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June 8, 2012

Open Thread 174
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 06:00 AM *

Did you hear about the guy who was frozen to absolute zero? He was 0K.

Continued from Open Thread 173
Continued in Open Thread 175.
Comments on Open Thread 174:
#1 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 06:21 PM:

FIRST! OR Zeroeth.

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 06:31 PM:

Beyond their reactionary attitude toward social issues, the thing that really scares me about modern-day media-enabled conservatism is their attitude toward science, and the uncomfortable things that science digs up.

I'm moved to say this by the FREAKING WEIRD WEATHER outside right now. By June Oregon is supposed to be well into its glorious sunny summer, where the occasional brief sprinkle is almost a relief.

Right now we've got tail-of-a-hurricane (as we'd say on Long Island) rains out there.

If we've broken the climate, really fucked things up good the way that Gore, Hansen, et al have been warning, how could conservatives possibly respond? Any rational response will require national or global action. That's off the table if you're a conservative of the modern stripe. We're left with: Deny it, minimize it, say people getting washed out to sea or blow away had it coming, offer tax breaks to the sandbag industry . . . down the road a bit, say it's the fault of gays getting married or Muslims being tolerated in our country.


#3 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 06:56 PM:

So first they wanted us to call it global warming but then when we caught on to that they wanted to call it global climate change, but I heard about this one guy in Oregon in the summer who was frozen to absolute zero and still managed to show up online so I guess that means its Ok.

#4 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 07:17 PM:

More doggie vet good vibes requested. Having made a full recovery from TPLO (knee) surgery, Ardala went and had a spondylosis flare-up. Got home last night and she wouldn't put weight on either back leg - the left, which was the most affected by nerve damage anyway - and the right, which was the fully recovered bionic-knee one. She seemed to be having lots of pain in her right foot.

After $450 worth of radiographs showing nothing odd in the way of her leg or foot, the vets have put their heads together and decided it's actually a back injury. She spent last night there, being given about $650 worth of the good drugs - including steroids - and is said to be in good spirits. The vet has once again mentioned myelograms or MRIs, and possible surgery.

I had ALMOST paid off her TPLO surgery when this happened. I cannot afford to take on another surgery, either financially and emotionally. My roommate maybe could financially(if she opened up a new line of credit, which would also stretch her pretty thin) possibly. But it is not my business to tell her to handle her finances as cavalierly as I have managed mine.

I'm totally sick with worry: On the one hand, Ardala is otherwise tremendously healthy (her graying muzzle concealed by her overbite) and youthful, but on the other hand, she is 11/12 years old and already had a rough recovery from the TPLO.

When I spoke to the vet on the phone this afternoon, he mentioned Ardala was starting to put some weight on her right leg again and was trying to escape from the kennel and ate well this morning - all good signs, he says. He also mentioned putting her on oral cortico steroids, which sounds OK to me. But then he mentioned the diagnostic tools again. I really love this veterinary practice and I don't think they're trying to pad out their bottom line with unnecessary surgeries, but I do think they really, really like to do them. How on earth am I going to get through this appointment without feeling like I'm signing my dog's death warrant because of my lousy finances?

#5 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 07:41 PM:

#4: Argh, awful situation. I've been very fortunate*, pet-health-wise, but my sister has been through the much the same with her no-longer-young dog.

* (SO FAR . . . Kira has a golf ball sized and growing fatty growth on her elbow that may someday pinch nerves and who knows what else.)

#6 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 07:55 PM:

Many good vibes from here, nerdycellist. (And for anyone else having animal-health-troubles that neads some good vibes.)

I've got my fingers crossed and am hoping to hear good news about Jim Young.

#7 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 07:57 PM:

Good pet health vibes from here as well, to wherever they're needed.

#8 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 08:00 PM:

There's reason for our silence at your boast
of honours gained, but we would never mock
the complex manner in which you take stock
of those who might give unto you the most
value for effort. There's certainly no ghost
of a chance that our sharpest words would rock
your placid mind, nor ever serve to shock
your foolish heart. That is why you are toast.
Our hopes are otherwise: for you to learn
new meanings in the light, and make it plain
that you have understood the open word
of those who do far more than simply yearn
for what has been, who go far past their pain
into the laughing world of the absurd.

#9 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 08:08 PM:

Stefan Jones @2: Climate stuff is slow enough, and we don't see much happening that's outside the normal range of Stuff That Happens. It's very easy for people who have a lot invested in the way things are done currently to just say that it's all within normal variation, and the fact that a lot of the analysis has to be done on a statistical basis leads them not to trust it (remember the quote about "lies, damned lies and statistics"?). It doesn't feel that different here, so I'm not going to worry about a bunch of people getting their toes wet on some island somewhere. I don't know any of them, so they don't count.

Denial is very easy on this one.

#10 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 08:11 PM:

Over at CNN: More record warmth as scientists warn of global tipping point

But we can ignore that because, as everyone knows, "CNN" stands for either "Communist News Network" or the "Clinton News Network."

#11 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 08:29 PM:

My part of the country had an unusually mild winter even by recent standards and has been regularly near or above record temperatures for most of this year. "Outside the normal range" is actually pretty clear.

#12 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 08:55 PM:

Was the man named Steve Rogers, Jim?

#13 ::: Rick York ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 09:07 PM:

He was still....

#14 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 09:21 PM:

If his name wasn't Kelvin it was all for naught.

#15 ::: DanR ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 09:29 PM:

Tom Whitmore @9:

I actually live on one of these low-lying barrier islands, down here in Florida. Lately we've been concerning ourselves a lot with shoreline erosion. There are riches to be made, by the way, in coastal dredging. At least for now.

For me, I'm hedging my bets and buying some land in the mountains while it's still cheap. And learning how to farm it.

#16 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 09:39 PM:

Climate change: June gloom is starting in May now, and doesn't last as long.

#17 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 10:40 PM:

There was apparently something squirrely going on when the transformer blew.

#18 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 11:41 PM:

Tom, #9: It's worse than that. Things change slowly enough that only the oldsters really notice any difference; for everyone else, this is the way it's always been. We're all frogs in the pot, and Big Oil is turning up the heat a little bit at a time.

#19 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 12:06 AM:

Open threaded video recommendation -- all those in favor of purest aesthetic eye and ear pleasure should pay a visit to Timescapes and get the DVD or Blu-Ray.

Tom Lowe's incredible time-lapse video work is unsurpassed. As an astronomy fanatic, I loved the night sky shots, but the whole film is an odyssey of beauty. I mean it. I had tears during some of the shots.

Get it.

#20 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 12:11 AM:

Thanks for the good vibes. Ardala is home sleeping now. We had a nice long talk with the vet, who seems to have backed off his surgery talk. He says it's tough when a dog is still alert and happy, but agrees surgery at her age is risky. He also appreciates our financial concerns, and says we are by far not the only clients with those issues. He says we'll see how she's doing on the medications. She's trying to get up, but she still can't put a lot of weight on the right leg. We may have to carry her down for potty. Luckily we still have her Little Red Wagon from her knee surgery. He has suggested some modifications to her current support harness and says that eventually she may need a cart. We said that was OK - we just wanted her not to be in pain. He says she's close to pain-free now.

So. No irreversible decisions had to be made this evening. We have a vet who understands us (as well as his own desire as a surgeon to immediately jump to that treatment) and a course of action to take. Now to figure out how to get her to potty...

#21 ::: Mark Richards ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 12:13 AM:

Of course we can always deny, deny, deny reality.

Just like the legislature in North Carolina, which is considering banning the use of extrapolated data in sea level rise projections.

Canute tried that, and it didn't work.

Perhaps not as blatant as when Indiana tried to legislate the value of pi.

A shame, really. Catelynn and I have vacationed a couple of times with her family in the Outer Banks. Nice place, it'll be a shame when it's gone.

#22 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 12:23 AM:

Lori Coulson @935 on OT173 - Thanks. Looks like Gandalf would take a Large. He's a long tall 13 pounds.

nerdycellist - Here's hoping for the best for Ardala.

#23 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 01:31 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 2:

Portland is actually a very sensitive measure of climate change because of the surrounding topography and the average temperatures during the winter. For a large part of the 20th century, up until sometime in the 90s, there was a regular occurrence of ice storms in which the temperature in the city hovered right around freezing, with cold, wet air coming down out of the Columbia Gorge meeting warmer air above the city. The result was freezing rain, freezing fog, or wet and heavy snow (often all three at once). This happened on average 2 or 3 times a winter, and at least one of those would be heavy enough to close down the city for a day or so. Several of them in the 1980s (after I moved here) knocked down enough power lines and blew up enough transformers that it took 3 or 4 days to restore most of the power.

But the weather patterns have changed so that the conditions required for those ice storms (temperature within a degree either way of freezing, temperature inversion over the city, etc.) don't happen together very often any more. IIRC we've only had one (not very bad) ice storm in the last 3 years. We've had heavy snow storms, but that's not the same.

When something that's very sensitive to local conditions continues for years and than, over the course of 5 or 10 years, pretty much disappears, you know that there's been a change in the climate. But Portland is a liberal urban area surrounded by conservative rural areas, so that's dismissed as just our liberal propaganda.

#24 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 01:55 AM:

nerdycellist: good wishes for healing from Bella and me.

Bella's been having those rear leg problems too -- she's 14. What sort of support harness do you use? As I recall, Ardala and Bella are similar in size and shape. We tried one out yesterday and it was a hopeless mess.

Sending you hugs and skritches.

#25 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 02:02 AM:

That was weird. Twice I was told my post had failed, would I please try it again. Have the off-duty gnomes been drinking again?

#26 ::: ma larkey ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 02:45 AM:

Open threadiness. Funny how bracing it is, finding that a person one thought one knew can suddenly turn into a bigot. A former classmate said to me, in a low confident voice, as if she were saying something important: "All these gay men selling perfume at the counters. They're gay because their parents were promiscuous and that's their punishment." It's times like these that I am grateful I am not the face-eating type. I had a laugh later, by myself, as I couldn't bring myself to even try to let her know how wrong she was, other than to shake my head.

#27 ::: etv13 ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 04:16 AM:

I needed my 14-year-old to explain the original post to me. (She can't believe I am actually posting this. At her request, I am adding: she is greatly amused.)

#28 ::: etv13 ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 04:20 AM:

I needed my 14-year-old to explain the original post to me. (She can't believe I am actually posting this. At her request, I am adding: she is greatly amused.)

#29 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 06:47 AM:

I heard it as "Absolute zero is cool, 0K." but that was a graffito a long time ago (even in moose years).

Steve C. at #19 - the Timescapes trailer is indeed beautiful and I intend to order it once the piggybank says yes.

(Along with The Apocalypse Codex and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance for when those are released.)

#30 ::: Andrew Wells ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 10:37 AM:

nerdycellist, I shall be keeping my fingers crossed for you and for Ardala.

We have recently acquired two hens (who have given us twelve eggs each in the fourteen days they have been with us), so I may be making the acquaintance of a local vet at some point.

#31 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 10:59 AM:

To put it in British terms from the 70s: Lord Kelvin rules, 0K.

#32 ::: Andrew Wells ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 11:01 AM:

Or for Brits from the early 1980s, ZX-81 rules 1K?

#33 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 11:09 AM:

Gomputer Graphics Animation rules, IK

#34 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 11:30 AM:

Tracie @#24

Well, right now we're using a hybrid. The belly band is from a size medium 4-in-1 support harness and the top/front part is a kurgo car harness in medium. The size medium of the support harness was too small in the chest, but the next size up was ginormous. We chose that style because it had a longer lead. Many support harnesses pre-suppose that your dog is only a foot or so from your arm for optimal helping height. This is problematic for those of us with short but dense dogs, like corgis and basset hounds. The belly band seems to work well with the car harness. Basically you just need something to attach it to their back with. For the record, Ardala is about 28 lbs and probably a corgi mix or swedish vallhund. She's very "busty" which means a lot of off the rack dog stuff doesn't fit her.

She is currently lying in her x-pen, agitated by the roofers, dragging her butt around, attempting to walk and sometimes barking at the noise. Her tail still knows how to wag. I think she's going to be OK.

#35 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 11:38 AM:

Hyper-Local news:

Graffiti has appeared at a street-car stop that reads "Winter Always Yields the Saddest Lays." A bit further on, it says, "No Reason Not to Keep on Trying, Though."

My neighborhood graffiti is in iambic pentameter, apparently.

#36 ::: Walter Hawn ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 01:36 PM:

If at first you don't fricassee,
fry fry a hen.

#37 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 01:47 PM:

My partner and I will be at the Scalzi signing at Brazos Books this afternoon. We'll be wearing "trolling for fen" sort of T-shirts. Anyone we should be looking for?

#38 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 01:52 PM:

For the second time, my planned downtown (Portland) movie run happens to coincide with the Rose Festival Parade.

Leaving early in case the train stops to let the floats and marching bands pass by . . .

#39 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 02:39 PM:

Lee, I'll see you at the Scalzi signing. I'll be wearing a Texas Star Party t-shirt.

#40 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 05:06 PM:

This OT seems to be dated May 25, 2013...

#41 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 05:20 PM:

So it does... odd.

#42 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 05:23 PM:

Fixed. Or it'll mess up post order.

There was Arcane Logic involved. Don't ask or there will be killin'.

#44 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 07:44 PM:

HLN: Took my new car (a Kia Soul named Shuttlecraft Feynman Mark II, or Shirley for short) out for a longish break-in drive and experienced an Oklahoma icon. If you are ever on the road from Tulsa to OKC or getting your kicks on Route 66, do make time for Pops. They routinely carry some 500 varieties of soda. The place was far too packed to sample their food, though it sure smelled good. I sampled a diet ginger beer from Australia.

#45 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 08:56 PM:

Canmore, Alberta had 10 cm snow today; north and east of there, Red Deer had a tornado watch. I'm not sure I've heard of that combination before. Maybe 100 miles between locations, although Canmore is higher.

#46 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 09:54 PM:

Hyperlocal news... Man is introduced to Len Wein, creator of the Swamp Thing.

#47 ::: Madeline Ashby ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 11:23 PM:

This afternoon while watching the delightfully abysmal Theatre of Blood (starring Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, and a whack of cheese, in that order), I suggested that Roman numerals survived as long as they did in part because they kept recent acquisitions to the Empire uncertain about things like major transfers of money, debt, etc. Given that the First Triumvirate also brought us the Marcus Licinius Crassus Fire Brigade, it didn't seem like such a stretch.

A little Googling suggested otherwise, of course. But I wondered if anyone else had the same conspiracy theory, or if there was a similar theory/complaint among colonized populations at the time. I immediately wished that there was an open thread here to ask the assembled company, and lo -- it appeared.

So: Innumeracy as conspiracy? Has this appeared anywhere?

#48 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 11:42 PM:

I went to see John Scalzi today. (Yes, somebody brought a ukulele.) The bookstore was sold out of Redshirts before I arrived, but I noticed that they had some SF and humor books out on display...and one of them was Isaac Asimov's Treasure of Humor. So I took the opportunity to try to look up that verse Xopher quoted. Well, the index failed me: not a single word from the song was indexed. But by flipping through a couple of times I managed to find it.

The verdict: 50-50. It did say "testicular" rather than "glandular", but it had "Rayleigh" spelled correctly.

I still very distinctly remember "glandular" in the science essay. I guess Asimov quoted from memory and unconsciously revised it to scan better.

(Scalzi was very entertaining -- I took the opportunity to ask him "What's this I hear about 'President-for-life of SFFWA'?" -- and it was good to meet Steve C. in real life.)

#49 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 10:46 AM:

Scalzi's reading at Brazos was indeed very entertaining, and I ordered a couple of the books. As David mentioned, they had sold out, which I'm sure must be gratifying to the author.

He gave a reading from a upcoming short story. I'd love to tell you about, but he swore us all to secrecy. Really.

My friend and I also enjoyed some tapas afterward with Lee and David, at a place I've never tried before called Mi Luna. Very tasty stuff along with enjoyable conversation.

Lee, email me at sclayworth99 at gmail dot com if you get a second. I snapped a picture of Russ at the signing table with Mr. Scalzi.

#50 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 01:15 PM:

I saw "Moonrise Kingdom" this afternoon. Another peculiar, whimsical-in-an-austere-way, dry-humored, understated-performance film from Wes Anderson.

I can understand why his style aggrevates some people, but I enjoy it. This was one of his best, I think.

#51 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 01:16 PM:

Here's some Flamer Bingo squee from Isabel Fay

#52 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 01:46 PM:

Backyard Botanizing: The Enormous Orange Vine in our back corner (same vine as was all over my grandmother's big house on the south side when I was a kid; was told then it was called "Jack in the Pulpit," which it totally IS NOT) is probably either crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) or trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), both native around here, which is interesting. Very rarely are popular bought-from-nurseries-and-planted plants even vaguely native to the Midwest.

The diagnostic difference between the two appears to be leaf-shape, in which case we have trumpet creeper (because the leaf-edges have toothy bits); hard to tell, because none of the ones coming up in Google Image Search are anywhere NEAR as mature and adoringly happy as mine is. They mostly seem to photograph eeny baby ones, and, um, yeah. Very different growth habit.

#53 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 01:55 PM:

Wow, trumpet vine. I am in favor of it in places where it can be, as the Wikipedia article recommends, ruthlessly controlled. Big, striking, gorgeous, and it'll eat what it grows on.

#54 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 01:59 PM:

Elliott @52--an image search at Google under 'trumpet vine' (the name I'm used to here in the southern US) produces some pictures of substantial and enthusiastic specimens. I thought this part of the article at Wikipedia was right on target:

The vigor of the trumpet vine should not be underestimated. In warm weather, it puts out huge numbers of tendrils that grab onto every available surface, and eventually expand into heavy woody stems several centimeters in diameter. It grows well on arbors, fences, telephone poles, and trees, although it may dismember them in the process. Ruthless pruning is recommended. Outside of its native range this species has the potential to be highly invasive, even as far north as New England. The trumpet vine thrives in many places in southern Canada as well.

It's not as dire as kudzu, but it can certainly be demonstrative when sharing its pleasure in good growing conditions. Wikipedia has a good shot of a sprig of leaves. They're right that birds love it.

#55 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 02:54 PM:

fidelo @54: Those are photos of vigorous specimens, yes, but they don't show the trunk structure -- I basically have the trumpet-vine equivalent of a tree rose, in that there's a wrist-thick single ropy trunk supporting it to roughly human waist-high (well, that and the stick it's tied to and the fence it's eating), and then a lollypop/bush of foliage and flowers at the top.

Where it is in the yard, I have no objections to it taking over. We'll prune it off the garage's gutters as needed (and have already whacked a human-sized walkspace under it), but if it wants to grow laterally onto a purpose-built trellis/arbor to limn the entire property line in virulent red-orange flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, I'm definitely down for that. :-> And so are the neighbors who share the property line, which is important.

I finally have photos to share!

The 'tree' itself, long view; that's a standard-height door on the left edge of frame, and the gap under the branch pointing at it is just barely high enough for me to walk under (I'm 5'6").

A diagnostic sprig, close up and pretty for botanical-identification purposes.

We have three more mystery plants, all flowering now, for those who like to play the home game:

- Purple bell-sprigs Just the right size and shape to make Tinkerbell a very cunning hat. They used to all be dark dark violet; the sun has bleached them. Spikes come to about knee-high.

- The Football John calls it that because for the longest time it was a sphere of veiny, substantial, dark green foliage. This one has finally bloomed (the ones in the back are still just leaves). Looks kind of like a massive Hulked-out hosta, sort of ... white flowers. For scale, that clump there is well over 2 feet across; each leaf is nearly the size of a picnicware disposable plate (though not the right shape for such use).

- The Lavenderoid Possibly actual lavender, I suppose. It's dead-center of the lily-of-the-valley-crammed bed, so someone clearly planted it on purpose. No particular smell to the leaves when crushed. Those spikes were formerly crowded with tiny purple flowers, though the heat seems to have dropped a lot of them in the last couple of days. That'll teach me not to take photos on first sighting when it's still pretty. :->

#56 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 03:11 PM:

re plants: In Feb. we were in the SF Bay area, and I retrieved my grape, and my olive (the latter much smaller than the former), by bare-rooting them and trust UPS to ferry them across the country.

The Olive went into a pot, and seemed to recover in no time.

The Grape was dormant. I've a strong sentimental attachment to this grape, it's the only one of four I used to have, which survived the perigrinations between Pasadena and SF. I grew it from a cutting, and the parent plant was eaten by horses.

It only decided to be awake at the tail end of April.

One of the branches seems to have died; the one which I find the most attractive (it's a semi-bonsaied) grape. But with a bit of care it will live a long, if constrained, life (I say constrained because, as a grape from cutting it's Vitus vinifera rootstock, and there are few places which are free of the risk of phylloxera; as well as my not being sure we won't move.

#57 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 03:16 PM:

Elliott @55:

I'm not great with plant identifications, but the Football you linked is definitely a hosta of some variety. I think my mom may have that particular one in her rather large hosta collection, too.

From the picture and your description, you could reasonably dig it out and divide it to put in two or maybe even three locations (including one clump back in the original spot). I'd do this either in the fall or early spring (sometime when it's not blooming, IOW).

#58 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 03:17 PM:

Elliott Mason @ #55: Not lavender. Lavender has thin little leaves like rosemary.

#59 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 03:59 PM:

Elliott Mason @55--Singing Wren is right--that's a hosta (fortuitously, one letter away from horta!). A good plant to stick in a shady spot, as it will do well even if it's too shady for grass. Not a glamorous plant, perhaps, but possessed of quiet virtues.

Down here in Tennessee, trumpet vine is more commonly seen in the wild rather than as a cultivated plant, but that stout central trunk is what you'd get from an established specimen that has survived many hard freezes, especially if pruned unmercifully (which, even in the Chicago area, it will need). Needless to say, the wild ones don't get the same degree of pruning a garden planting would. Your leaf sprig is clear enough to be diagnostic.

As for the others, the first ones are familiar as a wildflower, although I can't come up with the name. If I can find my wildflower guide I'll take a look. I don't suppose the stuff in the lily of the valley bed is a type of delphinium, or of the other larkspur group...

#60 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 05:33 PM:

Terry, if you keep it in a pot, the phylloxera might be a relatively small risk. You can get it to fruit while in a 20-inch pot, maybe smaller.
(I'm currently dealing with a cutting from last winter's pruning of my Muscat. It's stuck at about four leaves, but it's still growing a root system.)

#61 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 07:08 PM:

Teresa is being very tricksy with the most recent link, and has me in giggles. (Check the word "Provenson" very carefully.)

#62 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 07:08 PM:

Better yet, check "Provensen."

#63 ::: AlyxL ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2012, 07:21 PM:

@55 Elliott, your lavenderoid looks like some sort of ornamental sage to me. There are loads of different kinds (many with aromatic leaves); this is a common one and looks quite like yours.

The purple bell-flower looks like a campanula (which is basically just Latin for "bell-flower"); there are hundreds of different species grown in gardens.

I'm rather envious of your vine; here in southern England I've made a few attempts to grow the damn thing over the years, and it just keeled over and died every time. It's amazing how dependent invasiveness is on climate zone - I've had the same trouble trying to grow porcelain vine, which is apparently pretty invasive on its home turf. Maybe I should have a go with kudzu next.

#64 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2012, 02:54 AM:

HLN: Local woman prunes lonicera shrub struggling to keep it within the bounds of the space available without leaving it looking butchered, and swears that she shall never again plant a variety that's too big for its spot. She walks past the brand new pot of loropetalum, not yet tucked into the front bed, and and blurts, "That's different. They are easily shaped, and the foliage is so pretty!"

#65 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2012, 08:25 AM:

Elliott @55, your lavenderoid may be a salvia of some type. The one that looks like a hosta probably is!

(Also, I followed you over at the ocracy of Fit; I was the one trying to figure out if messages were publicly visible.)

#66 ::: Persephone, gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2012, 08:26 AM:

My first gnoming! I don't bake, but I do have a large variety of delicious teas.

#67 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2012, 09:19 AM:

Alyx @63: In re trying to find a pretty vine that will thrive in your garden, it might be worth your time to research native species ... one of my base tenets of Lazy Gardening (along with PERENNIALS! and I Refuse to Coddle Plants) is to plant what already likes the conditions where you're planting it.

I have amazed neighbors during hot drought summers by how flowery and nice my yard is -- because I planted stuff that evolved in and for this climate, and that likes it just fine here. Plus, of course, I don't coddle them beforehand with biweekly copious watering; why let them get used to a lifestyle to which I do not wish them to become accustomed?

If you can find a local native-plants nursery they often have ideas. I was certainly sure I wasn't going to find anything 'pretty enough' to plant just among my natives until I really went looking -- and even so, I missed trumpet creeper entirely until I suddenly had one in my yard. :->

Failing that, look at parts of the world with climate similar to your yard's: the Pacific Northwest of North America, perhaps, if you're in the rainier end?

#68 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2012, 10:03 AM:

Elliott Mason @ 67: The Pacific Northwest rains pretty steadily for 9 or 10 months of the year, but has quite dry summers. It's sometimes called a Mediterranean climate, though I have trouble seeing that myself. We have far less rain in the summer than the midwest or east coast.

Trumpet creeper does thrive here. Most things do, except for those that need more summer heat than we get, or which suffer from damp roots in the winter. Western Oregon is full of plant nurseries because of our growing conditions.

#69 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2012, 09:41 PM:

I just wanted to say that when I saw TNH's latest particle, "Why do celebrities have more legal rights than commoners?", I assumed without even noticing that I had assumed it that she was exaggerating, was talking about how celebrities are actually *treated* as opposed to commoners, rather than... an actual law giving celebrities rights.

Oh boy we live in a decaying culture don't we.

#70 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2012, 10:08 PM:

HLN: Area woman discovers that area woman's new Weight Watchers meeting leader is area woman's former 6th grade teacher.

NYC is often a much smaller place than people think it is.

#71 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 11:38 AM:

HLN: Area woman, husband, and two brothers-in-spirit spend weekend up in Cross Plains, Texas for the annual Robert E. Howard Days. Area woman discovers that she has ideas to contribute to various panels, receives entirely unexpected appreciation for speaking up, is invited to join various REH-related organizations. (Husband and brothers-in-spirit are entirely unsurprised that woman's contributions are appreciated.) Overall, weekend deals severe blow to area woman's Impostor Syndrome.

In "revenge", area woman convinces husband (with help of brothers-in-spirit") to GM first roleplaying game ever run at REH days, which is smashing success.

In toto, area woman sleeps a little, laughs a lot, has her horizons widened, makes new friends and re-connects with old ones.

Weekend successful.

#72 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 12:02 PM:

Jennifer Baughman @71:

You realize that you don't really have Impostor Syndrome, don't you? You just want people to think you do.


#73 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 12:04 PM:

Yay, Jennifer! How splendid!

HLN: Area woman about to go in for assessment to find out whether exercise and nutrition components of ongoing Resilience Training are making measurable differences in particular areas. (Other areas are already showing distinct progress.)

#74 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 12:24 PM:

abi @72: I think you just made my head explode. ;-)

#75 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 12:39 PM:

Is there a "Prometheus" thread yet?

#76 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 01:48 PM:

Sandy B @75:

There is now.

#77 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 01:52 PM:

And another racist piece of shit kills another innocent and unarmed black teenager. Sprinkle 'allegedly's as desired, but this time there was an eyewitness (the kid's mother, for gods' sake), and the kid (Darius Simmons) was taking out the garbage at his own house.

This kind of shit really makes me crazy. This bastard just walked up to this kid, accused him of stealing from his extensive gun collection (the police had already ruled the kid out as a suspect), and shot him with a 9mm.

At his own house.

In front of his mother.

This stirs a kind of vigilante justice in my own heart. I want to take John Henry Spooner out and [too gross for outside a horror novel, even in ROT13]. I won't do any such thing, of course, and not just because he's off in Wisconsin. But I really don't know what to do with the rage I feel over this.

13 years old. Taking out the garbage. Dammit.

#78 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 02:58 PM:

Recent comments oddness: I click on a link to a comment, and ?tw_p=twt gets added to the URL, thereby breaking the direct connection to the comment.

#79 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 03:04 PM:

Jacque @78:

Please describe the problem in more detail.
1. What link, precisely, were you clicking on?
2. Please paste the link from your browser into a comment.
3. Browser/version/OS, please?


#81 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 03:26 PM:


Seems to happen with any of the direct-to-comment links in the "Recent Comments" sidebar on the front page.

Frex, if I click on the direct link to your @79: abi on Open Thread 174 the status bar at the bottom of the window correctly shows:
but what appears in the address bar when the page comes up is:

Far as I can tell, this is only happening from the front page.

I'm on Windows XP using (hangs head) IE7.

This has only started happening today that I've noticed.

#82 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 03:26 PM:

R.I.P., Jim. Didn't know him, but he was, by all accounts, a good one.

#83 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 03:35 PM:

Jacque @81:

Try it now.

I begin to suspect that the script that Twitter wants to use to show its prettified display isn't behaving well with The Browser Whose Name is a Cry of Pain. Because that suffix looks Twitteresque.

#84 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 03:41 PM:

abi: Yup. Works fine now. And I had similar suspicions.

#85 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 03:44 PM:

As to The Browser Whose Name is a Cry of Pain, I've asked around as to when we get an upgrade(!), and I'm told: "We're still doing compatibility testing." ::heavy sigh::

#86 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 04:02 PM:

Whitmore @80: Rest in peace, Jim Young. Going off to cry now. Yeah. Solidarity from here.

If it helps any, I just told T that I figured Mike was meeting him, and after a little chat he'd mention that David Stemple was waiting for them in the bar. (Probably with a whole bunch of other good people.)

Yeah. Definitely crying. But the thought of them all catching up on stuff together is a good thought to hold right now.

#87 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 04:05 PM:

Condolences to all who miss him.

#88 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 06:05 PM:

Did someone just rattle the backend? My feed reader now thinks every article and comment made on ML in the past year or so (since I started using it to keep up) is new... and it lacks a "mark all as read". sigh

#89 ::: geekosaur just annoyed the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 06:05 PM:

by asking if they just disturbed something...

#90 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 06:25 PM:

Heard about Jim's death a few hours ago, and it hit me harder than I expected it to. He was one of the good ones. The odds of him recovering were always long, but damn I hoped he was going to beat them.

He reportedly had a lot of fun with his last film role, playing Adolf Hitler:

I hope I get to see that one some day.

#91 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 06:30 PM:

Stefan@2: You're not the only ones experirencing weird weather. Here in London it's both wet and cold and I'm still wearing a heavy winter jacket to work - in mid June! There are also parts of the country experiencing major flooding that haven't known such a thing in living memory.

#92 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 06:50 PM:

I did not know him, but my heartfelt condolences to those who did.

#93 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 10:27 PM:

Jim was one of the best. I've known him since we were teenagers in APA-45. We learned to dance la volta at Baycon in 1968. That seems so long ago -- I guess it was. Knowing Jim was a blessing.

#94 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 11:28 PM:

Don't know if anyone's posted this before....

Just read some of the reviews.

Three Wolf Moon T-shirt

I really don't think I have any other choice but to get this.

#95 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2012, 11:44 PM:

After doing a little Googling, I must be the LAST person on earth to hear about Three Wolf Moon. :)

#96 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 12:11 AM:

Not the last. ;-) Thanks.

(I recognize a name or two in those reviews. And as soon as I saw "customers also viewed Tuscan Whole Milk" I knew that the deal was.)

#97 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 12:29 AM:

I cordially invite Senator Orrin Hatch and nine other Senators to eat shit and die. Go on, Senator. Make the world a better place, you disgusting bigot.

"There is no indication in the court's opinion that anyone could oppose same-sex marriage without being infected by 'animus' as the court defines the term," says their brief. Well, yeah, that's because there's no reason other than "animus" to oppose same-sex marriage. Well, to sincerely oppose it, as opposed to just taking a position out of political opportunism. So really, long walk, short dock. Or take a stroll across the Grand Canyon...straight across the top. I'll watch and laugh.

I don't like your horse, either.

#98 ::: Xopher HalfTongue has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 12:31 AM:

Link format? Cursing? It was about Orrin Hatch, so there was some cursing, naturally.

#99 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 01:33 AM:

Why is it that I feel guilty about not filling up the green waste cans for tomorrow's pickup despite the facts that it was well over 90º today AND I somehow managed to screw up my hip in my sleep last night to the point of limping all day?

I *did* manage to mow the small front lawn, though. The big back lawn will have to wait for cooler weather and sufficient motivation. Or at least the latter, since we're not guaranteed cooler weather for the next three months.

#100 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 08:01 AM:

Same-sex marriage is being described as the greatest threat to the Church of England in 500 years:

Let's see:

481 years ago: Henry VIII prosecutes the whole English clergy, pardons them on condition they accept his spiritual jurisduction; 476 years ago: Cromwell dissolves the monasteries and takes their possessions; 469 years ago: reading the Bible restricted to the nobility; 457 years ago: the Marian Persecutions.

More recently, the Tithes Commutation Act, the abolition of tithes in the Finance Act 1977, the abdication of Edward VIII, the disestabishment campaign of the late 19th century, the distestablishment campaign over the 1929 Book of Common Prayer; the schism over homosexual clergy; the flight of the Roaming Catholics over the ordination of women; the Consecration of Bishops Abroad Act 1786 and the separation of the US and Canadian churches.

Yep, civil marriage equality is definitely up there.

#101 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 10:59 AM:

Anyone here been to see Snow White and the Huntsman yet?

If so, did the ending feel like a set up for a sequel?

#102 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 12:17 PM:

A neighbor and the boyfriend of one his daughters cut down The Maple That Will Not Die the other day--I girdled it from the ground to as high as I could reach in the fall, and several times scraped the bare trunk. It leafed out and thrived despite that... the chainsaw had to be sharpened partway through the sawing of it.

Elsewhere in the yard it would not have been a nuisance tree--it was overshadowing my yellow cherry tree. The neighbor said that the center of the tree was very wet. The heart of the tree was much darker wood than the surrounding rings. Talk about "rock maple"...

#97 Xopher--generally the Republicans in Congress make the sons of Haman look worth spending a breath on reciting the names of.... Cornyn and Graham are highest on my "which have committed the most egregious crimes against the USA lately" list... they are witch hunting Eric Holder for having resurrected the US Department of Justice's terminated-2001-2008 enforcement of the Civils Rights Act, and actually has investigated and convicted and fined individual and health care corporate parasites for Medicare fraud...

#100 thomas
The Episcopalian Church in the USA is not in compliance with the Church of England regarding same gender marriage.... Do I detect a power conflict perhaps?

#103 ::: Kit ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 04:43 PM:

Could anyone spread some light on what is happening on TV tropes? As far as I understand, one "please remove this" from Google AdSense about one specific page has spawned a full-fledged moral panic, including a band of censors with unlimited powers.

They've wiped out pages on questionable manga, Five Shades of Grey, and all tropes that have the word "rape" in it, to start with. Possibly more - it's pretty difficult to get an overview of what's happening.

I am bemused, and worried.

#104 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 05:27 PM:

Wandering thought of the moment: Acronyms require literacy. What were the acronym-equivalents before literacy was widespread? Nicknames, maybe?

#105 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 05:30 PM:

Rhyming slang.

#106 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 05:34 PM:

Not all acronyms require literacy, Sandy B. One can build an acronym out of the starting sounds of words, not letters; and this will be a good mnemonic for the words intended. It doesn't even require the concept of writing to be effective (and might be as effective in ideographic cultures as in alphabetic ones, looked at that way).

#107 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 05:47 PM:

#103 Kit

Sounds like the US Constitution dies again... the Constitution supports denotes parody etc. as Protected Free Speech....

Once upon a time
Google in the Brave New Net World
Had a paradigm
"Don't be evil" was its motto,
But its leaders changed
And the new ones profit-raising,
Bow to greed and pressure now they censor us all.

Bullies of the world
Get in bed with politicians
Put religion first
Theirs above to stomp all others
And they scream and yell

Once upon a time
Google in the Brave New Net World
Stood for liberty
Fought against the greed and censors
But those days are gone
And they have joined with the fascists
Bow to greed and pressure now they censor us all.

#108 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 06:12 PM:

Kit @103: Yeah, I just went and looked at tvtropes, and what the hell is going on there?

By taking down the pages that mention rape, I guess we are prevented from examining the use of it as a cheap plot device, et cetera. The use of it as a cheap plot device doesn't go away; our ability to talk about it on that website does. All the previous info that was there is no longer available; all the critique, all the examples, gone.

I am aghast. This isn't going to stick, is it?

#109 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 06:29 PM:

#106 elise

It sounds like Google has become part of the Rape Culture, de facto, then....

#110 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 06:46 PM:

Oops, forgot to change my header. Please forgive. (Edit if you like.)

Also, I went and poked around on TV tropes, and this is all part of an ongoing thing since April. It's complicated.

#112 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 09:53 PM:

Sigh. I guess I shouldn't be shocked any more that same-sex couples are considered "sexual content" or "dirty" by the duh-heads of the world, but TVTropes' putting any "two-mommies" references behind a content warning still saddens me and pisses me off.

Please join me in referring to this as TVTropes Fail going forward.

#113 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 10:18 PM:

HLN: Local woman goes to ER with severe abdominal pain, ends up needing emergency surgery. "I'm okay now," she says. "The surgery fixed what needed fixing, and I'm not left with any major or permanent losses of function. This might not have been the case if I hadn't gone to the ER, though."

Local woman is grateful for it being laparoscopic surgery, which meant she was back home the same day. Also very happy to have dealt with very good and communicative doctors and nurses, who explained what was going on, what was going to happen, and provided time and space for her to think of questions and ask them. "You know how someone gives you a long speech and asks if you have any questions, and you say 'No, none that I can think of right now,' and then you immediately think of five?" she says. "These doctors and nurses waited a few seconds after hearing 'No,' so I could say 'Well, actually, what about …'"

(She is also grateful to have good enough health insurance that this incident will not destroy her financially. And angry that that even has to be a concern, for her or for anyone else.)

Returning to first-person:

Recovery is going fairly well so far. I've had non-laparoscopic abdominal surgery before, and by comparison, this is a piece of cake. My husband and parents are taking good care of me. Still, changing positions and coughing do not go well with abdominal incisions. And unfortunately, intubation during surgery left me with a lingering sore throat, so I need to cough with some frequency. Ow. (I've got pain meds, and they help, but anything that engages the ab muscles still hurts.)

But I can walk around (slowly and carefully) and eat real food. And I am specifically forbidden from doing housework for two weeks, and even more specifically forbidden from vacuuming, sweeping, or mopping for six weeks. I really do not mind having housework be Someone Else's Problem for once in my life.

#114 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2012, 10:25 PM:

Caroline: eek! Glad all went well and that the medical people responded appropriately.

Rest, get well, feel better.

#115 ::: Mishalak ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 12:54 AM:

Xopher HalfTongue @112

From the slashdot page it seems like this is due to pressure from Google due to standards on advertizing that pays for the site. Perhaps it should be a Google Fail? Or did I misread the situation?

#116 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 01:20 AM:

RE the Provensen particle: Squeeee! My grandparents gave me that book (Myths & Legends) when I was 12; I've hung onto it since, through many moves and much chaos. I love that book.

#117 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 01:45 AM:

elise @ 86:

If Heaven doesn't have a pub where you can sit down for long chats with old friends and new, I'm not going (and if there are Senators in Hell, I'm sure not going there).

Caroline @ 113:

Good to hear that you're all right, and really happy to hear that you found a medical team that did it all right including the talking part. I hope all the aches and pains go away soon.

#119 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 02:18 AM:

Mishalak, my reading is that Google pressured them to create the content warning wall, and TVTropes decided what to put behind it. Deciding that two mommies aren't "family friendly" is homophobic; if Google supplied the list, than it is indeed GoogleFail.

#120 ::: elise sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 09:21 AM:

Xopher @119: I might be misunderstanding what you mean by "content warning wall," but certain things at TV tropes aren't behind a wall now; they're completely gone.

#121 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 09:23 AM:

Crud. Why does my name keep reverting to the "sees spam" format? Please to fix, and I'll go thump my browser, clear the cache, and stuff.

#122 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 09:33 AM:

Hyperlocal news... Man has been told by local writer Victor Milan that, in the followup to his Tor novel "Dinosaurs Lords" edited by David Hartwell, there will be a Necessary Villain modeled after local man, due to his supposed elegance. Necessary Villain is to be called Dragos. Man approves of villainous name, but questions his reputtion for elegance.

#123 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 09:35 AM:

AKICIML: A dear friend's relative, whose sense of humor remains intact even as everything else is going away, has stated a preference to have a particular piece of music played at her funeral services: a slow, dirge-like version of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead". Does anyone know of such a thing or where to start looking for someone who can do this in the Washington, D.C. area?

#124 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 11:53 AM:

So I'm definitely giving ABC Family's new show Bunheads another few episodes. I was dubious, because, well ... ABC Family does not generally make shows I want to watch. But the trailers looked interesting, so I popped it on and expected to click it off going "Ugh, drama-llama garbage full of people I dislike" within ten minutes.

I was still watching it, though with spates of dubiousness, when I hit the following scene. Note: Michelle is very drunk and has just had a horrible, disappointing day, so she's very low-filters:

Hubbell: Michelle, let me take care of you. marry me.
Michelle: Oh, Hubbell, no!
Hubbell: I can make you happy.
Michelle: No, you don't understand! I suck at relationships. I'm like Godzilla! Men run from me, they flee! -- Not just Japanese men, all nationalities flee.
Hubbell: I won't flee.
Michelle: Buy some comfortable shoes.
Hubbell: I promise you, I won't flee. I'll be the one scientist who understands you. The one who knows you're not burning the city down because you're evil, you're burning the city down to protect the giant lizard eggs you've just laid in a cave by the ocean. A cave no one knows is there … but me.
Michelle: God, that's beautiful.
Hubbell: No, you're beautiful. And you deserve to be happy. What do you say?

Hubbell, by the way, is played by Alan Ruck, who played Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. He's doing the same low-affect-but-emotionally-vulnerable thing here, and the delivery completely made the lines.

It reminds me of Pushing Daisies: stylized, very witty, dry-but-not-stuffy lines delivered very precisely to give just the right effect.

It's not un-problematic, but every time I braced myself for Horrid Overdramatic Fail, it didn't happen. And I find myself genuinely liking and feeling for almost every single character in it, even the ones that would be 'the bitch' or 'the ditz' or whatever in more stereotypical aimed-at-young-women TV writing.

The characters have beating hearts. And senses of humor about themselves. And they don't act like ten-year-olds! I think I'm in love ...

#125 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 12:39 PM:

elise, that's even worse. What I saw when I went there was a warning page to the effect that there was possibly-adult content beyond there, and asking did I really want to see it.

#126 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 12:56 PM:

Xopher: Seems to me, if stuff is being put behind nanny-walls and not just removed outright, a strategy TVTropes might try to good effect would be to put everything behind the nanny-wall—with an explanation as to why. I wonder if this would aim the Internet at Google's head with sufficient precision to get the point across.

#127 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 01:14 PM:

Caroline @113: Technology is so cool when it works, isn't it? (And when used by people who know what they're doing....) Glad medical intervention went as desired for you!

(And, oh, do I hear you about abs & surgery. My one abdominal surgery was followed by pain-killer-induced nausea. I do not recommend emesis using recently altered musculature.)

#128 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 02:04 PM:

I find I do not have an e-mail address for Xopher. Could someone supply it privately to me?

Mail higgins at fnal dot gov.

#129 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 02:12 PM:

Bill - sent.

#130 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 02:24 PM:

Bruce Cohen (#118) I think your idea is great! I have no useful suggestion as to how to implement it, but if it does get off the ground, please let me know. It would be great to bet on a sure thing for once. I've been putting all my eggs in leaky baskets far too long, but everyone dies.

No, seriously, it does sound like a workable idea.

#131 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 03:54 PM:

Roger Zelazny passed away 17 years ago today.

#132 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 05:27 PM:

Back in Open Thread 173, I wrote a post wondering if I should attend a Richard Thompson concert being held in June at the local Music Instrument Museum.

The concert was last night, and I did end up going and enjoyed it muchly. I wrote about the experience on my blog, here.

#133 ::: Kit ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 06:01 PM:

I agree that it would be a nice strategy, but I think the TV tropes mods are using Google as an excuse for wiping out content that they don't like personally.

#134 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 06:03 PM:

Kit: Oh, sigh. That's tiresome. Especially in a venue that seems to see a lot of traffic.

#135 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 06:14 PM:

Then I say hell with TVTropes.

#136 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 06:27 PM:

Thanks, y'all.

Jacques @ 127: Awww! I unfortunately had that experience this time (general anesthesia seems to have that effect on me). It is indeed not recommended.

#137 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 09:35 PM:

Because people here know things: I bought a parasol a couple years ago and it was excellent. It lasted for about two summers, I think. I bought another from the same vendor on Amazon this summer, and... it is poorly made on many levels.

Does anyone have a particular favorite place to find Asian-style parasols that will last at least a year of regular use? I'd rather it not be a European-style one since those are much more umbrellish. But I miss having a parasol to both shield me from the sun and mark me as me.

#138 ::: Cassy B ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2012, 09:40 PM:

Diatryma @137, I have a friend who makes lovely parasols... but she makes them out of umbrellas by adding lace covers and fringed trim. So probably not what you're looking for.

#139 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 03:39 AM:

HLN, dateline Hoboken: Visiting physicist meets half-tongued local sage, conversation ensues. Sources close to the Fluorospherians characterized the encounter as "a pleasant afternoon in the park."

#140 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 04:11 AM:

I heard a rumor Stu Shiffman is not well. Is this so, and if so is there an email address to send a get-well wish to?

#141 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 08:44 AM:

"With mediocre power comes mediocre responsibility."

Daniel Abraham, or Melinda Snodgrass, on a recent panel about comic-books. That could apply to the Mystery Men.

#142 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 10:12 AM:

Elise--I just looked at Facebook, and Andi Shechter has posted that Stu is in Harborview Medical Center, recovering from a stroke, and doing well given that. I have left Stu a get well message on his Facebook wall, but the significant information/updates seem to be on Andi's page.

#143 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 11:21 AM:

HLN: Halftongued local has pleasant and enlightening conversation with visiting physicist, learns cool things about relativity, is startled to find the word 'sage' used as a descriptor. "That seems like an exaggeration," he remarks. Apparently dilation of both sage and thyme figured into the meeting.

#144 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 12:08 PM:

Speaking of sage . . . AKICIML version:

My teenager complains about sweaty palms and soles of feet. Googling led her to a recommendation that the affected body parts be steeped in sage tea. Not bothered by this myself, I have no knowledge to offer, though I can't see that there is any downside.

Yes? No?

Other suggestions?

(I need to find her a dermatologist, I think.)

#145 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 12:10 PM:

Also possibly speaking of sage:

HLN: Local couple looks back on recent savory pie-making binge, savors thoughts of another. Witnesses report sightings of Pieminister cookbook and small accumulation of smoked haddock, but couple claims to be undecided on next recipe.

#146 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 12:43 PM:

Bruce @132, as someone with social anxiety, it's wonderful to hear about other people getting out and expanding their social horizons. Congrats!

#147 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 01:19 PM:

In re Stu Shiffman -- I've just been with Andi. Stu had a stroke; he was doing well yesterday (responsive, showing signs of wit as well as simple responses). As of this morning, they had discovered some brain-stem bleeding and were taking him in for an operation. We should know what's happened with that in a couple of hours.

He is in the best trauma center in the NW, in the neurological ICU: it's about the best possible place to have to deal with these problems. We're hoping to get a CaringBridge site up about this sometime a bit later today, but given that things are a bit chaotic I figured an update here might help.

Andi's reserving her phone for family and doctors right now. If you need to call me, I'm available (408-807-6515) -- if it's not immediate, the CaringBridge site is probably better for information once it's running. That should be up by 2 PM, and I'll make sure it gets updated as we know more.

Things are not good, but they're as good as they can be given what's happened. He's getting top-level care. And Andi has good support in place.

More soon.

#148 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 01:31 PM:

"That seems like an exaggeration," he remarks.

I was tryin' to class up th' joint.

#149 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 01:40 PM:

I was quite appreciative of being so characterized, believe me! But I couldn't resist the opportunity to set up the "sage and thyme" pun.

#150 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 01:45 PM:

Tom: Well, dammit. Is it a good thing to spread the news to people who may not know, or do they want that to go more slowly?

Good thoughts going to Stu and Andi and you, at any rate.

#151 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 03:48 PM:

Tom - yeah, do please put the CaringBridge info somewhere where we can get it or ask for it or something. Thanks.

And thanks for helping with communications and everything.

#152 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 04:00 PM:

Via Felix Salmon, a Prospect article that captures the world I grew up surrounded by--Appalachia--very very well.

With three working adults, the family’s income for 2011 was a combined $21,000, right on the poverty line.

When nearly everyone in the county is poor, the distinction between have and have-not becomes meaningless. There are have-very-little’s, but even they wouldn’t always call themselves poor.

#153 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 04:24 PM:

Those in the US may have seen this already, but:


#154 ::: Melissa Singer has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 04:25 PM:

probably for links.

I don't have any baked goods, but may I offer the gnomes cherries, picked Wednesday? They are plump and a nice blend of tart and sweet.

#155 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 05:41 PM:

We're going to have to plant a baby cherry in our yard to serve as a spermpollen donor for the mature tree we already have, but it's apparently going to be totally worth it -- according it used to have a buddy, before a catastrophic storm several years ago, and bore wonderful fruit.

#156 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 05:44 PM:

according to our neighbors, that is. Sigh. We're definitely making a biggish order to Trees of Antiquity for next spring's planting season, though: a cherry to buddy the one we have, plus at least three apples, to include a Niedwitskaya (because zomg those are pretty trees -- very red. The bark is red. The flowers are red-pink. The LEAVES are red!).

#157 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 05:55 PM:

More on Stu: the operation wasn't about brainstem bleeding, but was to relieve pressure on the brain (when I said "Trepination!" the neurologist commented that indeed, they were letting out the bad humours). Haven't seen Stu since the operation, but Andi is at the hospital, with good support. I've started a Caringbridge page for Stu, which you should feel free to tell people about. I'll post updates there from now on. Mood around this: guarded optimism.

#158 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 06:21 PM:

SamChevre @152, that world is very familiar to me as well.

I was talking to some coworkers the other day about a family trip we'd taken recently. One of my coworkers stopped me and said, "Wait. What do you mean, your parents-in-law and husband had never flown before?" She couldn't believe that there were adults in the United States who had never in their lives been on a plane.

The inevitable reaction here in DC when I tell someone where I'm from (the rural South) is, "But you don't have an accent!" Well, yes, that was intentional, because when I first moved here people treated me like I was stupid. Amazing how that cleared up when I trained away my (relatively mild) accent.

#159 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 06:50 PM:

This bit from the evils of cheap chic particle:

"We’ve lost sight of clothes as material goods — as things that are made. They’re now symbolic."

reminds me of this from In the Beginning ...was the Command Line:

"(The richer tourists at Disney World wear t-shirts printed with the names of famous designers, because designs themselves can be bootlegged easily and with impunity. The only way to make clothing that cannot be legally bootlegged is to print copyrighted and trademarked words on it; once you have taken that step the clothing itself doesn't really matter, and so a t-shirt is as good as anything else. T-shirts with expensive words on them are now the insignia of the upper class. T-shirts with cheap words, or no words at all, are for the commoners.)"

There's more to it than that--when it was uncommon to have more than a few changes of clothing, being able to cycle clothes weekly or daily was a mark of wealth--but there's a subtle truth about the real purpose of haute clothes in there. The value of designer clothes wasn't their superior aesthetic or material value, it was the social value of being something other people couldn't have.

Which begs the question: what possesses that social value when chic can be had for dollars? To what extent is sustainable, repurposed and vintage, hand-sewn clothing just the newest turn on the social wheel?

#160 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 08:49 PM:

Question for the knitters: Aren't there things one can put on the pointy ends of knitting needles to keep the stitches from sliding off when not knitting? What would such things be called? And where would an extremely novice knitter find them? Do they come in different sizes for different sized needles?

I suspect wrapping a rubber-band around the end would work, but I'm hoping for something a little easier to put on/take off.

#161 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 08:57 PM:

Point protectors.
Clover makes them in two sizes, and they're sold in packages of four. (I use them to turn double-pointed needles into single-pointed needles, when I need a short needle.)

#163 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 09:06 PM:

P J Evans and Carrie: Thanks! I was trying to call them "stops", which just doesn't google well.

#164 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 10:58 PM:

TNH: *wordless delight on the "knolling" particle, and utter agreement, because he so does*

#165 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2012, 11:06 PM:

That suit against PublishAmerica is a thing of beauty. I do so love reading well written legal filings and arguments.

#166 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 12:28 AM:

heresiarch@159: There's only so much GOOD old clothing, and finding it requires that you go visit three or six thrift stores pretty much every week. That's a fair amount of time and driving around. Then of course there's the vintage clothing store, where you get to pay the servants to go troll the local thrifts FOR you.

So, yeah, there are class markers available there if you want them.

#167 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 01:07 AM:

HLN: A bit late in reporting it here, but Local Woman's biopsy came back with the news that the masses in her breast are benign. Much relief in the household.

Other news: She did not make it to the semi-finals in Chorus Idol, the competition to sing a solo with the Seattle Men's Chorus, but she made it farther than she would have if she hadn't entered the contest.

(Local Man now has over 80,000 pieces of music for random play on his computer; said computer seems to have developed a fondness for Richard Thompson, Columbian death metal with cookie monster vocals, and JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA.)

#168 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 08:30 AM:

Velma #167: Congratulations on both the test and the tryout!

#169 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 08:59 AM:

Velma: woohoo for the good news on both fronts . . . .

#170 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 10:38 AM:


Columbian death metal with cookie monster vocals

Life at your house is always interesting.

#171 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 10:50 AM:

Velma: Great news! (Been there. It's scary.)

Tom, thanks for setting up the CaringBridge site.

#172 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 11:28 AM:

Velma @ 167... Benign? yay!

#173 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 12:12 PM:

Wonderful news, Velma!

#174 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 12:19 PM:

Yay Velma!

#175 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 12:20 PM:

In other news, I've posted another Babylon 5 thing over on N2S. This one's on Soul Mates, the episode with Londo's wives and Delenn's hair.

#176 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 02:16 PM:

abi: Link to Soul Mates a no work. Fortunately, the link from your name does.

#177 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 02:35 PM:

Jacque @176:

Thanks. Fixed.

#178 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 03:23 PM:

heresiarch @159: Which begs the question: what possesses that social value when chic can be had for dollars? To what extent is sustainable, repurposed and vintage, hand-sewn clothing just the newest turn on the social wheel?

G Bruce Boyer, being interviewed on the Ivy Style blog:

There's a memoir by Paul Watkins called "Stand Before Your God" about being an American at a British public school, and the guys who had the most prestige were the guys who wore their father's old tweed jackets and 50-year-old Lobb shoes, which had a certain cachet that New Money just didn't have.

#179 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 04:16 PM:

I'm a little confused about Jim's Distraction about the threatened photographer--if I have it right after looking the Slashdot stuff and poking at the links, the photographer withdrew the DMCA and comments about it at his website and the attorney's website went down, but the website of one of her supporters is still up and opining that the photographer is guilty of almost every charge under the sun short of aggravated mopery. Is that correct?

If so, I wish that someone had gotten the news about the legal threat to Ken over at Popehat right after it was made, since threatened suits with no legal basis are just the sort of thing that causes him to send up a signal for legal representation for those that have been threatened.

#180 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 06:27 PM:

HLN: Area woman has received an "explanation of benefits" for an office visit from three months ago. The only thing on it that she is sure she understands is the $25 copay, and the unrelated statement that she has spent $12.58 toward her maximum $1000 out-of-pocket expenses for 2012. She understands that part because she wrote a check for it, months ago.

Area woman decides that if they are going to send her complicated paperwork that says she doesn't owe any money, she is not going to waste her time asking them to break down the bits that her doctor billed for.

#181 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 07:09 PM:

Congratulations to Tor for winning another Best Publisher Award at the Locus Awards -- setting a record with 25 wins in a row! And to Cat Valente for winning 3 fiction awards -- I think that's also a record, or at least it'll tie one.

#182 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 07:28 PM:

Just heard on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me this morning that 'gorp' actually comes from an Old English word meaning to eat rapidly or carelessly (or something like that). I am skeptical, however, because my dictionary says "Origin unknown." If it were uncertain, my dictionary would say that. Wondering where WWDTM got their information.

#183 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 08:46 PM:

Gimpy dog update:

So the vet wanted $1000 for an MRI on the chance that Ardala's crossed extensor reflex is a result of a slipped disc. The desired outcome for the MRI would have been disc surgery. No other options were given to us. After having her at home for a week, we noticed she seemed to be in less pain, but some discomfort (if that makes any sense) and, yes, still the inability for her to walk. Doesn't seem to have affected her appetite, her continence or her general bossy yet licky attitude. Knowing that I didn't want to pay $1k for a diagnostic that at "best" would indicate pricey, risky surgery (seriously, how many articles have I read about dogs becoming completely paralyzed after disc surgery?) and at worst would put us right back where we came from (and $1k poorer) we decided to get a second opinion.

We went to a physical therapy place and had a vet evaluate her there, along with a canine physical therapist. First off, it was so much more pleasant than the normal vet visit. Rather than a cold table, Ardala was assessed on a dog bed on the floor. The vet and therapist are somewhat baffled by Ardala's condition. They made copious notes and will be researching this week. In the meantime, Ardala had some cold laser therapy and we were instructed on some gentle massage techniques to keep the synovial fluid moving through her hind limbs. We also got a new, more helpful walking harness to help her on her potty breaks. She is now more relaxed than I have seen her all week, sleeping deeply on her bed.

The vet noted that she could find no evidence of pain in Ardala's lumbar region, or the rest of her spine. She doesn't want to rule out slipped or herniated discs, but she has serious doubts. She thinks Ardala's condition may be neurological, and if we don't notice improvement she has a great neurologist she recommends, who can run all sorts of tests more affordably than our current vet. Current vet's office, by the by, had not faxed over our records as promised by the time of our appointment and had to be harangued into it today. This did not surprise the physical therapist - evidently getting records from his practice is always difficult.

#184 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 09:25 PM:

nerdycellist, that's very encouraging! There have been a lot of advances in canine rehabilitation in recent years. There's a place near us that has a state-of-the-art canine therapy facility with underwater treadmills and all kinds of cool stuff; they get excellent results. Hope your folks can continue to do well by Ardala; it sounds like a much more promising track than surgery.

#185 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2012, 10:35 PM:

Re the "Who's chasing the .book TLD?" particle:

Let me be the first (no doubt the thousandth) to say this whole new-gTLD push is a littoral-swamp sale of epic proportions. Doesn't matter whether .book is grabbed by Amazon, Bowker, or Uncle Beebody's Fire-Sale Domain Registry and Tanning Salon -- as soon as it launches, and forever thereafter, the cachet of a .book domain for your book project will be *less* than a .com domain.

Statistically, a few of these new gTLDs will probably take off and become popular and valuable. This will be because somebody (against all odds) managed to launch a *popular web service there*, not because of the domain name. Most of them will instead suffer the fate of the *typical* new web service.

Historical example: go visit . Have you ever been to a .aero domain? Did you know the .aero gTLD existed? I didn't. It's been around since 2001. It was created with exactly the same sort of "look at the value!" mentality as these new proposals. It has gone nowhere.

#186 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 12:54 AM:


I appear, very briefly, in this news story about the Eugene Mini Maker Faire:

28 seconds in. The rockets at about 55 seconds are mine.

#187 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 01:32 AM:

Xopher @182: Just heard on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me this morning that 'gorp' actually comes from an Old English word meaning to eat rapidly or carelessly (or something like that).

I heard that too and was... well, maybe not actively skeptical, but at least nonplussed. Whatever their source, it seems a stretch at best according to World Wide Words and various other sources elseweb.

#188 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 01:35 AM:

Lila @ #184, "underwater treadmills"

For dogs and cats? How does this work? (I'm imagining little scuba tanks and regulators, probably wrongly.)

#189 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 01:43 AM:

I believe the underwater treadmill is set up so the head and neck of the dog are above water. The dog also may be wearing a life vest ("float coat" they were calling it) and is supervised at all times. Ardala did not go in the water today, which is fine because water is her mortal enemy.

She has been sleeping really, really hard and is more relaxed than I've seen her in over a week. She went out and did her business in her new harness, and I gave her a gentle massage on her legs before bed. I hope we continue to see improvement - even slow improvement - and don't have to go to the neurologist in Orange County.

#190 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 02:10 AM:

The Dictionary of Dubious Derivations says, "gorp - comes from the Old Glagolitic 'gorpu', one who believes questionable etymologies."

#191 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 04:17 AM:

I see that Amazon is using its European subsidiary for the .book application.

The way taxes are handled in Europe, it could give them several percentage points advantage over a registry outside the EU.

On ebooks, it puts them as much as 17 percentage points ahead of a non-EU source, by putting the servers in Luxembourg.

#192 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 07:47 AM:

Linkmeister @ #188, nerdycellist is correct. The water level is adjustable, and never more than shoulder deep (this allows you to select how much weight the dog is putting on its legs--you do want the dog walking, not swimming). In addition to lessening weight-bearing, the water provides resistance, so the dog can get a fairly intense workout without straining an injured or arthritic joint. (More info from our local canine rehab place.) There are similar devices for horses.

#193 ::: Cassy B ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 08:45 AM:

Xopher @182, Julie @187, Bruce @190

According the the Oxford English Dictionary (best birthday present EVER):


gorp, n. colloq. (orig. and chiefly N. Amer.).

Brit. /gɔːp/, U.S. /gɔrp/

[Origin uncertain. Perhaps ‹ the earlier U.S. slang gorp to eat greedily (attested from 1913 in Dict. Amer. Regional Eng. (1991) II. 744; compare to gawp up at gawp v.), although frequently explained as an acronym ‹ the initial letters of good old raisins and peanuts.]

A mixture of dried fruit and nuts, often with seeds and other high-calorie foods such as chocolate, eaten as a snack food, originally by walkers and campers.
   Its popularity with hikers accounts for its alternative name, trail mix.


For whatever that's worth. There is at least a second-hand 1913 cite for the WWDTM assertion, but it flat-out says that the derivation is unknown.

#194 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 09:48 AM:

I am bemused: Last night I tweeted something about having taken up knitting again. No hashtags of any kind. Within two hours, I was followed by someone apparently advertising fairisle sweater patterns. The timing could be a coincidence, I suppose (she said dubiously), but it's a little creepy.

#195 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 10:15 AM:

Cassy B@193: the Oxford English Dictionary (best birthday present EVER)

I've probably mentioned this here before, but when my wife and I merged our households many duplicate items were winnowed out, with two big exceptions: the two KitchenAid mixers and the two copies of the OED.

#196 ::: David Wald has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 10:17 AM:

I'm not sure from the comment whether the gnomes are wishing for tasty baked goods or tasty etymologies, but both are available with the ingredients of my last note.

#197 ::: Ian C. Racey ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 10:22 AM:

Mary Aileen @194

That happens to me a lot, especially if the tweet touched even vaguely either on being an expat or on writing. The tweet-trawlers are very good at what they do (or at least, at that part of it).

#198 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 10:22 AM:

All this discussion of gorp must be making the gnomes hungry.

#199 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 10:50 AM:

Stefan @186

Nice rockets! How did you get such a nice finish? Do you use a wrap, or paint? Me, I've surrendered to the fact that I don't paint worth a damn, so my rockets simply don't look nice and smooth and shiny. They still go FWOOM, though!

Is that blue-grey one a Lil' Nuke? I've started using that fin design on all my homebrew rockets because the lovely swept fins that look so nice on your other two rockets snap if you look at them funny.

Well, almost all my homebrew rockets; not the McDonalds Happy Meal Box. The Happy Meal Mark I and Mark II had balsa fins and That Didn't End Well, so the Mark III and now the Mark IV (which I need to finish building; I'm looking at the almost-completed guts of it right now) have Sputnik fins.

#200 ::: Cassy B ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 11:53 AM:

David @195,

True story. Some few years back, a friend of my husband went to him for help. The conversation as reported to me by my husband went like this, very nearly word-for-word.

Friend: "I know Cassy just had a birthday; my wife's birthday is coming up. Help! I have no idea what to get her. What did you get her for her birthday?"

Husband: "It won't help."

Friend: "No, really, help me out here, dude."

Husband: "Really. It's won't help. Trust me."

Friend: "Hey, even if it's not right for my wife, it might spark an idea. C'mon."

Husband: "Ok, but it won't help. I bought her a dictionary."

Long pause. Blank look.

Friend: "A dictionary...?"

Husband: "Yup. OED II on CD-ROM. Got a LOT of husband-points for it, too."

Friend: "You're right. It didn't help...."


Whatever that friend may have thought, that dictionary STILL ranks as the Best Birthday Present Ever.... {grin}

#201 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 01:00 PM:

Cassy B, at least he didn't ask my husband for gift ideas. One of my favorite birthday presents to date was a load of horse manure (for my garden).

Just for the record, I would also love an OED on disk--I have a dead-tree one (with magnifying glass).

#202 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 01:48 PM:

Cassy B and Lila: for my birthday one year Juan got me a domain. He came up to me with this little piece of paper with the interNIC confirmation note, and said, "I'm sorry I didn't wrap it." I got all big-eyed and mooshy, and then he danced around the house singing, "I married a geek girl, yay, yay, yay!"

An OED and some lovely manure for the garden sound like perfectly splendid gifts.

#203 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 03:14 PM:

One of my favorite presents from my father was and is a pair of gun-range ear protectors to use while vacuuming. Now, instead of cringing as I hit the power button, I think how much my daddy loves me. No dictionaries or horse manure-- I sent my mother a belated Mother's Day present of worm poo once. Does that count at all?

#204 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 03:55 PM:

HLN: Local woman acquires a Yahama (musical) keyboard for her birthday. "I'd been using my smartphone's keyboard app to pick out my part, and my teacher ordered me to go buy a real one. I had no idea what I was missing." However, the woman remains slightly skeptical of the X-shaped stand sold to support the keyboard. "I'm a bit worried I'll bump into it in a clumsy moment and send the whole thing flying," she said.

#205 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 04:05 PM:

Just idly wondering how many of the Fluorosphere are serious students of Japanese? As in, passing the 3rd level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test or higher?

Disclosure: I'm using the computer rather a lot to decompress between study sessions of some upcoming Japanese exams, and I thought it would be nice to see if someone of this parish shared a similarly deep level of interest in the language. Looking to combine "work" (study) and play/socializing..., but not yet ready to go charging about the internet on the numerous bulletin boards and what-not.

Yes, this probably does make me the internet equivalent of the drunk looking for her car keys beneath the lamp-post. *wan grin*

Crazy(and thanks for including "Fluorosphere" in the spelling reference!)Soph

#206 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 04:37 PM:

Xopher #182: The OED's etymology for gorp is "Etymology: Origin uncertain. Perhaps "Etymology: Origin uncertain. Perhaps

#207 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 04:39 PM:

Oops. The angle brackets in the text seem to have done something. Here goes again: Etymology: Origin uncertain. Perhaps the earlier U.S. slang gorp to eat greedily (attested from 1913 in Dict. Amer. Regional Eng. (1991) II. 744; compare to gawp up at gawp v.), although frequently explained as an acronym the initial letters of good old raisins and peanuts.

#208 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 04:41 PM:

I once married a man because he owned a copy of The Palm Wine Drinkard (at least, that's what I told people). I am currently married to a man who brought into the family a copy of the Compact Edition of the OED. That's the one with the invisibly tiny print, that comes boxed with a drawer containing a magnifying glass.

I judge a man by the books he owns.

#209 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 04:43 PM:

Diatryma #203:

I misread that as "wArm poo". Now that's the sort of thing one sends one's estranged mother-in-law, not one's mother.

#210 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 04:43 PM:

re #193 and 200-203: My father's favorite Christmas present one year was the new garbage can my mother got him.

#211 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 07:45 PM:

@Cally: The two rockets of mine shown are two fairly small ones, cut off at top and bottom. A White and red Viking II and a home-brew Badger.

The others were brought by the Eugene Rocketry folks. I'm not sure of their lineage. I do know that the guys who brought them build a lot of their own designs.

Smooth and shiny comes from laborious filling and sanding . . . followed by priming and sanding . . . painting and WET sanding . . . and then using a damp cloth and automobile polishing compound. Followed up by a final coat of Future Floor Wax!

#212 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 08:20 PM:

Older @208 -- there was a first UK edition of The Palm Wine Drinkard at the bookstore in Archer City Texas I just visited (may well still be there -- the store doesn't list online, but they answer e-mail promptly). It's a marvelous book. I grew up with my father having a copy.

#213 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 08:46 PM:

Tom Whitmore @212, Older @208: I was forced to read it in high school, which will give anything a nasty taste (I still can't read or enjoy Ursula K. LeGuin's The Disposessed for the same reason; well, that reason combined with "the book described on the back matter bears no relation to the book BETWEEN the covers," which is also my problem with a lot of Vernor Vinge). That said, I found The Palm-Wine Drinkard kind of interesting, which on the scale of liking-stuff-I-had-to-read-for-that-class is basically adoration.

#214 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 10:32 PM:

Stefan @211

And that's why my painting sucks. That's a LOT of work to go to when I just want it to go FWOOM! .

#215 ::: Cassy B ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 10:44 PM:

Cally @214,

....and then pull it out of the pond.... {gd&r}

#216 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2012, 11:42 PM:

#214, #215:

Since becoming a finishing fiend I'm a lot more careful about where I launch, and what motors I use.

Interesting, there WAS a pond at the little science center where I launched those rockets. The compressed-air rockets that another group was launching were plopping down into it. I got a good laugh from the crowd when, when I mentioned the wind, I asked if anyone had a bathing suit with them.

#217 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 01:29 AM:

Stefan @216

Alas, the one Forest Preserve field we're allowed to launch in in our county has a pond. Also a river, but it's small, and hard to hit. Not that people haven't managed it. It's the reeds and cattails around the river that are the real problem, because they get 10 feet tall.

We call the pond Lake Sumo, because innumerable small rockets have hit it, but also two different Sumos (4" diameter rockets that fly on a G (or an H, but we can't legally fly high power on that field)) three different times. Including mine. Fortunately, although largely cardboard, Sumos can survive a couple hours soaking with minimal damage, as we discovered when developing the Sumo Pond Rescue Procedure.

There's another rocket club most of an hour west that used to fly on a lovely big sod farm, but they got relocated to a much smaller sod field with (you guessed it) a river along one side when their former field got planted in corn. A rather larger river than our home field's; this one I wouldn't want to wade.

And there's yet another club an hour's drive north, but they're near cornfields.

So we take what we can get, and try to aim away from the pond.

It could be worse; there's no rocket launching in Cook County at all, except on private land, and good luck finding a large enough privately-owned field in Chicago. Their forest preserve district has some lovely fields, and the park district has better ones, but they're a complete no-go. Our club gets groups of scouts from the city coming to our launches all the time, because we're the closest available legal launch.

#218 ::: Cally Soukup has been Gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 01:32 AM:

I've got some lovely chocolate cream pie left over from a Father's Day gathering. And I think there are some shortbread cookies, as well....

#219 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 02:20 AM:

Older @ 208, Tom Whitmore @ 212

Wow. I've spent the last 45 years being the only person I know personally who has read The Palm Wine Drinkard, and now I find 2 in the same thread on the same day. I originally bought it when I was a theater major in college (didn't last, long story) and was fascinated by any dramatic work from non-English language (especially non-European) traditions. Now if only I knew which box I packed it in before the remodel ...

#220 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 04:26 AM:

Bruce @218

Apparently some people complained about the weight of the paint on a Saturn V.

Aviation generally, saving a small amount on the weight of a component can reduce the total weight rather more, since it ripples through the structure and the aerodynamics.

That is, less structure needed to support the lighter component.

Less weight for the wing to lift, hence less drag in flight.

Less drag, meaning less fuel burnt.

Less fuel to carry, less weight...

#221 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 09:46 AM:

Re presents. My husband once gave his sister a toilet for her birthday. (She and her husband were renovating a basement half-bath at the time.)

#222 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 12:04 PM:

(referent, various, from the "person asks for suggestions" postings)

A year or two ago a total stranger in a supermarket asked me, "What am I having for dinner tonight?"

I blinked and said, "What?"

He replied, "I can;t decide what to get for supper tonight. So I'm asking you to choose for me...."

#223 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 12:29 PM:

At Wiscon a couple years ago, I knew I would buy one of a particular jewelrymaker's things in the art show. I didn't know which one. I held the two frontrunners up to another woman and asked, "If you were me, which one would you choose?" Then she picked the wrong one, which meant there was a right one, and so I bought it and get compliments when I wear it.

#224 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 12:30 PM:

Diatryma: When I have that sort of problem, I flip a coin. If it comes up wrong...

#225 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 12:55 PM:

Piet Hein has a grook about that Axiom of Choice:

“Whenever you're called on to make up your mind,
and you're hampered by not having any,
the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find,
is simply by spinning a penny.
No - not so that chance shall decide the affair
while you're passively standing there moping;
but the moment the penny is up in the air,
you suddenly know what you're hoping. ”
― Piet Hein

Copied from goodreads -- check out other grooks there.

#226 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 12:57 PM:

Does the Brutal Knitting Particle make anyone else think of Jack Vance's "The Moon Moth"?

#227 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 09:41 PM:

One of my daughter's "causes" is to educate people about the correct definition and use of the term "sperm donor."

Here's her PSA on the topic, taped, edited, and put on the web in about 90 minutes yesterday. I suspect these things write themselves in her brain long before she actually begins to "work" on them out in the world; certainly the way she talks about "needing" to make a movie is an indicator of Must Do Now! because all is in readiness.

#228 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 10:31 PM:

Paula @222:

I haven't resorted to asking strangers what to eat, but I have developed a website that randomly suggests dinner for us when we can't decide. It's currently optimized for us, but it is being expanded for a general audience. I'm having fun researching restaurants!

#229 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 10:39 PM:

Coming late to the party, as always: I had the Provensen Iliad and the Odyssey--I think I still have the innards (the covers long since fell away. When I read the Lattimore Iliad in 8th grade, the movie in my head was all full of those illustrations. Utterly gorgeous.

#230 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 11:33 PM:

#7 in the "Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Time" Particle:

A week (or a month) always begins and ends in the same year.
Week, yeah. But when does a month not end in the same year it began?

#231 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2012, 11:59 PM:

David Goldfarb @230: "A month" can refer either to the named month or to a period of time such as from X day in month A to X day in month B. I had to deal with what Customs called "the statistical month" which was all the forms that arrived in their processing office between (e.g.) 10 January and 9 February. That would be the statistical month of January (all in one year) but the statistical month of December wouldn't be.

#232 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 01:01 AM:

Cassy, #200: I am torn between being very happy for you (and your husband!), and very sorry for his friend's wife, whose husband doesn't care enough about her as a person to pay attention to her likes and dislikes. That's a sad commentary on any relationship.

Paula, #222: That would be dangerous for someone to ask me. I'd suggest something I don't like!

#233 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 01:38 AM:

And if any of the statements about timestamps seem unlikely to you, just take a moment to contemplate GPS software, which works by assuming that the timestamps it receives are shifted in time relative to each other by variable amounts and measuring those amounts.

Oh, and there's a mathematical theorem that proves that it is not possible to maintain a network of distributed clocks in synchrony from a master clock, and it didn't even need to consider what happens if any of the clocks is moving.

Whenever I read that essay about names, I'm reminded of a character in an old SF novel by the name of Herkimer Herkimer Herkimer IX. Good thing he never lived long enough to collect Social Security.

#234 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 05:28 AM:

Job opening, reporting to me, open to folks working remotely. Teach, encourage, and lead volunteers in software testing to improve Wikimedia's sites (such as Wikipedia) and software. What I'd love is a skilled tester who enjoys teaching, open source, and online communities. Feel free to pass it on, of course.

#235 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 08:00 AM:

Question for the fluorosphere.

Sunday's Mythbuster's episode looked at assorted Hollywood gun myths. At one point in the program, the build team timed how long it took four different automatic weapons to fire off one magazine. Interestingly it took all four about the same time--two seconds.

Is there any particular reason that the magazine of an automatic weapon would tend to hold about two seconds worth of ammunition?

#236 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 08:37 AM:

Choosing: my stepmother taught it me this way: Make the decision. Decide to buy the dress/car/whatever, or decide not to. If, having made the decision, you feel great - done. If on the other hand you get a sinking feeling, then it was the wrong decision - so change your mind. You now feel good? Okay, you have your correct decision.

Or if you start to walk away from a one-off (piece of artwork or whatever) and get a feeling of "but someone else might buy it and I'd never see it again!", then you really want it.

#237 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 10:04 AM:

Is there any particular reason that the magazine of an automatic weapon would tend to hold about two seconds worth of ammunition?

Not directly. It the indirect effect of two factors; the cycle time is limited by the bolt mass, and the magazine size is limited by ammo weight. Lighter ammunition can use a lighter bolt, and so you have more ammunition, and a faster cycle time.

#239 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 11:03 AM:

dcb @236: Interesting in theory, but not necessarily good in practice.

When I bought my home, I was petrified for a good 48 hours after making the offer: What had I done?! Could I get out of it?

Similarly, when I began inseminations to conceive my daughter, the first time, total terror--what if it worked, what if it didn't, how on earth would I manage, what the heck was I thinking?

In both cases, I went on despite my doubts and fears. I'm still living in that home and the daughter is now 16. But I could easily have gone the other way on both decisions.

#240 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 11:04 AM:

Choosing: I tend to dither for a while, driving myself (and often everyone around me) crazy. Then a decision just crystallizes. This is most common when buying something expensive and/or technical, such as my new e-reader. When ordering in a restaurant, I often don't know what I've decided until I open my mouth and something falls out. (When eating out with other people, it helps to be the last to order.)

Apparently my brother does the same thing.

#241 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 11:23 AM:

Mary Aileen @240: but how can it fall out of your mouth before you've even ordered it? (channeling Serge...)

#242 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 11:48 AM:

Tom Whitmore @ 241... I see that you know the drill.

#243 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 12:01 PM:

Tom Whitmore (241): Wise guy, eh?

I meant of course that the order falls out of my mouth. But I'd already used 'order' too many times.

#244 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 12:05 PM:

Some people like gumming up the works.

#245 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 12:33 PM:

dcb at 236: works for me. Early this year I made (after a long time of considering) one of those long-term Very Serious life decisions. My life will change tremendously in about a year and a half.

I grinned all day. Whenever I think about it, I smile.

Yeah, it's right.

#246 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 12:42 PM:

Melissa Singer @239: Okay, so it's not a perfect method/doesn't work for everyone/doesn't work all the time. But I've found it useful on several occasions. (Choosing to buy our house wasn't one of them - we sat in our car after first viewing, tentatively each asked the other's opinion and discovered that each of us was scared the other hadn't liked it so much!)

#247 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 12:51 PM:

Serge Broom #242/Tom Whitmore #241: That time travel protocol needs to be suspended in restaurants. It really makes it hard to taste the food.

#248 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 01:05 PM:

Because I can't remember where we were discussing the use of "tutoyer", I'm posting this gem here:

ha, lovely new word found today: dudoyer "to address someone as 'Dude'"

#249 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 01:11 PM:

I've just learned (by reading about "Tuckerization") that there is a Wikipedia page for Patrick Neilsen Hayden.

It redirects to the Wikipedia page for Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

Those Wikipedians are pretty clever.

This makes me want to look at the "what links here" and "External tools/show redirects only" for some other people.

Sure enough, J.R.R. Tolkein gets a redirect.

Another fantasy author is blessed with an abundance of such links:

Nail gaiman
Neal Gaiman
Neal Gamain
Neil Gaimon
Neil Gaman
Neil Gayman
Neil gaiman
Niel Gaiman

Oddly, does not appear on this list, yet it redirects nicely to the genuine page. So perhaps there is something I do not yet understand about this process.

I should go back to "Tuckerization" and fix the misspelling of Patrick's name.

(Betcha this entry gets gnomed.)

#251 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 01:35 PM:

Mary Eileen @243: I don't think that fixes it....

I'm reminded of the time Quinn Yarbro tried to copy-edit a sentence in one of her books which ran something like "He picked up the hunks of meat in his fingers and gnawed hungrily at the steaming joints." Once that sentence has been read incorrectly, it's difficult to come up with a version that reads properly.

#252 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 02:01 PM:

Tom Whitmore (251): "...until I hear the words fall out of my mouth"?

It would probably be better to recast the sentence: "...until I open my mouth and blurt something out." Or something like that.

#253 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 02:06 PM:

Those work!

#254 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 03:41 PM:

Well, it appears that I'm going to be migrating to Firefox v12.0 whether I wanted to or not; it popped up one of those infernal nag-boxes just as I was hitting the Enter key to insert a blank line into some text, so the next time I have to do a system reboot it will install the update. Is there anything I should know about this before it happens? Will it change my interface, or erase my bookmarks, or anything nasty like that?

#255 ::: Lee has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 03:42 PM:

Probably due to a Word of Power.

#256 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 03:57 PM:

Lee (254): Can you copy your bookmarks to a flash drive or something before you reboot, just in case?

Every time I've updated Firefox, bookmarks transferred just fine. But I think I'm still on version 5.

#257 ::: GlendaP ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 04:56 PM:

Lee@254: My Firefox just updated itself today from 12.0 to 13.0.1. I've been on the rapid-update bus since last summer and have found them to be without trauma.

Notwithstanding my extreme annoyance at Firefox for distorting the meaning of version numbering out of all recognition. These are incremental updates, not new versions.

#258 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 04:56 PM:

Melissa 227: I'm not sure how I feel about this.

There's nothing wrong with being a tap dancer. But when you call a politician a tap dancer, you're saying that s/he evades questions s/he should be answering and so forth; no insult to actual tap dancers is intended or (probably) inferred by tap dancers themselves.

On the other hand, we've had conversations here about calling things "fiction" when in fact they are lies.

Then again...if someone's job is to stamp papers with a rubber stamp (or an adjustable one with the date received), there's nothing wrong with that; but if they were supposed to vet those papers and make sure everything in them was correct, and instead just stamped them and passed them through...then there IS something wrong, and calling them out as a "rubber stamper" is an insult to them...but not, IMO, to the person with the more limited role.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't feel that pointing out that someone who was expected to fulfill a complex and important role has failed to do so, and only fulfilled a simpler or more limited role is an insult to someone who by design and expectation has fulfilled the more limited role.

On the other hand, there's a real person out there (your daughter) who is obviously quite upset about this use of the term, and that inclines me to proceed with caution at the very least. Also, I can imagine a sperm donor saying "now wait a minute, I was a sperm donor in college, and I did exactly what was expected of me; your father wasn't a sperm donor, he was a failed father."

Obviously my thoughts on this are far from settled. My goal is to hear more on this and come to a conclusion that will let me decide what to do (though I'm probably going to be careful how I use the phrase in the future in any case).

#259 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 05:21 PM:

The link with the pics of the South African couple keeping a tiger in their LIVING ROOM what the HELL had me unconsciously leaning further and further away from the monitor. Anybody want to take a bet on which person or dog will get mauled first?

And even if it never hurts any of them, how much is life in that house shaped by the need not to tick the tiger off? Look at the photo of the man of the house eating his breakfast on the tiny patch of kitchen counter left to him by the lounging tiger. If the tiger decides he wants the whole counter, what happens then?

#260 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 06:18 PM:

"Where does a 400-lb tiger sleep?" I guess they know. (27 stone multiplies out to about 400 lbs -- more than 1/3 of the mammalian biomass in the house, I'd wager...)

#261 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 06:23 PM:

Lee @248: "dudoyer"!! Dude, I am so gonna use that. Thanks!

#262 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 07:09 PM:

The video that I want to see is 400 lbs of big cat vs the physics of claws on a marble floor.

Cause I know what it looks like when 8 lbs of feline comes tearing down the stairs into my office, slams on the brakes, and then bodyslams the sliding glass door.

#263 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 07:37 PM:

Jenny Islander #259: When I read that story, my second thought was "Why do these people have such an urgent need to become lunch?"

Tom Whitmore #260: 27 stone is 378 lbs (having weighed that myself in recent memory, that number is graven in my mind).

#264 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 07:39 PM:

#263: Your bathroom scale is graduated in stones?

#265 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 08:59 PM:

I haven't seen that, but I've seen twelve pounds of cat leap onto a table that had newspaper on top of it. I seem to recall that the claws didn't do serious damage to the table. And the cat was much more cautious about leaping onto surfaces it couldn't actually see.

#266 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 09:07 PM:

Falsehoods song writers believe about time:

time is always slipping into the future

time is on my side

time is a river and it keeps on flowing nowhere

time was when love and I were well acquainted

#267 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 09:39 PM:

Ardala is a ninja. We left her new butt harness on her while we went to work. It's neoprene, has velcro and is impossible for one person to put on her at the moment, due to her weird hip twistedness. We loosened it a little so as not to cut off her tummy circulation and velcro-ed it closed. Then we gave her the traditional peanutbutter kong and closed up her X-pen. When I came home at lunch to walk her, she was in the exact same position I left her in - except the harness was no longer on her butt, and instead in front of her face, next to her empty kong. It was still velcro-ed shut. I don't know how she did this, but I'm going to reiterate my disbelief that this is a herniated or slipped disc.

#268 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 10:20 PM:

Lee @232:

The idea of "your wife is a woman, therefore a gift for her will work for my wife" is dubious, but if it's "I can never think of gifts/we have most of what we need already, please make a suggestion," I can entirely understand. I can almost never think of what I would like for my birthday, and I think I know myself pretty well. But at some point either it's ridiculously extravagant (since my current finances are such that I can buy a lot of practical things, including a new winter coat if I need it, or any one hardcover book I want) or is basically a research project: e.g., I could ask for "a pair of warm slippers, in my size, that has some arch support." I did ask for that. After several weeks my beloved gave up, because he hadn't been able to find them either.

#269 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2012, 11:18 PM:

Xopher @258: trying not to be ranty here, though obviously this is a subject of substantial importance to me.

Part of the problem is that using the term in a derogatory way may dissuade people from donating. Also, it is a gender-specific slur--you never hear a mother who abandons her duties referred to as an "egg donor."

Part of the problem is that kids like mine, who are upfront about being conceived by donor sperm, constantly run into people who say, "oh, you mean your father abandoned you and your mother" when they say, "I have a sperm donor, not a dad." Well, no, not at all, not in any way.

Plus some of the DI-conceived teens who are the children of single mothers feel that this is also a slur on their _mothers_--as women who could not "hold onto a man" rather than women who chose to have children without being partnered (whether the women are straight, gay, or something in between).

Additionally, this kind of disparagement may contribute to the unwillingness of partnered parents who used donor sperm (because of male factor infertility) to tell their children that they were conceived by donor insemination. The majority of male-female partnerships who use donor sperm do not disclose that to their children, partially because of the male's reluctance to reveal and partially because "sperm donor" has increasingly been used as a derogatory term.

And not telling a child about her or his antecedents is, I think, a really bad decision. Children have a right to know their genetic heritage, medical information about their biologically-connected relatives, etc.

/end rant/

#270 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 09:30 AM:

Stefan Jones #264: My bathroom scale is digital. It has three settings, pounds, kilograms, and stones/pounds.

#271 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 10:56 AM:

Melissa, #269: Datapoint -- I have heard abusive and unfit mothers called "egg donors" by their traumatized children, although it is not as frequently used as the other term.

Your daughter does have a valid point, and I will keep that in mind in the future.

#272 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 10:56 AM:


Can anyone recommend a particular translation of Don Quixote into English, for reading for enjoyment?

#273 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 11:02 AM:

Xopher HalfTongue @258: I guess what I'm saying is that I don't feel that pointing out that someone who was expected to fulfill a complex and important role has failed to do so, and only fulfilled a simpler or more limited role is an insult to someone who by design and expectation has fulfilled the more limited role.

...actually, when you put it that way, I think that explains pretty well why it's inappropriate.

A sperm donor goes through a vetting process, and signs an awful lot of paperwork, and, with the help of professionals, is never presented as anything other than a person filling that specific and limited role. An absentee father has, in fact, failed to meet the standards of a good sperm donor, by not going through that process. So calling absentee fathers "sperm donors" is an insult to sperm donors, who did take all the legal and ethical steps required to make the terms of their involvement with the mother clear.

#274 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 11:16 AM:

Fade @273:

There are a couple of further complications to the sperm donor thing, of course.

They're paid for their donations, by the banks, not the women/couples who use the sperm. Even those who give altruistic answers to the why did you donate questions on the banks' questionnaires are paid for their work.

Also, there is a new(ish) category of donors known as "willing to be known" or "ID release" donors--men who have agreed to keep their contact information up to date with the bank and who have agreed to allow that information and their names to be disclosed to their offspring when the children turn 18. This is not a promise of any kind of relationship, just a promise to be reachable. It's too soon to know how well this will work out; most of the children conceived with ID release donors are just barely reaching their majority.

(I know a lot about this because I'm so active in the Single Mothers by Choice community; if anyone has any questions related to donation of sperm/eggs or to SMCs, I'm happy to answer. My own SMChood is of the least-complicated variety: anonymous donor insemination in my mid-30s with no other medical stuff required. But in my 16+ years as a member of the SMC community and my 5+ years as a community moderator, I've learned much.)

#275 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 12:16 PM:

Melissa Singer @274:

Oh, yes, I'm simplifying enormously. Sorry about that. My point was more that "sperm donor" involves a lot of responsibilities--arranging matters legally with the help of an overseeing organization and what not--which absentee fathers clearly haven't done.

#276 ::: clew ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 12:41 PM:

Book-title bleg: a young woman goes to the big sophisticated planet to study, basically, psychohistory; final class project is on a planet that doesn't know about the interstellar civilization, where they are to forestall war. There's also a chapter with a grounded human-powered spaceship and 'max safe mean input.' Someone may be called the Ancestral Cad. It reminded me of _Mirabile_, but that isn't it.

#277 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 01:32 PM:

Melissa, Fade, that all makes a lot of sense. Thanks. I'll watch that from now on (not that I used it in my own own dad had his faults but not taking care of his family was emphatically not one of them).

#278 ::: Incoherent ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 01:32 PM:

Sounds like that might possibly be _Unwillingly to Earth_ by Pauline Ashwell?

In the beginning, she's one of the few non-miners on a mining colony planet and starts to reshape a "frontier town" society more or less by accident; her meddling (and instinctive talent) comes to the attention of an expert and she's more or less forcibly shipped off to university via scholarship.

#279 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 02:06 PM:

In my #260, I should have said "usually because of male factor infertility." There folks who choose donor sperm because because of genetic risk factors.

#280 ::: clew ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 03:40 PM:

Incoherent, thank you, that's it!

#281 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 04:04 PM:

Jenny Islander @259: The thought that depresses me is: what happens to the tiger when things go sideways? I mean, it could be argued that the fate of the humans is simple Darwinian selection in action. I hope South Africa has the equivalent of this place.

#282 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 04:09 PM:

Interesting trademark takedown letter sent to Ravelry by the US Olympic Committee. (If you're on Ravelry, it can be seen here; if you're not, it shows up on the RSS feed for that forum, at least temporarily.)

Personally, I'm not surprised by the trademark side of things; I am, however, insulted by this part:

"We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work."

The games on Ravelry involve people deciding on a personal challenge and then trying to succeed at that challenge during the time frame of the Olympics. I fail to see how knitting or crochet or weaving or spinning yarn are disrespectful to athletes.

#283 ::: Naomi Parkhurst has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 04:10 PM:

I suspect for mention certain athletic games originating in Greece.

I don't have cookies, but I do have homemade ginger peach ice cream to share...

[Excellent ice cream. Thank you. It's so good that I hesitate to mention that it wasn't so much the athletic games themselves as the very long-distance race that forms part of them that brought you to our humble gathering. — Lignia Obscura du Noir, Duty Gnome]

#284 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 04:56 PM:

I call it !Thermopylae.

Naomi, didn't you know that athletics are the most important thing humans do, and any comparison drawn between them and anything else is insulting to our very humanity?!?!

Yeah, me neither.

#285 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 05:25 PM:

Xopher @284 me neither.

It's funny how I happen to be a human being without engaging in any athletics, isn't it? And yet, making articles of clothing from fiber, a human activity which goes back for millennia, is somehow less worthy.

Beats me. (I wonder if the law clerk who wrote that letter had had tacky handcrafts inflicted upon him by a family member at some point?)

#286 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 07:07 PM:

@282: I do hope Ravelry is able to invite the USOC to take a flying fsck at a rolling donut....

#287 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 07:13 PM:

quoted in #282: "We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work."

You can believe that. But you would be wrong.

#288 ::: Bruce Arthurs is gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 07:16 PM:

I am shocked -- shocked! -- that there is gnoming taking place in this establishment!

#289 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 07:17 PM:

Jacque @286: The one that gets me is they also requested name changes and trademark removals from all the Olympics-themed projects and patterns on Ravelry -- the ones where people made a chart to knit rings on a white hat with a year, the ones that have, say, an outline of a swimmer and a year, the ones that are tributes to/inspired by individual Olympic athletes and say so ...

#290 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 07:18 PM:

Would be nice, Jacque, but they have a long history of winning some rather ridiculous lawsuits. There's a reason why the Gay Games stopped being called the Gay Olympics (they were formed when being gay was enough by itself to get you kicked out of Olympic competition, and there are still some people who want Greg Louganis' medals taken away from him).

#291 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 07:22 PM:

As both a sometime athlete and a sometime fiber-crafter, I suspect the real issue here is Things That Make Big Piles of Corporate Money vs. Things that Don't. With a side order of Girl Cooties. (Yes, I know there are male fiber crafters and female Olympic athletes, but the shenanigans surrounding, e.g., women's ski jumping and uniforms for female wrestlers from Muslim countries suggests to me that some folks feel the Olympics are a boys' club that has to let dumb girls in.)

#292 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 07:24 PM:

In other annoyances, I heard an NPR reporter, in an otherwise formal report, refer to something as "ginormous."

What did we fight and bleed for, lawn, cane, muttering.

#293 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 07:37 PM:

I'm glad that Seattle didn't get the olympics when they were pondering trying for them. It would have been something of a nightmare with the trademark issues, since we have a quite well established mountain range by that name which would have been infringing.

#294 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 08:33 PM:

Open threadiness: Why do Nigerian Scammers Say They are from Nigeria? If you want to skip the math, go straight to section 4 for the punchline.

If you want to skip section 4, the punchline given is that it's a feature, not a bug, for email scammers to look a bit dodgy: it cuts down on the number of marks who waste the scammers' time by getting part way through the process and then drop out. (There's more in the paper, but that's the answer to the title question.)

#295 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 08:56 PM:

This may be of interest to the Fluorosphere: A certain Ursula Le Guin, who seems to know whereof she speaks, on "Literature v. Genre", Episode the 12,133rd.

#296 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 08:56 PM:

Yes, the 'Olympic games' are very protective of their first name, to the point where they cross over into something that might call for being turned into a pinata. I remember they went after a taqueria in Los Angeles because it was named Olympic - but it was named for the street it was on, and wasn't infringing on their Sacred Name at all.

#297 ::: Linkmeister sees gnomes in grotto muttering incantations ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 09:07 PM:

I got yer Cracker Jack and cold beer here, O gnomes!

#298 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 09:14 PM:

Risking more gnomulation, Le Guin's essay was in response to an article in the current New Yorker. Lev Grossman has also responded to the New Yorker article here.

#299 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2012, 09:45 PM:

Re: gnomulation. If we were to ROT13 everything, we would reduce the odds of matching a 'word of power'.

And then anything posted in plaintext could automatically be assumed spam.

#300 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 04:15 AM:

Open threadiness: A wonderfully opaque headline in the Otago Daily Times today: Student fires damaged seal. It displaces my previous NZ Herald favorite English fears high kiwi drag

Definitely possibilities for an art form here.

Spoilers: damaged seal: Fgerrg sverf, yvg ol tenqhngvat fghqragf, unir zrygrq cneg bs gur frnyvat ynlre ba gur ebnqf.

high kiwi drag: Gur Svanapr Zvavfgre, Ovyy Ratyvfu, vf pbaprearq gung gur uvtu inyhr bs gur AM qbyyne pbhyq fybj rpbabzvp tebjgu

#301 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 07:01 AM:

thomas@300: Language Log has an ongoing catalog of "crash blossoms". These are typically headlines that are not merely opaque, but opaque in such a way that you can't even determine the grammatical structure reliably; the prototype was a headline that read "Violinist Linked to JAL Crash Blossoms". Searching for "crash blossom" on Language Log will turn up lots of other remarkable examples.

(At the risk of giving the gnomes extra work with too many links, here's a New York Times column by Ben Zimmer about the phenomenon; Zimmer is also a regular on Language Log.)

#302 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 08:46 AM:

thomas @300 and David Wald @301 I love these. Thanks for the laugh.

The NYT article David linked to had this thread-crossing gem: “McDonald’s Fries the Holy Grail for Potato Farmers.”

#303 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 08:50 AM:

In connection with Jim's Existentialist Cat Diffraction: A third video, wherein Henri and his ennui have a medical examination is now up at Youtube. Here's a link to the second video as well.

As for the quality of Henri's French--well, either you're willing to overlook it for the sake of the fun, or you're willing to accept that as all cats are perfect, it follows that Henri's French is perfect, since he is a cat, or you're missing the point.

#304 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 10:14 AM:

SamChevre #272: I'd recommend the Cohen translation.

If you're interested in reading it in the original, the edition I read was the Ríquer. He also edited the Tirant lo Blanc.*

Hyperlocal statement of personal interest: The Second Part of the Quijote is dedicated to the Count of Lemos, my ancestor.

#305 ::: Eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 12:15 PM:

Combining comment 276 with the 'sperm donor' subthread, The Ancestral Cad seems like a good name for the father we don't want to refer to as a sperm donor.

#306 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 01:15 PM:

Fathers who walk away from their responsibilities: someone I know used the phrase "their worthless biodad" to mean someone who seems to have done almost nothing for his children after being involved in their conception. (This person was describing a friend's situation, not their own.)

#307 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 02:06 PM:

Open Thready day brightener:

(Where the Hell is) Matt Harding has a new dance video.

#308 ::: Lila has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 02:09 PM:

I brought cucumber sandwiches! (Honest, I was just trying to point to Matt Harding's new v*deo.)

#309 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 02:19 PM:

Flood pictures from Duluth.
The bridges hanging suspended in midair after their support has been washed away are... disturbing.

#310 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 04:15 PM:

That’s it. Ardala is now just fucking with us. I get home to walk her this afternoon and can’t find her; turns out she has removed the courtesy sheet I wrapped around her bed-bolster, made a nest, and is now sleeping comfortably between the back of her super-expensive memoryfoam bed and her x-pen wall. Yesterday I had to “chase” her with her harness while she did her one-butt-cheek waddle remarkably fast toward her wagon – not the front door. Nope. She stopped at her wagon. I’m beginning to think she’s faking her lameness so that she can continue to enjoy being lifted, carted around on her royal doggie sedan chair and walked on her exciting crotchless neoprene speedo. If she thinks I don’t recognize drug-seeking behavior when I see it and that I’m going to up her dose of narcotics, she’s got another thing coming.

#311 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 04:27 PM:

@310: "Hey, check this out! Look what I've trained my humans to do!"

#312 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 04:40 PM:

I am reminded the corgis, border collies and other herding dogs do not make good service dogs because they "get their own ideas" and sometimes try and do things their own way.

At our Physical Therapy appointment the vet asked what Ardala's job was in the house. We told her Ardala's job was to accept petting. I think this weekend I'll change her occupation to "trickster god".

#313 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 04:55 PM:

The Duluth Zoo has been devastated. The polar bear and seals made it out okay but the other animals not so well.

The flooding there yesterday and today is severe.

#315 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 09:45 PM:

One of my friends elseNet has summed up the USOC/Ravelry kerfluffle thusly:

US OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: My lawyers have just discovered you gave away a pin called "Ravelympics".

RAVELRY (an international community for knitters and crocheters): Not anymore, you asked us not to.

USOC: Yeah, only now we've taken a really good look at your site and we're about to put our bitch boots on.

RAV: WTF? We took the pin down.

USOC: Three times now you've had this thing called Ravelympics and it coincides with the Olympics.

RAV: That would be the point, yes.


RAV: Or at least squared; this is the second time we've dealt with you. Mind you, that there is a second time ought to be a hint that someone has a poker lodged somewhere inappropriate.

USOC: Thou Shalt Knock It The Hell Off.

RAV: Ravelry Games? Will you get heartburn over Ravelry Games.

USOC: We'd like to, but our lawyer says we can't copyright that. Also, remove all these patterns with rings on them.

RAV: Okay, we'll remove trademark infringement patterns, but you do realize that at least one of those isn't a pattern, it's someone just posting a picture of something they did?

USOC: Don't care. It goes. We will protect our copyright and the dignity of our games. Your whole concept is denigrating to the games and disrespectful of the athletes.


USOC: WOW, there are a shitload of people pissed at us. Let's issue an apology. It was standard boilerplate, honest! Send us knitted stuff? That would be cool?

RAVELRY: "Denigrate" is in all your C&D letters? NOT. FUCKING. GOOD. ENOUGH. APOLOGY.

USOC: Whoa, fuck, you're still piling on. We have to protect our trademark, but yeah, bad wording. Really really bad wording. Really really not what you're all about. Honestly, we're sorry. Please don't hurt us with all those pointy sticks.

Knitters are like filkers -- never piss them off.

#316 ::: Lee has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2012, 09:46 PM:

A longish post with 1 link and a bunch of Bad Language.

["WOW" (all caps) meaning "World Of Warcraft" and turns up in spam All The Friggin' Time. -- Marcellus Pittipani, Duty Gnome]

#317 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 12:28 AM:

Funny...I was just looking up Gary Brolsma's last name because it had slipped my mind, and here's Matt Harding a day or two later with a new video.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first: was Harding just going to be retreading the same ground (as Brolsma did with his "New Numa")? But no, he does in fact take things in some new directions. This new video isn't as magical as the 2008 one, but I suspect it's just not possible to capture that sort of lightning in a bottle more than once -- and if not as magical, it's still fun.

I recognized the Houston location, although not the Oakland one.

#318 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 01:14 AM:

David @ 317

I got a real kick out of the 2012 version. It had a playful element that felt like a natural evolution.

Am I the only one who thinks there's an interesting story-quality to the progression of the three videos? It's not exactly narrative, but it has a nice build, I think. It makes me think interesting questions.

#319 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 06:45 AM:

Couldn't posters with an established history be 'white listed' and have their comments passed through before the spam filters are run?

It would save a lot of false positives, and corrective measures could still be applied if one were to take a turn to the dark side.

#320 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 06:57 AM:

Rob @319:

Believe me, if Movable Type had such an option, we'd be using it.

Really, we're not doing this level of filtering for fun, or to inconvenience the commentariat, or because we've not investigated the various plugins that we could be using.

#321 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 10:49 AM:

Regarding Jim's diffraction about the London Olympic committee denying knitters/crafters the right to give the Olympians their handmade gifts....

The USOC, who sent an insulting cease and desist order to, got their heads handed to them by the Facebookers.

Is it too radical of me to suggest that the knitters in Great Britain yarn bomb the Olympics? I'd be afraid the knitters would get arrested. I guess I'll have to see how bad the media makes the LOCOG look. Not to mention public feedback via the social network.

#322 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 10:50 AM:

My previous post just got gnomed. Should I be elated or concerned?

#323 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 11:08 AM:

Couldn't posters with an established history be 'white listed' and have their comments passed through before the spam filters are run?

If there's a way to do this with the Moveable Type backend, it's obscure to me.

There is a "trust commenter" checkbox, which I have been using, but so far it seems to have no effect.

#324 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 11:45 AM:

Content warning: Trayvon Martin case

This one's for Terry Karney:

A link to the interoggation of George Zimmerman, via Ta-Nehisi Coates.

#325 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 11:51 AM:

Victoria (321): For the Atlanta Olympics, quilters in Georgia made a series of (absolutely gorgeous) quilts to honor the athletes. Two quilts per country: one to the flagbearer and one to the committee.

#326 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 12:33 PM:

I am enraptured by the sentence: "He was convicted of obtaining oats by false pretence."

I now desperately want to create a random Victorian crime generator, but lack the skills entirely.

#327 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 02:09 PM:

Victoria @321:
Some of them did.

#328 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 03:09 PM:

heresiarch #326:

Misread as "obtaining cats by false pretence."

#330 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 10:06 PM:

joann @ 328: "Misread as "obtaining cats by false pretence.""

Hee! The random Victorian crime generator is so powerful its randomizing precedes its origin.

#331 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 10:50 PM:

Subject is accused of (obtaining|misprision|removal|theft) of (dogs|cats|oats|door nails) by (fraud|force|false pretense|night|subterfuge). Sentenced to (two|three|five) (weeks|months|years) hard labour. Next case!

#332 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 12:51 AM:

I've started getting active on Everyblock for my immediate neighborhood, and I spotted some really Fluorospherian facetiousness (and participated), in this thread. The initial post is asking if anyone knows what a suddenly-appeared crane in a particular parking lot is likely to be there to work on, and after some simple, straightforward responses, veered off into these beauties, among others:

Poster A: Wonder if it will lay eggs? Honestly, I wonder if that was what may have made our building shake this morning -- twice. Maybe it flew onto our roof.

Poster B, in response to A: Don't tell my girlfriend it was the crane. I told her "It's always that way with me, baby...."

Killjoy (paraphrased): Why are we still going nuts about this? It's a stupid question, and it was answered!

Community members (paraphrased): Oh, come on, they're FUNNY!

And then my new favorite poster over there, who I'm starting to love more than a little, posts this:

Poster C: Oh Sure. JUST a crane in a parking lot. Until it's two cranes, then three, then a dozen. It's a slippery slope! Do not be lulled into a false sense of security. These cranes aren't good neighbors. The noise. You won't believe the noise they make. It's bad enough to have to hear one of them, let alone a dozen, but it's gonna happen. Summer is their breeding season and that lot is perfect for them. Just wait until they start doing their noisy courting dances. Then, once the eggs are laid, the males will get very territorial. And, have you seen how big they poop?

Having him show up in threads almost makes up for the knee-jerk, predictable "TAXES BAAAAD! City govt WAAAASTEFULL! Neighbor SMAAAAASH!" stuff I have to scroll past.

#333 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 08:21 AM:

As Scalzi would say, "Random Victorian Crime Generator" is the name of my next band.

#334 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 09:26 AM:

For the intersection of those who haven't seen it and those who would care: today's Google Doodle is a cute little Turing machine puzzle (thereby supporting the Church-Turing Thesis: even silly pictures are equivalent to other models of computation when supplied with enough tape).

#335 ::: David Wald has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 09:35 AM:

Presumably someone took exception to the link. I haven't started cooking yet, but there should be some savory fish pies later today if the gnomes would find them acceptable.

#336 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 11:05 AM:

Happy birthday, Alan Turing.

#337 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 03:31 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 329: Thank you for An early moment of import in Speculative Fiction - it explains so much!

Elliott Mason @ 332: Everyblock looks interesting.

#338 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 05:19 PM:

Everyblock hasn't reached Honolulu yet. Drat.

#339 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 07:49 PM:

Hyperlocal news... This afternoon Man went to Alamosa Books, where James S.A. Corey was autographing "Caliban's War", Book Two in the "Expanse" series that began with "Leviathan Wakes", one of this year's Hugo nominees. The two-headed author answered questions from the audience, in the course of which the Daniel Abraham half announced that local man will appear in Book Three as the commander of a big military ship. The Ty Franck half, when he autographed "Caliban", added the inscription "Sorry about what happens to you in the second book...", but the Daniel half then said that the doomed fate of man's tuckerized self's was no reflection of how either of them feels about him.

#340 ::: Throwmearope ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2012, 08:48 PM:


Local woman receives call from her younger sister that the sister got a reverse 911 call to prepare for pre-evacuation. The sister lives a couple of miles away from the bumpteenth wildfire burning out of control here in Colorado.

The fire would have to jump an eight lane highway to reach my sister's house. But these wildfires have jumped rivers.

The good news is that my sister only has six or seven deep scratches from trying to wrangle Fred the killer cat into his carrier, none of them deep enough to need stitches.

It hit 104 degrees here today. Driest March on record (and March is our snowiest month). And it's only a couple of days into summer.

Gonna be a long one. All we need is a good earthquake and I'll feel like I never moved home to Colorado from good old Califor-NI-yay.

#341 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2012, 09:43 AM:

Wow. Le Guin's done it again. A modest proposal that all fiction is literature, and literature consists of many genres.

"If critics and teachers gave up insisting that one kind of literature is the only one worth reading, it would free up a lot of time for them to think about the different things novels do and how they do it, and above all, to consider why certain individual books in every genre are, have been for centuries, and will continue to be more worth reading than most of the others."

Go read the whole article. If it could have been said as well in fewer words, she would have.

#343 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2012, 04:18 PM:

HLN: Area man has job interview tomorrow morning so has spent the last hour catching up on the Open Thread. "I liked the random Victorian crimes," he said, "It reminded me of when I went to the Port Arthur convict colony and was dealt a card that represented a convict I could follow around the museum. Mine was a horse thief."

Also: abi @83 ...The Browser Whose Name is a Cry of Pain. - I'm now hearing Conan saying "Chrome".

#344 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2012, 04:24 PM:

Tom Whitmore at #341, Ahem.

One hopes your link posting will garner more attention than mine did. ;)

#345 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2012, 06:57 PM:

Linkmeister @344, I remembered that someone had posted the LeGuin link before Tom Whitmore did but hadn't yet taken the time to go back and identify who so I could point it out. Thanks for saving me that little chore.

I read it and enjoyed it when you first posted it, but didn't have anything to say, so didn't comment. I think posted comments don't begin to show the ripples of impact that things said here on ML often have.

#346 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2012, 06:59 PM:

Ah, Linkmeister! Good job catching the article, but I didn't find quite enough info in your comment to lead me to click through to the Le Guin. Don't worry, that often happens to my comments here (the idea gets brought up many posts later, gets credited to the later poster, and sometimes even takes off...).

#347 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2012, 07:17 PM:

Favorite headline:

Good people food for dogs

Another falsehood about time:

The Dawn of Time is Jan. 1, 1970

I am typing this on an iPod And it's like riding an elevator on roller skates.

#348 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2012, 08:56 PM:

I watched and thoroughly enjoyed Brave this morning. It is beautiful to see, the story moves along quite nicely, it is very funny in spots, fairly scary in others, and moving when it needs to be.

The best character is the Queen, after a certain transformation. Seeing her attempt something like Charades with certain physical disadvantages provides some of the funniest bits in the movie.

Note: Repeat to yourself "This is a fable set in non-specific country where the people happen to sound Scottish but aren't" and you'll save yourself lots of misery.

#349 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2012, 09:45 PM:

Tom Whitmore @ #346: "but I didn't find quite enough info in your comment to lead me to click through"

Grins. Let that be a lesson to me.

#350 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 01:24 AM:

I just now noticed in Abi's Parhelia that it's Prada Sticks Some Gears On It rather than Pravda Sticks Some Gears On It.

This whole time I was wondering why a Soviet newspaper was running a men's fashion section and whether this was what the New Russians were wearing in Moscow.

Just imagining Yuri Andropov in some of those rigs made me ... well, I thought that the world would have been a better place.

#351 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 05:52 AM:

Soviet Steampunk WWII would be an amazing setting for something, but I have no idea what. Cyborged punishment battalions would almost certainly be part of it. "My arms were weak; they took them, and gave me these engines of destruction in their place, that I may serve the People!"

Somebody HAS to have done that already, right?

#352 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 06:09 AM:

Erik Nelson #347
I am typing this on an iPod And it's like riding an elevator on roller skates.

And you need little teeny hands for reading little teeny print.

#353 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 06:15 AM:

Annals of "How could this possibly have looked like a good idea?"

Merck has been using Madagascar 3 to do marketing tie-ins for the children's version of an allergy medication that the gnomes are probably sensitive to. Ticket give-aways, branded labelling, astroturfing via a "Moms Crew", branded 'viewing parties'.

#354 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 06:20 AM:

mfgates #351 Somebody HAS to have done that already, right?

The Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service? (more or less)

#355 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 06:58 AM:

Nil W @ 343... Area man has job interview tomorrow morning

I hope it went well.

#356 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 10:08 AM:

Did you know that today is the 30th anniversary of the premiere of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner", and of John Carpenter's "The Thing"?

#357 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:37 AM:

thomas @352: And you need little teeny hands for reading little teeny print.

Like you need teeny license plates for bees.

#358 ::: Jacque, gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:38 AM:

Well, good thing I brought home-baked chocolate chip cookies.

#359 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:39 AM:

Wow. That was fast.

#360 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:42 AM:

THe US Forest Service maintains a fire incident website. There are lots of useful announcements and updates,if you think you may have a serious Need to Know (and I hope you don't, but still, it's good to have).

They are set up for RSS and Twitter feeds, it appears.

#361 ::: fidelio visits the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:46 AM:

I've got some iced tea right here.

#362 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 12:01 PM:

# 353 Annals of "How could this possibly have looked like a good idea?"

They wanted to do a marketing tie-in with Pandemic (Madagascar closes its port!) but someone made a simple, understandable mistake?

#363 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 12:48 PM:

#357 ::: Jacque [...]

Like you need teeny license plates for bees.

Wow, talk about pile-ups, much less traffic jams - I gave up trying to determine the potential rear-enders.

#364 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 12:50 PM:

Science for Princesses.

Summary: It doesn't help much if we say that okay, girls can do science, but girly girls can't. What's wrong with liking both science AND fashion?

#365 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 12:53 PM:

Watched "Captain America" for the first time last night, and I find myself wondering if Agent Carter ended up marrying Howard Stark...since Stark didn't bother to try to find Cap once he had the Tesseract...

And why do I get the feeling that Stark didn't tell the US Government he'd found it?

#366 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 01:53 PM:

Paging Jacque!

Check your email, if you haven't recently. A blue-haired person is trying to make contact, now that the school year is over.

#367 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 04:12 PM:

Lori@365: Well, as of The Avengers, the government has it.

(Not a spoiler -- we see it within the first five minutes.)

#368 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 04:36 PM:

I just saw Captain America last night too (for the first time) and I'm not convinced that Stark stopped looking once he found the tesseract. He tells the guy to go on to the next set of coordinates, after all.

My impression was that the plane went on for some amount of time after the cube fell through the floor, so that it wound up crashing "not close enough" for Stark to have found it before the government called him off. There was, after all, a pretty long goodbye scene between Steve and Carter.

My teen, watching with me, wondered if the cube was what gave Stark part of the idea for the Arc Reactor, and we both really liked seeing early repulsor technology on the car.

Part of my mind expected Tommy Lee Jones to get out of the car in Times Square at the end, probably because I saw Men In Black 3 so recently.

#369 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 05:46 PM:

Melissa Singer @366: Contact made, plots & schemes afoot. Blue hair approved! :)

#370 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 06:05 PM:

"Bluing" used to be dumped in laundry rinse water to counteract the yellowish tinge from the body oils and grime that lye-based homemade soap eventually poohed out on (long before detergents/phosphates). Many old gals figured if it worked for their linens and "aperns" it'd work on their hair, too.

Susan Crites got me past that one, but there doesn't seem any common ground between the forty-year-apart extremes.

You can search "Mrs. Stewart's Concentrated Liquid Bluing" for more info - that's the brand my Nana used (in her washtubs). I don't have anything on hand to offer the gnomes so am attempting to sneak around them.

#371 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 07:04 PM:

Catching up on Open-Threadiness...

nerdycellist @ 310, ***reader laughs until tears fill eyes*** and is glad there appears to be improvement in Ardala's condition, even if she's not exactly using Her Powers For Good right now. :)

Jacque @ 311, ***head essplodes of the funny***

Elliott Mason @ 332, ditto.

Gee, weren't the gnomes busy! I hope they're all happily fed and beveraged now!

#372 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 07:26 PM:

I once, deliberately, but a new blue T-shirt in with a load of whites. The very light blue tinge did "brighten" my old undershirts and tighty-whities.

#373 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 09:36 PM:

Carol @370: No, I mean *blue* as in Ramona Flowers, Manic Panic, screamingly bright blue (faded a bit toward turquoise after 6 weeks now).

I should perhaps mention that the hair (and head) in question belongs to a 16-yo, not to me.

#374 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 10:58 PM:

Yes, I was referring to my massive cognitive dissonance between my previous concept of "blue-haired woman" and what was fairly obvious was your daughter.

Here's Susan Crites.

#375 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:00 PM:

Oh, hello. I'm back from the other thread that I mistakenly bookmarked as an OT and kept checking and checking, astonished at the lack of activity. B'deah, b'deah, b'deah...

Anyway, posting just that would be silly, so I'll pass along one of my tips for better living: When you cut up a credit card, snip out and save your first name (or other appropriate portion) to use as a nifty vanity plate on a toy car of a certain size. That's if your first name is short, like mine, I guess.

#376 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:05 PM:

ps: Sidelights: "Constintuencies" (when viewed in Google Reader as the title of the post). Since it's correct on your front page, I'm guessing that you fixed it, but such fixes don't get picked up by Google. Anyway, it made me curious enough to mention it in hopes of an explanation.

#377 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:09 PM:

Carol: Sorry!

Plenty of the other kind of blue-hair still around, at least in my part of NYC, though older Russian women seem to all go a fairly obviously artificial pinkish shade, at least while they still have some dark hair to work with.

#378 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2012, 11:35 PM:

I wonder if blue would work for my beard. It's in a way more advanced white state than the rest of my hair.

AKIML: Is there a real risk associated with children, sleepwear, and fires? I'm trying to figure out some plausible risk other than cigarettes (which is not an issue in this house), and I'm just not getting anywhere. Most fire sources are going to be less prevalent in bed, and I don't see pjs being helpful in a 'shield them from fire as they're escaping'.

#379 ::: GlendaP ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 12:01 AM:

Eric@378: Little girls wearing long, flowing nightgowns in close proximity to open-flame gas heaters, fireplaces, and candles.

#380 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 12:05 AM:

Eric @ 378: is there some context for this question? For instance, my husband found one of our onesies had this rather peculiar tag (I hope that link works for non-facebook-friends, if not, I'll describe it) which led us to many questions. But all the warnings specific to sleepwear I know are about not using loose blankets, extra sheets, or bumpers due to suffocation hazard. Nothing about fire.

#381 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 12:12 AM:

As I understand it, it's not so much direct flame as flying embers that are the risk factor being considered; most clothing these days is made of polyester, which at a relatively low temperature will melt — and worse, molten polyester is sticky, so you have a glob of hot goop sticking to the skin and causing a severe burn (and trying to scrape it off will just spread it and make things worse).

Treated polyester resists embers; natural fiber will burn away while minimally involving the skin.

#382 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 12:33 AM:

Stefan, #372: I once had a very pretty Celtic-design T-shirt which was printed on ash-grey, which is not a color I really like. So I deliberately threw it into a wash load with a burgundy gauze top that I knew was highly likely to fade. I also added some white underwear (because I wanted pink), and the rest of the load was black jeans and T-shirts. My amateur dyeing attempt came out very well indeed; the underwear was just the right shade of pink, and the T-shirt turned a pretty rose heather. I was insufferably pleased with myself. :-)

#383 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 12:39 AM:

GlendaP: Ok, I can see that. But it doesn't explain why sleepwear, and not playwear or dress-up stuff. Nor does it explain boys, which is an unstated qualification, as I have 3 of them. Then again, I'm not sure anything really explains boys.

Lenora Rose: Context would help, I guess. Boy # the oldest is on the spectrum, aspie like is the easiest way to explain it. He's sensitive to clothes textures and tags and fit and such. Polyester is not acceptable, and tight cotton gets pulled up and stretched out, and then portions end up getting shredded (knees, elbows, cuffs, crotch). Upcycled flannel is ok when made to measure, but the seams get destroyed with stunning speed and then they all end up in a pile beside the sewing machine for repairs. His Hannah Andersen ones (initially tight cotton) had a long and stretched out life, but we're not really into multiple $40 sets of jammies at the accelerating rate of destruction.

That tag is golden. I wonder what happened to the previous one.

geekosaur: I'm reminded of Snowcrash, with the little crips jammies that were either flame resistant or non-carcinogenic, but not both. Melted, sticky, hot goo is a significant drawback.

#384 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 01:18 AM:

Eric @ 383 - re: fire-resistant sleepwear

I believe the theory is that children are most likely to have difficulties escaping a home fire that starts when they're asleep. Consider that home fires that start when the children area wake are also likely to happen when there are awake adults ... usually involved in something that starts a fire. So while they have to escape it, the risk is detected early in the burn when there are more available escape routes. So escaping through flames (whether under one's own power or carried) is perceived as most likely occurring when a child is wearing sleepwear.

I'm not sure if the statistics make a better argument than the feel-good factor.

#385 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 07:22 AM:

eric @383 You might take a look at the cotton pajamas in the CWDkids catalog. My kids are enough older now that I can't remember about tags in those, but I know the cotton knit was soft and comfy (though not cheap). I might have gotten around the snug-fitting bit by ordering a size up. Pajama link to online catalog

#386 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 08:02 AM:

Here are two sources of information about the reasons behind the regulations about the fire safety of children's pajamas:

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Pediatric Safety Web site

#387 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 09:43 AM:

Rob Rusick @319: Couldn't posters with an established history be 'white listed' and have their comments passed through before the spam filters are run?

Jim Macdonald @323: If there's a way to do this with the Moveable Type backend, it's obscure to me. There is a "trust commenter" checkbox, which I have been using, but so far it seems to have no effect.

Apologies upfront if this is hlepy. I am not working with your software or your systems, so by definition I am ignorant.

I did a little google-searching on the theory that maybe there was some obscure bug with the 'trust commenter' checkbox which someone may have observed and found a workaround.

I found one instance where someone described the MovableType commenting controls not working as expected (the article Community and Context: Thoughts on Closing Comments by Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic) because it turned out they were using a system apart from MovableType to handle their comments.

I found a Movable Type Feedback And Community Management page on a wiki, describing the use of a free service called TypeKey.

It went on to describe a process by which commenters are authenticated (requiring an email addr was one method).

Marking authenticated commenters 'trusted' was a two-step process: selecting individual commenters on the authenticated commenter listing screen to mark as trusted (by clicking anywhere in the item rows, or checking the box next to the commenter's name), then clicking the button labeled Trust on the action bar above the commenter listing table.

This particular wiki made it sound like the TypeKey service might be a default comment managing system for MovableType, but trying a link to the home page of the service resulted in a 'page not found'.

Of course, my google-search also turned up more descriptions of managing comments using one plugin or another, so without knowing which (if any) you might be using, it didn't make any sense digging further.

Again, apologies for the hlepiness...

#388 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 11:09 AM:

Melissa @ #377 -

I was told that Women of a Certain Age in the former Soviet Bloc often have hair in various magenta shades because that was the only color available when the Communists ruled. When more colors became available, it was harder to switch because they had already committed to the Magenta, and changing over would require expensive and/or damaging processing or just waiting to let the hair grow out, leaving you with an unattractive piebald effect in the interim.

I did notice an abundance of Slightly-More-Garish-Than-Sharon-Osborne-Magenta on ladies a generation older than me in Poland a couple of years ago. I'll bet that color fades to an alarming pink when applied to "slippery" grey hair.

#389 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 11:41 AM:

nerdycellist @388: fascinating!

#390 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 11:57 AM:

Stefan Jones: May I have your e-mail address?

higgins at f n a l dot g o v

#391 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 11:59 AM:

Carol & Melissa: Yes, I've been chuckling over that very cognitive dissonance.

eric: Go with purple.

#392 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 12:02 PM:

All this talk about ladies with unusual hair color reminds me it's been a long time since I've watched an episode of "Are You Being Served?"

#393 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 12:08 PM:

nerdycellist @388: piebald effect in the interim.

Susan (mentioned in Carol's @374) went through a period of changing her hair color ever [interval] (whether it needed it or not). But, being Susan, and therefore not inclined do do anything by halves, decided to start out with black. (She is naturally flaxen blonde.)

Then, after a week or two, she decided she was tired of that, so she got some hair bleach which was, as one might expect, more effective on the younger hair.

The result was gradient, running from shiny blonde at the roots, through screaming carrot-top, into mahogany, and finally ending at black at the tips. The result was ... rather spectacular.

(I can't remember if this was before or after the gold bikini and gentian violet costume for MileHiCon, described elsethread.)

#394 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 12:39 PM:

On the interactions of bleach and dye: I remember a morris team showing up for an event with all their hair dyed a uniform bright red. The only break in the uniformity was the one man whose natural hair was white, and who therefore hadn't bleached his hair first; as a result he came out looking like a natural redhead who hadn't participated in the group hair coloring.

#395 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 01:44 PM:

Grey hairs do not take vegetable color well - manic panic and other such bright colors being vegetable based. The shaft of the hair is incredibly smooth and the color just slides right off it. As someone who's been going grey since the age of 14 and is now about 65% grey, I am deeply disappointed that no one has developed an unnatural color that will adhere to the white parts; I'd love to have my naturally dark brown hair highlighted in purple or blue, like an old comic book character. Now in order to get unnatural colors, I have to strip the hair first and hope that it's damaged the greys enough for the color to grab. Double processing is a boring, itchy and expensive process. I'm considering going back to the Vampire Black (as my hairdresser calls it) I had for about 15 years straight - at least it's easy to do.

#396 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 01:51 PM:

Re: Netflix must meet ADA requirements online parhelion.

"the high cost of adding accessibility features to all online entertainment services could pose an undue burden on Internet companies and lead to reduced choices for consumers, said Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington."

Translation: "They gambled that the law that they knew about when they started (and knew why it existed) wouldn't apply to them. They lost that gamble - but It's Not Fair that they shouldn't be allowed to chisel out on it."

That seems to be the modus operandi for modern capitalism. We can make more money doing things this way, and if it turns out that that's a problem, oh well, someone else will pay for it.

I find this sickening.

#397 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 02:00 PM:

My hair was noticeably white by my late 20s, when I started dying it. I am not one of those women who looks good in long grey or white hair. When I lived in California, I would occasionally use semi-permanent "cellophanes", which would wash out into fun pastels. Being California, this was quite professional enough for a respectable government engineering manager. Eventually I got tired of the time and expense of coloring long hair and cut it off. I abandoned coloring ("normal" color) it when I decided that white hair no longer impeded my career advancement. (Yes, boys and girls, there was a time when women professionals could not afford to look over 40, and it wasn't that long ago. In some places, it is still the case. )

I use lavender or blue tinted shampoo to brighten the white, but I'm toying with getting a little section of lavender, pink and pastel blue. A (completely) white-haired lady of my acquaintance did it, and it looks fun without looking crazy.

#398 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 02:23 PM:

Jacque, #393: That does sound spectacular, and a fortuitous accident as well -- that sort of look would be hellishly difficult to achieve on purpose!

#399 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 02:38 PM:

Re: hair

I've been silvering since I was 25--I was still getting carded in bars, thanks to my youthful face, when the first silvers started showing up. And they are silver, for the most part, not grey or white.

I've gone quite a bit lighter on the front and top of my head in the last two years but am still more dark than not; it's just much more obviously shot through with silver hairs. I have something of a Bride of Frankenstein streak at my left temple--usually I part my hair on that side, so I get a silver swath across the front of my bangs and a not-quite-matching bit of silver down the left side of my forehead. It looks kinda cool.

Because the rest of my hair is still brown, when/if I dye it, I have to bleach it first, so I get decent color pickup.

I'm toying with the idea of one of the Lush hennas, but I'm completely unsure about how that will look/take on my hair. I don't really want to do "colors not found in nature" at the moment, though my kid wants me to go purple. (not sure why)

This is a family pattern--my maternal g'ma was "black in the back" at 88 and my mother is much the same at nearly 80.

#400 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 03:04 PM:

Lush colors much like any other henna, but I actually kind of recommend against it--it's not just henna. It's a solid block that includes rosemary, lemon and cocoa butter, and whenever I use it my hair is greasy until I can wash it the next day and I spend 72 hours or so smelling like I should be marinating chicken in my hair. If you're going to try henna, go for the pure, powdered kind. There are a couple of companies that sell box kits that include a pre-treatment for grey hair.

#401 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 03:24 PM:

My great-grandmother started getting white hairs in her early twenties, and was all white in front of her ears before she had grandchildren. When she died, at the age of 92, she was still battleship-grey behind her ears (with occasional darker hairs), and snow-white in front. Her preferred hairdo was a sort of gibson-girly back-half-in-bun, front half smoothed up high and poofed to give a sort of almost-pompadour. Because of the bicolor hair, the hairdo was bicolored too.

I always, always desperately wanted to inherit her white-forelock gene, but it doesn't look like any of us great-grandkids have. I've (at 36) got a smattering of white spread out evenly throughout, as is appropriate for my age. My husband is definitely getting some Nick Fury white temple-stripes going on, and his beard is more than half white.

Of course, his beard was always seriously multi-colored; he had every natural hair color known to man when I met him in his very late teens, from white and blonde through two reds and several browns and a few black hairs too, just randomly distributed around through the beard area.

His head hair is mostly a medium brown (except the white and a few strands that go reddish in sun).

Our kid is right riding the fence between blonde and brown. Compared to her parents, she reads 'blonde'; compared to my cousin's towheaded kids, she looks seriously brunette.

Could change, though; I've had four or five natural haircolors throughout my life, and so has my mother.

#402 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 03:27 PM:

If I let my hair grow out, it would be entirely silver-white and would add 20 years (at least) to my visual age. Fuck that, says I; that's not me, and I don't like looking in the mirror and seeing someone else. OTOH, it does give me the chance to play a little; there's a streak in the front that I leave undyed, that shows up against the red like a lightning bolt. I get a lot of compliments, and (in the right company) Rogue references.

This is my major privileged indulgence; it's worth it to me to have someone else deal with the mess and stink, so I have it professionally dyed even though that is not cheap. I have a very good colorist who mixes my red to a shade that looks natural on me.

#403 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 03:27 PM:

Oh, in re haircolor; those of you in Europe and Canada can get a brand called Ice Cream, which is manufactured by an Italian company who have no American distributors.

It comes in tubes of pure color (yellow, green, blue, red, black) and bottles of varying concentrations of bleach, so you buy whatever matchup you want and mix your own custom.

The blue is intended to de-brassy your blondes, but I found out that if you take my (mid-dark brown) hair, and use the strongest bleach option with a full measure of JUST blue, I get Superman hair. Dark dark dark looking, with blue highlights, especially in sunlight. Awesome.

The Ice Cream blue dye is also UV-reactive: it sparkles and glows upon exposure to sunlight or black lights, which is utterly utterly mega-awesome.

I have my sister-in-law import me some from Toronto each time she visits, if I'm out. :->

#404 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 03:33 PM:

eric 378: I wonder if blue would work for my beard. It's in a way more advanced white state than the rest of my hair.

Don't do this if you have a wife, unless making her very suspicious is your goal.

#405 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 03:50 PM:

Bill: Sent!

(Just in case: Ess Eee Jay At A O L D Ot Com)

#406 ::: James E ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 04:20 PM:

Open-threadiness: my first thought on seeing Abi's "Crowdsourced Panopticon? The Met has an app for that" parhelia† was that it would be terrible, TERRIBLE if their servers were flooded with submissions along the lines of "David Cameron, 45, Downing Street"; "Boris Johnson, 48, Henley, occasionally London but on this occasion Canada".

My second thought was that my first thought is probably thoughtcrime‡ and I should unthink it right sharpish.

† parhelium?

‡ almost certainly obstructing the course of justice, at least

#407 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 04:25 PM:

James E @406:


And yes, that would be a terrible, terrible thing to do. It would be particularly bad if many people did it.

Very bad indeed.

(Actually, they'd just build a filter.)

#408 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 04:30 PM:

We use Astor Place Hair to avoid the high cost problem--very reasonable even for bleaching and dying, and I can get a haircut for under $20 when my hair is short. I overtip, percentage-wise, when I get a "cheap" haircut.

The stylists are not trainees or beginners, unlike most other inexpensive hair places.

Thanks for the tip about Lush hennas. I've done the powdered stuff, but I had longer hair then and it was a giant PITA. Plus my cats always tried to make love to my head while the henna was curing--something about the smell, I guess.

#409 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 05:04 PM:

There's been a mall collapse in Ontario (one known dead, about 30 missing), and I just read an article that I thought Jim (and maybe some others) might be interested in:

Rescuers at Elliot Lake mall collapse obey rule: Don't make things worse

#410 ::: Cheryl has been gnomulated. Woe. ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 05:10 PM:

Let's see... Chocolate chocolate chip Smartie cookies? Or the Almond Raisin Cassonade?

#411 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 05:57 PM:

I just had Bella put to sleep. It was time, and she went very quickly. Bella was a beautiful dog. As a puppy, she was rejected by several people because she was "ugly", but throughout her life people would tell me how beautiful she was.

And the rainbow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.. Genesis 9:16

#412 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 06:05 PM:

Tracie, I'm sorry for your loss.

#413 ::: Cassy B ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 06:22 PM:

Tracie @411, I'm so very sorry.

#414 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 06:30 PM:

I'm so sorry for your loss, Tracie.

#415 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 06:40 PM:

Tracie @411, I'm very sorry. I know how it feels to make that decision. Even when you know it's for the best, it still hurts.

#416 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 06:46 PM:

Tracie (411): I'm sorry for your loss.

#417 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 06:58 PM:

I was going to say this before, but couldn't find the words: Tracie, I honor you for having the courage to make that decision, incurring pain yourself to spare it to her.

#418 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 06:58 PM:

Tracie, #422: My condolences. I think she was pretty too, but some people just don't like brindles.

#419 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 07:11 PM:

Tracie, it's a hard loss, and my feelings go out to you.

re: Fires and children, one thing that I was told many years ago is that kids who accidentally start a fire often try to hide from it, out of fear or guilt feelings.

That's all I can say about it.

Come to think, we need a new smoke alarm.

#420 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 07:25 PM:

I'll echo Xopher's thoughts. My dog is getting on, and it probably won't more than a year or two when I have to make hard choices, and can only hope I don't wait too long.

#421 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 07:31 PM:

Tracie, I'm sorry. That's so hard to do.

#422 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 08:04 PM:

Tracie, I'm sorry.

#423 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 08:14 PM:


Balloon Juice reports that Politico reports that -- deep breath -- Senator Rand Paul is trying to attach an amendment defining "when life begins" to a flood insurance bill. A flood insurance bill.

Meanwhile, the city of Stockton, CA is filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. One of the things that's on the chopping block in the reorganization: the retired city employees health care plan. So a bunch of people mostly 65 and up, all with pre-existing conditions, you betcha, are suddenly going to be looking to the Glorious Free Market for health insurance.

Beam me up, Scotty.

//end rant

#424 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 08:31 PM:

Tracie, my condolences on your loss.

#425 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 08:46 PM:


I'm sorry for your loss, and for how hard that decision must have been.

#426 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 08:56 PM:

They seem to not understand that (a) deaf people watch movies and TV, and (b) hearing people appreciate captioning. Then there's (c): many people are (or will be) losing their hearing in the middle parts of the audio spectrum due to loud noises, and will need captioning just to understand speech in movies and on TV.

#427 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 08:59 PM:

My sister used one of the Lush hennas on her (mostly white or light grey) hair. It looks wonderful. (It doesn't hurt that she has the complexion to go with red hair.)

#428 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 09:40 PM:

Hugo Voting AKICIML: I have my membership number; I have my PIN. I went to the link where I can supposedly vote, and there are typey-boxes to the left of all my choices -- what goes there? An x? a number to indicate preference (ascending or descending)?

There is no description anywhere on that page of what the hell I am meant to do to vote. Help!

#429 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 09:40 PM:

I would have gotten Netflix a long time ago if they had captions. Now I have to wait to have a job, but the captions will still be a barrier.

#430 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 09:47 PM:

Elliott Mason (428): In each category, rank your choices in order of preference. #1 is your top choice, #2 is your second choice, and on down the line.

#431 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 09:49 PM:

Oh! And anything you really *don't* want to win shouldn't be ranked at all (or should go below No Award, which comes to the same thing).

#432 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 09:50 PM:

Tracie: my condolences and support. She looked like a happy dog.

Regarding captions: my hearing is fine, but sometimes the sound balance in a movie/program is really bad, and keeping the program at a bearable volume for sound effects and music can wind up making the dialog too soft. And though I have a good ear for accents, there are some that I can't always catch, especially if people are talking fast (American accents included). I regularly--as in at least once a week--turn on the captions on something I recorded from the airwaves.

#433 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 10:10 PM:

Aw, Tracie...

#434 ::: Carol Kimball is surprised by the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 10:12 PM:

It's a mystery. I'm offering calamari salad, which is being regarded with the same suspicion as my post.

#435 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 10:25 PM:

When my household watches The Wire, we put captions on. It's partly that we honestly can't hear/understand what's going on and partly that most of the time, we have handwork going on and are looking at that to some extent. You'd think this would mean no captions... but I, at least, can read the captions faster than the actors can read the script, and I have better luck keeping up that way than trying to follow when I can't even see their mouths. Which is also a problem sometimes, as there's lamp glare on the TV.

#436 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2012, 11:40 PM:

And I just took a pound cake out of the oven. It's going to work later this week, because our engineering intern (paid, I understand) just got a 'real' job at another location in the company.

#437 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 12:13 AM:

Cheryl @ 409

The Elliot Lake mall collapse is developing in moderately real-time. There's a cultural clash between the old-time miners and the urban rescue team; the mine rescue guys are willing to take risks the urban rescuers think are unacceptable. Some additional heavy equipment has now arrived.

#438 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 12:53 AM:

Tracie, I'm sorry for your loss.

#439 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:07 AM:

Elliott Mason 428: What the hell! I just found that voting page, and you're right. Not only did the Chicon concom assume that all voters would know how to vote, they also used text boxes for input (instead of drop-down menus), so newcomers to the awards have no guidance. Anyway, here, The Hugo Awards: The Voting System:

How to vote in the final ballot

The final ballot is a bit more complicated. You get to rank each of the final five nominees in order of preference. Place a 1 against the work or person you most want to win, 2 against your second favorite and so on. You are not required to vote for all five items --- vote for only as many as you have read/watched/know about. Easy, isn’t it?

No Award

Under each category you will also be given the choice of voting for No Award.

You should vote for No Award as your first choice if you believe that none of the nominees are worthy of the Award, or that the Award category should be abolished. If you vote for No Award in any other position it means that you believe the nominees you placed above No Award were worthy of a Hugo, but that those not placed above it were not worthy. However, as we shall see, it is possible to rank nominees below No Award and have an effect on the outcome.

#440 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:59 AM:

Weird. When I move my cursor over the link in #409, the link (and everything subsequent to it) jumps back and forth by one line's worth, several times per second.

It's as if the preceding blank line is being deleted and replaced on a rapid cycle. (Though I'm not sure if that's what's actually happening.) I've never seen anything like this happen before, here or elsewhere. Tried refreshing the page, but the problem still continues, and only with that one particular link.

#441 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 08:11 AM:

Although it has no relevance to the ADA case, or to any action Netflix is likely to take, I do appreciate having subtitles in other languages available, especially when they're languages I understand imperfectly. Watching becomes a fun language learning exercise, in which I include the particular fun of spotting bad translations.

(I suppose lack of language fluency is a disability, but it's not, as far as I know, covered by the ADA.)

#442 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:29 AM:

Avram @439: That entire worldcon website is chock-full of mystery meat navigation, unexplained jargon, and no idea where you look for Thing X if you don't already know exactly what worldcon concoms think Thing X is about.

Apparently there is significant behind the scenes dysfunction going on; I'm going anyway, but I'm braced. I still haven't been told what (if any) panels I'm going to be on, for example, and we're about two months out ...

#443 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:39 AM:

David Wald @441: one of the funniest things I found on the complete box set of Firefly DVDs was setting the audio track to French: Doctor Tam had the lowest voice of the entire French voice cast, and Jayne sounded reasonably cultured (a French-fluent friend said he was using all the cliches and accent one would expect of a French Foreign Legion character in a mid-70s-made, 30s-set French action flick).

#444 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:49 AM:

Tracie @ 411: I'm so sorry for your loss.

#445 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 11:03 AM:

Tracie, my sympathies -- and I loved the quote.

#446 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 12:14 PM:

Following up on my own #409, a remarkably ignorant article in the Toronto Sun:
Questionable efforts in Elliot Lake rescue

Bruce @440
Weird. The URL is

I don't know what could be causing your issue.

#447 ::: Cheryl has been gnomulated again ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 12:17 PM:

For the URL, I guess?

They finished up all the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Smartie cookies last time. I still have Almond Raisin Cassonade cookies, or I could whip up an Avocado Lime pie?

#448 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 12:18 PM:

Tracie, my condolences.

On Netflix and captions: my goodness, captions would be wonderful. I don't have a hearing problem, I have an auditory processing problem.

Once I got it sorted out that the auditory processing was a Real Thing and not just a character flaw (see: adult-diagonsed ADHD, inattentive type) I started noticing all sorts of quirky things about it, like, for example, that knitting while listening improves my comprehension. I have a note from my doctor in my accommodations file at school saying "please allow Rikibeth to knit in class."

The most recent thing that I've noticed is about accents. Normally I think I'm pretty good at decoding unfamiliar accents. One-on-one conversation with a person whose accent is unfamiliar to me doesn't seem to create any more "what? oh, wait, never mind, I got it" moments than conversation with a person whose accent matches or approximates my own. Nor does a single strongly-accented character in a movie or TV show.

But stick a whole LOT of accented characters together? Even if they're all speaking in the same accent or close-on? Even if the accent itself isn't especially opaque to me? I'm rewinding about one conversation out of three to pick up words I missed, ones that noticeably impair my comprehension by being missing.

This came up the other night when I was trying to watch "True Dare Kiss," set in Manchester. Possibly not all of the actors were using Manchester accents -- one of the cast (and the reason I was watching) was Paul McGann, and his accent is Liverpool, and also there was an Irish character who was no trouble to understand at all -- but in any case, three-or-more-person conversations, even when they were all taking turns nicely, were FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE.

Captions would have helped a LOT.

I'm now wondering if that had more to do with my inability to understand any of the dialogue in "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" than any quality of the accent itself.

#449 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 12:32 PM:

Tracie @411: Bella

Oh, yes, what a beauty! Good on you for giving her a loving home, and for sending her on to the Rainbow Bridge when it was time.

#451 ::: Raul Flugens, Test Gnome ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 12:53 PM:

Test 8!

Test still unsat.

#452 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 01:01 PM:

Lyricslinger Peter Berryman examines "Clementine Partially Parsed" (PDF), finding the devices of consonance, asyndeton, cataphora, tautophrase, meiosis, feminine rhyme, apostrophe, simile, paradox, anastrophe, alliteration, masculine rhyme, merism, archaism, elision, idiom, and a paraprosdokian. And his modest employment of "partially" in the title suggests he's not sure he's found everything that's in there.

Mr. Berryman writes an entertaining column on folksongs.

#453 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 01:16 PM:

Bruce Arthurs @440: Weird.

Yeah, I've occassionally seen that wonkiness. My guess is that it's a javascript issue, though beyond that, Zathrus has no clue.

Elliott Mason @442: Apparently there is significant behind the scenes dysfunction going on

Hah! That would actually induce me to go, had I the means; it's consistently been my observation that the fun I have at a con is inversely correlated with how well organized the concom is.

Cheryl @447: Avocado Lime pie

Ooo!! Recipe, plzkthx?

HLN: Boulder just cancelled the July 4 fireworks show. I guess they're worried about the county (state?) going up in flames.

#454 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 01:48 PM:

Lee @402, I'm an old-school geek: a white streak through red hair makes me think of Jim Corrigan, aka the Spectre.

Elliot Mason @403, my gorgeous red hair turned a dreary brown as I approached adulthood, and every attempt I have made to restore it has failed: my hair either remained brown or came out dazzling blond. I wonder if Ice Cream hair color would work better for me.

Cheryl @446, rescue operations are heartbreaking at the best of times, and I hate how people dramatize and romanticize them. I remember the final scene of Hero at Large, where a man rushes into a burning building and brings out a child, then runs in again for another, and when he doesn't emerge, a whole crowd of people charge in and carry him out, apparently pushing back the flames by sheer massed virtue. Feh.

Rikibeth @448, I can't stand to not be doing something while I watch a movie. If I am not eating or mending my sweater [] or cutting up magazines for collage, I'm massaging the feet or shoulders of anyone nearby who will sit still for it.
Re subtitles, I have become seriously spoiled by having the option of watching a film with English subtitles, to the extent that I snarl with frustration when a disk only offers subtitles in other languages.
But then, I believe that subtitling is an underdeveloped art form: there should be italics, different type faces for translating, song lyrics across the top while the dialogue runs across the bottom, popup windows reminding viewers of previous scenes and contemporary historical events....
Okay, I get carried away with subtitling. Even so.

#455 ::: Jennifer Baughman Sees Lazy Spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 01:54 PM:

They aren't even *trying*.

#456 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 01:55 PM:

@454 Jacque Recipe, plzkthx?

Sure. Here it is, the world's easiest, fastest, no-bake Avocado Lime Pie:


· 1 (9 inch/22 cm) prepared graham cracker crust
OR make your own with ground up graham crackers and butter.
· 2 ripe avocados - peeled, pitted and puréed
· 1/2 cup/120 ml lime juice
· block (8 oz/226 g) of reduced fat cream cheese
· 1 (10-12 oz/296 ml) can sweetened condensed milk†


1. In a medium mixing bowl combine avocado, lime juice, and condensed milk. Blend well and pour into graham cracker crust. Chill.

Once chilled, cover with whipped cream (about 1 c/240 ml 35% cream makes an awful lot), or, your favourite whipped equivalent, I guess.

Garnish with your favourite fruit. I like strawberries and lime slices.

† I'm a little fuzzy on the amount. For me, it's "one can", but of course, your cans may vary. It's a bit more than a cup, anyway. And this thing is super forgiving.

I'm finding myself more and more doing what my grandmother used to do that used to drive me crazy: "add enough". How much is enough? "You'll know". Umm... no? Anyway, sorry for non-specific measurements. If you make it, let me know how it turns out!

#457 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:05 PM:

Also, my sister lives in Longmont, which is now roughly surrounded by at least four fires, according to Weather Underground. I'm hoping she doesn't have to evac -- she's living with a friend as it is, and trying to build up some money so she can get into her own housing. I'm worrying.

#458 ::: abi is on the spam case ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:07 PM:

Workin' on it, fast as I can. No need to flag right at the moment.

#459 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:13 PM:

Oops, didn't see the above right away.

#460 ::: Raul Flugens, Test Gnome ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:27 PM:

Over 450 spams in the past 8 minutes.

Abi -- you can unpublish any you find, but let me do the filtering-adjustments and deleting, okay?

#461 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:29 PM:

Tracie #411: My sympathies.

#462 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:39 PM:

Now current threads are being spammed, as above.

#463 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:41 PM:

Tracie @411--I'm sorry--the couple of times I met Bella she was an Awesome Dog, and a real sweetie.

#464 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 02:56 PM:

Well over a thousand spams in the past half-hour.

Working on it.

Abi, you can unpublish 'em as they come in.

I'm adjusting the filters as fast as I can.

#465 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:02 PM:

John M. Burt @455: I did like the rescue scene in PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE, where Pee-wee sees a burning pet shop and nobody around, so he runs in and starts bringing out animals. He passes the snakes, pauses briefly, makes a face, and rescues more cuddly creatures. It happens again, and he shows more regret. Finally, he's rescued everything else in the place (including fish), so he screws up his courage and makes one last run, emerging screaming and completely festooned with sarpints.

And then he passes out, a true hero. He rescued all those m'ucking snakes from the m'ucking flames, despite apparently strong personal feelings of EW.

Jennifer Baughman @458: My sister, who lives in the hills near Bellvue, was out of her house for something like a week (cooling her heels in Embassy Suites). They let them back in for about four hours one day — long enough for them to throw out all the perishable food and put $250 worth back in the fridge and freezer — then yanked them back out again. Fire bad. They're home again, along with my visiting father.

Ara Dewinne @465: "You have remarked very interesting points! ps nice web site."
That's lovely. Say, did you know we were getting spammed a while back? True story.

#466 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:05 PM:

Check the ML-Mods message, Jim. Fodder for the filters in there.

#467 ::: abi says you don't need to flag the spam right now ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:11 PM:

We're on it. Instead, defy them all! Make good conversation! Go!

#468 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:20 PM:

Since I'm heading to visit relatives there soon, I thought I'd check out what the current shows at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City are; I see several interesting ones. Does anyone have anything nifty at the local msueums? The Frist, here in Nashville (long-distance diagnosis of your medical conditions on request only) has a show on the Gee's Bend quilts, and one on Constable's oil sketches.

#469 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:22 PM:

All hail Abi and Jim, leaders of the Gnomish Army that liberates us! Abi destroys the spam as it appears, wielding the sword of deletion and freeing us from the crushing tyranny of noise. Clever Jim steals their secrets and cuts them down in infancy. Behind them, beside them, march the gnomes, quick-handed and fierce. We sing their praises and the poets throw flowers and plums before them. Hail!

#470 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:22 PM:

All hail Abi and Jim, leaders of the Gnomish Army that liberates us! Abi destroys the spam as it appears, wielding the sword of deletion and freeing us from the crushing tyranny of noise. Clever Jim steals their secrets and cuts them down in infancy. Behind them, beside them, march the gnomes, quick-handed and fierce. We sing their praises and the poets throw flowers and plums before them. Hail! Hail them twice, even!

#471 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:24 PM:

Fidelio, have you been to the Steamboat Arabia museum? I've been talking about it for years-- it really made an impression. And it's given me something to think about if I ever won the lottery.

(the double post must have come through just as you were changing something; it said the post failed and I ran with it.)

#472 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:28 PM:

Yes, Distryma, and when my brother's family or my mother have friends visiting, the Arabia Museum is near the top of the list of Things To Do. It's fascinating.

#473 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:28 PM:

Well over a thousand in right now. Nine-ten per minute.

The filters are starting to gain traction.

#474 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:29 PM:

Ack! Diatryma, I do know how to spell your name, really!

#475 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:49 PM:

Still coming. No sign of slowing.

#476 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 03:52 PM:

Open threadiness, media meltdown subclass:

This Greenwald post is classic. Seriously, go read the linked column by some CNN talking head. I swear, it's really CNN and not The Onion.

Glenn Greenwald points out many other examples of the same mentality. Whatever is wrong with the country and the world (and no doubt there's plenty wrong), one thing that makes it hard to fix and easy to make worse is our incredibly broken media.

This example is almost too easy to pick on--it's like slamming that Illinois politician a while back who turned up at a Nazi Party celebration of Hitler's birthday, just so completely indefensible and awful that it's as funny as it is offensive.

#477 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 04:29 PM:

Jennifer Baughman @458: Also, my sister lives in Longmont, which is now roughly surrounded by at least four fires

Well, it of course depends exactly on where in Longmont she is, but according to this site, there's nothing much happening closer than about ten miles away. This corresponds reasonably well with the scuttlebutt I've been hearing around the office.

Most of the action seems to be happening (as one might expect) in the foothills, amongst the beetle-kill-stricken forests.

abi @468: defy them all! Make good conversation! Go!

Okay, don't know if this qualifies, but it's certainly puzzling:

So what's up with this? I seem to have some neurological quirk whereby I grab the thing right next to the thing I'm aiming for. "What? Extra Hot Chili? Noooo!" Not generally a problem, except when I don't discover my error until I get home.

It's weird; I'm not fumbling around, just...well okay: last weekend at the movie theater, I reach for Milk Duds, but discover, upon arrival at the cash register, that I've picked up Reeses Pieces. But now I have a witness: my buddy Brian watched me do this, and said that it looked for all the world like I meant to do that. Only reason he commented is that I always get Milk Duds at the movie theater.

Turns up in all sorts of weird contexts: logging accounts at work, I've learned I have to watch that I don't select "Void" in the drop-down menu instead of "Hold." And I don't always catch myself even if I'm paying specific attention.

So last night, I've collected the boys and put them into their houses, and am starting to get their dinner. But I notice that Woofie is acting weird. I notice after a moment that noises are coming from Woofie's bedroom (a corner of the cage with towels draped about to make a "room"). I lift up a towel—and discover that I've put Yeti in Woofie's house, instead of his own, next door.

Fortunately, nobody felt compelled to try to kill anybody, but both boys were thoroughly freaked out for the rest of the evening. "There's MONSTERS in my bedroom! They're trying to EAT ME!!" Woofie even tried to jump out of his cage once or twice. I did eventually get them calmed down, but I had to leave both their bedroom "doors" open to prove that, no, there's nobody in there.

Anybody else ever experience this kind of thing? (I mean the neurological thing, not the freaked-out-guinea-pigs thing.)

#478 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 05:00 PM:

Looks like it's over. Didn't get an exact count but well over 1,600 comment spams in around an hour and a half.

The regular filters got most of them, but a few had unique features that allowed the spam to post until we got the filters adjusted.

The gnomes are still going through the sludge to see if any legitimate messages were caught by the bear traps and tiger pits that we hastily employed.

#479 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 05:26 PM:

Hail to the gnomes!! Thank you, abi and Jim.

I assume most of the spam was not generated by, you know, actual people. But some human agent must be responsible, at some point of origin, right? I do not get it. What's the point?

//rhetorical question, don't bother to answer.

#480 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 06:46 PM:

Finished the cleanup. Four hours, end to end.

#481 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 06:49 PM:

Jacque @ 478 : You're describing something that sounds like close kin to what I study. I'm interested in how we're able to make accurate eye movements (and reaching movements for that matter) to items in the world, when they're surrounded by visual clutter.

Unless this is a very regular occurrence, I'd say it sounds more like a transient targeting error between spatial representations and/or a temporary failure of the eye movement mechanisms that diminish visual crowding. Much as we think all of our eye movements are perfectly accurate, they're not - even under well-controlled conditions, with well-trained subjects, they're not.

That said, I'd expect that if this was a continual problem that your visual system and your visuomotor system would compensate for it in pretty short order (e.g., if you always grabbed the item closer to you, you'd show adaptive reaching to compensate for that undershoot).

I can go on about this in considerable detail - I'm mostly working on the eye movement side of things these days, but I wrote my graduate fellowship back in 2010 on visual crowding and visuomotor interactions.

#482 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 06:56 PM:

For folks in Boulder County concerned about fires and suchlike, here's the Boulder Office of Emergency Management's web page.

#483 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 07:09 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe @482: Well, this happens to me regularly enough (if not exactly frequently) that it's a known bug in my functioning, and irritates the hell out of me when it does happen.

I get that there's considerable slop in the system, modulo adjustment/adaption/etc.

The only consistency I've noticed is that the confusion seems to be between "like" types, such as two guinea pig cages with two male guinea pigs, or two boxes of candy on a shelf, or two options in a pull-down menu. (For example, I don't recall it ever happening that I reach for a can from one part of the shelf and end up with a box from an immediately adjacent part.)

I expect that there are also confounding factors such as fatigue, distraction, muscle memory, type confusion, and so on.

It's just, you know, weird. And tiresome.

The other thing I'm curious about is if this is a common failure mode, but I don't recall hearing other people complaining about anything similar. So I conclude (a) it's so common as to be unworthy of note, or (b) it's fairly uncommon.

It seems like it might be not dissimilar to the phenomenon we noticed when I was growing up: if some odd item turned up missing, go check the refrigerator. Seems that my mom's default "where things get put away" location was the fridge, so that's where her hands would put things if left unsupervised.

#484 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 08:01 PM:

If I had to guess (without having you do a controlled task in the lab), I'd call it a failure to fully break crowding (which is the deleterious effect of visual clutter on object identification) - you can get enough information to make an accurate movement, but not enough to identify which box of candy you want. Why this happens to you is much more than I can guess.

#485 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 08:26 PM:

Same spammers are back.

The filters seem to be holding.

Please flag any that get through.

#486 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 08:33 PM:

102 spams in the last 60 seconds.

#487 ::: M.Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 08:41 PM:


Mmm, mmm, mmm. Never heard of Avocado Lime Pie. Mmm, mmm, wish I could have tried it in my pie-eatin' days.

PJ Evans's sister

#488 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:12 PM:

The Avocado Lime Pie sounds very like the no-extra-flavor-added cream cheese and condensed milk (and a touch of lemon juice) pie my mom used to make regularly when I was little. She called it "easy cheesecake" or "cream cheese pie".

#489 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:17 PM:

Those have been some busy spambots.

I picked one of the distinctive phrases from one of the (numerous) different comment spams of this afternoon, and got 2.3 million hits out on the web.

#490 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:35 PM:

All hail the filters and their tenders.

#491 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:44 PM:

OtterB (491): So say we all!

#492 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:45 PM:

I'd just like to say that I for one welcome our gnomish overlo <serious> deeply appreciate Jim and abi and the hard work they put in to kill all the spam that comes flooding here from time to time, and to keep the filters updated, and to release the legit messages that get caught in the spam trap et hoc genus omne. </serious>

And, of course, the gnomes. Here are some Black Hole Brownies (not the kind that are your relatives!), my gnomic friends.

#493 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:53 PM:

An exotic pet shop about a mile down the street caught fire one day. When the firemen showed up, a lot of the animals were ready and waiting to be rescued. Including some of the snakes.

#494 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 09:54 PM:

Probably better for you than the pound cake I made. But I bet the pound cake goes a lot better with ice cream.

#495 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 10:05 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe @485: Why this happens to you is much more than I can guess.

It's a puzzlement, it's true. The thing that bemuses me is that it happens so cleanly in a way that makes the result look as if it was the intended one. Like those website hacks that redirect you to an advertising site instead of the site you actually wanted.

That's it! It's a virus! No, wait—

M.Evans @488: Mmm, mmm, mmm. Never heard of Avocado Lime Pie.

Caught my eye because it seems to be a variant of the Avacado Pudding served by the late lamented Indo-Ceylon Restaurant in Boulder. That and the rice were about the only things on the menu I could actually eat, due to the owner's preference for recipes in the N Scovilles range.

That's where I discovered I don't get that nice endorphin rush so treasured by lovers of hot food; I just get >>RAGE<<

But the avacado pudding was very nice.

P J Evans @495: I bet the pound cake goes a lot better with ice cream.

Not a bet I'd take. I'll bet the pie has a nice, very mild, flavor that would go quite well with ice cream. Hm. May have to try it. Probably need to try many different flavors of ice cream, just to be sure. (Hm. Maybe combine it with a nice tangy sorbet....)

#496 ::: Throwmearope ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 10:22 PM:

@Jacque #496--

I think this is a fairly common glitch. I know I have reached for the cream of celery soup for a recipe and come home with cream of broccoli soup, a waste of good cream and good broccoli.

A patient once called me and asked when the shape changed for her heartburn medication she'd been on for a couple of years. Fortunately, it was a brand name drug, so the shape stays the same.

I told her to go back to the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to check bottles near the bottle of the heartburn med I'd prescribed.

The pharmacist accidentally grabbed a diabetic med by mistake. Too bad the patient took the pill before she called me. Her family stayed up all night checking her blood sugars and she did fine.

But, yeah, I think a not uncommon glitch.

Ooh, I know, tl,dr, but all knowledge is here.

Somebody mentioned a new Brin Uplift novel*, but I can't find anything on Ammy.

I would love a new Uplift to read, enough to figure out how to use my Kind__le.


*Ok, it was on DailyChaos, so I know I need a largish grain of salt, but still, a new Uplift?

#497 ::: Throwmearope gnomed again ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 10:24 PM:

I guess my feeble attempt to disguise words of power, was, well, feeble.

Nothing for the gnomes, I don't cook.

#498 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 10:43 PM:

In the Department of Exes Acting As If High School Still Ruled: I had decided to tackle a storage room in my basement, in which I could see many boxes. To my surprise, most of the first half-dozen were filled with my Ex's papers, but that wasn't the really surprising part. No, the surprise was in how old this stuff was: I found trash -- bills, old papers, notes -- from the mid-70s. High school lab notes, christmas cards, utility bills, and so on -- plus a Reader's Digest from 1976. So I photographed that and posted it to Facebook, captioning it "time to toss these out". When one of my friends pointed out, in the first comment, that it was from the bicentennial, I explained that it was on top of a pile of "the Hex's stuff", and our conversation went on to discuss the possibility of finding Tut's tomb, etc. Other friends chimed in as well.

Then, the Ex replied, in a nicely snarky tone too, and told me that she could tell tales about what I'd left lying around too. She signed herself "xo-- the Hex" and griped about not being "Herself".

I have been very careful for the past two and a half years not to post anything on FB because she might read it. Clearly, she does still read my posts, even though she could easily block my posts from view -- as I did to her posts 2.5 years ago.

This time I didn't have to hide from her. I pointed out that I had not mentioned her, so she outed herself. I am really tired of being careful not to anger her, and I don't have to worry anymore. The house is in my name, and I've changed the lock on the front door. She's mad at me because she wants the rest of her buyout payment, which I haven't sent yet.

I told her it was in the mail.

I also told her to yob tebya pereyob and not to let the door hit her.

I knew I'd feel better about getting her off the mortgage. It feels like freedom. I'm not afraid of her anymore.

#499 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 10:54 PM:

Dear God, here it comes. Predicted highs for the next few days here in North Georgia: tomorrow, 96. Friday, 100. Saturday, 101. Sunday, 102. Monday, 100.

And we're already (after upper 80s-mid 90s for the past week) at high fire danger status.

I very much hope we don't end up costing Colorado some of their badly needed personnel and gear.

#500 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 11:01 PM:

Go, Ginger!

As for FB, if you block her doesn't that stop her from seeing your posts as well? (Hmm, maybe only if you set Friends Only on your settings...?)

#501 ::: Xopher HalfTongue is with the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 11:02 PM:

Not sure why.

#502 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 11:19 PM:

Jacque, #484: I don't have anything like that, but what has been happening to me of late (as in, the last year or so) is that when I'm typing something, I'll be thinking one word and my fingers type another one -- usually one that starts with the same 2 or 3 letters -- and I won't notice it until I look back over what I've typed. This is a relatively new phenomenon, unlike my previous known glitches (e.g. sometimes I'll type "toin" instead of "tion" on the end of a word), and as such it's... not worrisome exactly, but I do wonder what's going on that's different.

#503 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 11:23 PM:

I am picturing the moderators as dragonriders flying up to intercept a threadfall of spam.

#504 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 11:41 PM:

Xopher @501: I didn't block her as much as "refuse to view her posts". I should block her, I suppose, but I think I'm going to enjoy this. Freedom, I mean; not fighting with her in public.

#505 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2012, 11:43 PM:

Throwmearope @ 497: Existence is a new Brin novel, but it doesn't appear to be Uplift.

#506 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 12:12 AM:

I have a typing quirk too, but quite limited.

My mind will think "with" and my fingers will type "this" (and, occasionally, vice-versa).

It's not consistent and doesn't seem to track to tiredness, stress, focus, or anything else I can observe.

#507 ::: idgecat ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 12:32 AM:

Throwmearope @ 497: Actually, Afficianado is a chapter which introduces the beginnings of uplift on Earth, so this is set in the same universe, but earlier.

#508 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 01:07 AM:

I looked at the scientific pun and got the earwig of The Cremation Of Sam McGee.

#509 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 01:36 AM:

497, 506:

I read an early draft of Existence.

It is not set in the Five Galaxies / Uplift setting or timeline in any way, but one of the threads of action does feature a genetic engineering project to make _____ smarter.

It is an odd and challenging book. A firehose of ideas, a huge cast of characters, and some very interesting twists and surprises. Near the end it narrows down the cast and plot threads to conclude in an interesting place.

#510 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 04:00 AM:

Ginger @ 499... yob tebya pereyob

Neither Rot13, nor Russian or Ukrainian told me what that means, and when I googled it, I was asked if I meant 'you tube Perry'. No matter what it is, it sounds like it was cathartic to say it.

#511 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 04:04 AM:

Ginger @ 499... yob tebya pereyob

Neither Rot13, nor Russian or Ukrainian told me what that means, and when I googled it, I was asked if I meant 'you tube Perry'. No matter what it is, it sounds like it was cathartic to say it.

#512 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 06:39 AM:

Serge @511/512: I think you'd have to put the phrase into Cyrillic letters before the translation programs can translate it; that's been my experience anyway. It's very bad language, as you can tell.

Oh look, she's replied! I'm projecting as well as distorting the truth, and a bunch of other big Psychology terms. Yes, I'm sure she thinks she might be right.

#513 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 07:52 AM:

Ginger @ 513... I'm projecting as well as distorting the truth

So... You're the Mirror Mirror on the Wall *and* the Evil Witch Queen?

#514 ::: Cassy B ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 08:57 AM:

Melissa @507; I do this commonly, but primarily with one pair of words. "Think" and "thing" are interchangeable and fungible to my fingers. (I actually meant to write "thing" first, and my fingers chose differently.)

#515 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 09:41 AM:

Lila #500: Having woken to the same weather forecast, all I can say is "ouch!" Plus, this is June, not August or September.

#516 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 10:17 AM:

The Supreme Court has upheld ACA!

#517 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 10:36 AM:

From ScotusBlog:

"Amy Howe: In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding."

#518 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 10:42 AM:

@488 M.Evans wish I could have tried it in my pie-eatin' days.

Well, while I don't suppose you can make it truly low-calorie, you can make it lower calorie by using low-fat condensed milk and low-fat topping. I've done that it it tasted OK. My next experiment might be using evaporated milk+sucralose, just to see how it turns out.

It's also possible to make a vegan version using soy milk powder to make a condensed milk substitute and coconut cream for the whipped topping, but I've never tried that.

And Jacque's right about the mild flavour. It has a really rich mouthfeel that's nice, too.

#519 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 11:36 AM:

I was amazed that John Roberts was the swing vote on the ACA decision.

#520 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 12:26 PM:


I think Roberts was trying to maximize health insurance companies' income.

#521 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 12:57 PM:

Tracie #411: My condolences.

Jacque #496: Interesting, it does sound like a typical neuroglitch. Working in a bookstore, I've often found places where customers reshelve books one shelf below (occasionally above) where they ought to be... But at the correct horizontal position.

#522 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 01:00 PM:

On typos: I sometimes astonish people by mentioning that I don't spellcheck. There are too many false positives-- if I'm not writing fantasy or science fiction, I'm writing science fact, and Word is not going to admit some of those terms-- and it doesn't catch typos the way I make them, which is by swapping words. I'm a good speller, but my fingers sometimes think they know what I'm trying to say.

#523 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 01:31 PM:

Ginger @499: I'm not afraid of her anymore.

This is a good thing! Her interest in your Facebook postings is interestingly consistent with her getting bent out of shape that you had moved on after the break-up. Methinks she's a bit..."conflicted" in her intentions regarding you.

Lee @503: when I'm typing something, I'll be thinking one word and my fingers type another one -- usually one that starts with the same 2 or 3 letters -- and I won't notice it until I look back over what I've typed.

Yeah, I get variations on that. My favorite is when I'm trying to write something down while listening to someone; my fingers will often start channeling my outer ear rather than my inner ear—or visa versa. Another trick I have is to leave off the last word of the sentence I'm trying to write. It's as if my brain is already on to the next thought, and my hands just sort of skip over the gap.

@507 & @515: "with" and "this" & "Think" and "thing"

I have to be really careful with 4s and 5s. Apparently, my brain regards them as interchangeable. This, as you might expect, can be a problem.

Ginger @513: She broke up with you, right? In your place, I'd be really tempted to (a) point that out and, (b) ask why the heck she's still  stalking  following you?

Cheryl @519: It's also possible to make a vegan version using soy milk powder to make a condensed milk substitute and coconut cream for the whipped topping, but I've never tried that.

I tried using soymilk to make the pudding, to accomodate a lactose-intolerant friend. The result was...not successful.

David Harmon @522: Interesting, it does sound like a typical neuroglitch.

Okay, thanks. I guess that was my core question. Bug in the original distribution; not something unique to me. ("What? I'm not a Special Snowflake?" "Well, maybe not a snow flake—" "Hey!")

Diatryma @523: I sometimes astonish people by mentioning that I don't spellcheck. There are too many false positives

Yes, exactly. I find dealing with spellcheck to be more arduous than just getting the spelling right, and then proofing, to start with.

#524 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 01:32 PM:

Someone on Twitter just noted, "Roberts-as-evil-genius: By striking down law, he preserves court's legitimacy. By calling it a 'tax,' he gives R's a weapon to defeat Prez." On the flip side, Nate Silver's already saying the decision won't have much effect either way.

The cafe I'm currently working from has CNN on mute. The two most prominent words on CNN's banner graphics so far: "UPHELD" and "TAX." At no point has the phrase "Affordable Care Act" appeared.

#525 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 02:07 PM:

It was really funny to hear Romney in full conservative fig thundering, "The way to get rid of ObamaCare is to get rid of Obama!". The Democrats really should not be referring to it as the Affordable Care Act, but as RomneyCare. That should cause some mental circuit breakers to trip among the Tea People.

Even funnier was reading the tweets of Republicans who are so disgusted with the survival of ObamaCare that they want to move to Canada :-)

#526 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 02:13 PM:

Perhaps Roberts figured that a plan that came from — what, a conservative think tank? — first enacted by Mitt Romney wasn't actually a prescription from Dr. Marx.

(I wanted to do the Rx ligature, but it just looked wrong there. Too clever by half.)

Still, glad it made it.

#527 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 02:14 PM:

A bit offtopic, but I wanted to say that Susan Krinard - aka my wife - has turned in the revisions for her contemporary-fantasy novel "Mist". The book will come out from Tor in July 2013.

#528 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 02:15 PM:

Great job getting rid of all those spams, guys! Like I said up in post number... number...


(just kidding. I kid!)

#529 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 02:20 PM:

Jacque, #524: I can't write while listening to something else, because I "hear" the words in my head while I'm writing and that blocks whatever I'm trying to listen to. This is why I'm hopeless at taking notes -- I miss 5 points while trying to write down one! The college classes that offered notes by subscription (you pay a small fee and get a copy of class notes written by a grad student hired for the purpose) were a godsend.

I also can't keep track of a conversation while I'm trying to read something. It's like I've only got one audio channel in my head, and reading, writing, and listening all compete for it. Sometimes just thinking competes for it as well.

#530 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 02:25 PM:

Lee @ 503

what has been happening to me of late (as in, the last year or so) is that when I'm typing something, I'll be thinking one word and my fingers type another one -- usually one that starts with the same 2 or 3 letters -- and I won't notice it until I look back over what I've typed. This is a relatively new phenomenon, unlike my previous known glitches (e.g. sometimes I'll type "toin" instead of "tion" on the end of a word), and as such it's... not worrisome exactly, but I do wonder what's going on that's different.

I've done a bunch of thought-analysis about certain classes of errors that pop up in my typing (especially ones that intersect with linguistics issues) including this one and I have some hypotheses.

I think both the word substitution and the letter jumbling errors are both byproducts of a sort of "whole word typing" function (similar to "whole word reading") that develops for people who have spent a lot of their lives doing a lot of touch-typing. That is, I think that the sheer repetition of certain muscle sequences in combination with their associated vocabulary items has created "neural typing packets" (just invented that phrase now) where we don't consciously process the individual actions to type individual letters.

In my hypothesis, this has several consequences. Letters get jumbled because our brains are sending the instructions for the typing actions in a single packet, but individual fingers respond to them at different rates. (An experiment to support or undermine this hypothesis could analyze whether letter transpositions normally involve early typing of letters that use "dominant" fingers" and delayed typing of letters typed with less dominant fingers. Or similarly, if adjacent letters are typed with the same finger, a following letter typed with a different finger may be "promoted" due to the delay involved in finger movement.)

For the whole-word substitution error, I know that when I do this I tend to substitute a high-frequency word for a lower frequency one that begins with the same letters. (For example, I have to think very carefully when typing any word that starts with "heat-" because any level of inattention turns it into my name.) Again, my hypothesis is that high-frequency sequences of letters create whole-word "neural typing packets" and the initiation of one of those sequences will prime the brain to complete the sequence with a high-frequency packet.

One of the experiences that helped me develop my hypotheses was the year I spent studying Old Norse. I did most of my translations by first transcribing the original text into my computer and then doing the work electronically. So I was able to notice the development of typing fluency in Old Norse as I moved from having to think consciously about each letter I was seeing and typing to the stage of whole-word typing where I could see the word and my fingers would produce it without conscious thought about the spelling. And then I moved to the stage where I started making substitution/transposition errors when typing Old Norse. (For some reason the process wasn't as notable when working with Medieval Welsh, possibly because the texts aren't generally normalized in spelling so even high-frequency words are likely to occur in a variety of spellings across the corpus.)

While the above two phenomena are largely related to muscle memory, there's more of a linguistics angle to a third type of error: the substitution of a word from the same semantic field that doesn't share letters. For example, typing a recipe that calls for allspice and typing nutmeg instead. (I think this is the linguistic equivalent of the aforementioned "grabbing the wrong can on the shelf" phenomenon.) I've noticed that when I do it the words are always related in meaning -- not as synonyms, but falling in the same general topic.

And I do tend to make these kinds of errors (especially the word-substitution ones) more when I'm tired, probably because I'm relying more on automatic processes. The letter-transposition errors universally happen when I'm typing very quickly.

#531 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 03:23 PM:

Ginger @499, I was about to say that any relationship in which you find yourself saying, "I'm not afraid anymore" is a good one to be out of, but then I remembered that I was all set to dump my wife until I worked out how to not be afraid of her, and now we are much happier together.
I'm not sure whether she ever did want me to be afraid of her, but I can see now that most of the time she didn't, and didn't even know she was scaring/hurting me.

Serge @528, I sure hope that plugging your own/a close relative's writing is okay on open threads, considering how much I do it. Speaking of which, someone finally wrote a review of The Christmas Mutiny on Amazon, signing it "Acton B. Gone", and since that review is the only citation I can find for that name, evidently s/he did. But a short story, "The Men Who Saved JFK", is proving to be the biggest seller. I don't know why. Maybe I should write more JFK stories.

About the fires (which are totally not being caused by any so-called change in the so-called climate): A Facebook friend is ranting about how that no-good Obama should go look at the fires. I tell her he's too busy in Washington, trying to persuade Repubs not to cut the FEMA budget again.

#532 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 03:24 PM:

Holy corn syrup, Batman! (Treading the gnome wall carefully) If you go to www reuters com and scroll down until you find the listing of FB articles, you will see a study from the University of California about how pancreatic cancer cells metabolize glucose and fructose differently. I'm blown away.

#533 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 03:28 PM:

Lee @530: It's like I've only got one audio channel in my head, and reading, writing, and listening all compete for it. Sometimes just thinking competes for it as well.

Yup, me too. I am utterly baffled by the people who can study or write while listening to music/watch TV—even more so by those who require background noise to study/write effectively.

Thank all the ghods of Time and Space for my current set of neighbors. They're quiet and friendly, and on the very rare occassions when I've asked them to turn something down, they've done so promptly and cheerfully.

Contrast that with past neighbors I've had, especially before the place below me changed hands. The guy who owned it basically took whowever wandered in and wanted to rent; I had a lot of conflicts over noise. And the worst part of it was arguing with the college kids who had not yet faced work-imposed waking times and hadn't yet encountered the idea that their reality/experience wasn't The Reality.

They'd turn their stereo up, I'd ask them to turn it down. I'd get argument: "Just enjoy it!" "Uh, no. (A) I don't want to listen to it in the first place and (B) it prevents me from reading/writing/watching TV/sleeping/living my life." "Oh, nonsense! We study with it just fine!" Or: "You know there are three guys sleeping in the room with the stereo! Just live with it!"

Heavy sigh; call the police; file a noise complaint. Do it again next week.
/ranty rant-rant

Heather Rose Jones @531: neural typing packets

Yes, that sounds like a very plausible explanation; matches my experience very well.

And I do tend to make these kinds of errors (especially the word-substitution ones) more when I'm tired, probably because I'm relying more on automatic processes.

I speculate that fatigue degrades one's myelination, and one's nerves become more "leaky."

#534 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 04:22 PM:


Yeah, if you are truly opposed to Obamacare, this must be a very depressing election, as its two fathers[1] are running against one another for president.

#535 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 05:27 PM:

Jacque @ 524: Oh, yes; she left me. I can hardly believe she wastes any time reading my posts on Facebook, but that's the kind of person she is. When we moved into this house, the one I own, she used to drive past the old (rental) place regularly, just to see what it looked like.

The papers that I found in the basement last night date back 36 years. Yes, it's true that people forget and stuff piles up, but she's had two and a half years to go through the house and at least review. I didn't even realize what was in those boxes.

Anyway, I'm sure she is conflicted, but that's no longer my problem.

John Burt @ 532: I agree, and in retrospect, I had become more cautious about what I said around her, especially as she grew angry as well as depressed (father died suddenly, mother's dementia contributed to his death, and her slow decline just didn't help). I hadn't realized just how cautious and circumspect I'd become even when we were partners; her departure exacerbated that because she threatened to force a sale of the house. Once I got her off the mortgage, I felt free to speak my mind again.

I haven't responded to her early AM post. I haven't had the time to put together a nice response and I want to make it a good one.

#536 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 06:17 PM:

Ginger: Do, please, keep updating us. Purely aside from the Ongoing Soap Opera aspects, I always find your responses to these situations interesting and enlightening.

#537 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 06:27 PM:

Okay, here's a question: How do you find new people to meet? Specifically, what do you introverts do?

Friend of mine and I are pondering this question. He is an introvert, but is looking to expand his circle of acquaintance. I'm not an introvert, but my circumstances growing up set me up with introvert-like social habits. This is becoming a problem. ("I haz a Loneleez!")

Some options of which I am aware are (not especially useful in my geographical location) and things like knitting circles. What other tricks do y'all have?

#538 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 06:38 PM:

Jacque: If you're in the U.S., how about political volunteers?

#539 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 06:54 PM:

Jacque @538

What are his or your interests?

Book clubs, groups that get together and make things (the Maker Faire I went to recently had some groups that get together and make gadgets and share the equipment for doing so), art classes through a local arts center, volunteering for non-profits, folk dancing or other dancing, song circles... I know that our area has a secular humanist group that gets together for lectures and discussions (the not-quite-equivalent of church for atheists).

Classes through the local municipal parks and recreation department or community college?

These are things that I've been pondering recently because of working at the reference desk.

#540 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 07:01 PM:

Jacque #538:

If you're at all musical, join a chorus. Or a theater group--given your skill set, perhaps a tech volunteer? Get involved in local neighborhood groups/politics. Take cooking classes?

#541 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 07:08 PM:

Jacque @538 - My area has quite a few active groups for my professional area/areas of interest (I cross a couple of boundaries in my work). At times when I have wanted to get involved, I found it quite easy to show up at meeting and talk to people, and then volunteering to help organize those events is an easy way to get involved with others. You can also look for community activities. For example, if I weren't busy with my young daughter, I would totally get involved with the effort to start up a new library in my neighborhood. Someone I work with is active with her homeowner's association, and she's also taking a pottery class. A class where you do things and have time to talk while doing them (like pottery or drawing or cooking) is more conducive to meeting people than an academic-focus class.

#542 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 07:17 PM:

My birth father's name is Goldberg, and it took me a long time to be able to actually type "Goldberg" rather than "Goldfa^H^Hberg". (Even now I have to take a tiny pause at the d.) He of course has the same problem with my name.

A bit of cheery HLN: there's a fellow on LibriVox doing a production of the 1604 Marlowe Faust, and when the person who'd signed up to take the title role had to drop out, he asked me! That was very flattering. (Plus it's a nice juicy role.)

Also, I went to a gem & jewelry show this last weekend (thus filling my quota of "shiny" for a month or so) and bought a bead of synthetic opal. I had no idea synthetic opals had gotten as good as this one is. And a trillion-cut topaz in a very pretty light blue.

#543 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 07:44 PM:

Jacque @538 Our public library has a couple of bulletin boards full of flyers about various activities. Arts classes and groups, volunteer things, etc.

I second joann's suggestion @541 of joining a chorus.

HLN (lengthy profile): Local woman reports that last summer she felt much like Jacque does now. Though she loves to read, a book club didn't appeal, nor did anything else she could think of.

"I wanted to meet some people," she says. "I wanted something new and different, something where I wasn't defined by my job or my role as Mom."

She thought about music, with which she's had little involvement as an adult. She considered taking up piano lessons again, but going from sitting alone at a computer keyboard on the job to sitting alone at a piano keyboard in the evening didn't quite hit the mark.

She'd been reading and enjoying a book called Improv Wisdom, which recommends, among other principles, that you "say yes," because one of the keys to successful improv and to successful living is to be open to the unexpected and see where it leads you. And so, when she saw a flyer in the library inviting people to come to rehearsals of a women's a cappella chorus, she went.

She expected to go once or twice, conclude that she really didn't have enough musical talent for this, and move on to try something else.

To make a long story short, greatly to her surprise, she has begun taking voice lessons, passed her audition to the chorus (after more persistence than she usually shows), is gradually getting checked off to perform the group's repertoire - and will, with 29 other women, be singing the national anthem at a major league baseball game this weekend.

"Is that cool, or what?" she says. "And I love the other chorus members. They're a wonderful, supportive group. They include retired women, stay-at-home moms, teachers, lawyers, software engineers, accountants, and more. Some are introverts like me, but I see them at rehearsal every week and we have shared experiences and goals to talk about. And some are extroverts, and all I have to do is smile and say hi, and they're off and running."

#544 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 08:48 PM:

We need more improv choruses. Just saying.

#545 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 09:01 PM:

For introverts who are not into music or knitting or cooking or humanism or whatever, note the theme running through all the suggestions: they are about getting together to Do Something, as opposed to going to a venue set up for the express purpose of meeting people.

#546 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 09:23 PM:

HLN: Local woman takes up knitting again after ~40 years, finishes first scarf*. The next scarf will be started very shortly. "Rectangles are the key insight," she insists. "Also, self-patterning yarn is very pretty and eliminates the need to fuss with making stripes."

*chunky acrylic yarn from Michaels, in greens and browns

#547 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 09:40 PM:

Thought this might be appreciated here:

#548 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2012, 11:24 PM:

Jacque: what about community theater? Most of them need crew--props, programs, and tech, etc.--so even if you/your friend is not interested in performing, there's stuff to do and plenty of people to talk to.

#549 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 12:11 AM:

Brenda Kalt: I'd seen that, and I've also seen how glucose helps fructose metabolize properly. Various fruits have different glucose-fructose balances (bananas, for example, are kind to those folk who have difficulty metabolizing fructose because the glucose percentage is higher.) So when I see those ads saying that HFCS is "just sugar", I always want to scream at them how wrong they are. "Your body treats it just the same" is not a true statement for a significant percentage of the population, if not everyone.

HFCS has its place, and that place is firmly in the sweets aisle. If they get it out of all of the places where it probably shouldn't be (like, say, everything that isn't supposed to be tooth-achingly sweet), I for one would be happy.

#550 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 10:40 AM:

Mary Aileen @547--May I recommend the book Knit Tricks to you? It has a lot of interesting projects based on rectangles, when you're ready to do more than scarves, but not ready to deal with more complicated shaping techniques.

#551 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 11:15 AM:

I mentioned Inciweb, the Forest Service's fire incident information site earlier. It's a useful place to check on details about the status of fire-control efforts, evacuations, closures, and so on, although local sources should take precedence for people in the areas with active fires.

The Forest Service is now dealing with 30 wildfires classed as Active in the last 30 days.

My best wishes for those dealing with the effrects of these fires on their lives.

#552 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 11:29 AM:

Ah, the delightful anti-union conservative union member is back from retirement to cover for another union member. Now he is sitting in the break room wishing violent death on John Roberts. And I thought "enjoying" the non-stop How Good I'm Being On My Diet/Pornographic Descriptions Of Food I Can't Eat and smelly microwaved brussels sprouts and scorched popcorn were the only benefits to sitting so close to the break room.

#553 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 12:08 PM:

HLN: Yesterday evening at 5:30pm EDT our thermometer read 104F. It is hot and dry here in Central Ohio, and we're about 4 inches below normal in rainfall. Since we're under a red flag warning, I'm wondering if any of the local fireworks shows are going to be cancelled next week.

The grass in the yard is turning brown and crunchy. The deer are so hungry they've come up from the park to graze on our garden. Good-bye daylilies, Stargazer, and Casablanca. Mom actually saw a doe about 2 houses west of ours early yesterday morning.

It was 82F at 6:00am EDT, so the dogs did not get their walk. Mom and I both are feeling some chest discomfort, and there is an air advisory for today, so it looks like we're confined to the air conditioned house until tonight...sigh.

The good news is that we have hummingbirds coming to our feeders again. We switched to all glass feeders as the plastic ones were growing mold if you looked cross-eyed at them.

I'm hoping the builders will be finished renovating the screen porch today. This Spring we discovered that a malfunctioning downspout had caused part of the porch to rot, and upon finding that it would be cheaper to replace the entire window/wall system rather than have it restored, we gave the go ahead.

The dogs and cats are unhappy -- the cats can't doze on the porch while it's under construction, and we can't let the dogs out into the back yard because of all the equipment out there. Plus, Katana the Japanese Chin would just love to help...

#554 ::: Lori Coulson Has Been Gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 12:10 PM:

Hi, how are you? Would you like some maple cinnamon rolls and coffee?

I have no idea how I screwed up the post.

#555 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 12:25 PM:

Allan @ 546

For introverts who are not into music or knitting or cooking or humanism or whatever, note the theme running through all the suggestions: they are about getting together to Do Something, as opposed to going to a venue set up for the express purpose of meeting people.

I can't quite tell from the wording whether you feel this is a flaw in the suggestions or a useful generalization.

As an introvert, I find the difference between "getting together to Do Something as opposed to Meet People" is essential to my social success. The only thing that enabled me to get to know people successfully in fandom, in the SCA, etc. was to find a job I enjoyed and then gradually get to know the other people doing that job. It sometimes means that there are people I'd love to get to know better where I can't find a "parallel play" context in which to make it happen. And it's sometimes meant that I've lost touch with people I'd begun a friendship with when the parallel-play context dissolved for some unrelated reason.

For me, going to events that exist solely for the purpose of Meeting People is an exercise in futility and depression.

#556 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 12:49 PM:

Heather Rose Jones @556 For me, going to events that exist solely for the purpose of Meeting People is an exercise in futility and depression.

Me too. Getting together to Do Something has the psychological advantage of giving you a built-in topic of conversation and, as you say, a parallel play context. Its other advantage, as long as you choose activities that interest you, is that if you don't succeed in meeting people, then it's not a total waste, because at least you got to Do Something.

Kip W @545, I'm in agreement that we need more improv choruses.

#558 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 02:33 PM:

" . . . an exercise in futility and depression."


If drunk people are involved, add "unpleasant flashbacks."

#559 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 02:47 PM:

HLN: Listening to the 11 year old playing Minecraft while chatting on Skype with his classmates (who are on the same server).

Some of these kids first came to my attention because they were relentlessly, mercilessly bullying him, three or four years ago. Now they're all laughing madly together.

I guess sometimes it really does get better.

Got something in my eye right now.

#560 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 02:48 PM:

Abi... Darn lint, eh?

#561 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 02:50 PM:

fidelio (551): Thanks. That looks like an interesting book.

#562 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 03:07 PM:

Abi @ 560... Do you know what brought on the change?

#563 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 03:08 PM:

abi @560, those are the kind of moments that make me feel like the human race is worth saving after all. Thanks for mentioning it.

#564 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 04:05 PM:

Mary Aileen @563, Fidelio @551, general knitting interest:

Because I've gotten into "planned pooling" in knitting (short explanation: taking despot-level control of the periodicity of color in your variegated yarn to cause it to knit up in various patterns not intended by the dyer), which by its nature works by using precisely predictable (and usually the same) yardage-per-row of the piece, rectangular pieces are of particular ease to knit this way.

But there's only so many things you can do with rectangles ... or so I thought. A lady on the Pooled Knits group on Ravelry knit a lovely lace kimono, pooled, by knitting a rectangle as wide as the desired hemline-width of the piece, knitting 1/4-of-its-width in from each edge on waste yarn on a certain row (thereby leaving 'perforations' that can be taken out later to leave live stitches on each side), knitting up to the shoulder line, knitting a piece of waste yarn into the CENTER of it (for neck edge/head hole), continuing from there in two even columns, each half the width of the original piece, from 'shoulder' line to 'armpit' again. Then you seam the top of the folded-around back torso section to the 'front opening' edge of the bottom of the last line you knit, and seam the sleeves shut from armpit to cuff.

It's like origami, it's awe-inspiring. I had to mock it up three times using printer paper before I could believe what she'd done.

#565 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 04:06 PM:

The last few weeks have been really rough around Casa de Baughman-Husband; we've been struggling with depression (stress and situational) related to his unemployment. Earlier this week, Husband came across this site, and it's been a huge pick-us-up. It's sweet, sometimes a little silly, but just the fact that it exists warms our hearts.

I send it on for anyone else who needs to have their faith in humanity renewed, or who needs to know that there is kindness in the world, or is just having a bad day and needs something to bring a little cheer.

(The first time I read one of the posts there, I thought, "abi, is that you?" Happily, it is not -- happily, because the world needs more people like her.)

#566 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 04:13 PM:

Serge @563:

I just asked Alex. He doesn't know.

I suspect the school's anti-bullying program actually worked. I'm as surprised as anyone.

#567 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 04:31 PM:

Accomplishment: I refilled the going pitcher of cherry limeade, as follows ...

In one biggish Brita pitcher (sans filter infrastructure. We have very few pitchers), put
-- the juice of 5 limes, with 3 of those limes' squashed carcasses tossed in as well
-- 10-15 mashed blueberries and 15-20 mashed cherries, plus remaining squeezed lime carcasses, heated in a saucepan with some of the old limeade and sugar to come up to a not-quite-boil; let sit, strain into pitcher
-- 8-10 lightly-squashed blueberries and 10-15 lightly-squashed cherries to float and steep
--top off with water, add extra sugar to taste

Slightly undesired aftermath: even after washing my hands more than once, anything I pick up and eat with my fingers tastes very, um, limey.

As I am the only person in this household who doesn't much LIKE limeade, this is sort of annoying, but still. I did the thing, and people will be glad I did. :->

#568 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 04:33 PM:

I should add that this cherry limeade is being called around here, "Homemade Vitamin Water." Also, it makes very good popsicles. If you like that sort of thing.

#569 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 04:46 PM:

Elliott Mason @ #568, would your dislike of limeade change if gin or tequila is added to it?

#570 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 05:19 PM:

Jennifer, thank you for The Boggle! I too have been trying to wade through a Slough of Despond (one-legged yet) and it is getting to me. That helped. I also had some kind words from a friend today toward the future that helped a lot too, both in perspective (I need to be patient, it has only been FIVE WEEKS since my surgery and it needs to heal before a prosthetic) and in making me look to the future.

#571 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 05:45 PM:

Elliott Mason (565): That...sounds interesting. It also made my eyes cross. And I think I sprained my brain. ;)

Can you go into a little more detail on planned pooling, or give a link to an explanation?

#572 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 07:18 PM:

Mary Aileen @572

I'm not Elliott, but here's a couple of links:

Deep End of the Pool, a lace scarf

and here's a generator that helps you work with your yarn to make the right repeat: Planned Pooling.

Basically, you knit back and forth (or round and round), and the number of stitches have been carefully worked out with the color repeat of your variegated yarn so that you get clear stripes of color (or that diagonal plaid effect that variegated yarns can make).

Modular knitting can also be used to work with the color repeats in such yarns. I like these Windowpane Socks, for instance.

#573 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 09:16 PM:

Another kind of planned pooling showed up in Knitty a few years back: Sweet Spot. They're using shaded yarn with a specific number of stitches to make the colors travel at a rate that makes a kind of plaid pattern.

#574 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 09:21 PM:

Naomi Parkhurst (573)/P J Evans (574): Oh, neat! I take it that only works if each color repeat is the same length, correct?

#575 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2012, 10:54 PM:

That's the impression I have, although the repeats in yarn that isn't printed with a color pattern tend to vary. (Handpaints tend to produce socks that don't exactly match even if it's all the same skein/dyelot.)

#576 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 01:04 AM:

Naomi, Mary Aileen, etc (planned pooling in knits): A lot of great links were posted since the last time I came online. A particularly good beginner-intro handout (pdf format) was produced for Sock Summit by two of the founders of the Ravelry Pooled Knits group, which is where I personally got hooked. :->

Some handpainted yarns are too irregular to pool in a strictly-OCD-perfect fashion (though they still give interesting results, sometimes). However, a lot of brands, like Lorna's Laces and Wollmeise, are really quite even within a skein -- though maybe not from skein to skein.

The basic mental hurdle to get over in pooling is figuring out how much yarn you use per stitch, of a given yarn, on given needles, in a particular stitch pattern (all of which vary it, of course). And then, when you've gotten good solid averaged data, the PERFORMANCE trick involved is teaching yourself to knit with really seriously insanely even gauge, so you can hit that same yardage-per-row, or close to it, each time you turn the work and go back. :->

The most straightforward pool (and the one often suggested for starting with) is the 'stacked' pool, where your colors line up over each other and you end up with color-stripes perpendicular to the rows of your knitting, like in "Deep End of the Pool," linked above.

The number of stitches per row that give you a perfect stacked pool of one repeat of your yarn is referred to in the Pooled Knits group as your "Magic Number" in that yarn. Interesting things happen at various percentages of that number -- a stackpool at multiples of 100%, for example. Also, several stitches off 100% either direction give you something we call 'argyles' -- diagonal plaid-looking patterns. There's another interesting, though more complicated, argyle-type pattern at 75%.

The pooling generator linked above is a great way to play around with potential knitting widths and visualize what you might get -- its number inputs are, by the way, unitless, so you can measure your yarn and input linear cm if you like (or swatch thoroughly and tell it stitches).

There are tricks for learning to pool accurately (my fave involves tiny safety pins or a sewing needle with contrasting thread), but I may be derailing far enough (in an open thread? Hah!) with just this so I'll post. :->

#577 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 01:16 AM:

Of course I would never go to a movie with Mark Wahlberg in it, but it's still nice to see a good pan of it.

#578 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 01:54 AM:

Elliott Mason @ 568:

How do you get the cherry juice stains off your fingers? A couple of days ago I pitted a pound or so of cherries for smoothies (I had a gum graft today, and need to have cool, nutritious food that doesn't need to be chewed for a couple of days), and my hands were blue-black for several days before the stain wore off.

#579 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 04:03 AM:

Heather Rose Jones @556: note the theme running through all the suggestions: they are about getting together to Do Something, as opposed to going to a venue set up for the express purpose of meeting people. ... For me, going to events that exist solely for the purpose of Meeting People is an exercise in futility and depression.

Huh. That could explain ... a lot.

First, the above is fairly accurate description of my friend Matt, who initially posed this query. He's very heavily into game playing, and I wonder if part of the appeal for him is that it provides the Doing Something part of getting together.

find a job I enjoyed and then gradually get to know the other people doing that job.

Contrariwise, this approach is extremely frustrating for me: too much overhead. I just want to go hang out and chat. If I've got to invest a lot of time in cultivating acquaintances before I can get to the "hanging out" part, that just defeats my purpose; I've already got too much to do. I don't need more projects, especially if they're secondary to my objective.

So now on my own behalf, let me ask the correlary question: what are good ways for extroverts to get reasonably quick, satisfying social fixes without having to turn it into a lifestyle choice?

Elliott Mason @565: It's like origami, it's awe-inspiring.

I wanna see pictures.

It's sorta like a raster graphic, except the image is defined by the flyback, not the other way around...? %-)

This is very cool. But I have to say: You People Are Cazy.

Given the whole math knitting thing (cf hyperplanes and suchlike)*, I wonder if anybody's dug into Fourier analysis with it?

* Eeeee! Pooling + hyperplanes = head esplodey!

#580 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 08:34 AM:

Heather Rose Jones #521: What you call "neural typing packets", I've been calling "wetware macros". They're not limited to text typing; they include stuff like phone numbers (before smartphones), and really, all sorts of sub-tasks involving whatever objects you work with frequently. (I'm sure the knitters have plenty....) Basically, the action sequence is getting partly or completely delegated from brain to spinal cord -- this is SOP for physical learning.

#581 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 08:52 AM:

Bruce Cohen @579: I cheated, I was using the kind of cherry with clear juice. :->

Xopher @578: My favorite reviewer gave Ted a measuredly positive review. Basically, "If you find this kind of humor funny and not offensive, it's really, REALLY funny -- but it's not complicated, and it's easy to overdose on this kind of humor."

Jacque @580 said: what are good ways for extroverts to get reasonably quick, satisfying social fixes without having to turn it into a lifestyle choice?

Just off the top of my head, volunteerism-customer-service? Find a local charity that does talking-to-the-public (or handing-stuff-out) things, and volunteer to do that. When I was little, my grandparents volunteered for the Run For The Zoo, a 5k charity run (get people to sponsor you, run the distance) supporting the zoo across the street from them. We went down to the starting line to watch everyone run, and spent the rest of the run time setting up cooler barrels, dumping packets of Gatorade powder in them, filling them with a hose, mixing them, and eventually filling many tiny cups and handing them to triumphant, tired, dehydrated runners.

Even if the mixing part is too much like work (or an extra hobby) for you, there were people who showed up just for the handing out part. Similarly, you could offer to desk-sit for a charity (like a cat adoption place?) that has people come in with questions about how the place works ...

Just a thought.

Alternatively, some places have interest-clubs ( used to be a good place to find them, before they turned all GIVE US YOUR MONEY and a lot of the groups that got established there, quit using the site). Chicago has an SF one that meets once a month at a food-and-amusements place, and once a month at someone's house for cruddy movies. Heck, my local yarn store hosts Sci-Fiber Fridays, where a given cheeseball SF movie will be aired at 7PM and you're encouraged to show up and knit and socialize. That sort of thing might work for you, if you can find its like near you.

I can't handle socialization without a Context either, partly because for me 'hanging out' simply canNOT happen until a certain amount of familiarity and basic intimacy-checking has been done -- until I know these people aren't going to react all SHZ-WHAT??? when I say something (like the things you love it when I say, actually, Jacque!) that seems perfectly ordinary to ME.

I spent decades thinking I was an introvert, when apparently I'm just an extrovert with massive social hangups. So convenient ...

#582 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 08:59 AM:

Jacque @580 in re knitting pooled rectangles and assembling clothes: If you have Ravelry, here's a link to the lace-jacket project there. The maker also put a series of diagrams on Flickr, for those who don't have Ravelry.

#583 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 10:10 AM:

Elliott Mason (577): Thank you. That's just what I wanted to know.

And it's waaaaaaaay beyond my current skill level. I'll tuck it away for future reference.

#584 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 10:31 AM:

Mary Aileen @584 -

I've been messing with pooling yarn in knit and crochet for years but only recently learned that the "Hey the colors line up, that's cool!" had a name.

I was looking at your knit projects on twitter and while planned pooling might be outside where you think your skill level is, you've got more skill than I had when I started playing around with it experimentally. Cast on X stitches, knit Y rows, see how the color repeats line up; if it's not doing what you want, adjust X up or down until it looks cool. This works very well for Just A Rectangle projects (scarves, dishcloths, placemats, table runners, shawls, etc.)

(One of the first pooled projects I ever made was a crocheted bag for my polyhedral gaming dice. I still have it! And it doesn't look like anybody else's dice bag, so I can FIND MY DAMN DICE at the end of game night...)

#585 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 10:34 AM:

From a random Facebook post...

The past, present, and future walked into a bar.

It was tense.

#586 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 11:15 AM:

Thena (585): I will probably start to experiment at some point. But that point is not yet. :)

Right now I've made exactly one scarf and started another. The chunky variegated yarns I'm using make several stripes of each color at scarf width. Either I'd need much thinner yarn or a much wider project for pooling to work. But the stripes look cool!

#587 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 04:02 PM:

Elliott Mason @582: talking-to-the-public

Interestingly, this is what I do at work, one day out of the week. Hasn't produced any extra-curricular friendships, though. :-(

Sci-Fiber Fridays

Now that sounds like fun. Hm....

until I know these people aren't going to react all SHZ-WHAT??? when I say something (like the things you love it when I say, actually, Jacque!) that seems perfectly ordinary to ME.

Philistines. No appreciation for Art. Actually, I build that into my schtick. I emit a Cleverness, wait for the resulting trance induction to pass, and then riff on their response. Working front desk, waiting for the computer to cough up a record, gives me a lot of opportunity to hone this skill. Occassionally goes seriously sideways with the  victim  audience coming away annoyed, but by and large it seems to work pretty well.

But I'm kind of a gadfly, anyway. <poke> <poke> <poke> "Ya think this is funny? I think this is funny! C'mon laugh! It's funny!" Well, okay, not really. But I do enjoy popping people out of their rut. Mostly, they seem to enjoy it, too.

I spent decades thinking I was an introvert, when apparently I'm just an extrovert with massive social hangups. So convenient ...

Yes, that! Me too.

& @583: Way cooool...!

Looking at that, I think, "That lady is out of her mind!" But then I contemplate the fact that I spent all day yesterday color-coding some sheet music. So okay, maybe, you know, pot, kettle.

#588 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 04:19 PM:

Oh and, btw, the friend who posed the "meeting people" question forwarded to me these little gems:

How to Care for Introverts

How to Care for Extroverts

#589 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 07:01 PM:

General open-thready rant:

Power outages suck. Power outages during 95+ degree days with high humidity suck more. Grmbl.

#590 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 07:32 PM:

albatross @590, sympathies. There's a lot of that going around.

#591 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 08:01 PM:

Abi @ 567... I suspect the school's anti-bullying program actually worked

Glad to hear.

#592 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 11:18 PM:

I've been stressing out getting my apartment cleaned up in preparation for a visit from my sister's family.

I felt like things were far enough along to take a break this morning, and went to see "Men in Black 3". I deliberately picked a movie that seemed kind of dumb and low-demand.

It was remarkably good. Character-focused, nice balance of humor and action. Brilliantly loathsome villain. Nice period detail.

#593 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 11:40 PM:

Jacque @588: See, a lot of times (especially when I'm low-spoons and my act-normal filters are malfunctioning) I'll say something in conversation with a sort-of-known or barely-known person that seesm to ME completely obvious or unobjectionable, and they'll suddenly be staring at me as if I'd said kitten-buggering should be legal in all 50 states.

Sometimes obsessive after-the-fact self-examination reveals the mismatch of our assumptions that led to the reaction, but disturbingly often, it does not; there's just something about my default communication assumptions that strikes people with a PARTICULAR cocktail of competing assumptions as deeply, intentionally offensive.

It hurts a lot when I get The Look. It happens a lot less often now than it used to, but when it hits now it's usually when I'm vulnerably low-spoons ... so I mostly stick only to people who I know are unlikely to react so, unless I'm really, seriously, confidently spoon-full.

And I haven't been even moderately spoon-full for over a year now, so. :-> I've been forcing myself to walk over to my local yarn store once a week and hang out in their air conditioning knitting, and damn is that terrifying. I wish I could go in timeslots when group socialization is scheduled, but I cannot be not-in-this-house for kid bedtime, and, well, every normal person who works schedules social things for when my kid's bedtime is, so.

#594 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 11:51 PM:

Test post.

#595 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2012, 11:51 PM:

Test post.

#596 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 12:44 AM:

Elliott Mason, I lucked out in that my local yarn store does a breakfast every week. That's how I met most of my current social group. Breakfast is as much of a commitment as you want it to be, as everyone is expected to have other plans at some point, even if they're 'lunch'.

In the last few months, I have realized when I am overstepping lunch conversation. I was a bio major, and our classes bracketed lunch. It was pretty normal to go straight from dissection to dinner, though we did have a cookie break halfway through of course. I work with teachers and other educators. They don't want to hear about anatomy or physiological processes. Now I notice when I'm about to one-up the grossness of the conversation and ask if it's appropriate. Progress!

#597 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 02:14 AM:

Elliott Mason @594: there's just something about my default communication assumptions that strikes people with a PARTICULAR cocktail of competing assumptions as deeply, intentionally offensive.

Well, that seriously and resolutely sucks. I'm curious: any examples you'd be willing to share?

And I totally get the bedtime thing. I don't have a toddler (I think, for most purposes, I am the toddler in this household.) but workweek nights are just too damn tight for me to be willing to do more than go out for a meal and a chat for an hour or two after work, and even then I've only got the spoons for that fairly rarely. (Not that the question comes up very often, but that's because there isn't anybody in my regular circle of acquaintance whose company I crave enough to make that kind of time, and whose schedule admits of that kind of socializing anyway.)

Diatryma @597: They don't want to hear about anatomy or physiological processes. Now I notice when I'm about to one-up the grossness of the conversation and ask if it's appropriate. Progress!

Indeed! An admirable skill. I never was all that squickable, but hanging out in my early adulthood with a gang that included: a former med-school tech, scion of a family full of doctors, an organic chemist, and a war veteran, I lost any residual couth I'd ever had pretty quickly. About fifteen years ago, I discovered that urnevat fbzrbar urnivat vagb gur gbvyrg juvyr V jnf rngvat oernxsnfg jnf, nsgre frireny zvahgrf, rabhtu gb znxr zr cnhfr va zl rngvat hagvy ur jnf qbar. And I don't really appreciate tencuvp qrcvpgvbaf bs fhetrel ba zrqvpny fubjf juvyr V'z rngvat. But purely verbal input leaves me pretty much untouched. This can be a problem in more civilized company.

#598 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 02:38 AM:

Xopher, #578: Yes, that is indeed some outstanding snark!

David H., #581: I think what we're talking about here is the same thing that guitar players call "riffs" -- a series of notes that can be fired off more or less without conscious thought, because it's all muscle memory.

#599 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 06:56 AM:

Riffing off of albatross @590: My power also went out on Friday night, and has yet to come back. Since it was built before central a/c, much of it stays fairly cool, relative to the outside. The dogs and cats are ok, and they all have the basement as well. I was ok the first night, and stayed with the FG last night, as her power is on.

I really wish Pepco knew how to spread out crews for max efficiency, but they never do. I have no idea when my power's coming back on, which is depressing. Ugh.

More soap opera goodness: a day after our FB altercation, the Ex offerred me a key to her place, to be an emergency backup. I may have convinced her to put it in a lockbox instead.

#600 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 07:18 AM:

We have power still, but we are one of the few neighborhoods around here that does, and we personally only have it by the skin of our teeth, as there is part of a blue spruce across the line to our house. And we also have one corner of the carport nicked off. Incredibly, when the maple tree came apart and fell on the house, the part that landed on the back roof simply fell off, with no more damage than a very slightly bent gutter.

#601 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 09:01 AM:

Ever wonder what your Blues name would be? Well, you can find out here:

PNH would be Sleepy Foot Rivers. I'm the related but less impressive Skinny Harp Rivers.

(Oh, and click on my name for some interesting pics of Bradbury & Ackerman.)

#602 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 10:17 AM:

Rob Hansen... Being without a middle name, I am Blind Lee. Rather lackluster.

Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues?

#603 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 10:57 AM:

Texas Bones Lee here.

Thanks a lot, Rob. Now I want barbecue, and there's none in the house.

#604 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 11:11 AM:

Hey Rob, small thing: there's no need for tinuURL here on Making Light. And some people like to know what they're clicking before they do it.

— Fat Bad Boy Dog Lemon Davis, who thinks she may have failed the algorithm

#605 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 11:17 AM:

Also: All "Tiny" URLs get examined by the gnomes (obfuscated URLs are Very Popular among spammers).

#606 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 11:33 AM:

Elise @604: We are apparently the same person, as I am also Texas Bones Lee. Using my pre-marriage last initial, I would be Texas Bones McGee.

#607 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 11:49 AM:

Sticky Fingers Rivers here. George R. R. Martin would be Ugly Dog Dog Lee.

#608 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 11:59 AM:

Blind Sugar Rivers here, although my partner Old Fingers Bradley doesn't know it yet.
And Rabbits.

#609 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 12:01 PM:

Jailhouse Bones McGee here. I like it!

#610 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 12:17 PM:

If I use the orthography my parents gave me (the only way for me to have a middle name) I end up with Boney Bones Allison. This seems suboptimal, somehow ...

#611 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 12:26 PM:

C. Wingate, #601: Glad to hear it was no worse. Maples are lightweight trees, with more spreading branches than heavy trunk; my partner is thinking of buying one to replace the oak that fell on us during Ike, for exactly that reason.

#612 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 12:34 PM:

I end up as the very alliterative Big Bad Boy Bailey. Not a lot of room for women on that list, seems to me -- though Karen would end up as Curly Killer Jackson, which isn't too bad.

#613 ::: odaiwai ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 12:49 PM:

According the the Blues Name thing, I am "Old Fingers McGee", which sounds more like the name you'd choose for a Halfling Thief in D&D than a blues name.

#614 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 01:21 PM:

It says I am Texas Foot Thomkins, but is that really me?

#615 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 01:27 PM:

I am apparently Hollerin' Bad Boy Parker (or Hollerin' Bad Boy Washington if I use my third initial rather than my surname). My father, I suspect, would have been inclined to agree about the hollerin' bad boy part. I doubt, though, that he would have felt that I was entitled to sing the blues.

#616 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 01:43 PM:

My doppelganger in the Bluesiverse goes by Ugly Legs Bailey, and I decline to debate how just this appellation may or may not be. Suffice it that, when the fashion in this universe comes around to mini-kilts for men, that will be my reputation as a dandy right down the chute.

#617 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 01:47 PM:

Ah, OK didn't know that about tinyurls. The reason I went that route was that the original URL was 195 characters, which is longer than a tweet.

#618 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 02:08 PM:

Blind Eyes Washington.


#619 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 02:33 PM:

Elliott @607: We could get together and start the Texas Bones Lee Band or something.

#620 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 03:55 PM:

Blind Liver Franklin.

Needs work.

#621 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 04:14 PM:

Domesday is icumen in
Lhude cri Cthulhu!

#622 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 04:58 PM:

Buddy Bones Bailey here...

#623 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 05:15 PM:

Ginger @600: More soap opera goodness: a day after our FB altercation, the Ex offerred me a key to her place, to be an emergency backup.

Wait—what? I'm sure this makes some kind of sense inside her furry little skull, but from out here—what? Do you have any theories about what's driving these mixed messages? I mean, I get the "of two minds" thing, but you'd think, after—how long has it been?—she'd come to some kind of consensus with herself....

That's very weird. I've seen innumerable cases of the break-up-ee wanting to continue relations, but never on the part of the break-up-er.

@602: Boney Fingers Lee, here. My brain is very firmly of the opinion that that should be Boney Fingers Robinson. No clue why.

#624 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 05:59 PM:

Jacque (624): I agree with your brain. 'Robinson' works much better than 'Lee' there.

#625 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 06:12 PM:

My legal name gives me "Sticky Liver Hopkins" (???) but the chosen name I was using at one point yields "Big Mama Jones" which is.... a better fit, perhaps.

#626 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 06:51 PM:

Good piece over on Alternet:
Conservative Southern Values Revived

When a Southern conservative talks about "losing his liberty," the loss of this absolute domination over the people and property under his control -- and, worse, the loss of status and the resulting risk of being held accountable for laws that he was once exempt from -- is what he's really talking about. In this view, freedom is a zero-sum game. Anything that gives more freedom and rights to lower-status people can't help but put serious limits on the freedom of the upper classes to use those people as they please. It cannot be any other way. So they find Yankee-style rights expansions absolutely intolerable, to the point where they're willing to fight and die to preserve their divine right to rule.
#627 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 07:10 PM:

And I'm Buddy Hopkins. How tame.

#628 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 07:19 PM:

Bruce Cohen: Tame Buddy Hopkins?

#629 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 08:18 PM:

Regarding the "You Chose Wrong" particle . . . I'd love to post one of the "terminal" paragraphs from my Dark Temple, my Tunnels & Trolls choose-your-own adventure.

But I'm not sure where my remaining copy is. :-(

#630 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 08:45 PM:

Stefan Jones @630: copies are available on ABE, if you desperately need one. Cheapest was $10 plus $3.50 shipping.

#631 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 09:25 PM:

#631: Thanks, I may have to buy one. Or see if Rick Loomis will sell me a couple at discount.

I learned a few weeks back that Dark Temple is going to be translated into French!

#632 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 09:35 PM:

Stefan, #627: Interesting. I'm always a little dubious about Alternet, but under the rhetoric, I think that may have answered the question I raised on the Health Care thread.

#633 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 11:13 PM:

Somebody needs to create a patent for a device that will deploy shutters over solar panels upon weather service warnings of thunderstorms (on the assumption of hail.) 'Cause there's large parts of the country that could benefit from solar panels that could be automatically protected.

#634 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2012, 11:18 PM:

Or flexible solar panels that could be rolled up into protective cases on receiving an alert.

#635 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 02:49 AM:

Open Threadiness: If you have a product called "Lamé body stickers", it is very important that you do not forget the accent on the first e.

#636 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 11:18 AM:

Well, our power went out on Sunday, so now our neighborhood has gone from being an island of lights to an island of dark. PEPCO is talking about having "most" customers back on by Friday. Most awesome damage: a row of about six poles in Laurel which look as though someone with semi-sized hands just pushed them over. One of the hundred year old oaks at church decided to fall, but fortunately it fell away from the building. Unfortunately "away" ended up being across the road and onto the power lines. I think what protected out roof is more early sixties planning for nuclear war: the trusswork in the attic is so dense I cannot move around up there.

And about FIOS: it turns out that the battery backup is a lead-acid oddity which is really only good for about eight wall clock hours, not eight service hours as we were told. Meanwhile the cell tower which services Tracfone apparently only got power just this morning.

We are apparently one of maybe three houses on the street that doesn't have a generator. Given that we've been without power for multiple days at least five times since we moved here, I think that's about to change.

#637 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 11:44 AM:

HLN: Suburban Chicago woman loses power, along with 200,000 other "customers" (given that a customer is a household unit, I'd guess half-a-million to a million people...?) Commonwealth Edison's automated message says "crews are assessing the damage" and "cause not yet determined" (d'you think maybe the large TREES down all over the neighborhood might have something to do with it?) and, in lieu of repair time estimates, "additional equipment needed." Which does not give Chicago woman warm-and-fuzzy feelings about the prospects of timely power restoration. Chicago woman has removed a cooler full of frozen items to break-room freezer of employer and is resigned to losing the rest.

In related news, above woman is researching generator purchase....

#638 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 11:44 AM:

HLN: Suburban Chicago woman loses power, along with 200,000 other "customers" (given that a customer is a household unit, I'd guess half-a-million to a million people...?) Commonwealth Edison's automated message says "crews are assessing the damage" and "cause not yet determined" (d'you think maybe the large TREES down all over the neighborhood might have something to do with it?) and, in lieu of repair time estimates, "additional equipment needed." Which does not give Chicago woman warm-and-fuzzy feelings about the prospects of timely power restoration. Chicago woman has removed a cooler full of frozen items to break-room freezer of employer and is resigned to losing the rest.

In related news, above woman is researching generator purchase....

#639 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 11:46 AM:

Sorry sorry for for the the double double post post...

#640 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 12:03 PM:

Well, here's an interesting institutional response to emergency prep. For Colorado counties affected by the fires, our insurance carrier has waived the "Refill Too Soon" block on prescriptions, apparently so people can stock up their go-bags.

#641 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 12:36 PM:

So, Anderson Cooper has come out.

#642 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 01:09 PM:

I hope it's a positive thing for him, and for other people whom he might inspire or help.

#643 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 01:36 PM:

RE: power outages. Our power was out from Saturday evening until Sunday evening. Neither my wife nor I grew up with air conditioning, but being without A/C for a day highlighted that we like modernity quite a lot.

On the introvert thread: there was once a coffee shop (Oh 17 1/2, you are still missed) that I frequented; most of the seating was in a circle that held about 7 people, and there was a continual conversation which anyone could join. It was the best place ever for low-overhead socializing.

#644 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 01:52 PM:

CWingate: My condolences. Our power came back on Sunday night.

Serge: Anderson Cooper wasn't out before? I had it in my mind that he was pretty well known to be gay, but I don't usually keep track of celebrity gossip, so maybe I just have my people mixed up.

#645 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 01:55 PM:

(referencing me: find a job I enjoyed and then gradually get to know the other people doing that job.

Jacque @ 580

Contrariwise, this approach is extremely frustrating for me: too much overhead. I just want to go hang out and chat. If I've got to invest a lot of time in cultivating acquaintances before I can get to the "hanging out" part, that just defeats my purpose; I've already got too much to do. I don't need more projects, especially if they're secondary to my objective.

Oh, absolutely. It only works for me when the context is one I expect to enjoy participating in for its own reasons (note my examples of fandom and the SCA) but where that participation would be greatly enhanced by making some long-term personal connections. After all, what would be the point of making friends in the context of Activity X if one didn't actually expect to enjoy doing Activity X? (Or, as I sometimes put it in a different context, "There's no point in hanging out in bars to meet women because I'd only end up meeting women who like to hang out in bars.")

Besides which, even after I've gotten to know someone in a "parallel play" situation, I have difficulty keeping up the friendship if we lose that context. So it behooves me to focus on contexts I'm likely to have a long-term involvement in.

#646 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 02:13 PM:

albatross... My understanding is that people who worked with him knew, but the public didn't.

#647 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 02:18 PM:

I've heard that Diana Rigg and her daughter will appear in a "Doctor Who" episode next year.
By the way, didn't Rigg once come across a Dalek in "The Avengers"?

#648 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 02:32 PM:

Serge Broom #648: The episode I remember didn't involve a Dalek but robotic imitation space aliens who were a cover for large-scale theft.

Mrs Peel's line on figuring this out: "Take me to your leader, or, rather, lead me to your taker."

#649 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 02:33 PM:

SamChevre @644: 17 1/2, ... most of the seating was in a circle that held about 7 people, and there was a continual conversation which anyone could join. It was the best place ever for low-overhead socializing.

Oh, that sounds glorious! There used to be a health food restaurant in Boulder that had a communal table. Back in the Olden Days.

Serge Broom @648: I've heard that Diana Rigg and her daughter will appear in a "Doctor Who" episode next year.

Oooo!! ::bounce bounce bounce:: My fantasy is for Diana Rigg to be Doctor Who. And I'd love to see Whoopi Goldberg in that part, as well.

#650 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 02:40 PM:

Jacque @ 650... The closest to that we ever got was when Joanna Lumley - also an Avenger - played the Doctor, along with Rowan Atkinson, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Richard Grant.

#651 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 02:43 PM:

Fragano @ 649... The encounter I'm referring to is the episode where Mrs Peel first put on the Cat Suit. There was something fishy going on in some dept store (no, not Grace Brothers) so she infiltrated the place as an employee of - what else? - the toy dept. Apparently, if one looked closely, one of the toys was a Dalek.

#652 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 02:56 PM:

Serge Broom @648 -- a Dalek shows up in one of the 1965 episodes, "Death at Bargain Prices", according to one of the reviews on That Big River. I expect it wasn't active.

#653 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 03:05 PM:

Tom Whitmore @ 653... Right, that's the episode, which involved someone building an atomic bomb in the basement, a plot barely less silly than the antics over at Grace Brothers. By the way did you ever watch the "Dalek Relaxation Tape"?

#654 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 03:50 PM:

The British Government seems to be on the path to copyright craziness.

A report from The Register

I'm not sure if the author of the article is taking a fair view, he's said some odd things in the past, but copyright is an international thing, with Treaties and such, and anyone buying rights under such a system would be taking an awfully big chance.

#655 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 03:59 PM:

This was originally posted to the wrong thread, sorry.

Re the Subatomic particle plush toys sidelight1:

There's a link on that page in the navbar at the top that goes to the iTunes store (or you can go to the App Store on your iGadget) where you can download a free iPhone/iPad app that shows the particle plushies and the characteristics of the real particles. It's kind of fun to play with.

1. Wouldn't it have been even better if Teresa had posted this as a Particle?

#656 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 04:25 PM:

Circe, our oldest cat, was just diagnosed with chronic renal failure. Circe's been with Husband and me for 13 years, the majority of our marriage. She's Husband's special cat -- *she* picked *him*, and that preference has never gone away, and this is a devastating blow right now -- he's already trying to cope with continuing unemployment-related depression and unrelated other neurochemical problems. We're heartsick. I'm trying hard not to cry -- I'm at work, and have to put all of that into the box living somewhere underneath my diaphragm. It's already far too full, I can feel it shoving its way up to my throat, shifting and straining to burst its bonds.

I'm at work and I can't cry and I'm crying anyway.

This comes on top of worrying about my sister, who's having trouble with her TANF, issues with my job, which is the sole source of health insurance for us (and Husband's diabetic, with genetic hypertension and high cholesterol), wondering how I'm going to afford Circe's long-term care (if the prognosis is good enough), and freelance projects gone horribly wrong, and I am out of spoons.

#657 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 05:04 PM:

Jennifer Baughman #657: My sympathies, both for the cat and your stress.

All: I'm currently prepping for next week's family vacation to Yellowstone (celebrating my stepfather's 80th birthday, not that he looks it). And next week when I'm there, I'll probably be pretty much offline, modulo possible Wi-Fi access.

#658 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 06:25 PM:

Jennifer, #657: Ouch -- that's an awful lot of stress. All I can say is, remember to take care of your own health (physical and mental); don't succumb to the fallacy that you have to come last priority because so much is depending on you. If you don't care for yourself under these circumstances, you won't be able to take care of anyone else. Also, GoodThoughts being sent for your husband to be able to find work soon, that being the thing which IMO would have the most directly beneficial effects on your situation.

#659 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 06:46 PM:

Serge Broom @651: Oh my goodness! I did not know about this. Will have to investigate.

&652: If one Googles on [Emma Peel Dalek], a picture will come up, but as far as I can tell, the hosting site is dead:

Jennifer Baughman: Good wishes to everyone in your circle. It's particularly hard to face major pet health issues when your overall abundance is at ebb.

#660 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 06:51 PM:

And word is (I expect most of us follow and have seen this already) that Diana Rigg will be guest-starring in the next series of Doctor Who.

#661 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 07:32 PM:

Jacque @ 660... Look on YouTube for 1999's "The Curse of fatal Death", which was written by one Steven Moffatt, who's known for some later involvement in the resurrection of the series. Mind you, it's not canon, and you'll quickly find out why. :-)

#662 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2012, 08:53 PM:

Jennifer: I'm so sorry to hear about your cat, and your overall stress. My sympathies on all fronts.

#663 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 12:35 AM:


Sorry to hear. I know that state of overwhelm. I hope that something shifts in a positive direction for you, soon.

#664 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 02:04 AM:

B. Durbin @ 634: Are solar panels usually damaged or destroyed by hail? Because I've seen what look like solar panels on some residential roofs around here (NC), and we definitely get hail here. So either I was wrong and those weren't solar panels, or they can be made tough enough to withstand hail, or the owners repair/replace them with some frequency.

#665 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 05:32 AM:

I suspect it depends on the hail. I doubt those solar panels you see are affected by the ordinary hail that people experience, but every so often there is the hail which leaves dents in vehicle metalwork, and a solar panel might not stand that. It's an engineering choice.

So insurance, or a protection gadget?

And, if you have a system that feeds back into the grid, make sure you cut the grid connection if the line goes down.

#666 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 06:45 AM:

Caroline @665: It depends on the panels (both the substrate construction and the structure of the photovoltaic material itself) but some can certainly withstand hail.

Some of the more rugged panels can supposedly have holes punched through them (by hail, bullets, or what have you) without losing very much capacity, though I haven't verified this experimentally.

#667 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 11:27 AM:

Caught in today's spam trap:

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

From an address. I don't think I'll call my lawyer.

#668 ::: Jacque has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 11:29 AM:

...unsurprisingly, for reporting spammer silliness.

But! I have some very lovely Berries & Cream birthday cake....

#669 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 11:33 AM:

Andy Griffith has passed away.

#670 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 12:00 PM:

Gone to that fishing hole in the sky....

#671 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 12:44 PM:


Area corgi/vallhund/shepherd mix responding beyond expectations to physical therapy. Initial incident was most likely neurological, seems to have been rectified with massage and cold laser therapy. Area mutt not thrilled with new "underwater treadmill" treatment, but not nearly as opposed to the water as she once was. Previous Servant Monkey goal to "... get her back legs working enough to measure her for a doggie wheelchair" has been revised to "... continue exercises and keep helping her walk on her harness until she can do it without assistance."

In related news, Area Servant Monkey still unsure why vet was so het up on expensive MRI and surgery and could not think of anything else that could have caused precipitating event when vet at PT place immediately had three other guesses. Area Servant Monkey to begin saving pennies for Doggie Neurologist Consult in the future.

#672 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 12:56 PM:

A photo of Area Dog can be found here. I cannot recommend Physical Therapy highly enough for pets with musculo-skeletal issues. If you have a pet Physical Therapy facility anywhere near and you can afford it, do it! If you live in L.A. I can recommend this facility to you. It has obviously helped with her initial problem and after we get the muscle in her right leg back we think it may help ameliorate the effects of her spondylosis. She is now off her steroid, her narcotic and whatever it was they gave her for back spasms.

#673 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 01:00 PM:

Our power is back, as is that of 3/4s of those who lost PEPCO power and much higher fractions of those served by other power companies. There is much, much anger at PEPCO, whose storm response efforts have been conspicuously slack in comparison for several disasters now. The general view is that too much of the money that should be going to having more crews and doing things like burying wires1 is going to line the pockets of major stockholders (such as the company president).

1For example, one thing that definitely helped BGE's response is that all of Columbia was built with buried lines back in the late 1960s.

#674 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 01:54 PM:

Yay for Area Dog! (And if one squints reeeeelly hard, one can almost see image of Area Servant Monkey reflected in tank glass.)

#675 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 03:49 PM:

Cheers for Area Dog!

#676 ::: Melissa Singer is spending pre-holiday time with the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 03:51 PM:

possibly because a word in the post is, in other contexts, a brand name.

Offers the gnomes a lovely cold beverage considering the day is so hot.

#677 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 04:01 PM:

#674 ::: C. Wingate ::: The buried lines down here in northern Virginia were a major benefit last weekend. Our lights flickered a couple of times but we never lost power.

#678 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 04:23 PM:

Tom, thanks for the link. But I find my eyes really moist right now.... in a good way.

#679 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 04:26 PM:

Power outage here since 5:30 pm Friday. I'm posting from my Kindle. Don't know when power will be back on. AEP says July 7th. I'm dubious.

Cooling off at public library-- also charging phone. More when l can get back to my computer.

#680 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 05:19 PM:


A portrait of Chuck Taggart (Gumbopages) as Danny Glick (from Stephen King's Salem's Lot) by Glenn Chadbourne.

#681 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 06:45 PM:

The obvious solution to a power grid vulnerable to storm damage is a cut in the Capital Gains tax rate, which will allow everyone* to buy a generator.

* Everyone who matters. {Disdainful sniff.}

#682 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 07:03 PM:


Went to the dentist yesterday.

The insurance wonks / receptionists managed to spell my name incorrectly (Stephan) on the reminder-sticker for a followup appointment, and incorrectly in a entirely new and different way when they sent Walgreens' pharmacy my antibiotic prescription (Stephon!?!?!?).

They had my correctly spelled name on the screen right in front of them.

[Napoleon Dynamite Voice] Idiots! [/Napoleon Dynamite Voice]

#683 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 07:53 PM:

Stéphane Jones @ 683... The worst 'they' have ever done to my first name has been to drop the last 'E'. For some reason the first 'E' is seldom turned into a 'U'.

#684 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 08:17 PM:

Persephone @ 678:

Despite my neighborhood having buried power lines, we still lost power for a bit under 8 hours on Friday night/early Saturday morning.

Since the power didn't go out until several hours after the storm had passed, I suspect it was either a) a cascade failure caused by outages and repairs elsewhere on the grid, or b) deliberately taken out to facilitate overall repairs.

I lean towards a), because Duke Energy would be in for some shit (literally!) from the sewer district if they took our neighborhood power out without warning - the sewage pumping station at the end of the street doesn't have a backup generator.

#685 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 09:11 PM:

Stefan Jones: Some offices send prescriptions to Walgreens via fax, which would explain the Stephan/Stephon change (PEBKAC on the part of the pharmacy tech).

#686 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 09:44 PM:

Re 66* and earlier, hail and solar panels:

Heeeere we go. Pardon the brand-name dropping, O Gnomes, but I wanted to look at someone who'd actually be around for the full 25 years of the warranty. from here

"Are Sharp’s modules tested for damage due to hail impact?
Sharp does not test for damage due to hail impact. Sharp’s modules for sale in the USA
are UL listed (listed to UL 1703). As part of the listing process, the modules are subjected
to a series of tests performed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. One of
these tests, the impact test, involves dropping a 2” diameter steel ball weighing 1.18 lbs
from a height of 51 inches onto the glass surface of the module and seeing if there is
sufficient damage to create a safety hazard.
Some Sharp modules are IEC 61646 certified. The IEC testing protocol includes a test in
which balls of ice are shot at the module. IEC certified Sharp modules are tested with 25
mm ice balls weighing 7.53 g fired at 23 m/s. Sharp does not warrant the module against
breakage from impact."

Looks like the terminal velocity of a 1" hailstone is actually lower than 23 m/s (46 MPH, close enough) so the IEC certified modules should be ok in most conditions.

#687 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 10:02 PM:

#685 ::: Singing Wren ::: In the four years we've lived here, our power hasn't gone out, but it flickers a lot. It's pretty routine to come home from work and find the clocks have all reset. If nothing else, though, the buried lines weren't available to come crashing down on the roads like they did in other areas. Sorry to hear yours did go for a while.

Dominion Virginia Power just announced that tonight's round of thunderstorms is "impacting areas we restored this week." Hopefully the damage is minimal; we've already had 17+ storm- and heat-related deaths in the past week.

#688 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 10:04 PM:

As long as the typo is in your name, rather than in the prescription...

#689 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 11:01 PM:

I feel very thread-crossy. Pepco got our power back late last night (about three hours after I got home from a vacation, so I didn't actually have to deal with the multi-day outage that most people did). Additionally I am dealing with unexplained cat health issues, that may be related to said cat being alone in a dark and hot house for three days (with a cat-sitter looking in on him daily, but that's still stressful) and that may require a trip to the emergency vet tomorrow, on the evening of July 4, in Washington DC. Joy of joys. (The issue is a possible urinary blockage, which can be fatal on a very short timescale. So even though he seems to be okay for now - he peed himself out of fear at today's visit to the emergency vet, meaning they couldn't get a sample for a diagnosis but also that for the time being he is observationally Not Blocked - he could be not-okay enough tomorrow night that a 12-hour delay in the vet visit would be unacceptable.)

#690 ::: lorax has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2012, 11:03 PM:

My first time with the gnomes; truly I am honored, but have no goodies to offer them from my empty refrigerator. I suspect mention of a much-maligned Maryland utility provider may be the issue.

#691 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 01:42 AM:

I was very amused to note, as I spent my evening inhaling* The Apocalypse Codex, that it's dedicated to Teresa

*The Amazing Girlfriend was commenting on my giggles at various points

#692 ::: thomas loses frontpage ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 01:50 AM:

Is it just me, or has the front page commented out everything from Uncle Jim's Happy Independence Day to his Holy Rood of Bromholm?

#693 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 01:59 AM:

It looks like it is just my computer or browser: my phone shows it correctly.

#694 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 02:17 AM:

So I was wandering around on YouTube, like you do, and I came across a video which had a soundtrack from a band called "Two Steps From Hell".

The song intrigued me, so I had a look at the band's wikipedia article and some of their other work.

I like film music. I especially like the music from dramatic scenes. Turns out what these guys music especially intended for -- trailers. Well, you've all seen trailers! Turn that "dramatic" dial up to 11. They have two albums so far, and they are chock full of teh crack. I almost feel ashamed of myself for buying them.

#695 ::: David Goldfarb has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 02:20 AM:

Hail, gnomes. Have some nice gazpacho? Fresh, homemade.

#696 ::: Antonia T. Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 03:36 AM:

Thomas @693

Something about the front page isn't working well with the current version of Opera. Sidebars OK, central main column can do weird things when scrolling.

With the embedded videos, the video windows are covering over the text. It may depend on the screen-size setting.

The problem only appears in the front page.

#697 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 03:43 AM:

Initial reports suggest that CERN has announced they have found the Higgs boson, but be wary of initial hasty journalism.

#698 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 04:28 AM:

It now looks as if the Higgs boson has been discovered. 5 sigma at 125 - 126 GeV

Live coverage of the announcement from The Guardian

#699 ::: Dave Bell's link to the Higgs boson announcement has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 04:30 AM:

Oh well, these days one even seems to get spammed by Government Ministers from the UK. The gnomes must be busy.

#700 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 04:55 AM:

I just saw a story on the Science News website indicating the same thing. They're saying a mass of 125 GeV.

#701 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 06:31 AM:

I almost never get long power outages (I'm across the street from a substation -- I did lose for a few days in a previous year's "microburst" outage), but got a blink-out overnight Friday.

#702 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 06:46 AM:

David Goldfarb @695: Link-ez vous, s'il vous plait?

Dave Bell Higgs boson

I persistently misread that.

Also, does this make anybody else think of Dr. Larry Fleinhardt?

#703 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 07:21 AM:

Jacque @ 703... One of the characters in "Girl Genius" is a Bosun called Higgs.

#704 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 11:05 AM:

The 'Deleted Scenes' column indicates the CERN YouTube the other day wasn't supposed to have been public. But SN has had the story on their front page since then.

(I was interested in the feathered (or at least very fuzzy) young dinosaur. Picture isn't good enough.)

#705 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 11:17 AM:

Jacque @ 703: Someone, somewhere, is searching porn sites for "Higgs' bosom."

#706 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 11:56 AM:

D. Potter @ 706: Higgs' bosom and the Large Hardon Collider? ("She lepton him; his hands gauged her bosom. Her body quarked with ecstasy.")

#707 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 12:29 PM:

"He was strange. She had charm."

#708 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 12:35 PM:

Daniel Russell is teaching a class-- six 50 minute videos which will be available for 2 weeks. I'm not sure whether the videos will continue to be available after that, but the class is set up to make it easy to have contact with other students for those two weeks.

The classes will be released daily starting on July 10.

Some tips, including changes to boolean searches.

Registration is open from June 26, 2012 till July 16, 2012.

I found out about it at Less Wrong.

This entry was posted at

#709 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 12:36 PM:

I've just posted a comment that the gnomes seem to find entertaining.

#710 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 12:56 PM:

Some good news for the day: Michigan governor vetoes voter suppression law.

A Republican governor (and the instigator of some very worrying moves in other areas) vetoes a GOP-backed law on a topic dear to the hearts of neocons everywhere. One wonders what's going on behind the scenes. A cynical commenter suggests that this was a "safe" veto, which he knows will be overridden by the legislature.

Nonetheless, for the moment the news is good.

#711 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 05:22 PM:

Backyard Ornithology AKICIML: I know I should know what this bird (photographed waiting patiently for fish a few hours ago at the junction of the Chicago River North Branch and the Northside Channel in River Park) is called, because I used to be seriously down with species and lifelists and crud when I was in grade school ... but I can't call it up, and messing about on isn't finding it for me either.

Save me from my incompetence -- do you know what it is? :->

#712 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 05:37 PM:

And of course immediately after I post, I find out it's a Black-Crowned Night Heron, .

A similar thing happens when I call my husband to find out where some small object is that he might know the location ... I call him up while still wandering the house, and 9 times out of ten all I get out is "So, I was just calling to see if you knew where the--- never mind."

So thank you for collectively helping me find it. :->

#713 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 05:44 PM:

Elliott Mason: It's a 404 bird -- the link is a relative link within Making Light.

#714 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 05:53 PM:

Elliott Mason, I recently brute-forced an identification of a grey catbird. Look at bird a lot, look at the Wiki page for 'birds that have been scene in Iowa ever', rule out things it is not, like waterfowl or extinct, and open the pages for every single other possibility until one leaps out and screams THIS.

Why no, I don't have a job right now, why do you ask?

#715 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 05:59 PM:

FIXED LINK: Here is the bird photo.

#716 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 06:03 PM:

Diatryma: A slightly better brute-forcer is available at (or its app); their Browse function lets you look at the "all birds known to occur regularly in a given state/province/etc" list, but their main search engine lets you specify things like main color, breast color, eye color, body size, beak shape, and so on and gives you a limited list of choices to look at. There's a teensy bit of mystery-meat navigation going on in their search engine (i.e. if you're not already familiar with all its features and uses it can be opaque), but still, an amazing resource.

#717 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 06:26 PM:

Ooh, thanks for that "what bird?" site! I just identified the bird I saw on the way to church last week as a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. I'm always surprised to see birds of prey in my semi-urban environment.

#718 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 06:38 PM:

I'm not terribly fond of WhatBird myself, preferring an old-fashioned field guide, but it's probably the best online option if you really don't have a clue rather than if you're just trying to recall exactly how to distinguish between a few known options and can individually search for the species in question. (For something like the Gray Catbird or the adult Black-crowned Night-Heron it's going to do a great job, but for more subtle distinctions it might be difficult, and might present a plausible identification without indicating that there are equally plausible alternatives.)

#719 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 06:47 PM:

I see Cooper's hawks at least once a month - they're similar to sharpies, but a little larger. The bird-watching key is that Cooper's have rounded tails, like Os, and sharpies have tails with square corners (sharp!). They both go flap-flap-flap-glide.

Why, yes, bird watchers do have trouble telling some birds apart. (I am so not getting into flycatchers.)

#720 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2012, 07:13 PM:

Jacque @703: The link is the obvious one: Also if you do iTunes Music Store, you can search for that name there.

Elliott Mason @713: On some game forums, they call that "PoP" or "Power of Posting" -- you make a post asking for a clue related to solving a game, and as soon as you make the post you solve it yourself.

#721 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 12:13 AM:

The best explanation I've seen so far of the Higgs Boson's search and importance, via a cartoon video drawn by Jorge Cham of PhD Comics.

#722 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 12:18 AM:

Whoops. That was the wrong vid (that one was about Dark Matter). This one here is Higgs Boson Explained.

#723 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 12:18 PM:

Looking at the "Drive a Tank" particle...

A lot of those vehicles are not tanks, though they do have some.

What I recognise:

FV433 Field Artillery, Self-Propelled "Abbot"

FV432 Carrier, Personnel

FV4201 Tank "Chieftain"


They also look to have an AVRE.

Only one of these should be called a tank.

Here in the UK we do Tank Paintball

#724 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 03:58 PM:

Caroline and Steve (#707, etc)

They were up and down so much the observers couldn't tell top from bottom.

#725 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 04:04 PM:

HLN: Local residents report themselves pleased to once again only own one house. "It's a relief," one said to this reporter. "We were really expecting it to take a year or more to sell the old place, so we'll definitely take six months." Sources close to the couple report their net from the sale was also much higher than expected, if not quite as high as might be hoped.

#726 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 06:47 PM:

HLN: It is sunny, 72 degrees and 40% humidity in Bellingham, Washington. "When the sun doesn't come out for 3 straight months, we must remember this, and try not to whine," said area woman, rudely speaking with her mouth full of Rainier cherries.

#727 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 07:51 PM:

Elliott Mason @726: Congratulations, both on the sale and the unexpected profits! I'm sure that's a huge weight off your shoulders.

Feline update: Today is Circe's fourth day of sub-cutaneous fluid therapy, and she seems to be responding very, very well. She's gone from lethargic and very confused to alert and extremely eager for affection and company. We syringe-fed her Monday and most of Tuesday; she didn't really like it, but she ate and drank. Tuesday I tried letting her lick the water-thinned food off my hand, and when that was a success, fed her off a tablespoon until she was done. As of today, she can eat and drink almost normally, except for needing the bowls and plates held for her to get to them; she's still too weak to stand for more than a couple minutes. We're carrying her to the litter box every few hours, though there's evidence she's also going on her own.

She did have a burst of energy yesterday, enough to gallop across the living room to escape Freddie's over-enthusiastic attempt to play, but it left her exhausted.

With the exception of the daily needle sticks, she's perfectly happy right now, and her improvement's been very clear -- slow, but clear. It's enough to make us cautiously hopeful, and as long as she remains happy and alert, we'll keep her going.

#728 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 09:52 PM:

Jennifer, I am very glad to hear that Circe's quality of life is improving. Yay for happy and alert and being with her people.

#729 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 11:38 PM:

David Goldfarb, don't feel guilty about buying trailer-specific music. We have it, and it's basically mini-classical or mini-rock or whatever—a specific theme in a short period of time. Think of it as musical haiku.

You also should not be made to feel guilty for liking anything. I mean, I have fond childhood memories of "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry, which is on many folks' lists as one of the All Time Worst Popular Songs. You can like what you like for whyever you like it, though I will say that anyone who admits to liking Nickelback will get some new music suggestions from me.

#730 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2012, 11:50 PM:

728 ::: Jennifer Baughman @728: It is a sad statement on the nature of the current property market when I tell you that we were happy to get as high a price we did, but perversely both these things are true as well: We got in the range of 1/5-1/4 what we paid for it(almost exactly 8.5 years ago), and our net after closing costs will just about pay off our highest-balance credit card.

It was definitely a 'nice car'-sized chunk of money, not a 'nice house'-sized chunk. But it's sold, and for more than almost any properties in a mile radius have sold for in over a year. And we no longer have to pay property taxes, insurance, power, gas, and the alarm company (all of which were necessary to preserve even the small resale value it had).

#731 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 12:53 AM:

B. Durbin@730: The word "almost" in my original post does actually apply; I manage to avoid feeling guilty about any of my pleasures. I appreciate the support, though, and thank you.

#732 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 01:09 AM:

AKICOML: Several years ago there was an online article about some well-off white dude, college-age or a little older, who had gone out into the world with only a duffle bag of clothing and the money in his wallet* and 6 months later had a good job, an apartment, a new car, and the other accoutrements of privilege. This was, of course, presented as something anybody could do if they REALLY WANTED TO. I remember writing something about it, but I don't recall whether it was here or on LJ, and if the latter, I didn't tag it in a way that's letting me find it again. Can anybody else point me back at the article, so that I can get a date on it which will help me search?

* And a credit card, of course -- but that was only in case of emergency.

#733 ::: Tamlyn ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 05:33 AM:

B. Durbin @730 I like Nickelback ;)

HLN: Local woman has come out of internetless month plus still relatively sane, though with a massive phone bill from constant calls to the internet company: "No, it's not a fault on the property like your person said. Send the technician out again." Housemate suggests the lack would have weaned local woman off; local woman is vehement in saying it only emphasised how much she needs her internet. (Local woman also holds her first ever published story and is suitably excited.)

I am hopeless with both birds and plants. I still want someone to build a program into my glasses that will identify them for me.

#734 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 11:12 AM:

Yay Elliott and co! I'm frankly amazed by how fast you were able to sell it in this market. Congratulations!

I've not been able to get over there to visit lately because of a bit of HLN; it seems that Local Woman has been, although still technically laid off, working a series of 40 hour weeks lately. Alas, the person that was giving Local Woman most of her work is now on vacation for a month, so hours are certainly going to go down; just, with luck, not as far down as they'd been for a while.

#735 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 11:42 AM:

Congratulations on your publication, Tamlyn!

#736 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 01:36 PM:

Here's a publisher attempting to cash in on the Higgs Boson craze with a press release touting a backlist book on the subject.

(Strangely, new copies don't seem to be available from Amazon or other online retailers. There doesn't seem to be an e-book edition. And since the Higgs was only discovered this week, the h-book hasn't been invented yet. So maybe the publisher isn't really going to cash in. Perhaps the press release was only issued for purposes of prestige?)

#737 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 03:09 PM:

I'm very pleased with my dog.

My sister and her family arrived on the 4th and stayed overnight before heading out on a tour of Western states.

Kira, who growls at the door when she hears footsteps on the stairs, put up with the invasion very well, doing nothing more obnoxious that butting her head between people's legs in hopes of getting a neck-rub. (Rather startling, the first time that happens.)

#738 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 05:00 PM:

me, #733: Well, quite by accident I found what I'd posted about it here, including a no-longer-functional link to the article, which apparently was in the Christian Science Monitor in mid-February of 2008. Without the article itself, my commentary becomes... not pointless, but less clear; it's not really stand-alone. So now my question becomes, were there any other articles about this guy that might still be around, and which someone with better Google-fu than mine might be able to locate?

#739 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 05:24 PM:

Re: On degrees, credentialism, and the corruption of our elites

It takes letting the perfect be the enemy of the good to a whole new level of pure stupid to discover a benevolent social institution isn't as benevolent as you thought and come to the conclusion: burn it. Or, I don't know, reform it? Maybe we could do that instead?

#740 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 05:26 PM:

Lee @739:

Glad you were able to find your previous post. The link to the Christian Science Monitor works for me, if I avoid the attempted autoredirect and manually replace 'stateorigin2' in the nonfunctional one with 'www' as it is in the link you posted. Googling on the man's name informed me that he wrote a book (which sounds insufferably smarmy and oozing of privilege), and the book's wikipedia site has some more links (mostly to reviews of the book, rather than earlier coverage of the project):

#741 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 06:39 PM:

Well, I finally made it back. The power was restored a little after 4pm yesterday. We've cleaned out the upstairs refrigerator...that leaves the basement fridge and freezer to be done tomorrow. We are disposing of a depressing amount of food.

One of local rags is calling it "Thunder-geddon." Daily temps have been in the upper 90s (F) with one record 100F day. There is still a large number of people without power -- some won't get it back until Sunday.

We lost our most of our oldest goldfish -- even putting them out in the pond didn't help. I cleaned the tank yesterday, and will probably go looking at fantails when the weather moderates next week.

This weekend we're just hunkering down in the house, the high here tomorrow may reach 106F. We did our shopping today, and are using as little power as possible, since we've been warned that even with so many off the grid, the power company is experiencing record demand.

#742 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 06:42 PM:

Lori Coulson @ 742... Sorry to hear about your goldfish.

#743 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 06:46 PM:

Lee, #739:

The Internet Wayback Machine has it: "Homeless: Can you build a life from $25?."

Adam Shepard's own Web site.

Amazon page for his book Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream.

Ten-minute clip from his C-SPAN appearance; check the C-SPAN video library for a longer version of the talk.

You can probably find more links now.

#744 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 07:01 PM:

lorax, #741: Thanks! Having a link to the Wikipedia article provides the missing context. When I tried to click on the link in my original post, for some reason it redirected me to an Eartlink help page. WTFIDE.

#745 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 08:24 PM:

Thanks, Serge. They were pretty neat fish, I'd never had any survive more than a couple of years -- these were almost 5 years old, and would come to the top of the tank and splash when they were hungry (or breakfast was late!).

The folks I feel sorry for are the ones with elaborate salt water or tropical tanks -- if the owner didn't have a generator, those poor creatures died the first day.

I haven't called my favorite aquarium store yet...they had a 1,000 gallon indoor pond with a dozen large Koi, a huge tank with stingrays you could pet, two aisles of salt water tanks, a large central area with tanks of various underwater plants, and the tropical fish were in aisles with signs showing which continent they were from. I'm hoping they had a generator, or didn't lose power at all.

At least all of our four footed friends are fine. They're not happy with the heat since it means we haven't been able to go for our morning walks this week.

One cheery note -- the local hummingbirds have taken to buzzing the kitchen window when the nectar in their feeder needs replacing. I'm not sure which is funnier, the hummer looking for a feeder that isn't there because it's being cleaned; or the one hovering so close to the window that he's almost got his face pressed to the glass like a kid in a candy store.

#746 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 08:48 PM:

What happened in Virginia: It's called a derecho.

#747 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 09:03 PM:

Ah, hummers letting you know that you aren't doing your job! (The Anna's that are the common species on the Pacific coast do this too. With added cussing, sometimes.)

#748 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 09:40 PM:

Lori: I'm sorry about your fish as well, and echo your hopes that the pet store came through okay.

#749 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2012, 10:26 PM:

Jennifer, I'm glad to hear about Circe's improved condition. Sending good thoughts.

#750 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 12:30 AM:

#746 ::: Lori Coulson ::: That store sounds amazing. (And I hope they made it through the power failures.) What's the name of it? If it's anywhere near me I'd love to visit. I'm not an aquarium-keeper myself, but I love looking at other people's tanks.

#751 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 04:15 AM:

Avram's latest Phosphene, on security theatre, has the site obviously using "smart" advertising. So I get an advert for a UK-based supplier of qualified security guards.

#752 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 07:57 AM:

Lori: Ouch about the fish -- I should hope a pet store would have generators, for exactly this reason....

Yesterday Gracie spotted something scurrying in the kitchen and snapped it up before I could focus on it for more than "my, that's a big spider". Today, I found another one on the stairs: a Grass Spider. I briefly considered letting it hunt the cockroaches over my vacation week, but wound up ejecting it from the house, because I don't want webs on my carpeted stairs.

#753 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 10:01 AM:

In very hot weather, I sometimes sprinkle a few water drops on their webs in shrubs - they'll drink one.
They're surprisingly invisible, for something that common. (I've had six or eight at a time, in a three-foot bay tree.)

#754 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 10:40 AM:

P J Evans #754: Well, they do have classic dirt/bark camouflage. And (by observation) they retreat to corners and crannies.

Trying to think what I can toss to make some spare room in my bags for souvenirs....

#755 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 10:44 AM:

Writer (and former Navy person) John Hemry provided a link to an article about the Army's work with Pixelated Camouflage.

I especially liked the part where it says that "...lab tests showed that it didn't perform as well as other designs. But the Army's textile researchers now say that military brass had already made up their minds..."

#756 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 12:19 PM:

#740 ::: heresiarch

When I get around to my post on the History of Death I'll have some things to say about the dire state of medical education in the US in the 19th century. The creation of the AMA, the creation of state accreditation boards, the creation of a curriculum: These were all positive benefits.

We really, really don't want to go back.

#757 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 12:30 PM:

I really appreciate the condolences, I hadn't realized how attached I had become to those fish.

Jennifer, yay for Circe!

Persephone @571: The store is Aquarium Adventure. They have 4 locations, two in Illinois, and one each in Columbus, Ohio and Long Island, New York.

Tao, our big Siamese (think Disney's Si and Am on steroids, all elongated lines) is peevish because we won't let him outdoors in the heat. He disappeared on Thursday because we kept him inside due to the fireworks in the park next door on July 4th. I managed to nab him when he came back last night for dinner.

At the moment, not a creature is stirring here...

#758 ::: Lori Coulson has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 12:32 PM:

Hi, folks -- how 'bout croissants, honey and coffee?

I'll bet it was my invocation of the 'house of mouse' wasn't it?

#759 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 02:40 PM:

Our beloved daughter, Pippin, had a beloved goldfish, Sparklepire, who died in a heatwave here a summer ago. We don't have air conditioning because hey, northern New Hampshire, who needs it?

Alas for the little guy. He just loved riding his bicycle around the tank (when no one was looking) and making threats (in Spanish) against fishermen. He was three and a half years old.

#760 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 03:50 PM:

There's a gif going around of a red stone fountain in the shape of a book, where the water forms a series of ever-turning pages. Many people have said it's in Budapest.

Does anybody here know where in Budapest? The picture, which is closely cropped, shows a cement-paved square or plaza with bollards to (probably) keep cars out.

I've tried various combinations of 'book' 'fountain' and after a while, 'budapest,' in Google, Lycos, and Yahoo, and this is as far as I've gotten. Aerial resolution in Google Maps is barely at a level where I'd see it, even if I wanted to crawl all over this rather large municipal area, and there's apparently no real Street View at all.

#761 ::: Kip W gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 03:52 PM:

[something clever about gnomes, links, and food]

#762 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 03:55 PM:

The BBC has posted a a set of pictures from London's Gay Pride march, today.

Pay particular attention to the fourth in the set. There is a Commander and a Lieutenant Commander, RN, Two petty officers, and quite a few other ratings. Since they are wearing medals, this must be a serious ceremonial occasion, with some official recognition.

We cannot see many of the badges, but it looks as though the Commander is an officer in Submarines. The rank of Commander is usually held by the commanding officer of a British nuclear submarine, but he could be wearing the dolphin badge if he had been moved sideways, after failing the Perisher, and then been promoted in other duties.

#763 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 05:07 PM:

There was this kid who wanted to meet HellBoy.
Guess what Ron Perlman did with the Make-A-Wish Foundation?

Photos can be seen HERE.

#764 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2012, 06:19 PM:

#763: That kid has great taste in heroes!

#765 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 12:08 AM:

Tamlyn: We had more than a year of no personal internet back in 2001-2002 after the local phone company (Qwest, before they got kicked by that big lawsuit about their horrible customer service) said Oh yes, we can set that up—and then failed to do so. In fact, they were charging us for a service they had failed to provide, and said when we complained, "Well, we called the number that we set up there." This was a line we specifically stated in the setup documents wouldn't have a phone attached, BTW,

So they sent out a tech. No dice. Again. No dice. After several rounds of back & forth we finally got hold of someone who might well have been the only helpful & knowledgeable person on staff, who explained what the problem was—only some of the lines going into that apartment complex were DSL-capable, and they couldn't tell which ones until they did a hookup. Moreover, they couldn't cross them off a list, so it was entirely possible to go from a bad one to another bad one BACK to the first bad one, with switching fees each time.

She suggested we just drop the DSL attempt, since it wasn't likely to bear fruit. We liked her. Unfortunately, the next step was the company absolutely refusing to tell us where the problem was, which was important; the apartment complex was in charge of the lines past a certain point, and until they knew where the problem was, they didn't know if they could fix it. Since "high-speed internet capable" was part of their draw, they were kind of invested in making it work. Don't know if they ever got an answer; at least they hadn't six months later, which was the last time I thought to ask.

The hilarious coda was that the company sent us to collections for failing to pay the bill for the service they failed to provide. We told the collections company what was up, and they basically shrugged and said "We'll quit bothering you." Now, if you've ever had any experience with collection companies, they just don't do that. Unless there's a preponderance of evidence that the company is seriously in the wrong, and they don't want to get caught in the fallout. That big judgement came in the next year, so we knew why they were so accommodating. We finally got internet after another company laid the lines for cable internet.

Oh, right. recommendations. Spock's Beard. Particularly "June", "Ghosts of Autumn", and "Their Names Escape Me." The first two are just sheer goodness and the last is the result of a Kickstarter benefit—every name at the end is the name of someone who bought that level, as they wished it to be sung. Yup, it's a song of all the subscribers.

Northern Kings. Because what's more fun than a bunch of Finnish metalheads doing covers of 80s pop songs?

Also look up "Nickelback same song twice." It's funny and I suspect you'll like it even as a fan.

#766 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 12:56 AM:


I have noticed, recently, that "recent comments" that I clicked on on one computer -- and that therefore are shown in a different color by Firefox -- are ALSO shown as clicked on when I view them on ANOTHER computer.

Now, I have Firefox "synced" between these machines. I suppose that this is the feature responsible . . . but if not, is there some kind of email-keyed link-clicky history implemented by Making Light itself?

#767 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 10:43 AM:

Stefan Jones: The clicked-on-link thing is totally remembered by Firefox, and I imagine it must be syncing.

#768 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 11:27 AM:

B. Durbin, 766, "Nickelback same song twice."

That's the only Nickelback recording I've heard (I know it turned up years ago). I think it's pretty good harmonic composition, actually. Has Nickelback ever tried to perform it live? I'd give them a lot of respect for trying, never mind pulling it off.

#769 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 03:02 PM:

HLN: Local woman, for the first time in over a decade, is moved to write fanfic, receives beta from Nebula award nominee, revises and posts fic, immediately receives review in which the word "badassery" features prominently. Woman feels her existence is validated.

#770 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 03:49 PM:

Kip W @ #761:

There's a blog post here with another picture of the fountain, and possibly more location details if you can read Hungarian (about all I can get from Google Translate is that it's in or near a university).

#771 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 03:53 PM:

I have a comment held by the gnomes.

#772 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 04:24 PM:

A few more photos of that book-fountain:

#773 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 04:40 PM:

With a little more research, I'm pretty confident that the book fountain is in University Square (Egyetem tér), located at around 47°29'27"N,19°03'30"E. I think it's too new to show up on Google Earth satellite images, though.

#774 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 05:49 PM:

Tim, Jim — Egy millió köszönet! Your answers were fast, responsive, and exactly what I was hoping to get. Heck, two million thanks!

#775 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2012, 06:42 PM:

Lila @770

Any review with the word badassery in it is a good review! Unless, obviously, it's in a sentence like "What this story is sadly lacking is some badassery". Hmm. (Checks unofficial book reviewing schedule. 'Old Curiosity Shop'. Begins composing review.)

#776 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 09:59 AM:

Is something like Password Safe a good idea? If not, other recommendations? I'm not sure what to Google to check these out.

#777 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 12:26 PM:

heresiarch @ 740 and Jim @757: As it happens, I just finished reading John M. Barry's The Great Influenza, and the first quarter of the book is an examination of the state of medical science and education in the mid-to-late 19th century, and the people who changed that.

And Jim's absolutely right: we really, really don't want to go back.

Everyone: Thank you so much for the kind thoughts! They've played a huge part in keeping us going. And today, I can report good news -- Friday, I had Circe up on the couch next to me for several hours, and she kept re-arranging herself to snuggle a little closer. Saturday, she was well enough to get up, do a patrol of the apartment, jump up onto the bed next to Husband and me to snuggle at bedtime, and smack Freddie when he didn't get that even though she felt better she still didn't want to play. Her recovery, especially in the past few days, has exceeded our wildest hopes, and I am very, very happy to say that it looks like we're in for the long haul.

Also, Lori, I'm very sorry for your goldfish.

Carol Kimball @777: I use LastPass, and pay the $12/year for the premium version to have the Android version; however, before I got my smartphone, I was perfectly happy with the free version. It's compatible with most browsers, it's discreet, and both robust and user-friendly. I love it; it means I only have to remember one strong password.

#778 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 01:57 PM:

Thank you, Jennifer.

As I don't yet have mobile devices, I'll go with the freebie for now.

#779 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 02:00 PM:

Kip #775:

Tim did the heavy lifting and got there first. I just Googled.

#780 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 02:24 PM:

This week in Highlights of the Human Intellect:

Yesterday The Roommate was Skyping her parents from her bedroom. I was in the living room with Ardala, who was beginning to act up, mostly via her patented punching-above-her-weight-class bark. Knowing that as a herding dog, she mightily disliked having her Servant Monkeys in places where she could not see them both and also, that attention was being paid to something that was not her I decided to once again go against all training techniques and just give her what she wanted, in the interest of her not waking the neighborhood with her barkings. I helped her through the living room, down the hall and to the bed of her exercise pen in The Roommate's bedroom. I had brought my Nook and began reading when the barking started again. Wondering if she was feeling lonely and ignored, I came in the ex pen to give her some pettings and maybe play with a squeak toy. Utterly uninterested, she immediately got off her bed, shoved past me and gimped out of the pen. About a minute later I felt a little bored myself and decided to get my Nook when I noticed Ardala, quietly lying at "alert", back to me, directly outside the ex pen door. My own [expletive deleted] dog had herded me into her pen.

Ardala seems to have had one trauma after another since about October of last year. Even now she is still not quite walking, but she seems to be in much better spirits - she's getting her old personality back. Sadly, in the interim I had forgotten what a total dick she is.

#781 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 02:31 PM:

Uhm, don't know what rubric to slide this one under - HLN doesn't quite cut is, as local woman was watching a Japanese news source when she encountered a hamster playing dead after being "finger shot". And thought immediately of Teresa.

Crazy(and giggled because she'd been primed by a previous spot of a budgie walking/balancing on a tennis ball...)Soph

#782 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 02:34 PM:

nerdycellist: She does seem to have missed the part where the herd dog takes instruction from the human. Ya gotta give her points for ingenuity, though, right?

#783 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 03:20 PM:

crazysoph @782: the video linked to it, called something like "prove hamster is alive," is pretty good too.

#784 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 07:14 PM:

Checking in from Yellowstone Lodge before dinner.... So far we've had a mini-class in geology, and visited a Bear and Wolf Discovery Center. I'm half-recovered from the trip down here, but now tired from maintaining focus for so long. Tomorrow is the "athletic day" -- kayaking (my parents are passing on that one), biking (I may pass) and horseback riding.

#785 ::: David Harmon has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 07:17 PM:

Alas, All I've got for them is a cookie from the airline...

#786 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 07:27 PM:

Jacque @#783 -

We're not sure if Ardala had been trained to herd (we are at least her third owners) or if it's just instinct. When we acquired her we considered having her herding instinct tested and taking her to herding classes. We debated as to whether teaching her to herd sheep would actually help her get any of her potential herding ya-yas out, or if it would just encourage her to develop more herding ya-yas. In the end it was a bit too expensive and not terribly convenient so we went with more traditional training.

I think if I get another herding-x dog we will be going to herding classes so that she can learn how to take direction.*

* actually, so the primate can learn how to give direction. "Dog Training" is a total misnomer, as it is almost 100% for the human.

#787 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 07:34 PM:

Neil W @ #776: oh yes. In fact, the review basically said "mission accomplished", as far as I'm concerned. My only regret is that, as it was an anonymous review, I can't send thanks in return.

#788 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 07:39 PM:

AKICIML: Has anyone had experience with Mac Keeper or a similar program? My elderly MacBook runs ever more slowly, and I suspect malware or spyware.

#789 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 07:45 PM:

Kip at #761, others at 771, 773, 774, 775:

Googling for more about Budapest's Egyetem Tér book-shaped fountain led me to something that may amuse those who have seen this summer's Avengers movie.

Avoiding spoilers, Hawkeye (or Clint) and the Black Widow (Natasha) are facing down an advancing horde of bad guys. They share a clichéd moment of adventurers-and-old-companions dialogue.

Some Twitterer (I'm at a loss to figure out who) has transformed the moment into this:

Natasha: Just like Budapest all over again!

Clint: You and I remember Budapest very differently.

Natasha: That’s because you were too fascinated by the book fountain to notice anything else.


#790 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 08:36 PM:

Bill Higgins @ #790

*is ded*

As fate would have it the fic that got the good review is a Hawkeye and BW fic. And now I wish, so very much, that it had included that line.

#791 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 08:53 PM:

On the subject of reviews, I've just read Scalzi's "The God Engines" and it is the strangest thing I've read in quite some time. Highly recommended, especially for people who like applied theology in their fiction.

#792 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 09:00 PM:

Hyperlocal news... It hasn't even stopped raining and already toads have come out of the desert's ground and are calling each other to have sex.

#793 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 09:05 PM:

Lila #789: There is still almost no Mac malware in circulation. I have never heard of an actual case of “slowed down because of malware” on a Mac; it might as well be an urban legend.

I don't know anything bad about MacKeeper (except that I've seen it advertised via popunders), but I would be wary of trying to improve performance by adding software.

Unfortunately, my approach to figuring out the exact reason why your system is slow would involve a lot of sitting down at it and feeling around, which is hard to condense into a ML comment, so I can't really offer any concrete advice other than to find a local friend who knows what all those numbers in Activity Monitor mean to take a look at it.

But perhaps it is more straightforward. What are you doing when you notice it being slow, and what application are you using, and what exactly is it slow to do?

(While we're at it: do you have complete and current backups?)

#794 ::: Tamlyn ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 09:24 PM:

Due to Nickelback's, uh, similar sound, I don't tend to listen to more than a few songs in one go... but I didn't realise it was that similar!

@778 - Glad to hear the good report from Circe

#795 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 09:26 PM:

Addendum: I actually conflated two days of the trip - kayaking is tomorrow, bike and horse riding the day after. I'm exhausted enough that I'm punting the evening class, and will probably turn in early.

For general interest, this is a grandparent/grandchild thing called Road Scholar, but my parents (alone of a dozen or so families) had the sense to bring the middle generation (sister, BiL, and me) as well. (My nieces by my other sister are stil in camp.)

#796 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 10:47 PM:

OK, this is outrageous. Some people from TSA Louisville need to be fired RIGHT THE FUCK NOW. United Airlines in Rochester likewise.

I can't believe this kind of shit still goes on in this day and age.

In lighter news, Perception sucks out loud. First, they call McCormack's character a neuroscientist when he's clearly a psychologist. Second, couldn't they teach him to say "aphasic"? "Aphasiac" my ass. FSM save us.

#797 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 10:54 PM:

WTF I don't even - That's so over the line they'd probably have to hold me back. (Have they ever considered that some deaf people are lawyers?)

#798 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 11:15 PM:

Re: 797

There's no excuse for that. How awful.

In possibly brighter news, I noticed that a number of theaters in NYC were showing _Brave_ with open captions last week (qualifiers because I haven't checked this week). There was no big news about it; the showings were listed on Fandango with the "open caption" notation.

After the screening, I noticed a small group of people signing in the hallway.

For me, at least, the open captions were only a momentary distraction.

Seemed like a cool idea to me.

#799 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 11:19 PM:

I know, mindboggling, isn't it? I mean, "deafies"? Who the hell SAYS that?

Combining the two parts of my last comment, Perception, in addition to its other faults, is insultingly simplistic about mental illness. Schizophrenics, you see, just need someone to tell them when they're hallucinating, and their hallucinations tell them useful, helpful things. Otherwise they're perfectly all right and can lecture on "neuroscience" and solve crimes.

I don't even know where to begin to say how wrong (in several senses) that is.

To paraphrase a reviewer, one need only watch this show to suddenly know that the "brilliant, damaged detective" genre is now over.

#800 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 11:32 PM:

Xopher, I sent the URL for that to my nephew. With my wish for hordes of lawyers to descend upon the beckwits. (I wish I could see what my-niece-the-lawyer will be saying about it.)

#801 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2012, 11:52 PM:

Lila @789: I don't have any experience with MacKeeper, but I'd be inclined to look at other things first, rather than immediately suspecting malware.

The first thing I'd check would probably be the amount of memory and the amount of free disk space. Having too little of either one can slow things down pretty drastically.

Activity Monitor would let you check those two things, even if the rest of the details aren't clear.

The System Memory and Disk Usage tabs both have useful pie-charts. I'm happier seeing at least 5% free (green) space on both.

If Activity Moitor didn't give me any ideas, I'd fire up Disk Utility and verify the boot disk (and the permissions). I'd eventually get around to checking for malware, but it wouldn't be sooner than my fourth thing to check.

Actually, my *first* check would be "do you have current backups", and if the answer was "no", I'd try to make sure I got one before I did anything of substance.

#802 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 12:02 AM:

Re: Jim's Diffraction on The Oatmeal vs Funnyjunk

The story is almost over now, the lawsuits have been withdrawn, the fundraising is done and the trollawyer has been shamed. Now: the crowning moment of awesome.

The Oatmeal wins the internet.

#803 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 12:04 AM:

Xopher at 797 and 800 - I'm with you on Perception (saw the preview for it in a movie theater with the Amazing Girlfriend last week, and it annoyed both of us). That said, I have to disagree with your statement "...they call McCormack's character a neuroscientist when he's clearly a psychologist." The Amazing Girlfriend and I could both legitimately be called neuroscientists - we study how the brain solves various problems in vision, and we've both used scientific methods that are very much neuroscience (I've done fMRI and TMS; she's done EEG) - but we're students in a Psychology program, and can call ourselves psychologists. Well, psychophysicists would be more accurate, but psychophysics is a specialty that is less recognizable. For that matter, the name of that show annoys me - perception is what we study and teach, and it irks me to have the term used to name a cruddy TV show that will probably last one season if that.

#804 ::: Paul Duncanson is Gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 12:06 AM:

Dear Duty Gnomes:

This is just to say
I have placed some plums
in the icebox.

You might like to have them
for breakfast.

Forgive me.
My post had some links
Or maybe some mis-typed

#805 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 12:50 AM:

#800: Thank you for saving me the time of trying out that show.

It sounds like a mix of "madmen have mystical insights into Truth" and "Hey, we need a show like Monk or Dexter."

#806 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 12:59 AM:

It's worse than that, Stefan. His hallucinations tell him things he needs to know to solve the case.

#807 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 01:54 AM:

Well, I went to the Louisville Chamber of Commerce website. It appears to be output-only; they're not interested in hearing from anyone. I thought I'd found a way when I found the blog, which has a comment system; but the comment system throws an exception when you try to submit a comment. Here's what I was going to say:

Someone in the CoC should know about this:
Probably won't want to publish this comment, but this site doesn't appear to have any other way to send a message to the CoC. Please read that link; the Louisville CoC really needs to have words with the TSA about the way they treat conventioners. A quote: "One of them asked why they were laughing, and one of them came up to me, pointed at my shirt, laughed at me and said, 'Fucking deafie'. The Louisville TSA called me a 'fucking deafie' and laughed at me because I was deaf, and they expected wouldn’t say anything back (or wouldn’t hear them). Make no bones about it — she was facing me and I read her lips. There was no mistake. I would later find out that they had called at least 4 other individuals the same thing."
Outrage is spreading across the web. The author of the above says he'll never go to Louisville again...which I thought was a little unfair, since it was the TSA who mistreated him. You need to get ahead of this.
United only accepts comments from passengers, and you have to put in all sorts of information like your confirmation number. They have no other way of getting feedback either. So: the web. The internet will drop on their heads. I did try.

#808 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 02:28 AM:

Ah! info at gotolouisville dot com is apparently the Louisville Convention Bureau. I wrote them and gave them a heads-up with the link.

#809 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 02:31 AM:

Xopher, Perception sounds like some producer saw Touch and said, "Shazaam! An autistic savant! We need one of those, only let's make him schizophrenic, like the Rain Man."

I have trouble talking about Touch, since it tries to bundle up savantism with something that sounds like Chaos Theory heard through a thick cinderblock wall, and sprinkle it with a light dusting of Quantum WIsh Fulfillment ("everything is connected to everything else"). I tried to explain why I was so upset by it to Eva, but I just got madder, so I told her I wasn't going to watch it or talk about it ever again. That was a month or two ago, and I'm a little calmer now.

#810 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 04:26 AM:

I thought of Touch as magic, fate, destiny and karma all stuffed in a bag, shaken together, then deep fried and served hot from the pan. Which was fine for a couple of [pieces/episodes] but they kept trying to tell me that the magic spice was chaos theory and the interconnectedness of fate flavouring was actually quantum theory, and it was a bit greasy, so I gave up on it. Sometimes you need to make your nonsense sound convincing, sometimes it's better to just say that it's magic.

#811 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 07:21 AM:

"I don't know. It was kinda preachy. And too much Chaos. Everything Chaos. It just seemed like the guy was high on himself."
- the smart kid to Sam Neill about Jeff Goldblum's character in "Jurassic Park III"

#812 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 11:30 AM:

Jim @780, by a coincidence, when I sent the results to someone else, he wrote back that he was amazed by my Google chops, and I replied that you and Tim had done "all the heavy lifting."

I wish our library had one of those. It's a FOUNTAIN that looks like a BOOK! (Thanks, Bill.)

#813 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 12:33 PM:

Kip @813: I think *every* library should have one of those fountains.

#814 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 01:54 PM:

nerdycellist @787: We debated as to whether teaching her to herd sheep would actually help her get any of her potential herding ya-yas out, or if it would just encourage her to develop more herding ya-yas.

From what I've heard, the object is mostly to tire the dog out. (Of course, if you do that too much, it just improves their stamina.)

A coworker has this article pinned up in her cubicle. Apparently a perfect description of her dog.

"Dog Training" is a total misnomer, as it is almost 100% for the human.

Yar har. I wish more dog owners understood that.

Lila @789: My elderly MacBook runs ever more slowly, and I suspect malware or spyware.

My understanding (from people I actually trust) is that there basically are no malwares for Mac, since it makes you give your password to install anything. Maybe elderly MacBook is just elderly? I know that my loyal and true old iBook certainly seems absolutely glacial since I've used new machines.

Xopher HalfTongue @797: Your link above is producing a "Not Found" error. With my fancy new Google Search skills, I scrounged up this cached version here. (2,277 comments)

WRT bad summer TV shows: I tried watching Saving Hope (you know, because Michael Shanks!). I really tried. I gave up most of the way through the second ep. Bog standard hospital drama, with Shanks (main!?) character either laying around being in a coma, or standing around being out of body thinking about being in a coma. Just spectacularly uninteresting.

#815 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 02:15 PM:

Jacque @815: That herding article has measurably improved my day. (And made me want an Australian Shepherd again, dammit.) It is deeply charming, from a place that usually is not aiming to charm.

#816 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 02:29 PM:

Re: elderly Macbooks:

Macs will majorly slow down if the hard drive is 90% full. Like, strikingly slower as soon as they hit that 90% mark. (That information comes from someone who Knows Whereof They Speak when it comes to this matter, but prefers to remain anonymous.)

I've experienced slowdowns a couple of times myself, wondered what the heck was wrong, belatedly remembered to check the free space, and discovered I was down below 10% free. When I cleared out some space, the speed got noticeably better. So that's the very first thing I'd check.

#817 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 02:42 PM:

Stephen, Kevin, Jacque, Caroline: thanks for the help. Low system memory seems to be the culprit. I was able to get noticeable improvement just by shutting down Dropbox.

Elderly MacBook is indeed elderly, to the extent that bits of its case are starting to flake off--but replacement will have to wait till youngest graduates from college a couple years hence.

Oh, and everything critical is backed up, though I don't have space to back up the entire contents.

Xopher: that is fucking infuriating about the TSA and the Deaf travelers. I hope those inspectors get their asses handed to them.

#818 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 02:50 PM:

Weighing in on the Macbook slowness issue - I've found Dropbox to be relatively badly behaved when it comes to memory (and, weirdly, battery life) on my Macbook Pro. If system memory is the issue, getting extra memory for any Macbook is relatively cheap, compared to a new laptop. A quick check of my favorite vendor says $60 to push it to 4GB; $120 to push it to 6GB. As of four years ago, Macbooks were shipping with about a gig of RAM if I recall, so it might be a worthwhile upgrade.

#819 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 02:57 PM:

Benjamin: thanks. I did a minimal system memory upgrade a few months ago (from 1 gig to 2gig--didn't want to pour a lot of $ into a machine that's not long for this world, and the only local store that will do anything with Macs wanted substantially more than the price you mention). Luckily I very seldom use Dropbox, so I won't miss it!

#820 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 04:47 PM:

Jacque 815: Apparently the guy who was the victim in the original story is freaking out about it going viral. He says this:

Please take this down. I never meant for my post to go viral and the attention is really freaking me out. NO. I don't like the attention. I'm autistic and it's freaking me the fuck out. My picture has been seen by thousands at this point. People have my personal blog url. People are trying to send me messages. When you're getting 30+ messages every 30 minutes, it gets really out of hand. I didn't think I was going to get this kind of attention because I only have 100 followers on Tumblr and was venting to them. I was expecting maybe 3 or 4 notes, tops, not well over 2,000. I'm really not ok with the attention and I'd really hope they'd take this down. I even emailed boingboing personally but I guess they've ignored me. PLEASE take it down.
Dammit. I'm afraid it's way too late to stop it. He hadn't said this when I posted that last night (or when I put it on my FB and asked everyone to share it). He clearly wasn't prepared for it to go viral.

I'm torn. I think these TSA folks need to be dealt with, but I don't want to make him any unhappier than he already is. Anyone have any ideas?

Lila 818: Xopher: that is fucking infuriating about the TSA and the Deaf travelers. I hope those inspectors get their asses handed to them.

Me too, but see above. Dammit.

Annnnd...some people on FB are doubting the incident ever occurred at all. Now I really don't know what to do.

#821 ::: Xopher HalfTongue is among the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 04:53 PM:

Probably because of Words Of Power, or maybe a link to a popular site. Brownies, anyone?

#822 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 05:11 PM:

Unfortunately, I can't think of any way to stop anything online once it's gone viral. The internet, collectively, is immensely powerful and can be an impressive force for good - but it's made up of uncounted millions of individual actors, not all of whom will listen when told to drop it.

I think the most you can do, Xopher, is to spread his request through the same channels; it might lessen the viral spread. That said, righteous indignation is particularly powerful on the internet, and is very hard to stop on a global scale - and the conventional means of doing so are neither applicable nor advisable.

#823 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 05:53 PM:

Xopher: Probably too late to be of any use, but maybe mirror the story on your own LJ without any links pointing to his tumbler site (and explain why)?

#824 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 09:02 PM:

Xopher, I think the TSA guys should be reported for theft under color of authority - yes, it's petty theft, but doing it when you have the power to arrest the person escalates it. They're supposed to know better, and TSA has fired people for stealing from luggage.
The UAL guy needs to be run through customer service training again. (I'd report him to their executives, including those at the holding company. Pissing off customers is always a bad idea.)
The woman on the airplane - probably not fixable.

#825 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 09:41 PM:

re Pachelbel Rant: A few days later I heard this, and the bass line suddenly sounded very familiar....

#826 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 10:35 PM:

I had to give up the combination of Firefox and Facebook: with multiple tabs my Mac took over a minute to scroll down a page. Some sort of ugly memory leak...

#827 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 10:38 PM:

Sub-rant: seems like nobody in this country (USA) pronounces "Pachelbel" correctly. It's not "pockle bell"; it follows German rules.

#828 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2012, 10:56 PM:

The line that (oddly enough) amuses me the most in that rant is the one something like, "What's his first name, anyway? I bet it's Johann. They're all named Johann." Well, y'know, as it happens....

#829 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 01:03 AM:

Xopher @ 800
"Schizophrenics, you see, just need someone to tell them when they're hallucinating, and their hallucinations tell them useful, helpful things. Otherwise they're perfectly all right and can lecture on "neuroscience" and solve crimes."

I don't think I'd be quick to suggest that schizophrenia inherently prevents people from being able to hold real jobs. Even ones that involve difficult activities like delivering lectures in a University setting.

(I admit, though, the psychic hallucinations sound a bit over the top.)

#830 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 01:33 AM:

WTF is up with B&N?

Did I miss something? Are they throwing a hissy-fit because Tor is now releasing books with no DRM? Despite my ever-increasing cairn of TBR books piled on and around my bedside table, I decided I wanted to read Jackson's new book "Thieftaker". After trying several different search strings on my Nook, nothing came up. I then checked the B&N website on my laptop. It gave me an option to "tell the publisher I'd like to read the eBook". Maybe they were just slow on the uptake, I figured. I'll just wait until tomorrow. So then I thought, you know, I still haven't read "Old Man's War" - why don't I download that? Nothing. Once again, B&N's website gives me a "tell the publisher" button. Finally I decided maybe I'd read the sequel to "Lady Lazarus", by Michele Lang, also a Tor book. Wouldn't you know, it's somehow not available in the NookStore. In fact, "Lady Lazarus", which I had previously downloaded, is no longer available through the B&N website. (it still resides happily on my Nook.) All of the above eBooks are downloadable in Kindle edition.

So - is this a tiny hiccup on B&N's part, or am I going to have to go and crack the DRM on all that I've accumulated on my Nook and get ready to transfer it to a Kindle?

#831 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 01:53 AM:

Oh, the eBook of Redshirts was available. I guess you can't ignore the NYT bestseller list. I've already read it in HC though so I was not tempted. I was going to download "The God Engines", but after all the other searches I decided not to on principal. I emailed customer service asking if their code needed to be updated as it seemed to be missing a lot of Tor books. We'll see what they have to say in the next 12 - 24 hours.

#832 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 02:46 AM:

#831 ::: nerdycellist "Are they throwing a hissy-fit because Tor is now releasing books with no DRM?"

Doubtful. Our books through Smashwords have no DRM, and are still right there (even though all our Tor books have vanished).

I doubt that B&N trying to pull an Amazon here. I suspect 'Glitch that'll be cleaned up in the morning.'

#833 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 02:57 AM:

HLN: Area man manages to read all of Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation over past week solely in hospital waiting rooms. Finished it today while going through pre-surgery admissions briefing for panendoscopy and tissue removal procedure tomorrow. Intent is to hunt for spread of squamous cell cancer beyond uvula.

#834 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 08:44 AM:

Linkmeister (834): Sorry to hear about the squamous cell cancer. Thinking good thoughts in your direction.

My father had squamous cell on his face almost forty years ago. After they removed it all, he's been fine. May your outcomes be as good.

#835 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 09:06 AM:

Kip W @813--We don't have a book fountain, but we do have a book sculpture outside the downtown public library in Nashville. Googling for that picture led me to believe it's a popular idea; some other libraries have similar pieces.

#836 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 09:24 AM:

Iowa City has big fiberglass books around town, much like Cows (or Herkies) on Parade. Between that and the Literary Walk, many of us are a bit worn out at the city's smugness. Yes, UNESCO City of Literature. But it needs to back that up with more than mostly-ugly public art (the books, not the bronze Walk) that honestly doesn't exploit its bookness. My two favorites are the library's, which has a facsimile of the calligraphy saying something about this library on the pages, then on the other side the cover looks like an e-reader, and one at a school, which is an actual pop-up book where Clifford waves. The rest are dull at best.

#837 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 09:43 AM:

Jim Macdonald @ 833 -

Looks like you're right - they're all showing up in B&N's store now. I guess I can calm down and decide which one to download (why not all? says the devil on my shoulder - or is that the angel?) but I just started Acacia last night so I find myself slightly less in need of books. Of the various reasons I got an e-reader, instant gratification probably came in at about #3. It's frustrating that technical difficulties can throw me into a tizzy.

#838 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 09:50 AM:

Linkmeister @ 834... My best wishes.

#839 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 09:58 AM:

Linkmeister -- sympathy. On the plus side, as such things go, that's one of the ones that has a well-understood and useful treatment.

#840 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 10:06 AM:

Linkmeister: thinking good thoughts for you.

#841 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 10:08 AM:

Linkmeister: my best wishes for a fast, uneventful recovery.

#842 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 11:02 AM:

Linkmeister @ 834: Best wishes for a clean 'scopy and a rapid recovery.

#843 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 12:10 PM:

Linkmeister @ 834: Lots of good thoughts being sent your way. If there has been any spread, may they be able to get it all, and may it STAY OUT.

#844 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 12:37 PM:

Linkmeister, best wishes for a completely successful procedure and outcome!!!

#845 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 12:50 PM:

What They Said.

Also, what they may add. /unilateral trust mode

#846 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 12:59 PM:

Linkmeister, more good wishes from here.

#847 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 01:02 PM:

Good wishes, Linkmeister.

#848 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 01:30 PM:

Fingers crossed for you over here, Linkmeister.

#849 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 01:45 PM:

Linkmeister @ 834: Best wishes.

#850 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 02:49 PM:

nerdycellist, Jim Macdonald #831-833:

Please excuse my confusion. Are you saying that (given availability) existing Tor books (other than Redshirts) are currently being sold DRM-free? How can I confirm this if I were to purchase one? Are there official statements on the matter?

#851 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 03:14 PM:

Linkmeister @834: Wishing you health and uninterestingly successful treatment.

#852 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 03:38 PM:

Linkmeister, good health and boring tests!

#853 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 03:51 PM:

Kevin Reid @851

From this announcement,

"Tom Doherty Associates, publishers of Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen, today announced that by early July 2012, their entire list of e-books will be available DRM-free."

#854 ::: Naomi Parkhurst is begnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 03:52 PM:

No delicious baked goods, but the tea is steeping, and soon there will be lentil soup.

(I suspect Words of Power, alas.)

#855 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 04:05 PM:

KayTei 830: I don't think I'd be quick to suggest that schizophrenia inherently prevents people from being able to hold real jobs.

No, certainly not. My point was that they trivialize the struggles schizophrenics go through. It's not like hallucinations are the only symptom, or that it's easy to accept it when someone says "that's a hallucination." It's simplistic to the point of belittling schizophrenics' lives.

Linkmeister 834: Sorry to hear about your squamous-cell cancer. Is it squamous-cell carcinoma? Because that's what I had. It's never good to get cancer, but if you have to have cancer it's the kind to have. It rarely metastasizes. I hope there's nothing anywhere else. Bright blessings for best outcome!

#857 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 05:18 PM:

Linkmeister #834: Good thoughts heading your way.

#858 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 05:20 PM:

Xopher #857: That was exactly my thought when I read that story.

#859 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 06:07 PM:

Linkmeister @834: Sympathies; good luck for the treatment finding all of the nasty little cancerous cells!

#860 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 07:59 PM:

Naomi Parkhurst #854: I know about the announcement, but that's not the same as "yes, it is now sufficiently late in July, and furthermore this store has properly complied", so I'd like to see a statement of that or someone else's experience that they obtained a DRM-free book (other than Redshirts) from a purchase.

XHLN: The “Don't make me type all this again" checkbox is not doing what it says. Area commenter is getting tired of typing all this again.

#861 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 08:06 PM:

Ah, worked this time. Hooray. Apropos, an article I just read entitled cargo cult troubleshooting, on when you do stuff and stuff starts working again for completely unrelated reasons.

#862 ::: LMM ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 08:22 PM:

Just as a general question: Anyone here going to Readercon?

#863 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 08:45 PM:

Just as a general answer: Yes.

#864 ::: LMM ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 09:06 PM:

@864: Ok, stupid phrasing. How many people here are going?

#865 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 09:31 PM:

I think they generally get a few hundred people, LMM. (All right, I know you're trying to ask "Who here is going to Readercon?" -- but it's an uphill battle without actually using those words....)

I'm not one of them.

#866 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 09:58 PM:


Compared to the troubles of others here, this is utterly trivial, but:

I managed, on its second use, to burn out my salvaged stand mixer. I set it mixing a quadruple-batch of banana bread, and it just stopped. No go even after a thorough cool-down.

All it cost me was the replacement beaters, but I'm still ticked.

May your problems be as lightweight.

#867 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2012, 11:54 PM:

California State Fair starts tomorrow. I have a season pass and my kids are still young enough to be free. I'm contemplating going tomorrow.

Projected temperature is 102º. I must be insane. Oh, wait, I have kids who have been mostly trapped inside by their mother (who can only stand so many trips to the sprayground.) No wonder I'm insane.

#868 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 12:05 AM:

Ping Jacque (and anyone else in the Denver area): it's getting closer to our trip to the Denver County Fair, and if Light is to be Made, we should start discussing our options. Drop me an e-mail at fgneqernzre@zvaqfcevat.pbz, and we'll talk.

#869 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 12:35 AM:

#868, 869: Take care if you go. Water, big hats, sunscreen, yadda yadda.

#870 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 01:15 AM:

Carl says it like it is: "What an astonishing thing a book is." (I highly recommend this comic . . . not every one is a hit, but it is always worth a look.)

Glenn Beck WARNED us that this would happen if Obama was elected!

#871 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 01:32 AM:

Um...I should have acknowledged that I got the link to Romney's "lurkers support me in email" incident from Fragano on FB. Sorry, Fragano.

#872 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 05:34 AM:

Paging Mr Nicoll, Would Mr James D. Nicoll please pick up the khaki courtesy phone.

#873 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 11:27 AM:

nerdycellist @787: Instinct, she's got it. Bella also had it via her corgi ancestors. I once saw her herd cats! She had three of them backed up to the big oak tree, unable to escape. She would also try to herd children, and other dogs at the dog park. Children often responded for a while; other dogs were usually oblivious.

Give Miss Ardala my regards. It 's good to see she's doing better.

#874 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 01:29 PM:

Apropos of an open thread and some stories never die...

At least he got out of her grip.

#875 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 02:11 PM:

Linkmeister @ 834: May you have the best outcome possible!

#876 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 02:45 PM:

Thank you all for the best wishes. I won't have lab results for a few days, I gather, but meanwhile here's the story of yesterday's events in brief.

It's really odd to see stitches in that location. Exterior stitches are "normal;" interior ones less so.

#877 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 02:54 PM:

#877 Fingers crossed for clear results!

#878 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 03:36 PM:

Kevin Reid @861: The “Don't make me type all this again" checkbox is not doing what it says. Area commenter is getting tired of typing all this again.

Yeah, that feature has been failing unpredictably for a while now. It works on one of the machines I use regularly, (a Windows box) but not on the other two (one Windows, one Mac). Seems to be a cookies or javascript issue, but despite repeated investigations by the mods, no wisdom has been revealed.

Lee @869: Denver County Fair

Ah yes. Saw Carol Kimball's re-ping in my inbox. Will plug in as soon as enough neurons have been found to make a synapse.

Stefan Jones @871: Glenn Beck WARNED us that this would happen if Obama was elected!

I got one of those, too! OMG IT'S A PLOT!!!eleventy!!

Tracie & nerdycellist: One of my longtime fantasies has been to open a little boutique lawn-mowing service: find or make a miniature Gypsy wagon, get a miniature horse to pull it, load the guinea pigs into it, and get a sheltie to herd them.

Problem is: guinea pigs are familialphobes. When startled or frightened, they scatter, instead of bunching together like sheep. This makes herding them a very difficult proposition.

But if Ardala can herd cats, she just might have what it takes to keep guinea pigs under control.

And, from the department of TMI: Linkmeister @877: As Xopher says, if you've gotta do cancer, squamous cell carcinoma is definitely the way to go. I had a little tap-dance with it. When my colitis was being intractable, one of the meds my gastroenterologist tried on me (a t-cell inhibitor) unleashed the resident HPV, and I had a brief go-round with cervical cancer. (BTW: I am of the opinion that guys should be targeted for the HPV vaccines, too. Not only do they vector HPV, but they are not themselves immune to it's cancerous effects, though this is less-well publicized than the cervical cancer connection.) (Oh yeah, and: ladies, if you have occassion to be given 6-mercaptopurine, get tested for HPV and be very vigiliant with your Pap smears.)

As to the absence of a uvula: during my second bout with mono, my throat became so swollen that my (stiffened—yes, the obvious imagery does apply) uvula wash pushed up out of the path down my throat by my swollen tonsils. For a while there I had to lay on my side to drink; seems the uvula splits the liquid stream so it doesn't flow over the epiglottis and spill into your lungs.

Linkmeister: I have to say: if your doctor isn't taking time to explain simple things to you like what happens during the surgery or whether the stitches dissolve or are extracted, in your place I would be annoyed and worried. That's his/her job.

#879 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 03:46 PM:


One of the local art galleries is having an exhibition of electric appliances. This seems like a Flourospherian thing.

#880 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 03:51 PM:

Jacque: The HPV vax is now being suggested (strongly) for boys as well. The focus was initially on girls for obvious reasons; now that many/most people are into the swing of things as far as having girls vaxxed, the powers that be are turning their attention to boys.

Another bonus is that I no longer have to argue with people who believe that getting their daughters vaxxed at 9 or 10 is the equivalent of giving them permission to have sex. (heck, you don't tell you daughter it's a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease, you tell her it's a vaccine against a particular type of cancer. if you tell her anything specific at all, other than, "you need to get a shot today.")

#881 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 03:53 PM:

#871 ::: Stefan Jones ::: What an utterly wonderful facial expression.

#882 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 04:05 PM:

#882: I had to take four or five practice shots to get that right. I can't think of the last time I ever actually had a mood that would evoke an expression like that.

I'm saving the Item for my nieces.

#883 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 04:39 PM:

Jacque @ #879, well, the docs did explain what the plan was prior to surgery, so they're not guilty there. I should have thought of the stitches, but I agree somebody should (and may still) explain what's going to happen with them.

#884 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 05:15 PM:

Melissa, #881: Yeah, I never did understand why they thought they had to tell the kids that much detail at all. Kids get a LOT of shots for this or that, and rarely receive anything but the briefest explanation of what they're for. "It will reduce the chances of you getting some types of cancer when you're older" is perfectly adequate, which basically means the entire argument was made up from whole cloth. Not that this surprises me.

#885 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 08:46 PM:

Lee @885: And yet I knew otherwise rational, generally non-hysterical moms who just freaked out about the HPV vaccine. Because somehow it was About Sex! I've no idea how that idea got started but it was really prevalent for a while in my parenting circles.

#886 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 08:53 PM:

My guess is that the sex angle was the anti-vaxxers grabbing any stick they could to roll back medicine to pre-18th century standards.

#887 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 09:16 PM:

On the topic of fighting back against sexist trolls, this guy gets it.

It's really encouraging to see more men pushing back against this crap. Because frankly, women can complain until the cows come home and nothing is going to change; the guys who do this shit in the first place don't care what women think about it.

#888 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 09:40 PM:

Re Linkmeister @ 877 and Jacque's reply @ 879, and Linkmeister's reply to that @ 884 --

Maybe they did not explain things to you after the surgery because they assumed you'd still be in the retroactive-amnesia phase?

With my recent surgery, there were several possible outcomes, from "completely remove affected organ" (which would have had major, permanent effects on my health), to "just remove benign growth affecting the organ" (which would not), with multiple options in between, depending on what they found when they got in there. They'd gone through all of these possibilities with me before the surgery, and had talked with me at some length, answering all my questions. They really seemed to prioritize communication.

But when I came out of surgery, I had no idea which surgical outcome had occurred, and no one told me. The surgeon had told my husband (who was waiting for me) that they'd been able to just remove the growth -- in fact, had gone over the surgery with him in some detail, with pictures and everything. When my husband came back to see me in post-op, he asked me if I'd been told what happened. I said "No, no one has told me anything." The nurse overheard this and said to my husband "We don't tell patients that kind of thing while they're here, because the anesthesia causes amnesia, so they won't remember what we tell them."

My husband replied "Well, even if she doesn't remember it later, it will make her feel better right now if I tell her," and then outlined for me what the surgeon had told him. It did make me feel better.

(And as you may guess from the fact that I'm recounting the story now, I do actually remember pretty much everything that happened while I was in post-op recovery. My husband asked me the next day whether I remembered him telling me about the surgery. I recounted everything he'd told me, including specific numbers he'd given about the size of the growth; he confirmed that I was correct.)

It is annoying that the post-op instructions did not tell you what was up with the stitches, though. Did they give you a phone number to call with post-op questions or concerns? If so, I might call and inquire about the stitches, just to know.

#889 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 09:51 PM:

Caroline @ #889, I have no memory of anything prior to waking up in recovery, so if anyone told me anything before that but after surgery, I definitely suffered amnesia of some sort.

I'll probably call 'em tomorrow to ask about the stitches. That's a good suggestion.

#890 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 09:58 PM:

Thought this might be of interest:

#891 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 10:32 PM:

Can't be any stranger than, say, box turtles mating. (From behind, twisting tails, but 'on top' isn't possible. Which leads to scenes where the female walks away with the male's hind feet still locked in her carapace.)

#892 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 10:34 PM:

Linkmeister: best of luck!

General: heading back home over the next couple of days. It's been a fantastic vacation, but an exhausting one.

#893 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 10:56 PM:

Erik, #891:
Across the herd, he spied her generous curves (she had curves!);
A thrill ran down all seventy feet of his saurian nerves,
And thirty tons of amorous male
Went chasing seventeen tons of tail --
The earth moves when dinosaurs fall in love!

- "When Dinosaurs Fall in Love", words & music copyright by Dr. James Robinson

#894 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 11:16 PM:

Linkmeister @ 890, I mean they thought the entire being-in-recovery part would be retroactively erased, so wouldn't tell me anything while I was in recovery. I don't think there is anything before you wake up in recovery.

#895 ::: Moonlit Night ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2012, 11:50 PM:

Crossposted from the current DF thread in case someone needing this isn't reading that:

I have no idea where most of you are, but I ran across a posting for a nifty part-time job (25-30h/week) in Portland OR with Jarrett Walker & Associates.

He's a transit planning consultant with his own firm, and looking for an assistant with brains. If you like organizing, writing, and are good with computers, you're a good fit. Major bonus points for being a transit planning geek and/or skills in analyzing and presenting data of various types -- are you someone that reads Edward Tufte for fun and enrichment?

If I weren't in the wrong country and getting established in a profession I like even better, I would apply because this job could be a blast!

#896 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 12:22 AM:

Oh, man, if I were in Portland, I'd totally apply for that.

#897 ::: GlendaP ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 01:18 AM:

Oh, my. Except for the Portland part, that is so describing my daughter, who just graduated.

#898 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 01:42 AM:

Linkmeister: my sympathy and best wishes. Hoping that the test results are good news.

#899 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 06:49 AM:

Jeez, we're getting spammed all to hell right now, aren't we? I wonder what caused this particular spam wave.

Jim Macdonald deserves some kind of medal for fighting these spammer bastards so ceaselessly.

#900 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 07:52 AM:

Another job posting possibly relevant to the Fluorosphere:

Ravelry is looking for a Web Application Developer. (more details at the link.)


* You must be a knitter or crocheter
* You should be very strong in at least one programming language
* You should have a solid understanding of web technology

#901 ::: Naomi Parkhurst has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 07:53 AM:

Need to be more careful about those words of power.

#902 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 09:16 AM:

Lee @ 885
Kids get a LOT of shots for this or that, and rarely receive anything but the briefest explanation of what they're for.

This depends very heavily on the child and the parents. I've certainly explained to my 4 and 5 year old what shots are for what diseases, and how those diseases are transmitted, and to whom they are dangerous, and how the immune system works (not in complete detail, admittedly). But then, the 4-year-old has been set on being "a doctor who works on arms and legs" since she was 2 1/2, and has her own notebook of bones, and always tries to identify the bones in any piece of meat we eat--so they and I may be atypical.

#903 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 10:33 AM:

HLN: Area woman has several bits and pieces of her innards successfully removed Monday but suspects minor infection of one incision site. "The one time I regret living alone," she grouses, "is when I'm ill. Can't drive, can't bike, and it's already too hot to walk a mile to the pharmacy."

#904 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 10:49 AM:

Janet @ 904: do you have local friends you can call for help? I know that if I were in such a situation, my local friends would be upset if I didn't ask them for help. (And I would be very happy to help a local friend in such a fix.)

(I'm glad the innard removal was successful!)

#905 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 11:15 AM:

Janet Brennan Croft @904, hoping for quick healing of the innards and the incision. And seconding Naomi Parkhurst that I would want to hear from a local friend, or even from a neighbor I didn't know especially well, if they were in such a fix.

#906 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 11:35 AM:

Janet @ 904... My best wishes.

#907 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 11:35 AM:

Janet @ 904... My best wishes.

#908 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 11:53 AM:

Janet Bennett Croft (904): Failing a local friend or helpful neighbor, does your drugstore deliver?

I'm glad your innard removal went well. Best wishes for complete and rapid healing.

#909 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 12:35 PM:

Well, the nurse reassured me over the phone that hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment several times daily ought to do the trick at this point. I do have some people at work I can call, and a neighbor across the street who would help if asked. But I may look into same-day delivery from my pharmacy, just in case I do need it!

#910 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 01:25 PM:

Janet @910

Glad to hear it! Both that friendly support is unnecessary and that it's available if needed.

#911 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 01:48 PM:

SamChevre, #903: That's a valid point. However, I believe that the parents who are all OMG SEX!!! about the HPV vaccine overlap heavily with those who severely edit information for their children about all sorts of things, as well as using the "because I say so" response to questions. So what's so different about a shot, that all of a sudden the kid has to know absolutely everything about what it does? "Inconsistent" is the politest description for that behavior.

#912 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 02:38 PM:

Janet, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

#913 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 02:41 PM:

Janet Brennan Croft (910): Sorry for getting your name wrong in #909. I knew I should have double-checked that.

#914 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 02:54 PM:

Janet Brennan Croft @ #904: Recover soon.

#915 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 03:04 PM:

Janet Brennan Croft: Feel better!

Hope the infection clears up quickly and without trouble.

#916 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 08:06 PM:

OT/HLN: Area man is rather proud of his family, particularly his much-younger sister, although some of her work can make me slightly uncomfortable. (YouTube Links)

#917 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 08:32 PM:

HLN: Local area woman's mother has been referred for hospice. Local woman is overheard commenting that after the flu and a mild concussion, she should have expected a third item, but this was not the one she would have chosen or predicted.

#918 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 09:55 PM:

@KayTei: Oh man . . . that is a bad third item. Take care of yourself so you can be there for her.

#919 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 10:54 PM:

HLN: Area man gets referral to a job posting that matches his skills almost perfectly, and certainly better than anything he's seen in months. Friend recommends him highly for the job. Only downside is the 1.5 hour commute, but as he puts it, "at this point? Hey." He asks for thumb-pressing, finger-crossing, etc.

#920 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 11:03 PM:

KayTei: So sorry to hear this. I've read more than one article recently that speaks of hospice as a type of less expensive long-term care disguised as end-of-life care; I hope that is what it turns out to be in this case.

Xopher: appendages crossed.

Good thoughts for all.

#921 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 11:09 PM:

KayTei, I'm sorry about your news. I hope all will be better than seems likely now.

#922 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2012, 11:22 PM:

A Twitter spammer just claimed it would get me 4000 followers in 24 hours. Its profile reads "claims blessed could they be which bypass within groups, with regard to they shall be known as wheels." Almost Joycean, for values of 'almost' in the parsec range.

#923 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2012, 12:23 AM:

Erik Nelson @ 891, that was fabulous.

#924 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2012, 01:14 AM:

We're going to be spackling and sanding in here. Dust is going to be something awful.

The new lounge is open, though. Room 175.

Mind the dropcloth.

#925 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2012, 03:23 PM:

Stefan Jones:

'Cept you forgot the actual door to Room 175. (Which sounds like it ought to be the title for a murder mystery.)

#926 ::: C. Wingate sees mock-heroic spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2013, 12:41 PM:

A fellow of most questionable verse.

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