feel bad.)

Consider, also, that it is not a bad thing to have two good practices in your pocket, against a rainy day.

#477 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 06:50 PM:

Jacque, #470: Unfortunately, if I still have the book at all, it's on the one bookshelf in the house which is completely inaccessible -- and I don't remember the title. What I do remember is that the body types for women were:

- Ingenue; she's the one who can wear all the fluffles and ruffles and lace and teeny flowery prints. She tends to mature into either a Romantic or a Classic.

- Romantic; aka curvy. Looks good in soft fabrics and flowing lines, but don't go overboard with the ruffles and fancy furbelows.

- Classic; think "business formal". Looks best in tailored, understated designs and mostly-neutral colors, although a bright-colored blouse or accessory can add some punch.

- Sporty/Natural; think "business casual" and "outdoorsy". Similar to Classic, but less dressy.

- Dramatic; fashion-model figure, all angles and lots of leg. This was where I was going wrong with my choices for dress-up -- I've always been drawn to the sort of things that it takes a Dramatic figure to pull off, like cheongsams, and they never looked right on me. Women who get pissed at the "REAL women have curves" meme are almost always able to wear Dramatic styles.

Most women can pull off elements of at least 2 of those styles. When I'm not being Romantic, my look leans toward Sporty/Natural.

There was a list of men's body types as well, but I don't remember it.

#478 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 06:55 PM:

Serge@475

I'm washing my hands of this pun thread...

#479 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 07:06 PM:

Andrew Willett at #461:

Marc Abrahams has often astonished the world by reporting information that is perfectly true.

However, he is also more than competent to pull off a successful hoax.

Is there independent confirmation that the "new" McGonagall poems are authentic?

Mr. Abrahams published his announcement in the Guardian. Can we rely upon this venerable and august newspaper?

(If you're reading this, hi, Marc!)

#480 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 07:26 PM:

Lee @477: Googling tells me this book was likely Color Me Beautiful, by Carole Jackson. Some content that looks like it was copied out of it available here on a blog.

#481 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2011, 10:30 PM:

Serge: Awesome news!

Lee: I think I'd fall somewhere between Romantic and Classic on there. A properly tailored long-skirted dress with clean lines on the top and a nice A-line is what I'm thinking, though soft fabrics work well (hence the Romantic edge to it.) If I had TIME I could probably work up some clothes for myself; if I had money I could pay another person to do it. Alas, I'm a bit short on either. (Not that I'm broke, but that I believe in paying well for value, which makes bespoke clothing a lot more expensive.)

#482 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 12:03 AM:

I'd just like to say that I've sold a book too. I'll be saying it right after I sell a book, and that'll most likely be some time after I've got a book to sell.

In the mean time, Serge, that's great!

#483 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 12:08 AM:

Elliott Mason @480: Thanks! ::sigh:: looks like it's still tuned for women who are this >< wide, though.

This is my new hero: she designs for women who actually have some, like, meat on their bones.

#484 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 12:39 AM:

Lee @477, was the book Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson? Page 77 ("Your Clothing Personality") has a list of fashion types: dramatic, natural, gamin, romantic, ingenue, and classic, which sounds more or less like your list. There's also a season-based color palette system. I think she covers fashion for men in a separate book, Color for Men, with Kalia Lulow.

#485 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 12:50 AM:

Bad knitting idea. Where the hell do folks go to dream up crap like this?

#486 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 12:58 AM:

Bootleg Superman Dinosaur sodomy toy. (#4)

#487 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 01:44 AM:

That slarf looks like you could hang yourself with it. Not worth $200.

#488 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 02:35 AM:

Jacque @483 said: ::sigh:: looks like it's still tuned for women who are this [small space illustrated] big.

Well, given that everybody illustrated is also wearing what to my current eyes looks like a very narrow range of exceedingly early-80s fashion from a very specific social subset, it doesn't surprise me that she limited herself to the fashionable early-80s body ... it's who she was aiming her book at. At that point, fat people (or even kinda-curvy ones) were basically erased from the entire concept of fashion, in mass media: they/we were supposed to be happy with the limited range of muumuus produced in our size and shut up about it, y'know?

#489 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 04:10 AM:

Ice, and falling: A big part of controlling one's fall is being able to twist/aim one's body. Ice, being of damn all for friction, doesn't really allow for this.

#490 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 05:31 AM:

Serge @ 452: Please to add my congratulations onto Susan's wagon. That sounds like a book I might very easily go for.

#491 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 07:41 AM:

I don't know about the book, but the website indicated @480 doesn't allow you to go for either "sporty/natural" or "classic" if you're short. Nor does it allow even "sporty/natural" to be more than "slightly" muscular and you have to be "a team player" to wear this style. And for "classic" you have to be a "home body" with a balanced emotional nature. What a load of...

#492 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:00 AM:

Grey Woodland @ 490... I've pointed out to my wife that her heroine doesn't have to drive only a beatup Volvo to go around the Bay Area, and that there is a motorcycle called the Valkyrie.

#493 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:04 AM:

Elliott & Avram: Could very well be -- I know I had that book at one point, and I might be mistaken about the men's body types being in the same book.

Jacque, #483: Forget the illustrations. I've seen large women who fit all of those types except Gamin, which really does require looking like a little girl.

Incidentally, I'm not so sure that you "need" to modify your wardrobe palette just because you've let your hair go natural. White hair is one of the Winter options, after all!

dcb, #491: I agree with you about the website; whoever put that up seems to have fallen into a "body is destiny" mindset that's entirely their own invention. Check out the actual book links, and scan thru the section on body types -- the focus is almost entirely on "what looks good with this body type" rather than "what personality type this body is supposed to have".

#494 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:08 AM:

Serge @ 452

More congratulations.

James MacDonald @ 464

It's an ingenious suggestion, but doesn't seem to quite fit the pattern of errors I'm finding. For example, words with a repeated letter in an early syllable have that letter singled and a later one doubled.

Thus, for example, 'Cadessi' for 'Caddesi', passim (it's the word for 'Street', so crops up often enough to be distracting); 'Haceteppe' (impossible) and 'Gayreteppe' (also impossible) for 'Hacettepe' and 'Gayrettepe'; and - as I spotted earlier today 'grafitti' for 'graffiti'.

There are also a few cases of flat out inconsistency: the nominally impossibly-named 'Öguz' becomes, in a later chapter, the perfectly plausible 'Oğuz' (the 'g' is silent, as in yoghurt.)

And, since I started whingeing I've even come across the name of the institution where I teach, misspelt - though to his credit the author does correctly identify it as a place where someone interested in Nantechnology might end up (we've just set up a big centre and hired some biggish names.)

All this is of course trivial nitpicking - since I'm enjoying the actual story enormously: it's just my kind of thing, and Istanbul is an excellent setting for a near future sf story.

(Also, I assume Ian Macdonald is no relation to James D Macdonald. Or to the copyeditor in question)

#495 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:16 AM:

Terry Karney @489: Ice, and falling: A big part of controlling one's fall is being able to twist/aim one's body. Ice, being of damn all for friction, doesn't really allow for this.

::sigh:: I was afraid that was the answer. I've been trying to run thought-experiments to come up with a different answer, but coming to the same conclusion. With sufficient time, I imagine I could have changed my rotation, but, yeah. Changing vector isn't really an option.

To make it worse, I was wearing tai chi shoes.* I feel really stupid for not having gone back in and changing into walking shoes after the first time I slipped.

The good news is that, with a day to contemplate options, it looks like maybe I won't be going in for hip surgery. Sheesh.

--

* At least as slick as ice skates, but with no directionality.

#496 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:22 AM:

Terry: Speaking of damaged appendages; haven't seen an update here recently: I presume your ankle healing is proceeding apace?

#497 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:26 AM:

Houston-area folx: Our 24th annual Chocolate Decadence party will be on Saturday, March 19th, starting at 7:00 PM and ending whenever we kick the last stragglers out (generally somewhere between 2 and 3 AM). Bring booze if you want it, and a chocolate or fruit goodie to share; folding chairs are also a good idea, as we sometimes run short of seating.

Location: 3715 Ascot Lane, near 290 & 610.

#498 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:56 AM:

praisegod barebones #494: the 'g' is silent, as in yoghurt

Wait, what?

#499 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 12:17 PM:

Lee @ 493... Gamin, which really does require looking like a little girl

Isn't 'gamine' how they used to describe Audrey Hepburn? The system being discussed here would have a problem with her because she actually had curves. (Watch "Sabrina" and you'll see.)

#500 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 12:59 PM:

Hyperlocal news... Man to get the Tom Cruise "War of The Worlds" from NetFlix, for steampunk-in-Hollywood presentation at local con. Man planning to fastforward thru everything but Tripod scenes.

#501 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 01:00 PM:

I'm home today, feeling a bit crappy and out of sorts because of dental work last night (among other things the remains of a tooth were extracted, I think that's the issue).

TruTV is broadcasting the sweat lodge trial. The woman testifying is a Dream Team assistant of the leader and the questioning is terrifying. (At a sweat lodge in 2007 she kept going back in even though 'i was losing fluid out of my mouth and nose' and had to crawl back in before he 'locked it down.'

#502 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 02:34 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 498:

You thought the 'h' was just there for decoration?

#504 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 03:04 PM:

Lee @493: I can't find the correct book section online, but I did find another website with exactly the same twaddle about clothes types/personality types.

And I don't seem to fit any of the standard body shapes either: I'm short (5ft 2) with fairly broad shoulders, a small bust and a 10-inch waist-to-hips difference... I'm not complaining, I like my body shape, but maybe it explains why I sometimes have problems finding stuff that fits(it appears than small women are not supposed to have broad shoulders, for example).

#505 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 03:13 PM:

praisegood barebones: I had the same reaction.

For me, and all the people I know, there are two ways to pronounce yogurt.

Yo-gert

Yo ghert

In both cases the "g" is voiced.

the idea of saying, Yo hurt is just... wrong. It hurtz my brane.

#506 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 03:29 PM:

@503: Wait...consumption, not conjugation. Yes, that makes much more sense.

#507 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 03:45 PM:

Platypus, murnival, vortex, Xopher...

Beginning Tuesday, I'll be able to receive crane deliveries: flat, strung if possible, each string in a plastic grocery bag. Notes to Xopher are encouraged!

I don't have any idea how many cranes have been done so far. Please email me at the address Abi gave you when you volunteered with an estimated count, and a completion date if you have one in mind.

#508 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 03:50 PM:

Platypus, murnival, vortex, Xopher...

Abi, I'd like to get the address. jbcroft residing electronically in that place where the mail is hot.

#509 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 03:59 PM:

TexAnne, Janet:

You have mail.

#510 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 04:00 PM:

In re body types and style types -- for a more realistic and more up-to-date self-assessment tool (i.e. the models are not all 20, white, tall, and skinny, no matter what they are supposed to be representing) I recommend Staging Your Comeback by Christopher Hopkins. I'm Classic with a touch of Dramatic, with a moderate X figure, for example.

#511 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 04:00 PM:

Janet, check your email.

#512 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 04:28 PM:

Platypus, murnival, vortex, Xopher...

I'm up to 100. If I make it 125 over the next couple of days, put into strings of 25 and send them? They'll take at least a week to arrive, I'm afraid, after posting.

XOPHER: do you have a favourite colour? Do you have a prefered animal or animals (offer me a list of a few, please).

#513 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 05:03 PM:

"Yo, Ghurty, yo' dighestion would be de-ghrown by less cookhy-doughghgh and more 'ghghghurt." -- yo! mtv gurtz, aikidōughka

#514 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 05:15 PM:

In re: yoghurt, yo-hurt:

I've often seen it 'yaourt' in french, although the spelling with the G is very common:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaourt
(french article).

It seems that in the Turkish origin word, the 'g' was not pronounced. Which is what praisegod barebones is saying, since zie is talking about Turkish words, no?

#515 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 05:20 PM:

IIRC Color Me Beautiful largely assigned its "seasonal" palettes on the basis of hair/eye colors, leading to the problematic suggestion that everyone with black hair and brown eyes (i.e., most of the world's population) should wear approximately the same colors.

Another influential wardrobe-planning book from the 1980s was Dress For Success, whose observations were particularly interesting when digested in tandem with the above. Frex, DFS listed some particular colors as hopelessly guache; cross-referenced to CMB, these colors might look great on people who had dark hair/eyes, but terrible on people who didn't.

#516 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 05:57 PM:

Bill Higgins @479: I cannot attest to the veracity of the article. But I refuse to believe this is a hoax. How cruel it would be, to raise one's hopes so! How lacking in wit!

I mean, only marginally less cruel than inflicting actual undiscovered McGonagall poetry on people, and I guess I'm using 'hopes' kinda loosely here -- but a different flavor of cruelty, to be sure.

#517 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 05:58 PM:

Julie, #515: Actually, "seasonal" palettes are based on skin tone as well as hair and eyes. If your skin has a bluish undertone, you're either a Winter or a Summer; if yellowish, you're a Spring or Autumn. Hair and eye color help to indicate which, but are not by themselves dispositive.

Also, the person who did my colors emphasized that these are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules; she said that there will always be things that make you feel good enough about yourself that it doesn't matter if they're the "right" color or not. This has proven to be true for me over the course of 20-odd years.

#518 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 06:47 PM:

OT: Thank you, Teresa and Patrick, for your input into the current clusterfuck being undergone by the community formerly known as slacktivist. It's a grievous situation and it helps to know people care.

#519 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 07:48 PM:

The first Color Me Beautiful book did put people of color (any color not light) under "winter." The revision corrected that.

I group my colors as "mine" (spring), others that do well (some clear blues from the "winter" pallet, frex), and things I would only be caught dead in, because that's what I look like (olive drab). When I had a day job, I'd wear a khaki shirt and mope around the office the day before I wanted to call in "sick." I looked the same color as the shirt, and had no problem with my boss believing I was sick. This was in the days before "personal time."

#520 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 08:16 PM:

My aunt once "did our colors" for my family. One of my sister's Autumn colors was called Sick Toad Green.
(I HOPE my aunt made up that name!)

#521 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 08:39 PM:

I congratulate Tor.com for commemorating International Woman's Day.

Check out the video they put up: Why James Bond Can Never Be a Woman: PSA for International Woman’s Day. It's Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, so -- win win.

Also, Happy Mardi Gras, though it's officially finished by now.

Love, c.

#522 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 09:03 PM:

494
My brain is thinking phonetic English spelling of Turkish words.
I've seen some spellings of yogurt without the 'g'. Can't remember which language it was - the spelling was something like 'yaourt'.

#523 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 10:54 PM:

Well, the English word 'yoghurt' has a g in it. And Americans can't pronounce that 'gh' as in 'Afghanistan' (a voiced velar fricative) anyway. I'm guessing (but only guessing) that that was the sound in the middle of the Turkish word at one time...and that it dropped out, like the 'fh' in Irish.

dcb 512: I've avoided expressing preferences in general, because I think the magic works better if people do what they like, what they think looks good.. But animals! That's a different story. I love animals. I'm particularly fond of octopodes at the moment (because they kill crabs). But also penguins, panthers, coyotes, and elephants. Oh, and dolphins.

#524 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:16 PM:

Xopher @523: Ooooer, 'e likes cephalopods, does he? Verrrrry int'resting, that.

-- scampers off chuckling to himself in a most planful way --

#525 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2011, 11:31 PM:

PJ, 522: That'd be the French "yaourt," yes. And in case of Fluorospherian curiosity, German has "jogurt" or "joghurt."

#526 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 01:41 AM:

Lila @518:

The three of us, Patrick, Teresa and I (I won't speak for Jim and Avram) are all watching the situation closely, wishing there were some way we could make it all better.

P and T have touched on the format issues. The people side, where I'm most vitally interested, is harder to give simple advice on. So I lurk rather than comment there. If I had a magic solution, I'd speak right up. And if there turns out to be something I can do, I will.

It's in the hands of the community and Fred. They have my prayers and best wishes, distributed according to acceptability.

#527 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 03:10 AM:

Xopher @ 523:"I've avoided expressing preferences in general, because I think the magic works better if people do what they like, what they think looks good.. " Fair enough, but please tell me now if there's a particular colour you don't like (me, I find it very hard to be totally positive about something bought for me in pink, however well-meaning the giver). Otherwise the "extra" will be in boring black-and-white.

#528 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 04:41 AM:

I was watching "The Sky at Night" on BBC4 last night (it was the shows 700th episode) and learned two Interesting Facts:

The show's presenter, Sir Patrick Moore, is believed to be the only man who has met Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin and Orville Wright.

The Astronomer Royal thinks Brian May (from Queen) looks just like Sir Isaac Newton.

#529 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 06:22 AM:

The forbidden question-- an American soldier asks whether he has any way to tell whether the order he's been given to launch nuclear missiles has been given by the President, and if so, whether the President was sane at the time.

#530 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 07:25 AM:

It seems that in the Turkish origin word, the 'g' was not pronounced.

As in, for example, "Baghdad", which IIRC is pronounced in Arabic more like "Bahdad".

#531 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 07:32 AM:

Niall McAuley @ 528... Brian May (from Queen) looks just like Sir Isaac Newton

Who wants to live forever?

#532 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 08:39 AM:

The Every Interview, Ever particle is dead on. Loved it.

#533 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 08:59 AM:

Via BFP at Flip Flopping Joy, a really interesting article on race and cycling advocacy.

I'm not knowledgeable enough about cycling advocacy, or race & advocacy, to be able to make an intelligent comment. But I know many people here are, and I thought it would be of interest to the community.

I'm currently in another phase of fantasizing about selling my house and moving to a walkable and bikeable location. I have one picked out -- across the street from a grocery store, coffee shop, and restaurants; half a block from a drug store; biking distance to our parents' houses, a state park, museums, and even my husband's current job. Plus, it's on a city bus line for easy downtown access, and half a mile from a park-and-ride location for the express commuter bus to major corporations and universities.

But by the time we could sell the house, I'd likely be almost graduated, and God knows where I'll find a job. In a shocking reversal of the previous ten years, I find that I would like to stay here -- near family. But there's just no guarantee I'll get a job here. I need to be flexible.

Ah well.

#534 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 09:39 AM:

Caroline: thanks for that biking/race article; have forwarded to my husband who belongs to some bike advocacy groups. We live in a very high-poverty area with a racially diverse population and frankly awful transportation, so it's very pertinent to us.

#535 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 09:50 AM:

Xopher @ 523:

Well the 'gh' in 'yoghurt' has to be a transliteration of the ğ ın in 'yoğurt'.

In contemporary Turkish ğ isn't really pronounced at all: it just lengthens the preceding vowel. Which makes a family name like 'Ağaoğlu'- as possessed by one of the students in my first cohort here - rather a mouthful.

You might be right about what it was originally. It would certainly explain something which is otherwise rather surprising. Apart from the 'ğ' Turkish spelling is pretty reliably phonetic. That's because when they switched from the Arabic to the Roman alphabet in the 1920's (after the revolution, and amid a raft of other, somewhat hair-raising linguistic reforms), and tried to make sure that things were fairly straightforward. So I've always found it odd that 'ğ' found its way into Turkish spelling at all.

Ajay @530: Yes, except that Turkish isn't Arabic; /ust and in Turkish Baghdad is pronounced more like 'Bahdat' (and spelled Bağdat).

And while I'm in the vicinity of similar rants: the first syllable of 'Uzbekistan' should be pronounced to rhyme with 'buzz', and not (pace most anglophone newsreaders I've heard) 'booze'.

#536 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 10:21 AM:

Re the sidelight on interviews -- I just went through a phone interview yesterday. Every Single Word is True.

I've been kicking myself for not preparing in advance an answer to the question "Describe a time you worked on a project with a diverse group of people." How do you answer that anyway? "I looked around my last committee meeting and took careful note of the race, gender, sexual orientation, professed religion, position on the org chart, position on the tenure track, socio-economic status, political views, country of origin, taste in clothing and music, and IQ of all my colleagues, and decided not to pay attention to any of that and just judge their abilities to do their jobs"? Any answer that acknowledges that you paid attention to those things would brand you as, well, someone who paid attention to those things, wouldn't it?

#537 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 11:26 AM:

praisegod barebones @ 535: "And while I'm in the vicinity of similar rants: the first syllable of 'Uzbekistan' should be pronounced to rhyme with 'buzz', and not (pace most anglophone newsreaders I've heard) 'booze'."

Oh, that sounds like it might be a cousin of my "It's pronounced 'Beijing," like 'gym' or 'jive' not 'Beizhing,' like "je" in French and NO OTHER ENGLISH WORD.*" rant! Now, Chinese has plenty of sounds that aren't found in English, and in all fairness the pinyin "j" is one of them. But that's no excuse for leaping right over a reasonably close equivalent sound in English for some really quite dissimilar phoneme.

On the other hand, I am a person who spent two or three days muttering "EyJA'fYA'la-yo-koo'l, EyJA'fYA'la-yo-kootl'" over and over to myself.

*I'm sure that at least one word in English, and probably more, has that sound. I'm sure the Fluorosphere shall quickly locate them all.

#538 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 11:38 AM:

Janet Brennan Croft @536 "Describe a time you worked on a project with a diverse group of people."

As someone who has interviewed people for positions, I have never asked this particular question, (though I have probably asked others similarly inane.)

Sometimes you get questions like these because the last person to hold the job was a problem in some way or another, and the interviewer would like to know that you are Not Like That.

So, if I asked something like this, I would probably want to know about a project or a committee that included people from multiple groups (of any kind, not necessarily gender/ethnic - academic disciplines, company departments, etc.), or multiple levels in the organization, or both inside and outside the organization. I would want to know that you DIDN'T answer the question with something like, "Well, I've tried to work with Those People, but you know, they're really just not up to standards."

Which is not to say that the person who interviewed you didn't have some litmus test answer in mind.

#539 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 11:57 AM:

heresiarch @ 538

I'm inclined to think that both 'menage' and 'entourage' are bona fide English words. Mind you, I've got a pretty low bar for what counts as an English word - for example, I suspect that even 'bona fide' is; and possibly even 'jus cogens'. That's at least in part becuase I can't think of any criterion that would exclude 'entourage' and include 'yoghurt' and 'muesli' as English words.

#540 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 12:05 PM:

HL Weather report: 50 cm of snow in Ankara today. Lava me et infra nivem dealbabor.

#541 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 12:08 PM:

OtterB @538, that's pretty close to what did manage to come up with, which was some recent committee work involving both staff and faculty -- a welcome change, the administration treating staff like they have something to contribute! -- and how faculty always have to have tenure and research on their minds as part of their personal agenda and staff don't.

#542 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 12:19 PM:

And while I'm in the vicinity of similar rants: the first syllable of 'Uzbekistan' should be pronounced to rhyme with 'buzz', and not (pace most anglophone newsreaders I've heard) 'booze'.

Really? I admit to pronouncing it as it's spelt in Russian, which is to rhyme with "booze". I've never heard anyone anywhere say "uzzbekistan"...

#543 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 12:57 PM:

dcb 527: My tastes in colors just to have around or look at is quite broad, in contrast to my taste in colors for things I intend to wear. In general I prefer high-saturation colors to low-saturation ones, but that's not to say I don't like some pastel colors as well. I don't share your aversion to pink, probably because I've never, ever been forced or expected to wear it! (I'd never wear it. It would make me look like I belonged in a long, cold drawer.) That said, in keeping with the above, between pinks I'd choose the brilliant knock-your-eyes-out pink over the pale, just-barely-not-white one.

I don't know what your "extra" will be (don't tell me; this is one kind of surprise I do like). As far as the cranes go, a tiny misshapen crane folded from crumbly yellowed newspaper will be precious to me above rubies. Anything beyond that is extra!

heresiarch 537: Pleasure. Measure. Treasure. Leisure.

It IS true that all the English words with that sound were borrowed from French*, but this is hardly an indictment, since a third of English vocabulary was (and yes, I know that most of English vocabulary is Latinate, but only some of it came through French). More recent French borrowings include 'genre', a word dear to many of our hearts!

praisegod 539: I was taught that ALL the English words that end in '-age' are (relatively recent) French borrowings.

That's at least in part becuase I can't think of any criterion that would exclude 'entourage' and include 'yoghurt' and 'muesli' as English words.

Usage. Most native speakers of English have MUCH more occasion to say "yoghurt" (and btw I've seen the spelling 'yogurt' as well) than to say "entourage." I'm not going to argue for 'muesli', but I suspect that works too.

Also, words that retain a foreign pronunciation can be argued to be foreign on that basis; we've just been discussing the fact that the pronunciation of 'yoghurt' has been thoroughly Anglicized/Americanized, while 'entourage' would have to be pronounced ehn-TOUR-uhj to qualify on that basis. I haven't heard enough people say 'muesli' to know if they say MÜ-sli or MYOO-sli. If the latter, it's gone native.

People don't say 'bona fide' that often. When they do they pronounce it as if it meant "turned to bone." That one I'll buy. I've never heard anyone say 'jus cogens' aloud; if they say "jus' Coggins" (as in "I ain't one o' them swanky Gatsbys. I'm jus' ole Coggins!") I might believe it, but other than that it's legal jargon, not mainstream English. And so is 'bona fide' if they pronounce it as if it meant "extract bones from a day on which fees are paid."

*Unless borrowed from another language more recently, that is. None of them is Anglo-Saxon.

#544 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 01:18 PM:

Xopher @ 543... It IS true that all the English words with that sound were borrowed from French

Fetchez la vache!

#545 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 01:24 PM:

ajay 539: isn't that a bit like appealing to English usage to establish the correct pronunciation of 'Llanelli' or 'Ard Fheis'?

I'm going by the fact that the initial vowel is written as 'ö' rather than 'u' (or even ü)ın Turkish, and that Turkish is a lot closer to Uzbek as a language then Russian is. (Considerably closer than English and Dutch say - I gather a fluent Turkish speaker can get by pretty well in Uzbek without much study - though there are one or two notorious faux amis - when the guy at the airport appears to be telling you in Turkish that your plane has crashed, ne is in fact telling you that it has landed and so on)

I suspect that the closest equivalent in the Cyrillic alphabet would be 'ы', and that Russians don't spell it 'ызбекистан' because 'ы' can't be word initial in Russian.

(I wouldn't swear to this, but I'm fairly sure that an Uzbek writing the name of their country, and using the Cyrillic alphabet would write it with 'ы' - in fact, I think I've seen in our university library a journal of Uzbek studies that did this - and remember doing a double-take becuase of having had it drilled into me at school that words just can't begin with 'ы'.)

#546 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 01:44 PM:

praisegod, in that case the closest English phoneme would be /i/ as in 'bit', not the schwa you were (or seemed to be) advocating. I'm not challenging your knowledge of how the name of the country should be pronounced, but 'ы' is closer to /i/ (or even /u/) than schwa, so I'm confused. Wouldn't we spell it Izbekistan if that were the case?

To clarify: 'ы' spells a high, back, unrounded vowel that doesn't exist in English, where all back vowels are rounded and all front vowels are unrounded. I'm arguing that the closest English to it is a high, front, unrounded vowel, or a high, back, rounded vowel, rather than a low-to-mid, mid, unrounded vowel.

#547 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 01:57 PM:

And the Turks writing it as ö would argue for a front round vowel!

Please help me. I'm very confused.

#548 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 02:09 PM:

I can't think of a good word in English to express 'ы'. For me it's high, rounded and back.

It would never make an "uh" sound. The word would, as Xopher says be more like Eezbeck, then Uhzbeck.

#549 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 02:12 PM:

Not to make a stitherum, but I could mutter something about none of you having a proper English accent. Instead I shall just note that Guy Martin is on BBC1 at 19:30 UTC, and his accent is close to mine. 10 miles, maybe, though Loretta Rivett says there is a difference.

#550 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 02:12 PM:

Terry: rounded? You mean unrounded, right? Because otherwise that's /u/.

When I suggested the spelling 'Izbekistan', I had in mind the English word 'is' for the first syllable.

#551 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 02:18 PM:

Dave, I don't see why that should make a stitherum.* I've never claimed to have a proper English accent—though of course my English, American accent and all, is every bit as proper as any Englishman's.

*New word for me, thanks! It appears to exactly translate the Yiddish word 'tsuris'.

#552 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 02:19 PM:

Given that English has been known not just to borrow words from other languages but pursue them down dark alleyways and mug them in order to rifle through their pockets for spare vocabulary, I'm not sure there are many words I would argue strongly are "English". Menage and entourage are clearly recently from the French. We have loads of words brought back from India (pyjama, anyone?). And of course which American was it who apparently said "You can't trust the Russians; they don't have a word for détente." Xopher: your phonetics are assuming American English, I think - which doesn't always give the same emphasis to different syllables as British English, never mind the same vowel sounds.

Xopher @543: re. cranes & "extras" - Okay!

#553 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 02:34 PM:

dcb: And of course which American was it who apparently said "You can't trust the Russians; they don't have a word for détente."

I'm not sure, though I've heard that quote. It sounds like a Reaganism, and he did claim at one point that there was no Russian word for freedom (the Russian word for freedom is 'свобода' (svoboda)). But détente wasn't his time period, or his policy, so I'm not sure.

Xopher: your phonetics are assuming American English, I think

Pretty much, though not entirely. And British English in the modern era is more influenced by French than its American cousin...which is more influenced by Spanish.

#554 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 03:09 PM:

hieresiarch # 537

It's pronounced 'Beijing," like 'gym'

Yes, this. Especially as the language already has a sound similar to the French 'j', written /zh/.

However, in my experience, a large proportion of Chinese people pronounce it the other way when speaking English, so we may have lost that one.

#555 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 03:15 PM:

I remember when Deng Xiaoping was leader of China, many British and American newscasters couldn't bring themselves to pronounce his name correctly. They said 'Dehng' (vowel as in 'bet') or Doong, but the correct pronunciation (or closest English equivalent) is identical to the English word 'dung', and they just wouldn't say it.

#556 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 03:16 PM:

'ы' spells a high, back, unrounded vowel that doesn't exist in English, where all back vowels are rounded and all front vowels are unrounded. I'm arguing that the closest English to it is a high, front, unrounded vowel, or a high, back, rounded vowel, rather than a low-to-mid, mid, unrounded vowel.

One data point on the choice. In my experience the most successful choral transliterations of Russian and Old Church Slavonic for English monoglots have treated 'ы' as a variant of 'i'. You still need someone to demonstrate what the sound is, but it seemed to work better than treating it as 'u' or 'y'.

#557 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 03:25 PM:

#533 Caroline
-- across the street from a grocery store, coffee shop, and restaurants; half a block from a drug store; biking distance to our parents' houses, a state park, museums, and even my husband's current job. Plus, it's on a city bus line for easy downtown access, and half a mile from a park-and-ride location for the express commuter bus to major corporations and universities.

You have almost - but not quite - described where I live.

I am just off the main drag of my arrondissement. I have an Italian coffee shop right on the corner, and several other coffee shops and restaurants within walking distance. There are several grocery stores on the main drag, and a large-ish shopping mall 2 or 3 km away (depending on if I take the busy road or the quieter one). I am one block from a pharmacy, and within walking distance of a few others. I have about 4 dépanneurs within spitting distance. The bike path is about 5 minutes away, and will take me right downtown, if I wish, or connect up with any of the other bike paths in the city. I am right on 2 city bus routes that connect to the Metro, and the Metro has a park-and-ride for both bikes and cars (also, there's a BIXI station at the end of my street). I am not within biking distance of my Mum's house. I might be, if the bridge ever gets a bike lane - it's only about 15 km, but she's off island, and it's illegal (and would be suicide) to take a bike across that bridge.

There is another bridge that I could take, but that would make it a 45 km ride, which is a bit much for me.

I've always liked where I live, but I never thought it was particularly special. Is it possible I'm actually spoiled?

#558 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 03:43 PM:

Cheryl, not only are you spoiled, you should invite Caroline to move in with you at once!

Oh wait, that wouldn't work. Never mind!

#559 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 04:24 PM:

So, *my* AKICIML (note, one of those things it's hard to find, EIML, is the expansion of that acronym):

I have a hardcopy of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge - and while it's very nice we have a non-afterthought index now, and we've gone to a lot of work to make links between relevant Laws, it's still dead-tree, with all the limitations that implies (including being separate from my PDA).

I also have a PDF of the same book, from my friends in the ACBL. Of course it's a PDF of the print proof, so the "pages" are paperback size, not, you know, real pages or screen size. And no links, of course.

I *also* have a plaintext copy of the same book, from my friends in the WBF (link for all the bridge people on ML (and there are more than I thought)). Still no links, but *I can do stuff with it*. I can also get a copy that is in MSWord .doc format.

So, I can, rather tediously, mark all the chapters with references, mark all the links with links, and link the index and table of contents, and take that (probably HTML) onto my PDA and have both the convenience of one less book *and* the benefits of living in the 1980s. Of course, as the two are effectively equivalent, I could wikify it, too, same deal.

My question: given the important word "tediously" in the previous sentence, is there any tools people can suggest that will make this job easier/less tedious? Note that I am by preference a Unix geek, so am happ(y|ier) with things like regex search-and-replace or perl/python scripts than with a windows tool, but I'm even less happy with building from scratch.

#560 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 04:48 PM:

To start off, and before things get any sillier I'd like to venture that my initial comment on the pronunication of yoghurt was intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I don't really expect anyone to change the way they pronounce the word. That said, it came as something of a blinding flash of insight when I first came to Turkey and suddenly realised that THAT was why there was an 'h' in the middle of the word.

Xopher @ 543

I don't think either of those criteria will do as they stand. Frequency of usage might allow you to have 'yoghurt' without allowing 'entourage', but only at the expense of excluding, say, 'floccinocihilipilification'; and I think that pronunciation is going to end up counting more legal Latin than even I would countenance as being English. (For example,I'd pronounce jus cogens as Yooss Kohjens, which is something which I don't think would have crossed the lips of any Roman. The English pronunciation of Latin is something very much, how shall I say, sui generis.)

dcb @ 552:

I'm not sure there are many words I would argue strongly are "English"

Your approach to this seems to involve the idea that if something is a foreign word it can't be an English word. I think I disagree: I feel quite happy about the idea that some (maybe quite a lot) of words have 'dual citizenship'.

On the Uzbek question: I find phonology difficult, and I'm never quite sure that I've got the pronunciation of ы down correctly, especially since I didn't learn my Russian from a native speaker. But the 'i' of is doesn't sound right to me. (The standard transliteration of Dostoyevsky for something that has a ы in the middle makes me think its not right. And my wife, who learnt her Russian in France, was taught that it's a similar sound to the one in 'feuille'). FWIW I agree that there's probably no good English example

Turkish has a schwa, but its not written as 'ö' but as 'ı'. Turkish 'ö' is like the German 'ö' - I tend to hear it as a lengthened version of 'ı'.But that may just be because I'm phonologically tone deaf.

As for the Uzbek spelling of Uzbekistan: googling on ызбекистан doesn't bring up many hits, and most of them are in Russian anyway. But I did find this page. Since its in Russian, it unsurprisingly spells the country as Узбекистан. But footnote 19 refers to the 'Ызбекистан Республикаси Конституцияси', which I take to be the Uzbek name for the Uzbek constitution.

My considered (and speculative) take on this is that the Uzbeks use Ы for a vowel which doesn't really exist in Russian, and which is reasonably close to the Turkish 'ö'; and that this is the first phoneme in their name of their country. English doesn't really have the vowel in question either; but I think it's much closer to the way a (southern) Englishman would say 'buzz' than 'booze'. YMMV.

#561 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 04:49 PM:

Post caught in moderation - probably too much Cyrillic for the filters!

#562 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 04:52 PM:

Heresiarch @ #538: "azure"? Which, like Xopher's suggestions, also comes from French.

Xopher @ #543: the legis-lay-TORs around here pronounce "sine die" as "Sign-y dye".

#563 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 05:41 PM:

praisegod 560: I look forward to reading it!

Lila 561: Xopher @ #543: the legis-lay-TORs around here pronounce "sine die" as "Sign-y dye".

Interesting. Appalling, but interesting. You live in Atlanta, if I'm not mistaken. Do they really stress the last syllable of 'legislator', or do they just draw it out?

And you've also proved to my satisfaction that a nativized pronunciation of a foreign word or phrase is not sufficient to render it an English word (or phrase). Signy die is what happens to someone when a serial killer beats them to death with a red octagon that says "STOP" on it. That's the only way to signy die.

I must say that I have most uncharitable impulses when it comes to someone pronouncing 'sine die' that way. Not quite to the level of beating them to death with a stop sign, but the level of my rage is really kind of shocking.

#564 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 05:47 PM:

Cally wayyyy back at 222: My friend just confirmed that Bullets for MacBeth is, in fact, the book he was thinking of. So thanks again!

Mycroft 559: AKICIML (note, one of those things it's hard to find, EIML, is the expansion of that acronym)

All Knowledge Is Contained In Making Light. Now, what's the EI in EIML? Even In?

#565 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 06:13 PM:

@562 I seem to recall from living in Louisiana that with (some) Southern US accents you'll often hear speakers draw out and/or slightly emphasize the last syllable of legislaTOR - otherwise it's very hard to differentiate between that word and legislaTURE. They both sort of come out ledge-s-later, and occasionally you want to distinguish between the whole and one of its parts.

#566 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 06:18 PM:

So Newt Gingrich says his passion for the U.S. contributed to his marital infidelity?
I'd have liked to see Bill Clinton try that one.
Of course, IOKIYAAR.

#567 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 07:20 PM:

My brother met his girlfriend* in Uzbekistan, and they pronounce it Uhzbekistan. I can't vouch any further than that.

* She was walking from Amsterdam to Tibet and the locally hired driver had decided to give up, so my brother became the support driver for the only westbound leg of the trip.

#568 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 07:38 PM:

Xopher: "Is" is the wrong sound for ы. It's a longer sound, with a bit of a dipthong. This, at least is the way I was taught to pronounce it. It's one of the trickier sounds to learn to "just use", without needed to think about how to make it.

Not as tricky as the soft l, but quirky, because there isn't any common sound like it in English.

#569 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 07:38 PM:

Xopher, #563: I think it works from the assumption that most people with much of an online life will have seen the "AKICI" part of the structure elseNet, and will therefore only have to figure out that ML is Making Light. There are a lot of acronyms that go back to the days of the print APA!

#570 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 07:59 PM:

Xopher @ #562: what Thena said. Actually, the first, third and fourth syllables all get approximately equal stress: LEDGE (iss) LAY TOR.

To be fair, they also pronounce "Will the gentleman yield?" as "Gemmunyeel?"

I live about 75 miles from Atlanta, in Athens. Home of the Tree That Owns Itself, the Double-Barreled Cannon, and Locally Grown. Not to mention REM, the 40 Watt Club, the Grit, the B-52s, Widespread Panic....

#571 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 08:15 PM:

The map of the country of SF annoys me because it's poorly proofread. I mean, Frederick Pohl, twice (rather than Frederik)? That's just the most glaring.

Many of the feminists are there, T, just not broken out separately. And the dates should all be taken as very approximate (but I can't fault him for that, as it makes the damn thing readable). The anime section is really inadequate, too -- I wouldn't want Nausicaa as the only Miyazaki in the bunch (much better Laputa, for one, and several others).

It's a great idea, close to a good execution, and annoying to me. But then, I'm a curmudgeon sometimes.

And another soft j borrowing from French: jejune.

#572 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 08:15 PM:

Lila @ 569: And Pylon, my favorite Athens band.

#573 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 08:22 PM:

Xopher and Terry, passim: I don't know anything about Cyrillic, Russian, or Uzbek, but it seems as if you're expecting 'ы' to be pronounced the same way in Uzbek as in Russian, and I can't think of any reason why that would necessarily be the case.

Apologies in advance if I'm just missing something.

#574 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 09:47 PM:

As I understand it, in 'standard' Chinese (what we usually call Mandarin), there are pairs of sounds which are, in pinyin, q/ch and j/zh. The difference in pronunciation was explained to me with examples: for the first pair, cheek/chuck, and for the second pair, jeep/judge. Xopher can explain it technically, but the q and j are pronounced farther forward than ch/zh, and maybe a little higher and tighter as well.

#575 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 11:13 PM:

Tim: Xopher and I are discussing, if I understand it correctly, the received pronunciation of the letter. It may be that the Uzbeks, don't use it that way.

But, if someone were to suggest to an English speaker that the word, "upside" ought to start with the letter, combination, "oo" to make it more accurate, it's not unlikely the English speaker would make comment.

And that, for me, is what happened when praisegood barebones said that ы was the best Cyrillic approximation of an "uh" sound.

The fact of the matter is, there is no really good, "uh" sound in Russian, and certainly not that I can think of at the opening of a word. The unstressed, "a" can be sort of like that, when combined with a softened "l", but that's not going to work for Uzbekistan. I think the closest I could get, orthographically would be an unstressed "o", but that's going to strain either the second or third syllables.

#576 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2011, 11:40 PM:

I can ask one of our resident experts at work tomorrow. (I'm pretty sure one of them is from Uzbekistan, or at least from very near it.)

#577 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:41 AM:

Tim, Terry, Xopher:

FWIW, Wikipedia says that in the Uzbek language the first vowel in Uzbekistan is close-mid front rounded.

#578 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 01:44 AM:

dcb @552: And of course which American was it who apparently said "You can't trust the Russians; they don't have a word for détente."

George W. Bush is supposed to have said “The French don't have a word for 'entrepreneur'.”

#579 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 02:07 AM:

Xopher @ 453: "It IS true that all the English words with that sound were borrowed from French*"

Far more generous an interpretation than my assertion warranted--I was just being silly. (Jejune, perhaps.) "Je" got stuck in my head and I couldn't get any English words to take its place, so I ran with it.

PJ Evans @ 574: "The difference in pronunciation was explained to me with examples: for the first pair, cheek/chuck, and for the second pair, jeep/judge."

A non-technical description is this: say "Jen." Notice where your tongue hits the roof of your mouth: on the hard palate behind the upper teeth. Try to say it while moving your tongue further back, so it hits further and further back. It should start like the French "j," but explosive rather than sustained. That's the "zh." Start again, with an American "j" in "Jen." Now try to say it with your tongue touching the top of your bottom front teeth. If you're doing it right, it should be impossible not to make a slight "ee" vowel sound between the "j" and the "en," like "jyen." This is why Chinese never has "jo" or "ja" sounds; its "jiu" and "jia" because the vowel is inextricable from the consonant. ("ju" is pronounced like "jyu".)

#580 ::: praisegod barebones has been mistaken for SPAM ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 03:59 AM:

Hi - Longish post at 561 caught by the mod gnomes - any chance of fishing it out?

In the meantime, I asked
Craig Murray (former British ambassador to Uzbekistan) for his views on the buzz/booze phoneme at the beginning of the coutry's name. His reply?

'Neither - best I can think of is fuzz as pronounced by an Englishman from Birmingham.'

Are there any Brummies in the fluorosphere that could give us a judgment?

#581 ::: praisegod barebones has been RELEASED ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 04:15 AM:

Many thanks, moderator! (I'm guessing abi, for clock-related reasons.)

#582 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 05:49 AM:

Praisegod: It was, in fact, me. Without revealing the Secrets of the Spam Filter, your guess is a good one.

#583 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 06:22 AM:

I think my records on the matter are accurate.
If not, the following can be considered an advance notice.

Happy Birthday, Marilee!!!

#584 ::: Andrew Woode ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 07:30 AM:

praisegod barebones 545:

According to various bits of Wikipedia, including the Uzbek Wikipedia page on the Uzbek language, the initial letter of the ethnonym (now written O') was Cyrillic Ў - in case that gets mangled, that's a Russian 'u' (looking like an English 'y') with a sort of breve sign on top (like the top of the Russian 'i kratkoye'). It's not part of the Russian alphabet.
Conversely, Russian ы (the one transliterated mostly as 'y') does not seem to occur in Uzbek Cyrillic (though this might not prevent Russians occasionally using it to transliterate the proper Uzbek letter, which would not be on their keyboards).

#585 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 08:24 AM:

I am currently teaching a course on Central Asia jointly with someone who is an actual expert on the subject (i.e., he speaks Uzbek). He pronounces 'Uzbekistan' in the standard Anglo-American manner. On t'other hand, his pronunciation of place names in Uzbekistan is very Uzbek (unlike mine) as is his pronunciation of important terms like mahalla (neighbourhood committee).

#586 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 08:30 AM:

Praisegod barebones @560: "Your approach to this seems to involve the idea that if something is a foreign word it can't be an English word" No, it's rather that I'm quite happy to acknowledge their origin and "duel-citizenship" status - rather like you're arguing (I think we're having a substantial agreement over this). If the pronunciation has drifted considerably, I'd describe it as "Anglicized", I suppose, but still acknowledge origin.

heresiarch @ 579: Oh! *blinding flash of light moment*. Nobody even suggested consciously moving my tongue to different places to produce different sounds. It was just (in French lessons back in high school) "no, that's wrong, say it like this" (followed by impossible-to-reproduce example). Never any explanation how to "say it like this". It's one thing being able to pick up a difference audibly**, and another to reproduce that difference.

**I was told once that it's no use correcting very young children by saying "don't say "tree, say three" when they're still at the age when what they hear is the confusing/stupid adult saying "don't say tree say tree."

#587 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 09:25 AM:

To go along with the Every Interview particle, I read yesterday about one boss who received a bunch of resumes for a position, picked half at random and tossed them in the trash, saying, "I don't want to work with unlucky people."

#588 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 10:09 AM:

dcb at 586: whereas one of the first things my high school French teacher (may she rest in peace -- she was a terrific teacher) taught was how to manipulate the shape of one's mouth to make the distinctive French "eu" sound; i.e. round the mouth and lips firmly as if you were saying "uu," and vocalize "ee." Works! Good teacher, bad teacher?

#589 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 10:38 AM:

Lizzy L, 588: That's actually the French "u." The French "eu" splits the difference between "ou" and "u."

This has been your Moment of Pedantry.

#590 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 10:58 AM:

Steve, #387: That's nearly the canonical Republican definition of "unlucky" -- aka "we're going to do nasty things to you and then blame YOU for having them happen, sucks to be you."

#591 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 11:14 AM:

As for myself, I have no difficulty whatsoever saying the French 'eu'.

#592 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 11:15 AM:

Clifton Royston @ #412 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2011, 12:51 PM:

[Ginkgo nuts] must be boiled for a long time to be safe to eat at all.

It's not clear if this is actually the case. The principal toxin seems to be usually identified as 4'-O-Methoxypyridoxine (4'-MPN), which is heat-stable and unaffected by cooking. However, googling, this study (behind a paywall, but you can read the abstract) found that MPN-5′-glucoside was also present and toxic to mice, and this was reduced by heating. So cooking probably does make them somewhat safer. And they usually are eaten cooked in Asia, though I don't know about "boiled for a long time".

This page has pictures of the trees, fruit & preparation of the nuts before pan-frying.

That being said: it's probably worth finding someone with practical experience before harvesting your own ginkgo nuts. It's certainly possible to get a toxic reaction if you eat too many (as I mentioned in the earlier post).

"Generalized Convulsions After Consuming a Large Amount of Gingko Nuts"

This all makes me curious to try them myself. Next time I mail-order Asian groceries I'll add a vacuum pack of ginkgo nuts.

#593 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 11:18 AM:

dcb @ 586: "Nobody even suggested consciously moving my tongue to different places to produce different sounds. It was just (in French lessons back in high school) "no, that's wrong, say it like this" (followed by impossible-to-reproduce example)."

I think something like my explanation was taught to me in my first ever Chinese class, but I might have added to it. I don't think I made it up myself. I do remember saying "je. Je. Jhe. Zhe. Je. Jye." a lot to myself, and being enlightened when I realized that it's a spectrum, with the standard American "j" in the middle and the Chinese "j/zh" towards the two ends.

I'm blessed/cursed with a tendency to process sounds purely as sounds, rather than as meaning. This means I'm good at picking up accents, but bad at understanding what people are saying when there's background noise.

Steve C. @ 587: "I read yesterday about one boss who received a bunch of resumes for a position, picked half at random and tossed them in the trash, saying, "I don't want to work with unlucky people.""

Avoiding working with an arbitrary, impulsive and superstitious boss like that? Sounds pretty lucky to me.

#594 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 11:45 AM:

praisegod barebones @545: when the guy at the airport appears to be telling you in Turkish that your plane has crashed, ne is in fact telling you that it has landed

Well, an argument could be made that one is simply a special case of the other.

#595 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 11:55 AM:

I'm quite happy to acknowledge their origin and "duel-citizenship" status

Ah, Klingon immigration law.

The only way to get a passport is to take one from the body of someone you've defeated in battle.

"You've crossed the Sonora desert on foot while carrying your kids, in order to get into this country? Truly the act of a brave warrior! Welcome! Have some ale!"

#596 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:03 PM:

Thena @565: Southern US accents

I am informed that the way you generate a southern US accent is to add an extra syllable to every vowel.

Therefore, when singing the song "Up against the wall, red neck mother," "red neck" becomes "ray-ed nay-ek."

#597 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:04 PM:

ajay @595: My dogs are now staring at me in horror and surprise. They were sleeping soundly, unsuspecting, when suddenly a banshee-like gale of hysterical laughter woke them up so suddenly one of them fell off the couch.

I hope you're proud of yourself, you cruel horrid thing. :->

#598 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:18 PM:

Xopher: Yes, and yes (even in), and I had figured it out (after 4 or 5 iterations). I thought it was clear, having proceeded to make my own AKICIML query. I have been known to be too subtle for my own good when making jokes (and totally missing subtlety when being serious).

But on the grounds that I'm probably not the only one who had trouble figuring it out, having it expanded explicitly in ML is likely a good thing, so thanks!

Phonetics discussion: Yeah, I'm one of those who don't get "like this" very well; I'm also one who needs linguistics jargon expanded. So the "set up to say <X>; now say <Y>" phrasing is good. Having said that, question: pronouncing the "ui" dipthong in Dutch (i.e. "duif") for us unilingual Anglophones?

#599 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:22 PM:

Jacque @596: My spouse has a coworker from Scotland who can do an absolutely perfect Sean Connery accent by (a) dropping his voice to the properly butch register and (b) schlurring hisch esssches. Because they already have the same accent, basically -- copy the quirks and you're done.

Me personally, I can do a spot-on Southern Ontario accent by (a) keeping my mouth very closed when I speak, and (b) rising my pitch? Just a little? At the end, yknow? Of every phrase?

The difference between my native educated-urban-Great-Lakes and Southern Ontario-an is very similar to the difference between my accent and Valley Girl, except that VG is much faster, exuberant, and exceedingly sing-songy: turned up to 11. Like the difference between drag and dressing up for church.

I was a child of the 80s, of course I learned to do a perfect Valley Girl on command. :->

#600 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:25 PM:

heresiarch, 593: Good grief, I do that too, but I'd never figured out why. Thanks!

Jacque, 596: Well, no, that'd mess with the meter, making it unsingable. The diphthong(or-more)ization only happens in stressed syllables anyway. (This has been your Other Moment of Pedantry.)

#601 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:29 PM:

ajay @ 595... coughgagsplutter!!!

#602 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:36 PM:

dcb 586: I was told once that it's no use correcting very young children by saying "don't say "tree, say three" when they're still at the age when what they hear is the confusing/stupid adult saying "don't say tree say tree."

When my brother was very young, he had trouble with initial 'r' (he would say "wug" for 'rug' and "wed" for 'red'). On one occasion (now family legend) my dad tried to demonstrate by saying "R-r-r-r-rug!" My brother replied "R-r-r-r-wug! Is that wight, Daddy?"

#603 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:43 PM:

I've always used the "shape x, say y" technique when teaching people unfamiliar sounds. Sometimes I have to teach people to be conscious of their tongue position first, and then say "now move your tongue back (or forward)."

#604 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:47 PM:

sidebar

Does everyone already know about the Jane Austen Drinking Game?

#605 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:48 PM:

ajay @595: Dual/duel, what's the difference?!!!

(I did look in preview, but since I see words as parts of sentences, not as collections of letters, and the shape of the word was okay...)

#606 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:49 PM:

I'm all aquiver. I've just had a post held for moderation for the first time ever!

I feel quite dastardly and important.

#607 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 12:57 PM:

Sarah S @ 605... Let's not be arrowgant about it. :-)

#608 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 01:02 PM:

Serge @ 606

That certainly wasn't my aim! Though I do seem to have made a target of myself...

#609 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 01:26 PM:

#591 Serge

As for myself, I have no difficulty whatsoever saying the French 'eu'.

I do. "Longueuil". Seriously, who thought of that??

#610 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 01:52 PM:

Cheryl @ 557: Do want!

I think special-or-not depends on one's perspective. I live in the Southeastern US, mostly developed post-automobile, and mostly developed for automobile. Which is to say, roads and distances between things are planned with the assumption that you'll be driving. Walking and biking are considered purely recreational pursuits. Public transportation usually consists of buses, and is mostly used by the very poor -- it is so slow and unreliable that no one would choose to take it unless they had no alternative.

Cities that were largely built pre-automobile tend to be built on more human-friendly scales. Some places, this is normal. Others, it's the exception.

Re: accents and pronunciation: I've somehow been blessed with a talent for reproducing accents. In most cases, I can listen to someone say a word, attempt to reproduce the sound, figure out what I need to change in my mouth movement to get closer to the sound I heard, and quickly iterate my way to a good reproduction. If I try to break it down, the process is something like "Form the most similar-sounding phoneme I know how, then slightly change position and decide whether I'm closer or farther away from the sound I just heard, then readjust accordingly. If the sound is like a blend of two phonemes I know, start with one, then change shape slightly towards the other one until I hear the right sound."

The one thing I still can't do is roll my r's. I can't figure out what to physically do to make that happen. If I flick the tip of my tongue against the edge of my hard palate while making a ə-sound, I can get something that sounds like one Spanish "r", but I can't figure out how to repeat that fast enough to make a "rr" trill.

Google results imply that I ought to practice every day, and just accept that I will make a lot of really stupid sounds until I grok it. (Also, they turn up a lot of people happily going "It's easy! rrrrrrr!" as though that's going to help.)

This is separate from the problem of literally not being able to tell some sounds apart -- like sz and ś in Polish. They both just sound like "sh" to me.

#611 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 02:03 PM:

Cheryl @609, and French oddness generally: This link contains an extremely cromulent comic, though no about pronunciation, specifically.

Brief teaser quote: "Attention, world! This started out as sarcasm, but now I'm honestly 100% behind the idea of a gay French moon! To be honest, I have ALWAYS HAD MY SUSPICIONS."

#612 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 02:10 PM:

Caroline @610: It turns out I was pre-trained for the Spanish (etc) rr, because my great-grandmother's family's traditional hog call is basically a long shrill trilled r.

I taught myself to do it as a kid because I was fascinated by the sound (Great-grandma used to use it to get our attention in crowded places, etc; it carries VERY WELL). The way I do the hog-call version is thusly: relax your mouth, with your jaw hanging a little loose (your pinky's tip should fit between your teeth, but lips relaxed and nearly touching). Bring the tip of your tongue up to behind your front teeth, but touching neither them nor the roof of your mouth. Here's the hard part: keep the tongue relaxed but up in that position while you exhale quite sharply, as if you were blowing up a balloon. All the air should go over your tongue-tip (not around the sides). Eventually, your tongue'll start flapppbbbillating like when you blow a raspberry, only in the middle of your mouth instead of out by your lips. If you sing a note while flappppbbbvvllllating, it trills. That's the Padlasek hog-call. Also useful for complimenting Middle-Eastern dancers, if you're in the kind of crowd that compliments sonically. :->

If you do it much less exaggeratedly while talking, it comes out as a pretty good Spanish 'rr' phoneme. Do it too hard and it clicks while you're r-ing. :->

It amazes me how many 'bored 4-year-old in front of a mirror' sounds have been linguisticized in different languages, sometimes. :->

#613 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 02:39 PM:

Cheryl @ 609... "Longueuil". Seriously, who thought of that??

Probably some crazy Frenchie. Non?
:-)

#614 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 02:54 PM:

Re "Uzbekistan":

As Andrew Woode says above, the first letter of the Uzbek word "Uzbekistan" is "Ў" (Cyrillic) or "O‘" (Latin). Wikipedia says that these, like the Turkish "Ö", represent the vowel /ø/.*

This sound does not occur in English, and the question of which English phoneme is the most reasonable replacement is bound to be somewhat subjective. There isn't necessarily a single right answer. Schwa - the true schwa, [ə] - is fairly close in terms of height and frontness; however, unlike the Uzbek vowel it is not usually rounded. In any case, I don't have a schwa in "buzz", I have [ʌ], which isn't a close match at all. Speaking for myself, the perceptually closest match is /ʊ/, the vowel in "bush", which is rounded, at least, and nearer to [ø] than any other rounded vowel in English. Listening to a sample on forvo.com of an Uzbek speaker pronouncing the word "Ўзбек", to me it sounds more like /ʊ/ than anything else in English**. (This is how I already pronounce "Uzbekistan", and how I normally hear it pronounced.)

* Actually it seems unsure whether it's ø or œ, at least in Turkish, but this is a fairly small difference.
** I don't have the phonetic skill to say what phone is actually being produced in the recording.

#615 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 02:57 PM:

TexAnne, you may be correct. Probably are. All I can say is -- when I do it, I get "eu."

#616 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 03:04 PM:

Elliott Mason @599: I encountered a lady recently who had a nice, mild, upper-class British accent. I innevitably asked her where she was from. "Los Angeles."

Flashing audibly(!?) on our recent discussions about such inquiries, I valiantly resisted the urge to say "But where are you really from?" and instead reported what I was hearing her in her speech.

She then sighed tiredly (apparently she gets this a lot) and took out the retainer she wears on her lower teeth. Voìla: native Ageleno.

Another one: we have a street musician herebouts name of Gaffer. He sounds distinctly European. Upon inquiry, he explains that this is a consequence of a work-around his speech therapist taught him to compensate for a speech impediment. He rounds his vowels, which produces a distinctly European sound.

One of my coworkers here does a dead-on Valley Girl, which I dispair of reproducing. It requires an extension of the jaw and neck that I can't quite get, plus a lot of extra 'tude.

#617 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 03:27 PM:

Caroline@610: If you're getting one r but not the trill, then you may be placing your tongue correctly but not putting enough tension in the muscle. What creates the trill is a sort of loop: air builds up behind the tongue, enough to force it away from the palate; then when the tongue is forced down, the air can escape, causing the pressure to lower; the lowered air pressure means that the muscle tension is now strong enough to move the tongue back up to the palate; this then blocks the air flow and causes the pressure to increase again, putting you back at step one. It isn't possible to move the tongue that quickly purely by conscious thought.

#618 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 03:31 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 612, thank you for the tip! I'm trying it now, and the sound I am making is nothing like a trill, but I'll keep at it.

#619 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 03:32 PM:

As a baby I was unable to pwonounce Rs and Ls, which was cute but destined to become inconvenient as I progressed to very verbal toddlerhood. My mother, I am told, made a game of saying certain Spanish words over and over, enthusiastically rolling her Rs, in hopes that I would catch on. Eventually I was able to say "perro" instead of "peddddddo" and (best of all) Reynolds (my middle name) instead of the mortifying Wenowds.

#620 ::: Zelda ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 03:32 PM:

Elliott @612:

Now my spaniel is looking at me funny, and it's your fault.

I have always done something much further back in the mouth when faking Scottish dialect for ballad-singing. What you describe sounds very difficult to do in the middle of a word, when your tongue is supposed to be on its way to the next consonant. Sandwiched between vowels, maybe not as hard... I'll go confuse the spaniel some more.

#621 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 03:50 PM:

Caroline #618:

The advice I was given involved rapidly repeating a word like 'butter' and then trying to transition to the trill. It took about half a year for me to learn it. [This works in Australian -- you'll need to find a different word if you pronounce the 'r' in butter or if the 'tt' is a glottal stop, or whatever].

#622 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 03:52 PM:

re "ValSpeak". I was a teenager, in the Valley, in the early 80's. I moved there about nine months after the song came out.

Lets just say Moon Unit was being a little broad in her mockery, but not so much as one might wish.

praisegood barebones: That's an interesting page, about the various administrative problems of transitioning from Soviet to non-Soviet structure. I'll have to sit down with it at home, since some of it want's a dictionary.

#623 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 04:00 PM:

Caroline & Elliott Mason: ISTR hearing that this ability also has a genetic component, as well (like rolling one's tongue). I have a friend who, when he's trying to represent a Scottish accent, uses the Hebrew hork-a-loogie sound instead of rolling his Rs.

#624 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 04:53 PM:

Xopher #602: But did that get your bro a lot of wowsy dates? :-)

#625 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 05:05 PM:

Mycroft W #559: I can only suggest pulling it into Emacs and see if there are any useful modes available for such work.

#626 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 07:23 PM:

David 624: By the time he was dating he had his 'r's in gear.

#627 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 08:28 PM:

My baby sister's name is Laurel.

Don't do that to a two-year-old.

#628 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 09:41 PM:

Lola, Laura, Rory, and Rolla all went to Japan together.

Their tourguide's head exploded on the first day.

#629 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 10:29 PM:

Caroline @618 said of trilling: I'm trying it now, and the sound I am making is nothing like a trill, but I'll keep at it.

It took me quite some time of repeated, concentrationy effort; it's a genuinely odd thing for your tongue to be doing, if you didn't happen across it in toddlerhood. It really does kind of feel like blowing a raspberry -- in the tongue, I mean. Obviously the lips aren't involved, what the tongue is doing is repeatedly tapping the roof of your mouth (flapping rapidly in the influence of the moving air), but it's the same kind of weird buzzy flappiness. Balancing 'enough tension to hold it in the right place' with 'relaxed enough to vibrate in the airstream' is the trick.

In re Making Funny Noises With Your Mouth, my husband was once making duck noises (talking like Donald Duck) to my niece. She thought it was funny. "Teach me how you do that!" she said. Every adult in the room demonstrated how they made duck-quacks, and I suddenly realized we were every one of us doing it differently.

My spouse does something I can't follow in the very back of his throat, and he can talk while he's doing it.

I clench/bunch my tongue behind my teeth, filling the space inside my tooth arch, and puff air out past my molars, causing my inner cheeks to make the noise as the air squirts out irregularly.

My father-in-law used mostly lips and front teeth.

My sister-in-law (niece's mom) did something akin to glottal stops that I didn't quite see -- she described it thus, and she's a speech therapist, so.

It was fascinating. They all sounded duckish, and reasonably similar to one another. None of us had considered that anyone else would ever do it differently -- we apparently each came up with Our Duck Noise early enough on that it became the obvious alternative.

#630 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 01:25 AM:

"The difference between my native educated-urban-Great-Lakes and Southern Ontario-an is very similar to the difference between my accent and Valley Girl, except that VG is much faster, exuberant, and exceedingly sing-songy: turned up to 11. Like the difference between drag and dressing up for church.

I was a child of the 80s, of course I learned to do a perfect Valley Girl on command. :->"

Heh. I have a brief routine that I call Canadian Valley Girl. ("Like, totally fer sure, eh?") I also once performed "To be, or not to be" in ValleySpeak for a theater class.

Californians apparently do pretty well when reproducing British accents. In fact, a semi-local (Bay Area) Gilbert & Sullivan group won a competition in Britain because the natives tended to get lazy in their diction. Their version was more authentically Victorian because they were concentrating. The California accent is very close to Basic Broadcaster—the only one that may be closer is Pacific Northwest, though that has a tendency to drop terminal consonants (a bad habit I picked up in college.)

My accent varies depending on need. I default to my native Cali accent, but the moment I go on stage or on air my diction improves quite a bit, and I pick up accents and rhythmic speech patterns pretty quickly. Fun, if disturbing.

—Changing tacks back to fashion. My MiL sent me a couple of pairs of shoes that she bought on sale. Plus the receipts, thankfully. One pair is so very not my style (pale tan loafer flats—absolutely nothing in my wardrobe that matches in style or color), and the other is a cute pair of low-slung high-heeled boots that very much display the fact that scaling doesn't always work. When you have heels, it is utterly critical that the heel is under the wearer's center of gravity. If you make the shoe longer without changing the design of the heel, sooner or later the center of gravity moves forward of the heel—something I can detect within seconds of putting the shoes on*. I had a pair of high-heeled sandals that were amazingly comfortable because the designer had thought things through... then I had to wear a pair as a bridesmaid that looked almost exactly the same but darn near crippled me because that designer hadn't.

I hadn't really thought about it before, but shoe designers pretty much design for sizes six to eight, and that's probably why I hate heels so very much. I just thought most people were putting up with horrible things, but maybe it really was just me.

*Anyone should be able to, but I think a large number of women have never had comfortable shoes on and don't know that they aren't supposed to feel like that.

#631 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 01:57 AM:

My six-year-old just came up with a question that has me stumped. However, All Knowledge is Contained Within the Listmind, so . . .

My husband has had a potted philodendron for 35 years. It was started from a cutting given to him by his favorite teacher and has itself been reduced to a cutting in a glass at least twice that I know of. I don't know the species, but I saw something exactly like it growing as ground cover in Waikiki, Hawaii. Wikipedia says that a philodendron can live for more than a hundred years if left undisturbed. What about a philodendron that is a cutting of a plant that began as a cutting of a plant that began as a cutting and so forth? The cells carry on aging, correct? Does the cutting process impose additional stress? Or does starting over set the clock back somehow?

#632 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 02:20 AM:

I can't answer specifically, about the cutting, but I can make a parallel to apples.

All apples are from cuttings, the yummy varieties are grafted onto stock (because apples cannot breed true). There are apples which have been alive for far beyond the lifespan of any apple tree.

So the philodendron is probably the same.2

#633 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 02:28 AM:

Jacque @ 623: ISTR hearing that this ability also has a genetic component

I've heard that as well, and remember my college orchestration book saying that many otherwise excellent wind players can't do flutter tonguing.

I, on the other hand, can do it fast enough so that you can't hear the individual flutters, without ever having to practice it.

#634 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 03:28 AM:

Huge earthquake in Japan about 3 hours ago - they're saying 8.9, 150 miles offshore way up north, 5-10m tsunamis hitting Japanese coast and the tsunami warnings now extend to Hawaii (about 2 hours from now.) Fortunately it's far from the major cities, and was afternoon when it hit, but still looks really bad.

#635 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 08:09 AM:

Jenny Islander, I wrote a story about that. In my case, it's dracaena and stair-plant*. I consider it all the same plant if you consider it the same plant; if you take a cutting and consider it a separate plant, then the main plant dies, the main plant is dead and the cutting is a new plant. Which is not biologically right, but eh.

*it's been identified once, but it's this plant Mom got from some great-relative that sat on the stairs, cascading down, and it looks great. Mine, grown from really eager cuttings, does not look the same quite, but then, mine isn't on the stairs. It looks like jade but isn't.

On accents: while subjobbing, multiple people have asked me if I'm from England. My usual answer is, "No, just prim."

#636 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 09:44 AM:

B. Durbin, I've never understood why they even make heels where the heel is not under the center of gravity. A scaling error might explain it. When I try walking in them, it feels like the heel is trying to separate from the rest of the shoe. This is why I always look for Louis heels, kitten heels, or cowboy boot heels.

#637 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 09:46 AM:

My paternal family's Ancestral Plant is a very old climbing rose, planted along the wall of our Kansas farmhouse sometime in the mid-1800s. The original, still going strong, goes up to the roof and cascades over and around that whole side of the house in blowsy, exuberant blooms of shocking hot pink. My dad took a cutting and rooted it in his yard, but no longer lives in that house. He took a cutting of THAT for his new yard.

Whenever we manage to finally close on the place we're trying to buy, I've been tempted to petition the Kansas family for a cutting, as the new place will have sufficient space to loose a hot-pink thorny triffid on some arborlike structure.

#638 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 09:47 AM:

B. Durbin @630: Educated-urban-Great-Lakes is darn close to US Broadcaster Standard ... because it's what Cronkite trained himself to do, and everyone's copying Cronkite.

Fashion, and shoes: Before my change of teams and my gestation, I wore a 10-11W (depending on style and brand) in women's shoe sizes. I feel you. I was once at a convention with a friend whose feet are sliiightly smaller than mine (were; thanks to lingering post-pregnancy symptoms I'm now a 9Narrow, believe it or not). She hurriedly bought a pair of $8 Payless black spike-heeled pumps because she had a performance and hadn't packed any. They worked for the routine, but she found them slightly loose in general, and wasn't planning on keeping them. "Let's try each other's shoes!" I said playfully, and put hers on, and discovered they fit me as if bespoke for my very feet.

Now, they're $8 Payless pumps, so they're made out of spit, chewing gum, and cheap plastic, but for several years I treasured them as my Very Comfortable 4" Spike Heels. I wore them to every formalish occasion in that time, until their 'suede' uppers began to look unacceptably tatty. At my grandfather's funeral, I stood around (accepting condolences, etc) on a concrete floor for over four hours and the only part of my feet that were sore were the very balls, from standing on the ends of my metatarsals for that long. They're still in a box in the back of my closet, because I'd intended to keep them as an exemplar in case I ever had the money and opportunity to commission a pair of handmade Bitch Boots.

I'm guessing if I try them on again they won't fit quite so well, due to the Bizarre Shrinkage, alas; if I want thigh-high black leather lace-up Bitch Boots at some future point I'll have to find a new size exemplar. :->

#639 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 10:19 AM:

Ajay #595: Romulan ale?

#640 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 10:58 AM:

B. Durbin, #630: I can't imagine sending anybody shoes as a present! Shoe fittings are so individual that I can't buy shoes online at all; if I can't try them on to see how they fit, it's a pointless exercise.

OTOH, I'm exactly the same way about glasses frames, but my partner can buy cheap frames online with no trouble. Go figure.

#641 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 11:28 AM:

R-rolling: I have a feeling it will be like when I spent a week teaching myself to do the Vulcan salute in childhood. I couldn't get my ring and pinky fingers to stay together for the longest time. Eventually I resorted to taping them together. Then, somehow, I grokked all at once what muscles to use.

Finger snapping might have been a more normal childhood-skill simile, but I remember learning the Vulcan salute much better.

Never did learn how to whistle, though. I wonder if R-rolling will help.

#642 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 12:18 PM:

I wonder if the way one's mouth/jaws/lips are physically constructed has any impact on one's ability to form certain sounds?

For instance, my father could do a great imitation of Donald Duck. I can't at all. My daughter, otoh, most definitely can.

She can also wiggle her ears, which he could but I can't, and roll her tongue, which he could (and my mother and brother can) and I can't.

I, on the other hand, lisped a lot when I was a child. I still have a bit of a lisp, despite speech therapy back in the 1960s. No one else in the family has this problem. (I caught all the family recessives and therefore look subtly different from the rest of them--different skin/hair/eye color, different earlobes, etc.)

#643 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 12:21 PM:

Lee, this is the same lady who has sent me underwear without knowing my style preferences or my size. She's a bit impulsive sometimes.

Caroline: For some reason, your comment reminded me of how I made my thumbs double-jointed when I was in kindergarten. Really. It involved pressing my thumbs back as far as I could stand for long periods of time. I can still pop the joints backward without using the other hand, and it's not hereditary.

Don't ever assume a kid can't concentrate if the incentive is high enough, for his or her own peculiar definition of "incentive."

HLN: I think maybe the poppies I "planted" are sprouting. I think those are poppies. (California poppies; rather grass-like foliage.)

#644 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 01:13 PM:

HLN: Woman was annoyed a few months ago when renovations to her office building included pointless and irritating TV screens in the elevators. (The building is only 12 stories high. You're never in the elevator long enough to listen to anything anyway. But it's more mindjunk.) Woman is extremely annoyed that the pointless TVs in the elevators were recently switched from CNN to Faux News. But in the absence of a fire alarm, woman is not willing to walk up or down 8 flights of stairs to avoid the elevator.

#645 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 01:39 PM:

OtterB #644:

You can deal with almost anything if the sound is off. Please don't tell me they leave that on.

#646 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 01:45 PM:

joann @644 Unfortunately, the sound is on. Fairly soft, at least.

#647 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 02:37 PM:

I recommend wrapping your head in something before smashing the elevator-TV with a hammer, both for protection from flying glass, and so that you can blame it all on the radical Muslims.

#648 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 02:38 PM:

Are they perhaps vulnerable to a "zapper" type device? That's basically a universal remote that's been programmed with every IR shutdown sequence available.

#649 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 02:49 PM:

A "zapper" is tempting. There are other places I'd be happy to shut down TVs, but someone in an elevator is the ultimate trapped audience. At least in a waiting room I can usually sit away from them.

#650 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 03:18 PM:

Hyperlocal news: woman likes room-temp water, leaves bottle on desk without noting proximity to laptop exhaust fan, unexpectedly drinks hot water.

#651 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 03:31 PM:

Mary Dell @ 650: Oh, I've done that with bottles in the car during the summer. Nothing like that first swig of unexpected hotness!

Hot soda has to be the strangest of strange feelings for me.

#652 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 04:11 PM:

Whistling: I can whistle pretty well, on both inhales and exhales, but never managed the on-two-fingers version. Luckily, any time I might need to do that for shrill attention-getting purposes, I've got great-grandma's hog call to use. :->

#653 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 04:24 PM:

HLN: Adorable Little Dog found running loose again. No one home at her house. Now in woman's car. Again. Knowing the dog's owner's work schedule, this means dog has been running loose for at least 3 hours since owner left for work. Woman has half a mind to find a new home for ALD.

#654 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 04:33 PM:

Ginger @ 651...

I rather enjoy the taste of a glass filled with cola after it's been sitting on the kitchen counter all night. Flat and warm.
("Urp!")

#655 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 04:37 PM:

Ginger: Hot tang is like that for me. Water at, something in the area of body temperature is really unpleasant to me. I have some associational memories.

Juices, etc. I can tell myself ought to be "hot", but not water.

#656 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 04:53 PM:

Terry, we used to drink hot Tang sometimes. Also used it to sweeten tea and iced tea. We were Williamses! You know what else makes a good hot drink? Jello! Lots of different flavors to choose from. A couple of spoons, as I recall, did the trick.

Steampunk Building Sidelight: I was half hoping it would turn out to be The Higgins Armory with its riveted steel exterior. (I was there once with our hosts, in fact.)

#657 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 05:03 PM:

I've had hot Dr. Pepper before. Not too bad.

#658 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 05:07 PM:

The Higgens is Worcester, Mass, yes?

I've been there. Nice, and only a few things to make me grit my teeth.

#659 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 05:17 PM:

Whoohoo, HTML code for interrobang! Can you believe it‽ It's &#8253;.

#660 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 05:51 PM:

Tracie @653:

Wish I could take ALD off your hands -- if there's an IG rescue in your area you might want to give them a call.

If you do re-home her or hand her over to a rescue group, I would suggest not revealing that you know the so-called owner. Anyone who would allow any pet to run loose* is not what I would call a responsible owner.

*Depending on the area of the country, she could get hit by a car or wind up as coyote chow -- neither being a desired result.

#661 ::: Zelda ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 06:08 PM:

HLN: After two weeks of searching, local woman reports finding signs of crocuses emerging in front yard. Some are already in bud, she claims. Woman, who has long harbored especial fondness for bulbs capable of flowering through snow, has been observed doing thank-God-Illinois-winter-isn't-forever boogie.

#662 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 06:17 PM:

I found hot Gatorade appealing when I was sick with some cold-ish thing.

Tracie #653: Grrr! So to speak....

#663 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 06:42 PM:

HLN: Not only crocuses, but forsythia is blooming. Also, this evening sees the end of a GURPS campaign set in the sidereal universe of Mr. Macdonald's Peter Crossman.

Re: juice - hot gatorade is the post-fall-raking drink of choice at my house, because it's what Daddy made when we came in from those cold fall days. It has a lot of aspects of memory and comfort, from a point where my life was simpler.

#664 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 07:15 PM:

HLN: Northeast Georgia woman reports that the crocuses and early narcissus have already finished, the forsythia and Japanese Magnolia are on the way out, and the first tulips (including her beloved Tulipa clusiana) will probably open tomorrow.

#665 ::: Zelda ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 07:35 PM:

Lila @664:
Well now, that's just bragging. Try not to rub it in for those of us who have only had this one spark of life since late October, 'kay? :-}

#666 ::: Xopher on the number of the beast! ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 07:40 PM:

Bwah-hah-hah! I'm thuh evoll ones!1!!!

#667 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 08:14 PM:

And in updated HLN, Adorable Little Dog is discovered to be in heat. "Oh, great!" exclaims local woman. "I'm telling you, I'm real tempted to find new humans for Sweetie Pie ..."

#668 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 08:30 PM:

HLN: And in Oklahoma, the state is plagued by dozens of grass fires. I can see the column of smoke from one southwest of me, or I could while the sun was still up. No chance of rain till Monday, I hear. In local vegetation news, henbit and bittercress have been blooming in grassy areas for a few weeks, wild chives are looking tasty, forsythia, bartlett pears, and tulip trees are in full bloom, and redbuds not far behind. The lettuce on my porch is about an inch tall and may be nearly ready to thin. I'm starting to get that wildflowering-itch and need to find a place to hike.

#669 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 08:55 PM:

644
We have captive-audience screens in ours, too. They're running some proprietary aggregator, so we get news bits and ads and odds and ends.

#670 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 09:03 PM:

(I might add that the grass fire would have to jump a major highway and a riverbed to get to me.)

#671 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 10:07 PM:

I shall refrain from commenting on the flowers of the San Francisco Bay.

I have a flickr stream, it has the evidence.

#672 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 11:19 PM:

I use hot sodas as throat-coats when I don't feel like taking a lot of extra medication. Benefit is that as long as they're diet, I can drink as many as I want guilt-free, instead of only every four hours or whatever the recommended dose times are... The syrup is lovely and heavy and soothing when it's heated.

#673 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 11:31 PM:

Is the Atom feed broken for anyone else? validator.w3.org finds a problem in Babylon 5: Grail. (I did mention it over there a while ago, but the thread was already dying down, and I talked about other things in the same comment, so it would have been easy to miss.)

#674 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2011, 11:55 PM:

Some of you may remember tales of our two little rescue dogs, and the fact that the Lhasa Apso female, Jemma, has had some real health problems. A couple of weeks ago she suddenly started behaving differently: much more affectionate, even clingy, not being able to tell what direction we were calling from when asking her to come, and bumping into things. After a couple of rounds of tests, we took her to an ophthalmologist yesterday, and got the bad news: she's been going blind, and is almost completely so now.

The diagnosis is Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARD), a disorder specific to dogs whose cause is unknown (though there's some consensus that it may be an autoimmune disorder). Jemma appears to be able to detect light and dark, but not any details, and may be able to see some motion. She may lose even that ability soon. There's no treatment (and at this point not much to treat; her rods and cones are mostly defunct), but loss of vision is most likely to be the extent of the damage; we don't have to worry about neurological problems or brain tumors, for instance.

Jemma's a lot smarter than she likes to let on (she's always played the diva card), and she's adapting to her condition much better than I would have expected. She can get up and down the stairs and walk around the house and even in the back yard fairly well. As the vet said, we're probably a lot more upset about this than she is; she's just doing what she needs to do to get through the days. But it's true that we're really upset about it.

We took Jemma and Spencer in hoping that we could give them good lives, ones that made up a little bit for the bad luck they'd had before; this will make that harder. But Jemma could have a pretty good life for some time yet: she was never a very active dog, and she's 12 now, so the movie of her life could probably be titled "Eat, Shit, Cuddle, Sleep" and she'd be pretty happy. Right now she's sitting under my chair as I type, so I can stroke her back with my hand every so often.

Spencer knows there's something going on; we took him with us to the ophthalmologist, and he's been more solicitous than usual of Jemma. Spencer is a couple of years younger than Jemma and in better health to start with; we've been concerned all along that Jemma would go first leaving Spencer to grieve.

So we're going to give Jemma as good a life as we can, and make sure she has as much independence as she can safely handle. So far she's shown that she's pretty good at navigating in places she knows well, and even not too bad in the park, as long as I'm nearby to make sure she doesn't get hung up on something. We intend to give her the best life we can, for as long as possible.

#675 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 01:34 AM:

Hot Tang? Hmmm. Hot lemonade was one of our staple winter drinks when I was growing up. The local strange Hong Kong Bistro has hot Coca-cola with lemon, and it's actually quite good if you don't mind caffeine late at night. It's not carbonated by the time you get it; not sure if they make it from the carbonated drink or just use Coke syrup and hot water.

#676 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 03:43 AM:

Bruce Cohen (StM): We intend to give her the best life we can, for as long as possible.

I think you have just distilled responsible pet keeping.

#677 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 07:19 AM:

Tim May @673:

We've just tracked down and slain the invisible weird characters that were borking the feed. (We being mostly Martin.)

I don't know how they got into the feed. There was nothing visible in the back end. I got rid of them by manually retyping the affected areas of text.

We'll have a think about what could be causing this, but flag if it happens again, and we'll jump on it sooner. And thanks for pointing it out twice!

#678 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 08:05 AM:

Thanks abi. No problem.

#679 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 09:39 AM:

Abi - fixing it seems to also have fixed the RSS feed to LJ, as all the subsequent posts just showed up. Thank you!

#680 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 09:47 AM:

In re Sweetie Pie's owner ... if her fence isn't dogproof, but she's too busy to walk SP on a leash, she can do what we do with our laughably-non-beagle-resistant yard: Get a 20' (or other length) airplane-cable tether with clips on both ends. Attach one end to collar. Attach other end to some immovable part of house near back door. Go back inside and keep getting ready for work. When you're done, dog will be at end of lead, easy to retrieve, no muss, no fuss.

Of course, leaving a dog you weren't specifically intending to breed unfixed WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A DOGPROOF YARD is a whole other layer of problem. most SPCAs have subsidized-or-free neutering programs ...

#681 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 10:20 AM:

If Sweetie Pie belonged to my neighbor, I'd catch her, call Animal Control, turn her over to them and give them her owner's name and address. And I would do that every time I saw her loose.

Locally, dogs turned in as strays are kept a minimum of 5 days before being put up for adoption. And it costs the owner $25 per time to get the dog back. AND I believe owner would be required to spay her, though I'm not sure about that.

If owner doesn't reclaim her, you or someone else would be free to adopt her. In my experience as a rescuer, small, healthy purebred dogs get snapped up very quickly from shelters. If you wanted to be extra-certain, you could notify the local breed rescue.

Yes, it might be traumatic for the dog. But not as traumatic as being hit by a car. And if neighbor gets pissy, you could just say "I couldn't stand the thought of her being run over."

#682 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 10:37 AM:

Terry Karney @658: Yup, Worcester, MA. I was going to link to their own web page, but couldn't find a single decent picture of the exterior in the whole thing. I also like the fact that the metal exterior includes a somewhat convincing mockup of a stone castle interior inside. The two motifs are joined somewhat by the oversize knight surmounting the side with the entrance.

Worcester's also where I first saw the Wiggles in concert. I think that show is what brought me over to their side. They give 110% in concert. (Sound impossible? You don't understand New Math!) And it's all really them, and not college kids dancing to a pre-recorded track in big-head costumes. Plus, Murray's rendition of "The Whistling Gypsy" on CD is outstanding, and I get a little verklemmt whenever I listen to it. (With that said, their supporting characters are still remarkably lame, with Captain Feathersword being the best of the lot. I might have said Professor Singalottasonga, but I believe they retired the character when Sam became the sixth Wiggle.)

#683 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 11:00 AM:

Something interesting from the BBC feed: Friends to help police bullying and abuse on Facebook

It's like they're reinventing the basics of society....

#684 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 11:01 AM:

Whoops, sorry about the previous broken msg. (My, that's an interesting failure mode! :-) )

Something interesting from the BBC feed: Friends to help police bullying and abuse on Facebook

It's like they're reinventing the basics of society....

#685 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 11:29 AM:

Lila #664: Hyacinths have poked their heads up in this part of north-central Peachtree Province.

#686 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 01:37 PM:

David Harmon, the first five words of that headline sound kind of disturbingly misleading on their own.

#687 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 01:59 PM:

like the famous headline "Police help dog bite victim"?

#688 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 02:12 PM:

Catching up, and so jumping back a little to the accents/sounds discussion: I am going to have to try Elliott Mason's instructions for rolled/trilled R, as it's a sound that's eluded me entirely and severely hampered my ability to communicate with Spanish-speakers (although it does let them grin at my poor attempts, and feel easier about their own stumbles in English).

I've already noticed a tendency to code-switch when conversing with someone I perceive to have an accent. It's not exactly voluntary. Sometimes I worry that they'll feel like I'm mocking them, but, for the most part, it seems to go undetected or at least un-commented on except by me.

Just recently, I've noticed that the code-switching isn't limited to VOCAL communication! I've been conversing over IM with a young person from Quebec, who's impressively bilingual but whose first language was French. Actually, one of the reasons we started conversing was because I studied French fairly intensively in high school, and maintain enough reading comprehension that I could follow the articles xie was linking to to complain about stupid things contained therein, without requiring a line-by-line translation, and so I could discuss in more detail and in a livelier fashion that the other blog commenters who had no French.

Anyway. We converse in English. But hir English, when zie's not concentrating intensely on proper form the way xie might when trying to write an academic paper in English, is pretty obviously English composed according to the rules of French grammar. It's perfectly comprehensible, and, to my perception, kind of charming.

The WEIRD part is, that as we continue to converse, I find myself structuring my sentences in the same manner. Not with any outright English errors, which occasionally happen in hirs... but noticeably different from casual American English. It almost reads as if I'm the narrator of Delia Sherman's "The Porcelain Dove."

This isn't intentional, or even conscious. I don't think zie notices -- it may actually make my writing more comprehensible to hir.

Does this happen to anyone else?

#689 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 03:07 PM:

Bruce, one thing you can do for Jemma is not to move things around, as much as possible. When Jake the cocker spaniel went blind and deaf, he still had some memory of where furniture was. He did start wandering around at night (probably doggie dementia). One thing we had to account for is that he would sometimes wander onto Bella when she was asleep and there would be growling and defensive movements and poor Jake was terrified. Moving Bella's bed and gating that room solved it.

It looks like Sweetie's people may have gone away for spring break. :-( Or at least for the weekend. They do not have a fenced yard, they just let her out and expect her not to stray. They did not take me up on my offer of yard screw and chain.

Lila, I've checked with Oconee Co animal control and they say that she is highly adoptable. "Low cost" dog spay is $75, and I'm sure her humans -- a low paid UGA employee, single mother with 2 kids -- can't come up with it. If they aren't home by Monday, or at least return m calls, she'll be rehomed. If her behavior with me is any guide, she'll have no trouble integrating into a better home.

#690 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 03:17 PM:

Rikibeth: That sort of code switching (written/spoken) happens to me all the time.

#692 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 04:35 PM:

(Apologies to B. Durbin for bringing politics into an otherwise mostly apolitical thread.)

Re David Harmon's 684: it makes my head hurt to read of Obama releasing a statement to the effect that we don't have to stand for bullying on the same day as he's saying that as far as he's concerned there's nothing wrong with the way Bradley Manning is being treated.

#693 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 05:31 PM:

OT:

Wrangl is an interesting new web tool for arguments. It lets you organise arguments for each side and link counter-arguments. I don't know if it's actually useful, but it's the sort of thing that Fluorospherians might like.

#694 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 06:10 PM:

Tracie @689:

I am down on my knees, begging you, DO NOT RETURN an unspayed Sweetie Pie to her obviously oblivious owner.

Give her to Animal Control, contact IG Rescue, but please -- it's clear this woman is not acting in Sweetie Pie's best interest, and we sure as hell don't need more unwanted puppies!

http://www.italiangreyhound.org/pages/500rescue.html

#695 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 08:31 PM:

Rikibeth @ 688

I tend to do that code switching esp. from what I've been reading - I pick up the grammar and construction quickly and it filters into speech and writing. Recently I wrote a paper on the Episcopal Church Congresses of the late 1900s. I ended up reading way too many primary sources, and the historical portion had all the sentence construction of Victorian tracts. Also happens when I've been reading German, or a hell of a lot of novels set somewhere with different logic/lang patterns (Liaden Universe novels cause a particularly blatant shift). Part of my immersion in reading material involves shifting my brain from my standard broadcast middle-American English into whatever code is in use and then the effects tend to linger for a couple of days.

#696 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 09:37 PM:

Bruce, I second Tracie's advice about not moving furniture around too much. When my first cat was about 14, she began to go blind. She navigated around the house really well. She was confused if things were moved but generally did not bump into stuff (the whiskers help a lot with that). She also had a tendency to move through rooms by sticking close to the walls and furniture--if she periodically brushed along the sides of things, she knew where she was.

She was probably completely blind for most of the last year of her life. She was pretty happy, except for the periodic attacks by my toddler. Ultimately she was euthanized due to kidney disease.

#697 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2011, 11:36 PM:

Popping in for a moment, still trying to get my back in shape for prolonged computer work...

The Wikipedia article on International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day is being considered for deletion as "not a notable event" by someone who (by inference) either has an axe to grind or cannot comprehend what's written in the article and can't be arsed to look at the sources he claims don't exist.

#698 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 01:00 AM:

Terry Karney @ 691:

Oh, wonderful. And who's going to save us from the FAA?

#699 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 01:10 AM:

Melissa, Tracie, thank you for the advice. Watching Jemma navigate around the house and the yard it's clear she's got a pretty good map in her head of where things are, and I'm trying to keep them there where possible. She bumps into things occasionally, but she's ready for that, and usually knows what she's bumped into, and where the next landmark should be. Like I say, I'm impressed with her ability; she's much smarter than she usually lets on.

#700 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 10:18 AM:

Joel Polowin #697: Initial responses are encouraging.

Also, I'm not sure how seriously to take anyone with a handle of "Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus", but in any case, the account seems to be a new ID for the person.

#701 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 12:38 PM:

Sisuile @695, the two strongest literary sources that induce code-switching in my writing are the oft-mentioned Patrick O'Brian and Paarfi of Roundwood.

I was just surprised to have it happen in a conversational setting! I don't code-switch nearly as noticeably when I'm conversing, with, say, a younger American whose patterns are highly informal -- I stick to my formal, grammatical, correctly-spelled English. Sometimes they mirror ME. But, confronted with English vocabulary manipulated by French grammar structures -- I start to sound like a translation of Dumas.

Hm. The other situation where I'm inclined to code-switch is when conversing with a Brit. I thought THAT was just a hangover from my Harry Potter fanfic days, where it was very important not only to avoid having one's characters inadvertently spout Americanisms, but to correctly mimic their class markers -- Tonks does NOT sound the same as Hermione, and there are specific tells. I'll shift over to British versions of vocabulary and idiom, just to enhance mutual comprehension.

Oh, and one I'd forgotten -- I have an online friend in Germany, who writes in English. Sometimes, when I'm writing something to her, I'll deliberately include both American and UK versions of a noun, because I'm not sure which will be more familiar to her. The one I remember recently was "plastic wrap/cling film," when I was explaining microwave preparation of the fresh Romanesco she'd bought on impulse because it was cool-looking, and the only online cooking suggestions she'd found all said "prepare like cauliflower," and she was all "I buy my cauliflower frozen! No idea how to cook it fresh!" so I gave her stovetop steaming, microwave steaming, and oven-roasting tips. I had to say "this temperature is Fahrenheit, you can obviously convert to Celsius just as well as I can, I don't know if your oven is marked in Celsius or 'gas marks,' it's near the top of the temperature range my oven produces, maybe back off one or two marks from the highest?" I figured she could sort it out.

It's very embarrassing how GOOD my correspondents for whom English is a second language are at it, when I can decode one's language with some effort but can't compose in it with any facility, and the other's, I can merely approximate decoding from familiarity with Chaucer, and couldn't BEGIN to compose in it. I couldn't even compose in Middle English like Teresa's "O dere God" post, and hope that would be relatively intelligible.

#702 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 12:39 PM:

Sisuile @695, the two strongest literary sources that induce code-switching in my writing are the oft-mentioned Patrick O'Brian and Paarfi of Roundwood.

I was just surprised to have it happen in a conversational setting! I don't code-switch nearly as noticeably when I'm conversing, with, say, a younger American whose patterns are highly informal -- I stick to my formal, grammatical, correctly-spelled English. Sometimes they mirror ME. But, confronted with English vocabulary manipulated by French grammar structures -- I start to sound like a translation of Dumas.

Hm. The other situation where I'm inclined to code-switch is when conversing with a Brit. I thought THAT was just a hangover from my Harry Potter fanfic days, where it was very important not only to avoid having one's characters inadvertently spout Americanisms, but to correctly mimic their class markers -- Tonks does NOT sound the same as Hermione, and there are specific tells. I'll shift over to British versions of vocabulary and idiom, just to enhance mutual comprehension.

Oh, and one I'd forgotten -- I have an online friend in Germany, who writes in English. Sometimes, when I'm writing something to her, I'll deliberately include both American and UK versions of a noun, because I'm not sure which will be more familiar to her. The one I remember recently was "plastic wrap/cling film," when I was explaining microwave preparation of the fresh Romanesco she'd bought on impulse because it was cool-looking, and the only online cooking suggestions she'd found all said "prepare like cauliflower," and she was all "I buy my cauliflower frozen! No idea how to cook it fresh!" so I gave her stovetop steaming, microwave steaming, and oven-roasting tips. I had to say "this temperature is Fahrenheit, you can obviously convert to Celsius just as well as I can, I don't know if your oven is marked in Celsius or 'gas marks,' it's near the top of the temperature range my oven produces, maybe back off one or two marks from the highest?" I figured she could sort it out.

It's very embarrassing how GOOD my correspondents for whom English is a second language are at it, when I can decode one's language with some effort but can't compose in it with any facility, and the other's, I can merely approximate decoding from familiarity with Chaucer, and couldn't BEGIN to compose in it. I couldn't even compose in Middle English like Teresa's "O dere God" post, and hope that would be relatively intelligible.

#703 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 02:14 PM:

Rikibeth @ 688: Oh lawks, yes! When I've been reading or writing fantasies with somewhat Renaissance-influenced speech patterns, especially, the same tinge creeps into my normal speech unless I catch it and deliberately shake it out in favour of something else.

The two most extreme instances were -

- the occasion when I realized my utterances were getting daily terser and denser-packed, after some nights of listening to David Friedman's Harald in the audiobook version; and

- the time I'd been reading a Kalevala translation, and somebody irritated me on a station platform with exceedingly oafish behaviour. It was all I could do to clench my teeth shut on the full-on, highly rhythmic and elaborate Osmo-alike curse-verse which came rushing through my mind for the next several minutes. I don't think I've ever had such a stream of sustained and varied invective occur to me, and I'd already forgotten just about every word of it by the time I got home. The sensation when I realized where the silent rant was coming from... more than slightly curious. It was not a very conscious composition!

#704 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 02:42 PM:

Gray Woodland @ 703... Speaking of the Kalevala, have you ever seen "The Day the Earth Froze" with comments by the Mystery Science Theater gang? ("How can something be American AND International?")

#705 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 02:49 PM:

Code switching: It didn't get past my lips, but I dropped "Bored of the Rings" mid-book, when I realized what it was doing to my internal dialogues. Eeew....

#706 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 03:07 PM:

When I have to walk anywhere, I run scenes in my head, often fairly dialogue-heavy because then I have fewer words to pick at. I look forward to working in high schools because of this-- it means I walk from one place to another and can relax.

When I was taking my three-week ASL course (wish I'd kept that up), my scene-running dialogue became Weird. It was all ASL-syntax. And back when I read the Bible before bed, my scenes were made of run-ons with lots of 'and' connectors.

#708 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 07:02 PM:

(From the first of those links: "Born in ancient Rome, refined in medieval scriptoria, appropriated by England’s most famous modern typographer and finally rehabilitated by the personal computer, the story of the pilcrow is intertwined with the evolution of modern writing. It is the quintessential shady character.")

#709 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 09:17 PM:

707: isn't it really called a dingbat?

#710 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 09:46 PM:

The Modesto Kid @707: I had never heard the name of the pilcrow, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention!

#711 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 10:14 PM:

My (few) Eyebeam books are where I can't get to them and page through, and Sam Hurt's Eyebeam site has a horrible Flash interface that makes it difficult to do that electronically, but do any Eyebeam fans think that this robot looks like a homage to the toy one that Peaches, Queen of the Universe used to use? Snufftor, I think it was, rather than IM4U, who she thought was a Transformer and kept trying to fold up.

#712 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 10:33 PM:

#709,10: IIUC (from the second link) 'pilcrow' is cognate to 'paragraph' -- the name of the symbol entered Middle English from Old French as 'pylcroft'. I had never heard the name either. I don't quite understand what a 'dingbat' is -- I always use it to mean 'idiosyncratic graphic for separating sections of text' but I don't know how close that is to the real definition.

#713 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2011, 10:35 PM:

Erik Nelson #709 isn't it really called a dingbat?

Dingbat is the genus, pilcrow is the species.

#714 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 01:33 AM:

Definition of DINGBAT
1
: a typographical symbol or ornament (as *, ¶, or X)

From Merriam-Webster.

I happened to see a video compilation of "The Best of Laugh-In" on PBS the other night, but I didn't hear any audio clips in which either Dan or Dick said "Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls!"

#715 ::: Pendrift in DC ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 04:10 AM:

Open threadiness: checking in for a bit after a fairly prolonged hiatus from the Fluorosphere. If anyone's in the area and interested, I'm in the George Washington distillery at Mount Vernon making rye whiskey until Wednesday. I can be reached at my username chez our friends at google dot com if someone would like to drop by.

#716 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 05:52 AM:

Making Light moment!

This weekend I was in Cape Town, taking a guided tour of the cape. One of the things we got to see was endangered African Penguins, which are very cute and are endangered for obvious reasons: you have to make sure not to step on them, because they see no threat.

I was informed by the guide that you have to be careful where you step, becuase "they burrow into the sand", and I realized that other people had no idea why that was so funny.

Pictures of fierce, sand-burrowing penguins will come in a few days.

(Other notes from the thread: @628 and such, I met a girl once named Deirdre who couldn't do R noises. @643, I taught myself to tie my sneakers one-handed once. Makin' my own fun, I was. )

#717 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 07:32 AM:

Serge @ 704: The Day the Earth Froze is a new one on me, in any form. Thank you - I think. I appear to have sprained something on the phrase "hard-working Lemminkäinen".

#718 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 09:18 AM:

The Modesto Kid @712: So that's the truth about pylcroft!

#719 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 10:07 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II #711: Heh -- it's been ~20 years since I read Eyebeam, and I still use lines from it.... Is it still running? I'll have to check out that site, despite nasty Flash.

#720 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 10:32 AM:

Sandy B (716): Burrowing sand penguins! And they're even from Africa, albeit the wrong end.

#721 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 10:33 AM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex. Further to TexAnne @507, I will be posting 150 cranes today or tomorrow. would other crane folders please say how many they have made so I know if I need to make & send more than that; mine have a long way to fly (trans-Atlantic) so I want to know now if I need to do more before I send them. Thanks.

Sandy B. @716: Nice you got to see them in the wild, not oiled. Did any have flipper bands on?

#722 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 10:36 AM:

dcb (721): I only managed 19 before my hands rebelled. :(

Anyone want about three dozen sheets of orgami paper? It's very pretty....

#723 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 10:47 AM:

Gray Woodland @ 717... The movie can be found on YouTube, by the way. I expect that someone who has actually read the Kalevala will find his/her eyebrows lifting all the way to the back of one's head.

#724 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 11:00 AM:

dcb: Check your email.

All: We have room for more people! 1000 is the minimum, not the maximum. Sing out if you want my address.

#725 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 11:01 AM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex. I know I have at least 50 -- I plan to sort them out and start stringing them tonight. Strings of 25, right? If I'm close enough I'll keep going to 75 -- I've kind of lost count!

#726 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 11:10 AM:

Hey, Xopher! Which would you prefer: a totally surprising giant box on your doorstep, or knowing exactly how far along we are at all times?

All: don't answer dcb's question until Xopher's weighed in.

#727 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 11:27 AM:

Bruce Cohen (SPM)@ 699: Humans and other primates are intensely visual, so we do anthropomorphize with respect to other species. The truth is, dogs do not rely on their vision like we do, not to the extent that we do (even sight hounds, who do rely more than other dog breeds upon vision). Dogs with normal vision can demonstrate this at any time: if you sneak out of the house and return downwind, with a new hat on, your sighted canines will bark at you until they can smell or hear you.

This is not to say that they don't use vision at all; obviously they do. However, the loss of vision for a dog is not as damaging to their navigation through the world as it is for a human.

As the others have mentioned, don't move the furniture around, and pretty soon she'll be navigating the house as if she were completely visual. Your visitors will not be able to pick out the blind dog. A house full of veterinary students and their dogs had a blind dog in the pack, and visitors never knew which one was blind.

I remember the first time I acted as a seeing-eye human for a blind Doberman, who was visiting my uncle's practice for the day. She was very responsive to my cues. If I stopped walking, she lowered her nose and sniffed the ground to ascertain where the steps were.

#728 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 11:56 AM:

Rikibeth @ 701

Ah! I'd forgotten the effect of Master Paarfi of Roundwood upon my speech/writing patterns. It wasn't as noticeable this last readthrough, as I wasn't doing any significant scholarship around that time.

I think the worst was the point in time when I was reading Discworld, Hitchhikers' Guide, Jonathan Strange & Mister Norell, and the victorian translation of the Seancus Mor. Three of those believe wholeheartedly in the footnote vignette. Two have a very victorian code. My story was sent back from the prof for having more footnotes than main text and a low total sentence count, and why was there a towel?

#729 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 11:58 AM:

Cranes: I am not making any partly because I never quite got into origami cranes and partly because Google has failed me: I cannot find instructions for the crane I want.

So the box should include one imaginary origami construction crane, please. It is made of red and silver foil paper and took me several tries.

#730 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 12:04 PM:

@#688 Rikibeth

English composed according to the rules of French grammar. It's perfectly comprehensible, and, to my perception, kind of charming.

Ah, Franglais! I know it well. The term may also apply to speaking both languages in the same sentence, à la: "I walked to the casse-croûte for frites, and it was so 'ot!"♀

This happens to me a lot, although oddly, the other way 'round. When at home, surrounded by francophones speaking French, Franglais, and accented English, my English grammar and pronunciation are pretty much unremarkable Canadian English. When I travel to the States, and am surrounded by people speaking 'Americanese', suddenly I have French words popping up everywhere, and yes, I will even do the English-words-French-structure thing you have mentioned. It's like my brain misses it, and so I have to provide it for myself. It's rather disconcerting.

♀not a typo. Dropped H's are a hallmark of the accent. They often reappear somewhere else they don't belong, leading to sentences that sound like "Les Canadiens play 'ockey on the hice", or, "That haeroplane is flying really 'igh!"

#731 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 12:21 PM:

Diatryma: Check. A virtual crane-folding party ought to contain at least one virtual crane anyway.

That reminds me: it wouldn't be any trouble to put notes or cards in the crane-box. If you're not folding, but want to send Xopher something more concrete than pixels, Abi has my address.

#732 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 12:29 PM:

David Harmon: Heh -- it's been ~20 years since I read Eyebeam, and I still use lines from it.... Is it still running? I'll have to check out that site, despite nasty Flash.

Running weekly in The Austin Chronicle. The site has most of it (some of the links either aren't working or don't work on a Mac) including the current run up to about six months ago. If you want anything newer than that you'll have go to The Austin Chronicle’s website and either click on the E-Edition for the current issue or click on their link to the Archives and work your way backwards through the E-Editions–Eyebeam is usually about 12 pages from the end of each issue, on the comics page between the personals and the raunch ads. Glad I could help!

#733 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 12:30 PM:

OT: Is there any name for the academic study of (or genre of writing about) the contents of famous people's libraries?

#734 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 01:42 PM:

@ praisegod barebones "(Apologies to B. Durbin for bringing politics into an otherwise mostly apolitical thread.)"

Didn't realize I'd gotten upset about that. No worries; I mostly avoid the political threads* but the occasional comment in open threads doesn't freak me out.

*It's complicated.

#735 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 02:42 PM:

Franglais = Russlisch.

Which has it's own problems, because of the very different ways in which time happens.

#736 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 02:51 PM:

Nederlengels its own charms has also.

#737 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 03:01 PM:

Franglais? There's also joual, where I come from and, in case you're wondering, 'joual' is an old-fashioned way of pronouncing 'cheval' (horse) in Quebec.

#738 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 03:02 PM:

B.Durbin

I don't remember you getting upset about it. I remember you expressing a firm preference for non-political threads over political ones; and inferred (mistakenly, obviously) that you'd prefer the boundaries between the two categories not to be blurred.

#739 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 03:02 PM:

I just wrote a comment that somehow is being held up for review. My first-ever here, and I didn't even use naughty words.

#740 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 04:12 PM:

Cheryl@730

I think my daughter has the soul of a Quebecoise: as I was reading this thread she was saying (a propos of something Dr. Who related) 'je l'ai trouve sur la toile, je vais t'emailer le link'. (She refuses to speak to me in English, but does mos of her computer-related stuff in the language.)

#741 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 04:13 PM:

Serge @739:

Fished it out. You used a phrase that was the common factor in a bunch of spam a wee while ago.

#742 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 04:20 PM:

abi @ 741... I did? I have no idea which part that would be, unless there's somebody out in the francophone world who thinks there's demand for spam made out of horses.

#743 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 08:31 PM:

I just went to see an ABC news item online in Google Chrome on my Mac. In a little window over to the side the site listed my Facebook friends and what stories they had liked. Is there a way to stop this from happening? This sort of thing is why I try to make sure that I never post anything of note on Facebook...

#744 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 08:38 PM:

Paging Tracie: any news on the Adorable Little Dog front?

#745 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 09:13 PM:

@743 Were you logged into Facebook at the time? I've taken to logging off any time I'm not actually on the FB page just because I don't trust the buggers...

#746 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 09:30 PM:

Thena: Were you logged into Facebook at the time? I've taken to logging off any time I'm not actually on the FB page just because I don't trust the buggers...

Yes I was. I'll try it again with my FB page closed. AAAAAnd it does the same thing. Blah.

#747 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 09:52 PM:

@746 I don't mean closing the FB page, I mean actually logging all the way out (from the drop down menu where they hide it so you'll forget to do it.)

One of the annoying sneaky things about FB is that unless you log all the way out, the website acts as though you are actually actively there. Hate hate hate. The only reason I use the darn thing at all is for people I knew 20 years ago whose addresses I've lost track of.

#748 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 10:06 PM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex.

Wait - strings of 25? Darn. I've made strings of 20. Mary Aileen, I'll take the paper and fold it for you for Xopher. An email sent to this address will reach me: syfr0@juno.com (This is my public spamcatcher address.) and from there I will send you an actual email address.

Stationery, gruidae, sumitomo, dadaphonic

#749 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2011, 10:11 PM:

I'm pretty sure we're to string them into strings of however many we durn tootin' feel like. :->

#750 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 12:04 AM:

Bruce @743, if you use any Facebook apps at all, or are configured to not disallow them, they do with your data what they will.

There are some settings you might be interested in.

#751 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 01:10 AM:

Thena, #747: Agreed. And here's another thing that annoys the holy fucking fuck out of me: that little checkbox on the login page that says, "Keep me logged in"? It rechecks itself about once or twice a week, and I have to uncheck it again.

Unless you are an ultra-paranoid, experienced Facebook user, I would recommend never logging into Facebook on a library computer or from any other public location. They have NO concept of security, and make it entirely too easy for someone else to hijack your account.

#752 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 01:12 AM:

Ginger @ 727:

Thanks. The more I hear from other dog owners and vets and the more I see Jemma adapting, the more convinced I am that we've made the right decision, to help her live out whatever time she's got left at the best quality of life possible.

#753 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 09:04 AM:

Ginger @727: I remember in the 70s hearing about a guide dog who had become blind, but still managed to guide (his?) master around for quite a while before the condition became known.

ps: Eyebeam! Too cool. I'd read years ago that Hurt wasn't doing it any more, so I never looked for it. I'm bookmarking the Austin Chronicle. Thanks, Mr. Durocher!

#754 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 09:58 AM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex

Also currently in the "virtual cranes" crowd...

#755 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 10:15 AM:

Lee @751

Even that may not be enough. Facebook buttons, of the "click if you like this" sort, are all over the web. The graphic is loaded from a Facebook server. Which means that you are feeding them your IP address and HTTP referer info.

IP addresses aren't certain as identity info, but the legal advice in Europe is that sometimes they can be linked to an individual, just as a telephone number can, so they should be handled as if they were "personal data".

I know of several US companies which are doing stuff that would be dodgy, if that guidance applied. Not logging, as such, but how the data is handled, and how long it is kept for.

#756 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 12:53 PM:

Bizarre 'be my tech support' question: In regards to the thingdoodle you can put in Firefox that turns the background of comments on this blog you've already loaded once grey ... why might it suddenly stop working? I don't thiiiiink I've changed anything, and I no longer remember if it was a greasemonkey script or what.

#757 ::: Jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 01:34 PM:

Xopher is in the hospital having tests preparatory to having cancer treatment. It looks like he'll be able to get charity care here. He's in Hoboken "University" Medical Center. He wants you to know that he's in good spirits and is grateful for your good wishes.

Lenore

#758 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 02:23 PM:

Earl Cooley III: thanks for the link: I followed the steps there and now the ABC news site isn't showing friends info anymore!

Kip W: ps: Eyebeam! Too cool. I'd read years ago that Hurt wasn't doing it any more, so I never looked for it. I'm bookmarking the Austin Chronicle. Thanks, Mr. Durocher!

No problem. Remember, the older strips are at in Flash, and the Chronicle strips (up to six months or so ago) are under the Eyebeam 2009 button. I met Hurt briefly years ago at SDCC (TALL! He gave me an Eyebeam mug after he heard me do a full-court press to convince someone I knew to pick up the Eyebeam comic books when we were walking around the hall) and he was a nice guy.

#759 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 02:47 PM:

Elliot - greasemonkey, and linked on the front page. I don't know why it would stop working, but I recently had to reinstall everything on a new computer.

#760 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 02:52 PM:

Jonesnori/Lenorejones @ 757

Thank you for posting. Like lots of people here I'll be thinking about Xopher today.

Also, here are some of
these for good luck.

(Turkish 'nazar bonjuk' beads, for warding off misfortune.)

#761 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 03:40 PM:

HLN: Woman receives two boxes of origami cranes in the mail. "It feels like Christmas," she said, "except I won't have to store them for very long."

#762 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 03:50 PM:

TexAnne @761 -- make sure they're well fed and watered before you send them along again....

#763 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 03:55 PM:

Q: What loses you your job in the Obama administration?

A: Criticizing the mistreatment of a suspected whistleblower in US custody.

I would very much like to vote for someone, one day, who *didn't* pursue a policy of being exactly as evil as they thought they could get away with, while still staying marginally less evil and/or crazy than their likeliest opponent. (Well, an opposition party that wasn't actively evil and crazy would also be nice, but let's not get unrealistic, here.)

This is precedent, just like Padilla and Lindh were precedent, just like putting Awlaki on the hit list (sorry, "high-value list of targets") was precendent. In two years, when president Palin is putting citizens on the hit list, having whistleblowers mistreated as an example to others, and refusing to prosecute or even allow releasing any information about illegal domestic spying or torture, her shills will be reminding us that "Obama did it too." Indeed, as Obama has been redefined as an extreme-left socialist Muslim, clearly his policies will be widely understood to be the absolute left-wing bound on these policies, the extreme against which sensible future presidents should seek to find some balanced "middle way."

#764 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 04:33 PM:

Jonesnori/Lenore Jones @757:

Thank you for telling us this.

I'll pray for him. Strength, health, cheer, and all good things. Also, if it's acceptable, for you and whoever is caring for him and helping him out.

#765 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 04:37 PM:

My best wishes to Xopher...

#766 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 04:41 PM:

albatross @763:

In the 2012 presidential election, I will probably be voting third party or writing someone in (unless someone beats Zero in the primaries).

The 2008 Democratic party would have been better off if the adulterer had won the primaries. He may have had a mistress*, but at least he wouldn't have had the Fed and Wallstreet for bedmates.

*FDR had two.

#767 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 04:44 PM:

Any time now someone will say there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

#768 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 04:53 PM:

Serge @767:

Perhaps. But no one has yet. Don't overreact.

Albatross is correct in pointing out that Obama is not rolling back the security state like we hoped that he would. He's a gradualist in many things and, like all politicians, really bad at letting go of power.

Those are bad things for those of us who see urgent problems he is not solving, important principles he's compromised on, and baby steps taken where we need strides. I, personally, don't think that we were going to get the statesman our times look to need from the 2008 election. And I can't help measuring Obama against that dream of leadership.

But that's not to say he's not miles saner and more sensible than even the most innocuous of the Republican likelies.

There's a difference between grey and pitch black. But we'd be deluding ourselves if we called grey white.

#769 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 05:04 PM:

Etsy appears to be taking the Facebook approach to user privacy. Some tips for minimizing your exposure can be found here.

Funny, I'd been thinking about getting myself an Etsy shop -- most of the artists I know have one, and it seems to be very good for them. But now I think I'll hold off for a while, at least until I see how this shakes out.

#770 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 05:16 PM:

abi @ 768... we'd be deluding ourselves if we called grey white

Oh, I agree. Like I said to someone not long after Obama's first disappointing acts (I forgot which that was), I expect to be disappointed by my politicians, and I wish they'd prove me wrong more often.

#771 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 05:19 PM:

Speaking of presidents, Megan McArdle had an interesting piece about what learning secrets does to your worldview.

An American President

Basically, when you're in the top rungs of power, you gain access to a lot more information than you ever have before. When you're dealing with people who don't have that access, you are more concerned with keeping secrets than you are with what that person might be able to teach you.

Here's part of what Daniel Ellsberg told Kissinger:

"You will deal with a person who doesn't have those clearances only from the point of view of what you want him to believe and what impression you want him to go away with, since you'll have to lie carefully to him about what you know. In effect, you will have to manipulate him. You'll give up trying to assess what he has to say. The danger is, you'll become something like a moron. You'll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they may have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours."

#772 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 05:30 PM:

An interesting wikileak would be the security briefing that the US intelligence community uses to scare the hell out of each new incoming POTUS, to persuade the newbie to give them carte blanche.

#773 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 06:34 PM:

Elliott @ 756

When Firefox errors out and shuts down (which it does because I almost certainly have too many windows open as a general rule), and I re-open Making Light, the Greasemonkey greyout script usually (though not quite always) doesn't kick in the first time I open a thread, and I have to watch for the different-colored date to see where I stopped reading. On all subsequent openings, however, it works fine. Just a data point. I'm pretty sure we're using different operating systems, though, having seen your computer, so it may not be much help. (I'm using Ubuntu.)

And that paragraph should be taken out and shot.

#774 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 06:49 PM:

Tom Whitmore @ 762: Don't worry; those will have a good rest, because mine haven't set flight yet - and they've the longest way to fly, I think.

Good wishes for Xopher being folded into every crane.

#775 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 06:53 PM:

Nancy C. Mittens (748): You've got mail.

#776 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 07:09 PM:

Good wishes, good vibes, good energies, and good luck to Xopher.

#777 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 09:17 PM:

Best wishes, Xopher!

#778 ::: Renatus ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 09:39 PM:

Delurking to wish Xopher the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

#779 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 10:09 PM:

Xopher: You have my prayers and best wishes.

#780 ::: Jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 10:38 PM:

Abi @ 764, you have my permission and thanks for prayers for me, and for anyone from my church (which Xopher attends to sing in the choir), but I can't speak for anyone else.

My church's pastor visited Xopher today. He knows Xopher isnz't Christian, but he's a member of the community.

#781 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 11:01 PM:

Xopher, you're in my prayers.

#782 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2011, 11:23 PM:

Xopher, I'll be thinking of you -- good luck.

#783 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 12:41 AM:

Well, crud. I'm resting semi-comfortably in the hospital in preparation for yet another cardiac cath, with the possibility of yet more stents. The disconcerting part is signing the consent that says "... and if we find something really bad in there we can put you completely under and do a bypass." Not my idea of a good time, but at least I'm used to it by now.

#784 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 12:46 AM:

@Tracie: Best of luck. I hope it's just a stent-job.

My parents are full of those things.

& late-in good wishes toward Xopher.

#785 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 07:25 AM:

Tracie @ 783... I hope it turned out for the best.

#786 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 07:49 AM:

Cally Soukup #773: Hmm. I'm using that script too, and it seems to be working fine on my Ubuntu box.

#787 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 07:58 AM:

Late-arriving but sincere best wishes to Xopher and Tracie, and prayers if acceptable.

#788 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 08:36 AM:

Jonesnori #757: We're all wishing him well.

#789 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 09:51 AM:

Add me to the "wishing Xopher well" column. The belated one.

#790 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 10:12 AM:

Xopher, Tracie--I hope things are going as well as ever they can for both of you.

#791 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 10:17 AM:

Tracie: hope everything goes smoothly. If you need help with anything, remember I'm local to you. Lila atte Mark and Lila dotte comm.

#792 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 10:57 AM:

A question inspired by the T-shirt Particle: When we buy Mike Ford's work via the SpecEng shop at CafePress, who's getting the "profit" (besides CafePress)?

#793 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 11:16 AM:

Serge #767:

Does that seem like a justification for what Obama and his administration is doing, to you? I mean, what if next week, it comes out that we've resumed torturing terrorism suspects (there have been claims that it's still going on, but nothing substantiated as far as I know). Or that we're continuing to massively wiretap Americans without warrants? (I'd bet a lot of money this is continuing.) Or if Obama decides we need to invade yet another Middle Eastern country? (I'm assuming we don't count Yemen, where we have sent death squads and drones with missiles.)

Here's my prediction: You will find a way to justify it, to say "well, yes, he's something of a bastard, but at least he's our bastard" or "yeah, but at least he's going the right direction on health care," or "yeah, but at least he's not as bad as the Republicans." You'll keep supporting him.

And at the same time, you will shake your head in wonder at the otherwise apparently sane and decent Republicans who somehow made excuses for all W's godawful policies and demonstrated incompetence and violation of all their principles, and kept on voting for and supporting their guy, because "at least he's not a liberal."

#794 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 11:18 AM:

Xopher and Tracie - energy and good wishes!

Serge -- I was an Edwards supporter, was not enthusiastic about Obama, and voted for him because the thought of Caribou Barbie being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office (and the "football") was the stuff of nightmares.

Do I think there's a difference between Dems and Repubs -- yes, I do. What I think the Dems can't do is run a candidate who will actually defend and nurture Democratic programs (like Social Security, National Health Care) instead of one who becomes a carbon copy of W as soon as they're sworn in.

Frankly, I hope Obama, Cheney, Bush, Rice, and Rumsfeld are prosecuted for war crimes and human rights violations.

#795 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 11:37 AM:

Best wishes to Xopher -- I strung my first batch of cranes last night and they are sending good thoughts long distance, but soon hope to join their fellows.

In HLN, woman takes daughter for wisdom tooth removal and finds out 1. the anesthesia feels like drinking three shots in a row, and 2. said daughter dreams about books when under. She will be taken care of today by her fiancee and will soon be the recipient of a large pan of warm, not hot, home-made macaroni and cheese.

#796 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 11:51 AM:

Tom Tomorrow

Lori:

My sense is that there's a largish part of our set of policies which are the consensus of the ruling class (the folks at the top of government, media, and business, and to some extent academia). That consensus, like any political consensus, is not the result of rational discussion or experience or analysis, it's the result of negotiation and political compromise, iterated many times over the years.

Elected leaders, in practice, have a very hard time violating that consensus. Even when they campaign to violate it, they find themselves unwilling or unable to actually do it, once they get themselves in office. Perhaps they face too much internal opposition--the bureaucracies will revolt if we do X, the department heads will resign in protest, we'll end up with a massively less effective military and intelligence services and justice department and regulatory agencies, if we force through such-and-so policy. Perhaps it's external pushback--the rest of their party won't support them, the media will crucify them, the interest groups will stop giving campaign money to their party, whatever.

Further, although the centralized power of US media companies is declining over time, as they spend their credibility, and as alternative become available, they still define the window of non-crazy policy ideas. And they still have tremendous power to define some ideas as crazy, and others as sane, regardless of any rational evaluation of them. (A favorite example of mine: Ron Paul, during the 2008 primaries, had some bizarre idea that American sovereignty was at stake because of the threat of some kind of "North American Union." This was, as best I could tell, somewhere between silly and delusional, and most everyone called him on it. The rest of the Republican candidates had the bizarre idea that Islamic terrorists posed a threat to the continued existence of the United States. This was, as best I could tell, also somewhere between silly and delusional, but was treated as serious, adult discussion, to be taken seriously.)

I think much of what we're seeing with Obama reflects this. The elite consensus, after 9/11, shifted toward certain policies--bombing and invading countries, kidnapping and torturing prisoners, spying on our own citizens, building up a turnkey police state here at home, and silencing or black-holing critics of this stuff. There's some subset of this elite consensus that it is acceptable to deny or oppose in public, but which is simply going to continue absent politically painful and expensive conflict. Other parts are not acceptable to oppose even in public.

Now, this sounds too monolithic--it's not like there's some committee of ten people defining elite consensus. As far as I can tell, this is simply a widely-shared set of beliefs among a set of people who have a lot in common, in terms of experiences, education, and interests. But my sense is that this consensus exists, and is extremely hard to fight against. And yet, if we can't fight against it, I don't see how we get out of this horrible and worsening situation we're in as a country.

The only way I see to push back against it is to make it expensive, in terms of support from your base, to ignore the beliefs and interests of your supporters in favor of following the elite consensus, avoiding p-ssing off the intelligence services, keeping the lobbyists sweet on you, whatever.

#797 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 11:53 AM:

Best wishes for Xopher.

#798 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 12:18 PM:

Albatross @ 793... You're absolutely right. I'm a terrible person.

#799 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 12:20 PM:

Patrick: Thanks for the "The perils of scriptural inerrancy" Sidelight - I needed a good chuckle.

#800 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 12:27 PM:

Platypus, murnival, vortex, etc.

If you're folding cranes, and you're not on this list, please email me.

Singing Wren
Jacque and Nicole
dcb
Nancy Mittens
Rikibeth
Elliott
Mary Aileen
Debra
Zelda
Janet Brennan Croft

#801 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 01:31 PM:

As I've said before, a lot of the Dems have a political Stockholm Syndrome, or at least battered-wife syndrome. Worse at least since Reagan the neocons have been methodically targeting and politically destroying anyone who dared to stand up to them. They've managed to marginalize, drive off, or politically assassinate any credible candidate who might have been able to face them down, and they're continuing to demolish any organizations that might offer inconveniently populist challenges (see: ACORN, also Wisconsin).

And if you weren't depressed enough...

#802 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 01:45 PM:

albatross, #793: The problem with your scenario is that this is not the difference between bad and good, or even bad and less bad. This is the difference between bad and intolerable. Give me a better option to vote for, and I will; but I'm not going to vote for the Axis of Evil just because I'm upset with some of the things my side is doing. (See "biting off your nose to spite your face".) There is some chance that enough pressure from the base will put spine into the Democrats. There is no chance that the Republicans are going to change.

#803 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 01:48 PM:

albatross #796: The problem with that line of argument is that Obama has been facing down (and shutting down) internal opposition, in order to retain the Imperial Presidency and all its appurtenances.

He's not just yielding to actual dangers from below; he's "in thrall"☹ to the neocons. Despite being nominally in opposition, he reflexively defends their positions because that's where the power is. It took me a long time to realize this, but when he talks about "bipartisanship", what he means is "maybe if I abase myself enough, the neocons might let me do something Presidential".

☹ as per Peck's People of the Lie.

#804 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 02:53 PM:

Terry Karney @655: Water at, something in the area of body temperature is really unpleasant to me. I have some associational memories.

Was this comment designed to provoke all sorts of wild speculation?

#805 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 03:11 PM:

Good Healing Energy for Xopher via FedEx because late.

#806 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 03:16 PM:

Lila @681: repeatedly loose dogs and Animal Control

I'm sure I've told this story here before, but I can' resist:

We became very familiar with this process when I was a kid. We had a ridiculously friendly boxer by the name of Sandy, who loved nothing more than a ride in the car.

If you went through the back gate, Sandy would be listening carefully, and if the gate didn't latch quite right, zip! he'd be gone.

But the first thing he'd do is go looking for the dog catcher, because he knew he could get to ride in a car.

About once a month we'd get a call from the pound: "Mrs. M, come pick up your dog." I don't know if she managed to negotiate a bulk rate.

#807 ::: J Homes ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 03:39 PM:

And more good wishes for Xopher.

#808 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 04:43 PM:

Jacque @ #806: I have a friend who is both a rescuer and an animal control officer. His signature technique is to sit on the curb, look away from the dog he's trying to catch, open up a bag of pork rinds and start eating them, slowly and meditatively.

It is not uncommon for the dog in question to lay its head in the officer's lap.

I have often wondered whether he gets many repeat customers.

(BTW, pork rinds--unflavored, unsalted--make a great occasional snack for old dogs with no teeth.)

#809 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 05:48 PM:

abi @768: I, personally, don't think that we were going to get the statesman our times look to need from the 2008 election. And I can't help measuring Obama against that dream of leadership.

...especially since that was his whole sales-pitch...

#810 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 06:47 PM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex

I can't find where you've listed your email address, TexAnne, and (Abi?) haven't received it behind the curtain. I can be reached via "Contact" at my website, or at myfirstname dot mylastname at earthlink dot net. How many cranes I can manage are unknown, but I'll definitely send an enclosure.

#800 ::: TexAnne

If you're folding cranes, and you're not on this list, please email me.

Singing Wren
Jacque and Nicole
dcb
Nancy Mittens
Rikibeth
Elliott
Mary Aileen
Debra
Zelda
Janet Brennan Croft

#811 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 06:48 PM:

Lila @808: open up a bag of pork rinds and start eating them, slowly and meditatively

Heck, that might get me in his lap....

#812 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 06:57 PM:

Check your email, Carol.

And, er, I'm getting worried about the postage, even if I send it parcel post. If anyone is moved to contribute, I'll send any excess to Xopher, clearly labeled "For a Splurge." Regrettably, I don't have PayPal, but I imagine we can find a workaround.

#813 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 08:24 PM:

TexAnne (812): I can send some money toward the postage. Check okay?

#814 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 08:31 PM:

Thanks for the good wishes. Unfortunately, more stents is not the answer this time (I have 9). So I'm destined for triple bypass early next week. Naturally this is a serious disruption to my life, but not as disruptive as some of the alternatives.

Xopher, hang in there. By your thumbs, if desired.

#815 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 08:34 PM:

Tracie (814): May all go well.

#816 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 08:34 PM:

Mary Aileen: Yes, but I don't know how much it'll be yet, so hang on to it.

Tracie: Just let us know when to start crossing our fingers etc.

#817 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2011, 10:29 PM:

Jacque: The comment was not so designed. It was an attempt at, indirectly, explaining withough going into detail why the vaguely metallic taste of water from 95-110F is something I don't really like the feel of.

#818 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 12:34 AM:

Tracie:

Good luck and good outcomes for your surgery. Get well quickly, and I hope the hospital food isn't too bad.

#819 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:27 AM:

Albatross @ 796

The only way I see to push back against it is to make it expensive, in terms of support from your base, to ignore the beliefs and interests of your supporters in favor of following the elite consensus, avoiding p-ssing off the intelligence services, keeping the lobbyists sweet on you, whatever.

Yeah, there's gotta be a middle ground on that one. I mean, you wanna talk California anti-tax Republicans, their base has definitely got them by the... er... throat, but it just makes it impossible for anyone to negotiate anything across the aisles. With predictable results.

I'm far more in favor of increasing the competitiveness of races, so that minor party candidates and the non-wealthy can actually put up a challenge. There's been a methodical building of fences by the Parties-that-Be, which makes it extremely difficult for third parties to reliably get on the ballot. I also think publicly financed elections and improving redistricting laws to increase competitiveness would do a lot more to improve the quality and independence of candidates than the current corporate-funded festival of the rich does.

#820 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:42 AM:

And best wishes to everyone struggling with stuff right now. Xopher and Tracie, among anyone else who wishes to be included. I have a limitless supply of good vibes that I'm willing to share.

#821 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 02:29 AM:

Here is an amusement: Dramtic reading of Rebecca Black's, "Friday"

(for those who don't know "Friday" is a really bad song "released" on the "label" of a company with a business model which may be worse the PA's. They charge you for a song, which they then charge you for the video they make of you singing it. It's aimed at kids [aged 7- 18ish] who want to be pop-stars and have parents who can afford to pay for this).

I also found this Critical Reading of the Lyric's of Friday which is pretty good until the last 20 seconds or so when he tries to be funny.

#822 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 03:06 AM:

Terry:

Interesting that that business model is still going on; it goes back to the beginning of the last century, and it works almost exactly like the sleazier vanity presses. For decades there have been a succession of shady companies advertising for "Song poem writers" - on the assumption that their target audience would never have heard the word "lyricist". They would get people to submit poems, charge the submitters a "production fee" or "seed money" of a few hundred bucks, have some starving musicians hack off some kind of tune to read/sing it to, perform and record it in one take, and press a few copies of the records to send the customer. Over the years a kind of cult following has developed for the best of the little gems of weirdness this whole process has kicked out. My daughter had/has one anthology of some of them and, wow.

A good explanation can be found here, at the American Song Poem Music Archive.

#823 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 03:19 AM:

Animal Control...

There's been a long and slightly scary mess been going on in Second Life. Blogs have had over 10,000 posts in comment thread, that sort of thing. It involved fraud, hacking, and potential cyber-stalking. The front-man for all this appears to have been previously convicted of a big eBay fraud.

He was keeping a pet raccoon called "Boris", and it's been reported that Animal Control has taken Boris away. Threats have been recorded from the guy. On the other hand, it's illegal to keep raccoons as pets in the state where he lives, and it's quite possible the neighbours, fed up with the noise, called it in.

I'm a little sorry for Boris.

[If you have a Second Life account, the chances of him getting at your password are small, but it would be a good idea to change it.]


#824 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 08:15 AM:

KayTei #820: Thanks!

For those keeping track at home, my Mom has now completed both her radiation and chemotherapy, but she still has a couple or three weeks of side effects to get through. I spent yesterday afternoon with her; she's still weak (and woozy from the painkillers), but in good spirits. (For this I blew off the first day of The Virginia Festival of the Book, but hey, a guy's gotta have priorities.)

#825 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 08:27 AM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex

I can't fold origami, but I can chip in for postage. Name at gmail will reach me.

#826 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 09:39 AM:

albatross @ 793: Are you addressing that "you" directly at Serge, or at Democrats in general? Because I think Serge is agreeing with you in principle, as being similarly disappointed with Obama. I also have my areas of severe disappointment, but that doesn't mean this administration is nearly as bad as the previous Republican ones. Perhaps instead of black-and-white, we're dealing with various shades of gray, and it would be silly for us to tear into each other over the exact shade.

Additional best wishes for Xopher..

#827 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 09:44 AM:

Written upon making the momentous discovery that "shamrock" and "ham hock" rhyme:

On St. Paddy's Day, when you're wearing a shamrock
And eating your corned beef and cabbage,
I'll be dining on pea soup cooked up with a ham rock
And reading an essay on Babbage.

#828 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 09:52 AM:

duh, ham HOCK

#829 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:15 AM:

Tracie: Best wishes for your speedy recovery.

My grandmother had triple bypass at 80--about 20 years ago, so it was interesting finding a surgeon who would perform the operation on a person of her age. Her life was much improved after and she went back to doing just about everything she'd been doing before (she gave up driving and square dancing but still went to the gym 3x/week).

She died at 88, of things not related to the surgery.

#830 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:22 AM:

Tracie & Xopher: Y'all are in my thoughts.

TexAnne: we can probably pop a check in with our next shipment. Make it payable to your Real Name?

#831 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:28 AM:

DEAR CRANE FOLDERS,

We are DONE. All 1000, plus a few extras and two virtual ones, have been promised. (Of course I'll count again as I'm packing, just to be sure I haven't made any stupid arithmetical errors.)

And to those who have offered postage help: you know, it doesn't really matter how much it is, because it's all going to Xopher anyway. Checks to my realname would be most useful; I'll write a single check to Xopher after I've paid for the postage.

#832 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:30 AM:

Terry Karney @817: water from 95-110F is something I don't really like the feel of.

Ah. Thank you. Rather less colorful than what my brain was coming up with. (Think: zombie apocalypse.)*

--

* I didn't imagine you were really into hematophagy, but in this crowd, one never knows.

#833 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:37 AM:

TexAnne @831: We are DONE.

Pix! Pix!

#834 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:46 AM:

Jacque: Pix will be a challenge. So far I've only got a boxful of my singletons, and 297 strung. Plus some of them were so beautifully packed that I don't want to mess with them. (Zelda, I'm looking at you.)

#835 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:04 AM:

Xopher and Tracie - my prayers are with you both.

#836 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:09 AM:

Rainflame @827: I think a ham rock is what you use if you want a really good stone soup.

#837 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:34 AM:

TexAnne: I better string mine, then, hadn't I. :->

#838 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:51 AM:

New crane update!

An anonymous donor has offered to foot the whole postage bill. Thank you, anonymous person!

#839 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:58 AM:

Hyperlocal news... Man's yearly review rescheduled from yesterday to next week, but man's wife finds two soaked dollar bills in flower garden. One bill soon torn up by dog.

#840 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 12:06 PM:

re 768: To some degree it's more like the difference between black and, well, not absolutely black. Or perhaps it's because he hasn't really got a firm idea of what he wants to do.

I mean, if Obama wants to cut the defense budget, killing the F-35 is an excellent place to start. They could start over again with separate A-10/F-16/AV-8 follow-on programs and still spend less than is projected. But for whatever reason the thing grinds on.

#841 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 12:14 PM:

Caroline @ #836

Or shamrock if you want to make mock stone soup.

#842 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 12:29 PM:

Cadbury Moose @841, I saw what you did there. :-)

#843 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 12:46 PM:

Yes, but nobody asked him if he was a Turtle.

#844 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:02 PM:

Serge @ 839 -

Okay, so what did you plant that blooms dollar bills? That would even inspire me to garden.

#845 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:17 PM:

Steve C @ 844... It was seed money.

#846 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:17 PM:

Cadbury Moose @841: Either way, you should be listening to David Bowie and Queen.

#847 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:23 PM:

Belated but heartfelt good wishes to Xopher and Tracie. May all be well.

#848 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:32 PM:

Can someone here (all knowledge is contained...) provide me with an Old Norse translation for "My father has died"?

(This is for my niece, whose dad, my brother-in-law, passed away suddenly last Saturday. A good guy; he's going to be missed.)

#849 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:39 PM:

Bruce @848: Condolences to your niece.

I have no clue about Old Norse but could probably get Modern Icelandic for you, if that's of any help.

#850 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 01:59 PM:

Serge @ #845

Sure it wasn't a silver dollar plant?

#851 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 02:13 PM:

Sarah A @ 850... Might be. We do have a few mints.

#852 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 02:19 PM:

Octopod lighting fixtures especially for Xopher.

#853 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 02:34 PM:

Serge:

I'm sorry for dumping on you, above, in #793. (I don't think I dumped on you other places in the thread, but if I did, sorry about those, too.)

#854 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 02:49 PM:

Albatross @ 853...

To quote Señor Wencès's box...
S'awright!
:-)

#855 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 03:00 PM:

Hey - I found a picture of Serge's garden!

#856 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 03:46 PM:

Steve C @ 855... It occurs to me that this mystery money may not have grown in our garden, but was a tip left by one of the many avians who visit our feeder. This reminds me that Kaja Foglio, co-author of "Girl Genius", recently had a raven drop a credit card at her feet.

#857 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 05:21 PM:

Serge @856: The raven was tired of freeloading?

#858 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 06:12 PM:

I'm not entirely sure I believe this, but somebody left a whole challah on the break-room table. Nobody besides me seems to be smart enough to eat it, so I'm TAKING IT ALL. Mwa-ha-hah!

#859 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 06:49 PM:

A question of netiquette for the Fluorosphere:

I'm on a mailing list for my church. In general, this is not a problem. I get the main newsletter as an email (actually, an attached pdf), and it saves on both paper and postage. This is good.

And sometimes I get other updates. Also, usually as attached files. Even if it's just a letter with no graphics or letterhead, the business manager attaches the .doc file. I grumble, hit it with my virus scanner, and read it anyway. Today, as I'm catching up on my emails, I see they've sent another such update - one I'm actually interested in. Only, this time it's not a .doc file. It's a .pub file. I don't have Microsoft Publisher* on this computer! Nor do I intend to ever install it*.) More to the point, I suspect a lot of other people on the mailing list probably don't even know type of file they just got (much less where to find software that will open it).

Is there any tactful, yet effective method of telling the business manager (and/or other church staff) that I would really rather just get the updates as unpretty text, or as a PDF if they must have the pretty formatting? And that this would likely make it easier for other, less tech savvy recipients also?

*We hatess it forever preciousss, yess.**
**My initial reaction. More applicably, yes, making flyers is probably the sort of thing Publisher was designed to do. It just does it badly.

#860 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 06:56 PM:

Jacque @ 858: Enjoy - your gain, their loss.

#861 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 07:08 PM:

Mmmmm, challah!

A few minutes ago I left out in the break room a bowl of crackers and a big chunk of "Dubliner" cheese with added stout beer. I previously had it on a table in an office open to immediate co-workers.

It's . . . the dairy equivalent of crack cocaine. I impulse bought an $11.00 wedge of it at Costco a week or two back. I brought it to work because I realized I'd eat myself sick if I oepned it at home.

I don't expect to find much left by the end of the day.

#862 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 07:09 PM:

Singing Wren @869 I'd just e-mail them back that you can't read that format, and could they make a pdf available. As you say, you're unlikely to be the only one.

#863 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 07:11 PM:

Singing Wren @ 859 - I'd be inclined to be perfectly direct while remaining polite about it. "The file that was attached to the last message was in a format that I can't open because I don't have the necessary program, and I'm guessing many others on the list don't have it either. When you send attached files, could you please send them as either plain text or as a PDF? It would make it much easier for everybody to view the information. Thanks!"

And yes, Publisher ptui! The way it handles (or doesn't handle) text boxes with too much text in them... *mutter mutter grumble snarl*

#864 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 07:15 PM:

Beth Friedman pointed out an article in the new issue of Transformative Works and Cultures. Cynthia W. Walker conducts an interview with Professor Paula T. Smith, the mother of Mary Sue.

As you may know, the literary concept of "Mary Sue" has occasionally been discussed here. Many have found her useful. It is interesting to learn what my old friend Paula thinks of her brainchild's widening fame.


(Prof. Walker has a distinction I have not seen on a curriculum vitae before: "She delivers on-screen commentary for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD set...")

#865 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 08:34 PM:

Jacque @ #858, I didn't trust myself to braid the dough, but I did use my new bread machine to make some challah a few weeks ago. That's the whole loaf; here's the crumb.

#866 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 09:04 PM:

Kaja Foglio, co-author of "Girl Genius", recently had a raven drop a credit card at her feet.

I would pay handsomely for an entire anthology of stories beginning with this incident. Suggested authors include Charles DeLint, Neil Gaiman, Roz Chast, Emma Bull and Terry Pratchett.

#867 ::: vee ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 09:30 PM:

Open thread request: someone mentioned a greasemonkey script that helped manage the reading of ML threads? If it does exist, could I be pointed in the right direction to acquire it? It's hard to keep up with ya'll, but I feel like I'd benefit from at least trying to do so.

#868 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 09:41 PM:

vee (866): It's on the right side of the front page, under More What.

#869 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:05 PM:

Thank you, everyone, for your good wishes.

Tracie, my best wishes for you. May you have a successful surgery and a swift recovery.

Cancer update: The cancer is confined to my tongue. CT scans of my chest, head, and throat showed no tumors anywhere else.

It's possible that I may be able to avoid chemo and radiation (if I have one I'll have both, because the kind of chemo the oncologist would give me has only one purpose, which is to "soften up" the tumor for radiation), depending on what the surgeon says.

The first surgeon I saw was an oral surgeon. Apparently he's not going to work on me, though, and I'm going to go to an EMT instead. If he thinks he can remove the tumor the way it is now, we'll go ahead. If he thinks that's not a good idea and wants to shrink it with chemo and radiation first, we'll do that.

Also if he removes it and the patho report shows clean margins (i.e. no abnormal cells around the edges of what he removes), then I can again avoid the radiation and chemo. If not...not.

So I'm hoping.

The next step, though, is to go to a dentist and make sure my teeth are clean and sound (and to repair any problems). Chemo and radiation both do a number on your teeth, so they have to start pretty solid. And there might be some danger in surgery too, but I'm not sure why.

I have an appointment with the dentist Tuesday.

So this is all a lot better than I feared. I have high hopes.

And the cranes! I can't wait to see them.

Thank you all so much for your love.

#870 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:15 PM:

Lexica:

Thanks, I think I shall do that. The flyer was for the first in an ongoing lecture series that started last night*, so it's a bit late to reply to the most recent message. But I won't be surprised if they send a similar email about next week's lecture I will send a reply much like you suggested.

This may end up with me spending some volunteer hours teaching the office staff how to print to a PDF (and installing a PDF printer), but so it goes.

*I'm a bit behind on, well, everything right now...

#871 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:18 PM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex...

And on the concept of being behind on everything, my cranes are folded and waiting to be strung. They should go out by the end of the weekend. TexAnne, I'll send you an email once I've dropped them in the mail.

#872 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:23 PM:

Lila @ 865... Suggested authors include Charles DeLint, Neil Gaiman, Roz Chast, Emma Bull and Terry Pratchett.

I'd buy that anthology.

#873 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:27 PM:

Xopher @ 868... And the cranes! I can't wait to see them.

"The crane! The crane!"
- Hervé Villechaize

#874 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:39 PM:

Xopher, in among your reasonably good news was this: "I'm going to go to an EMT instead".

ENT, surely? (I learned this when sent to the ear, nose & throat docs for a cyst on my cheek.)

#875 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:48 PM:

Xopher #868: The cancer is confined to my tongue

That is most excellent news, congratulations! Come to think of it, what's the extent? That is, how much of your tongue is at hazard?

#876 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:18 PM:

Clifton: This business model is nastier than that. ARC Music (I think) writes the songs for you. All you do is show up in the studio, and they have you take part in a video. They also have "concerts" where a number of the kids each perform said song.

I suspect the parents pony up for that too.

Jacque: It is precisely because I dislike hematophagy that blood-warm water is repellent.

#877 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:32 PM:

Terry Karney #875: I think you're losing ground on the "wild speculation" front. :-)

#878 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:37 PM:

Linkmeister 873: Duhh, yes, typo.

I type EMT a lot more than I type ENT.

#879 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:10 AM:

Lila, #865: So would I! And it wouldn't be anything like the strangest inspiration for a theme anthology (cf. Carmen Miranda's Ghost).

Xopher, #868: Well, that sounds like about the best news you could expect under the circumstances! GoodThoughts continuing for the outcomes to be favorable.

#880 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 02:27 AM:

Teresa - As a prequel to your Two Mites in Amber particle, I submit recent article on trilobite mating habits.

#881 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 03:29 AM:

Bill Stewart: As a prequel to your Two Mites in Amber particle

One of Zelazny's lesser works, one presumes.

#882 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 04:26 AM:

Tracie: Best wishes, hope all goes well.

Xopher @ 868: Good to get the update. Oh - ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon not EMT (emergency medical technician) unless there's a real trans-Atlantic job difference!

And yes, here's hoping for nice clean margins.

Cranes winging their way as fast as possible with good wishes.

Singing Wren @870: Don't worry, mine are only going in the mail today (strung last night) and have to get across the Atlantic.

Stefan Jones @861: That sound gorgeous.

Lila@865: Oh yes, that would be fun.

#883 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 05:15 AM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex...

I expect to get my cranes finished and strung this weekend, and in the mail at the beginning of the week. I'll confirm by email, TexAnne.

Yay, Xopher! And continuing good thoughts to Tracie, too.

#884 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 06:01 AM:

Terry Karney @875: It is precisely because I dislike hematophagy that blood-warm water is repellent.

And now I am innevitably left wondering how you have a basis for comparison...?*

Xopher: Yay!! Wonderful news! Thinking of you!!

Tracie: You too!

--

* Maybe I should stop beating this joke to death?

#885 ::: Bjorn ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 06:59 AM:

Bruce @848
Modern Icelandic: "Faðir minn er látinn"
I would think it is more or less the same in Ancient Icelandic except "Látinn er faðir minn" sounds a little more formal.
Being able to fluently read something does not necessarily mean being able to translate to it...

#886 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 08:09 AM:

You mean there are people that DON'T know what blood tastes like? I thought sticking the cut finger in the mouth was, like, older than humanity.

#887 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 08:16 AM:

Serge #873:

Shouldn't that be 'The crane! Boss! The crane!'

#888 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 08:54 AM:

Xopher: So glad to hear the news is good. I hope all goes well and that you are well again soon.

#889 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:05 AM:

Xopher (869): That is good news. May all go well.

#890 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:07 AM:

Best wishes, Xopher and Tracie.

#891 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:08 AM:

Sort-of-Congratulations, Xopher! (Well, as many or few congratulations as are appropriate.) And Good Luck!

#892 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:14 AM:

Can I just comment that I have a really bad feeling about Muslim Country Intervention #5, apparently scheduled for any day now? (Counting Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen as 1-4?) I mean, maybe everything will work out smoothly, the rebels will win and will turn out to be either a liberal democracy or at least a strongman who's marginally less crazy than Kadafi[1].

But it sure seems like the last several "easy in, easy out" foreign interventions we've been involved with have turned out to be a little more complicated than originally advertised.

[1] The translated spelling changes in every story. Clearly, he needs a sensible English spelling for his name, like Chadoughie.

#893 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:18 AM:

Albatross @ 892... "easy in, easy out"

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

#894 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:29 AM:

I'm sure they'll greet us with flowers, as liberators.

Sigh

#895 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:37 AM:

Xopher #869: I hope that things go well.

#896 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:37 AM:

Very good news, Xopher! My cranes are going in the mail to TexAnne today.

#897 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:46 AM:

Caroline @ #846

But I'm not under pressure!

(I do not have access to a black Bentley, so the music collection is unlikely to turn into "Best of Queen" albums.)

#898 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:53 AM:

I fear that my URL-crammed posting about Mary Sue at #864, which took a while waiting for approval, has thrown off the numbering of comments between the time I posted it and the time it actually appeared. I regret any confusion this may have caused. But I'd do it again.

#899 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:22 AM:

Serge @ #893

Apart from the possibility of Clear Air Turbulence?

#901 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:35 AM:

Tom Whitmore @ 900... Charming.

#902 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:37 AM:

Cadbury Moose @ 899... Well, it might dislodge the Man's head rug, which would then fly off into the sky before clogging a bomber engine's intake.

#904 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:51 AM:

Tom Whitmore @ #900, that may be the single best explanation of "entitlement" (and/or "privilege") I've ever seen.

Xopher et al: I have a perfectly lovely vision of multicolored paper cranes winging their way to NJ from all over the place. Guess that's the imaginary animated short to go along with my imaginary anthology @ #866.

Xopher, re diagnosis and treatment opotions: as Nanki-Poo would say, "Modified rapture!"

#905 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:52 AM:

Naturally, the people who are gung-ho for this next adventure in the Middle East are also keen to raise the taxes to pay for it. That would at least be fiscally responsible, which is one of their priorities, along with the aggressive pursuit of peace and the external imposition of self-determination. So they're on board with that, right?

Crickets.

#906 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:54 AM:

Mycroft @ 903 -

Wow - that was an exceptionally bracing post by Mr. Wright. I'd say he nailed it.

#907 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:55 AM:

oh, and 866 Lila: ...I would add to your suggestion Phil and Kaja Foglio. At least I would hope there was a story of theirs in there!

#908 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:01 PM:

Mycroft... Conservatives like to say that America brews the only beer worth drinking? I wish I still had that "X-men" cartoon that shows Wolverine running from Xavier's School toward Canada to get the 'real stuff'.

#909 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:11 PM:

Platypus, murnival, serpentine, vortex...

And my cranes are in the post! Hopefully they will arrive within the next week or so. Now I can find something else to obsess about.

Xopher: I've done my best to fulfil your specific request for "a tiny misshapen crane folded from crumbly yellowed newspaper" but I didn't have any ancient newspaper handy so you'll have to wait for it (actually them) to reach the crumbly and yellowed stage. Note: be careful opening the clear plastic bag of "extras" from me or you'll lose these.

#910 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:29 PM:

Abi @ 905...

How much did it cost the Empire to build the Death Star?
("Nothing, because Vader choked anybody who showed up with a bill.")

#911 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:32 PM:

Serge @ 910 -

Vader: "I find your lack of invoices disturbing."

#912 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:58 PM:

Lila @ #866: I would pay handsomely for an entire anthology of stories beginning with this incident. Suggested authors include Charles DeLint, Neil Gaiman, Roz Chast, Emma Bull and Terry Pratchett.

Peter S. Beagle's already written a story that begins with a raven dropping something at the protagonist's feet, but if he felt like writing another one I bet it would be well worth reading.

#913 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 02:07 PM:

Bill, #864: This bit from the article sort of jumped out at me:

There were so many SF conventions during the 1970s and '80s! Almost any little local college group would throw a convention at any little local Ramada Inn, and they would have 30 to 100 people there, depending upon how big the city was. We used to go to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, for Chambana Con; Columbus, Ohio, for MarCon; Chicago for WindyCon.

But every con she mentions by name there is still going on! She makes it sound as though they all died sometime after the 80s. Well, Chambanacon nearly did after they lost the Chancellor, but it's still hanging on and starting to recover.

#914 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 05:18 PM:

Xopher, glad to hear the reasonably positive nature of your news! Apparently our good wishes are working. I'll prepare an invoice.

#915 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 08:04 PM:

Sandy B. @886: You mean there are people that DON'T know what blood tastes like? I thought sticking the cut finger in the mouth was, like, older than humanity.

Just speaking for myself here, but: first off, if it's bleeding enough to have, like, flavor, my mouth is the last place I want to put it. (Can you say, "fertile growth medium?")

If it's bleeding enough to compare with drinking body-temp water, I've got bigger things on my mind than how it tastes. Um.

And second off, if it's not my blood, then it damn well better be cooked and/or well-refrigerated.

So, yeah, my only referent for the taste of blood is when I've gone too long between flossings. Doesn't exactly compare.

(Is this getting gross enough yet?)

#916 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 08:15 PM:

Vermont pushes back against Citizens United decision.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is still out there plugging away for the other 98% of America.

#917 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 08:50 PM:

915
if it's bleeding enough to have flavor (which doesn't actually take much) it's bleeding enough that you're controlling the mess by sticking it in your mouth. (The germs it meets are your own, anyway.)

I once cut left thumb and index finger ends on a brand-new, extremely sharp, single-edge razor blade. Someone asked me why I didn't ask for help, and I explained that it's hard to ask for help when you're doing this (sticking thumb and fingertip in mouth). That was while I was finding and unwrapping the bandaid. Not only did it not get infected - it was still bleeding quite nicely when I got the bandaid wrapped around it - but it healed in a week.

#918 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:27 PM:

If it's bleeding freely☚, that works against infection in any case. As noted by P J Evans #917, your mouth germs are your own, and AIUI, the human gum/saliva microflora are pretty innocuous anyway. (The stuff between your teeth is another story -- a bite from a fellow human can be bad news.)

☚ And as it happens, a slash on your hand can bleed a lot, even if it's not all that serious. But P.J., you were lucky another way; an incident like that could have plunged you into the sort of comedy routine that's much funnier when you're not in it!

#919 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:49 PM:

And now for a turn to some bad news....

I've occasionally mentioned my cat Gremlin, who I've had for 14 of her 15 years. She's loved with me in three states, from my post-college years, through a lengthy depression, and lately as I've settled into Charlottesville.

Today, I was taking her to the vet, for what was meant as a routine appointment... but when I was scooping her into the carrier, I felt something weirdly hard between her hind legs. When I told the vet about this, she turned Gremlin over to have a look... and it's nasty. Hard masses running up and down her belly behind the mammary glands, plus a couple of nasty open sores. The vet sent off samples for testing, and I should hear back Tuesday, but even if it's somehow not cancer, it's obviously pretty bad.

The reason I hadn't noticed this before I simply that I almost never pick up Gremlin, and there's been no obvious change in her behavior. Given how shaggy she is, nothing showed (even to the vet) until we'd turned her over. The only one of her kittens that I'd kept track of died last year, of prostate cancer. (The kittens were from before I got her, so George was 13 to Gremlin's 14 at the time.)

I am still trying to process this, with uneven success.

#920 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:05 PM:

David, I hope it is something relatively innocuous, but In case it isn't (and it sounds like mammary cancer) I wish for the best expected for your kitty.

PJ, as long as you don't immediately try to stop the bleeding with a rag soaked in Bestine. (My hubby sliced a finger at a fly-by-night place that had an unfinished glass plane on the light box, he was cleaning the rubber cement, etc. off it and accidentally ran the end of his finger over the unfinished edge. His reflex was to cover it with the Bestine-soaked paper towel.... he managed not to scream.)

For the youngsters (I'm not at all certain it's still in use), Bestine was a solvent/paint thinner that could dissolve rubber cement and clean lots of other things, like oil paints and ink. It was NOT turpentine, it was an industrial solvent.

#921 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:08 PM:

David @ #919, I'm so sorry for you and Gremlin. Best wishes for recovery if possible and comfort if not.

#922 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:26 PM:

Heard this earlier today; Mike Glicksohn is dead.

#923 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:29 PM:

Xopher - That's great! May the news continue to be this good.

#924 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:57 PM:

Kaja Foglio, co-author of "Girl Genius", recently had a raven drop a credit card at her feet.

I would pay handsomely for an entire anthology of stories beginning with this incident. Suggested authors include Charles DeLint, Neil Gaiman, Roz Chast, Emma Bull and Terry Pratchett.

And of course Edgar Allan Poe.

#925 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:59 PM:

Serge, there is certainly a difference between Democrats and Republicans at the state level, as anyone paying attention to Wisconsin knows.

At the national level, not nearly enough difference.

#926 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:24 PM:

David Harmon @919: My sympathies -- it's a scary development. Good luck to Gremlin.

#927 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:26 PM:

I know the taste of blood more from occasional nosebleeds than from papercuts and finger-sticks. It's good in small amounts, not so much in larger ones.

#928 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:28 PM:

BTW, Dwayne MacDuffie, of TNH's particle, has also died.

#929 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:33 PM:

David, #919: Ouch. My deepest sympathies -- it sounds as though you're going to have to make a tough decision with very little time to adjust to the possibility.

#930 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 12:57 AM:

David Harmon @ 918: "an incident like that could have plunged you into the sort of comedy routine that's much funnier when you're not in it!"

I was working at summer camp when I cut my thumb on a paper-cutter (rookie mistake.) I called downstairs for another staff member to go to the medical tent* to get me a bandaid, because it's a dusty place, and stuck my thumb in my mouth. When he finally returned, ten minutes later, I asked what had taken him so long. "I didn't know you needed it," he replied.

@ 919: So sorry. It's always heartbreaking when someone we love shows up with something hitherto undiagnosed.

*The old medical building had rotten and had been disassembled, and the new one was not yet built. I worked at that camp for four years and we only ever had a tent—that is how long it takes the building process to go through when you're on Forest Service land.

#931 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 02:48 AM:

Best hopes for Gremlin. Can't say about the prospects in cats, but my Mr. Junior carried his mammary tumor with him into a very late grave. (And sired a dozen offspring in the intermim.) I hope Gremlin is similarly blessed.

#932 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 10:47 AM:

Paula, Lila, B. Durbin, Jacque: Thanks for the sympathies.

Regarding prospects... well, the vet has already said that if this is cancer, it has spread way too far for a surgical option (even if i could afford such a thing).

A big part of what's throwing me here is how this is echoing with the past; a bit over ten years ago, my pet rabbit Vorpal died suddenly and unexpectedly.✉ Two weeks after that, my father died unexpectedly, essentially of sequelae to his treatment for lung cancer. Between the double-hit and the timing of Dad's death, that knocked me into 10 years of depression, which ended my programming career and from which I've only recently started to recover.

As I've mentioned before, my Mom is currently recovering from her cancer treatment... and now, this. History's rhymes are a bit hard to take today.

✉ Not of cancer -- he was 6 years old, which is way older than I'd realized for a rabbit. I found him in his cage, stretched in "comfy rest" position.

#933 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 01:44 PM:

Kaja Foglio, co-author of "Girl Genius", recently had a raven drop a credit card at her feet.

I would pay handsomely for an entire anthology of stories beginning with this incident. Suggested authors include Charles DeLint, Neil Gaiman, Roz Chast, Emma Bull and Terry Pratchett.

Here's the Edgar Allan Poe version.

Once upon a midday dreary, as I gardened weak and weary,
Culling many a weed from soil poor,
At my feet a raven dropping, but it was not guano sloppimg,
Instead a credit card was dropping, dropping at my kitchen door.
At these rates the bank is preying, rates and fees my wealth are slaying.
Tell me, how long am I paying, paying for these fees galore?
Quoth the raven, "Forevermore."


#934 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 02:33 PM:

Allan, #933: Bravo!

Reminder for Houston folx -- tonight is Chocolate Decadence! If you need directions, e-mail me at fgneqernzre@zvaqfcevat.pbz.

#935 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 02:59 PM:

David Harmon @919 and @932.

Sorry to hear this. Wishing the best to Gremlin, for your mom's continued recovery, and for you as you deal with the echoes of unpleasant history.

#936 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 04:39 PM:

David Harmon... Best wishes to your mom and to Gremlin.

#937 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 05:11 PM:

Periscoping:

Video of Cassini flyby of Saturn made by stitching together stills. Does Iapetus remind everyone else of this too?

HLN: More samples arriving in the lab in five, four, tree, two...

#938 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 05:12 PM:

"Three".

Clearly fatigue is the friend of typo.

#939 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 05:20 PM:

Soon Lee #937: Hmm... "Periscope ready? OK, Five, four-- TREE!" "Yes, yes, two comes nex"-- <CRUNCH> "Oh."

#941 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 06:27 PM:

A number of people have written eloquently about the life/fannish career of Mike Glicksohn in the last several days. (Mike Glyer and Avedon Carol have posted tributes that I would single out.)

I was unsure about whether to post a note, here, about Dwayne McDuffie's passing when I first saw that Particle. Information about this sad event is contained in comments on the site linked in the Particle. He was/is one of my favorite writers on the DC Animated Universe videos. Dwayne died young and unexpectedly. He may be most well-known/beloved in some segments of geek comics fandom for his creation of Static Shock, a black, teenaged superhero.

Ironically, the day he died was also the day that his last major project, the DCAU version of All-Star Superman, was released. I haven't seen this, yet, but am looking forward to it.


#942 ::: vee ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2011, 01:17 PM:

Mary Aileen @868: Thanks! I don't know how I missed it.

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