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March 20, 2017

Open Thread 217
Posted by Teresa at 09:17 AM * 145 comments

Allow me to observe that bluegrass musicians will cover anything.

Comments on Open Thread 217:
#1 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 10:31 AM:

I really, really love this album:

#2 ::: Elliott Mason speaks to gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 10:35 AM:

Also, methinks a digit is missing from the thread number?

#3 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 11:55 AM:

Back home after a week in London, then a day in NY.

Really glad I took the day off from work. Sooo many bills and emails and real-mails.

#4 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 11:55 AM:

Oh for pete's sake, how did that happen?

It's fixed now.

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 11:55 AM:

Not Stefan. He's fine the way he is.

#6 ::: Phil Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 12:33 PM:

While we're discussing great - or, at least, suitably mind-bending - bluegrass covers, please allow me to plug Japanese duo Petty Booka and their timeless rendition of "Material Girl", from their 1999 album Sweetheart of the Radio. They also provide a suitably twanged-out rendition of "Proud Mary" on the same album, but to my mind it lacks the sheer impact of hearing J-pop bluegrass Madonna.

#7 ::: Fred ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 12:48 PM:


#8 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 01:01 PM:

breadcrumbs back to Open Thread 216.

#9 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 01:10 PM:

Yes, bluegrass musicians will play anything. I saw The Del McCoury band in the Tractor in Ballard (Seattle) back when I was going to shows, and I was blown away by how smooth and professional they were compared to the other bands that I'd been sing at the time.

As for covers, These two David Byrne mixes cover a lot of ground.

Tons of Beatles Covers.

This one has a chicha version of 'Another One Bites the Dust', Latin torch song versions of Early Madonna, Johnny Cash doing 'Hurt', and Petra Haden doing 'Under Pressure'. A Capella. (herself. doing all the parts, using a multitrack): Covers, Oct 2013

(and the Petra Haden is also available on it's own here)

#10 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 02:45 PM:

Confirming recommendation for Randy Rainbow's satirical songs. Really well done.

#11 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 03:06 PM:

Doc Watson frequently included the Moody Blues' 'Nights In White Satin' in his sets.

Nickle Creek used to do Britney Spears' 'Toxic'.

i attended Merlefest one year where there was an all-star bluegrass show where they duplicated all of Led Zeppelin II.

i once had the notion to gather up some of my pickin' friends and do a bluegrass cover of Pink Floyd's 'Fearless'. but when i checked YouTube - yup, been done.

#12 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 03:53 PM:

Personal open threadiness:

I went off to lunch by myself today after a midday doctor appointment, and took along a notebook and some work papers. Opening the notebook to look for some scratch paper, I found a bunch of notes I wrote to my dad the last few days of his life--he had gone deaf (cancer had invaded his good ear, the other was deaf from noise exposure long ago), so all our communications were by me writing notes to him and him reading them. (I could shout and be heard, more-or-less, for very simple things. But that didn't work for anything much more complicated than "Hello!")

It hit me hard. It's been about a year now since he died. By the end, death was probably a relief--his body was visibly failing from the cancer, he was in constant pain, nauseated and constipated from the pain medicine (and on scary doses of opiods--I suspect the dose he was on would have killed me, since he'd had several months to build up increasing tolerance and he was in a lot of pain from the cancer), and on oxygen because he was having trouble breathing (probably metastases in the lungs, but there was plenty else going wrong by then).

When I got to his house on my final visit, he was having trouble breathing and asked to use my inhaler. I took him to the doctor the next day (I found the note where I told him I had called his doctor and they would work him in), and after an exam and an X-ray, he wound up in the hospital. I also found the note where I told him that the doctor was asking about a DNR. I remember being impressed that the doctor managed to communicate with him, be absolutely clear on what Dad wanted done (and that it was his choice, not mine or anyone else's), and then signed off on the DNR.

We got him released to hospice in his home after a few days (I found the note where I told him we were getting him back home). When I pointed out his that most of his long list of medicines didn't make any sense anymore, the hospice doctor took him off everything but painkillers, laxatives, and antinausea medicine. I can't evaluate much of his medical care independently, but the hospice nurse certainly seemed like she was interested in making sure he was comfortable and letting him die on his own terms. She asked if he wanted to talk to their chaplain (he didn't), told me what to expect (including needing to move him to a nursing home soon), warned me about getting rid of the cigarette lighters so he didn't set himself on fire once he was on oxygen, etc. (Long-term smokers will light a cigarette without even thinking about it.)

After about a week at home, we had to move him to a nursing home. The final descent was abrupt. His last day at home, his lawyer (also an old friend) came out and helped him with some final paperwork, and also just sat and talked with him one last time. Within a couple days of getting him to the nursing home, he basically lost consciousness until the end.

Rereading those notes brought the whole experience back. It's strange to have a memory that's simultaneously awful and precious--I hated living through all that, but wouldn't trade it for anything.

#13 ::: J Homes ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 03:57 PM:

Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, for many years New Zealand's leading bluegrass band, did a cover of "God Defend New Zealand". I do not have a link handy.

Instrumental only, but vastly more uplifting than the dirge-like original.

J Homes

#14 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 04:25 PM:

albatross @12:

It's been nearly a year already? Wow. You've been on my list for candles and prayers since he passed.

Hard to come on a reminder like that, though, however dear.

#15 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 05:23 PM:

I feel utterly compelled to post this particular bluegrass cover.

With bonus cute kids sitting next to their dad as he plays. One, in a wheelchair, happy-flaps repeatedly.

#16 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 05:25 PM:

Poor Man's Whiskey, presumably inspired by the Austin Lounge Lizards cover of DSOTM, has an entire album called "Dark Side Of the Moonshine".

#17 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 05:27 PM:

217 is 7 x 31--nice pair of primes.

Out here in the sticks there is an excellent local band that plays bars, bar mitzvahs, and other venues, bar none. They play oldies of all sorts, and anything you can hum to them.
They call themselves "The Tarps," because they cover anything.

#18 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 05:55 PM:

albatross #12: *Hug*

#19 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 06:30 PM:

albatross, #12: Hearing, witnessing.

#20 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 06:52 PM:

albatross@12: Witnessing, and holding you in the light.

Reading your note brought back some memories of my own, simultaneously painful and cheering, which I'm happy to sit with right now.

#21 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 06:57 PM:

bluegrass musicians will cover anything

I was immediately reminded of this definition of cover:

a : to copulate with (a female animal) a horse covers a mare

#23 ::: Randall ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 09:31 PM:

And yet, not one mention of Luthor Wright and the Wrongs' cover of the entire album of Pink Floyd's the Wall?

#24 ::: Bonnie McDaniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 09:56 PM:

"Senor" comes from an entire album Tim O'Brien put out of Dylan covers, Red on Blonde. It's quite good.

#25 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 11:42 PM:

albatross @12: Wow. Amazing story. Thank you for sharing it.

#26 ::: elise matthesen ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 11:45 PM:

Randall @23: Oh, good, another Luther Wright and the Wrongs appreciator! Rebuild the Wall is a splendiferous thing. Gotta love the haybales-as-bricks album cover.

#27 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2017, 11:59 PM:

Thunderstruck by Steve'N'Seagulls.

#28 ::: Sam Smith ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 12:15 AM:

I see your covers and raise you

#29 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 03:50 AM:

And then there's Hayseed Dixie.

#30 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 04:59 AM:

Many happy returns, Teresa!

#31 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 07:01 AM:

The 3rd Brandenburg:
1st movement, not exactly bluegrass
3rd movement, exactly bluegrass
(Where's the second movement? Well, you play whatever want for the second movement.)

#32 ::: C. Wingate says hello to the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 07:27 AM:

Let my youtubes go....

#33 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 07:51 AM:

...and I think I've posted this before, but in my opinion this is one of the most awesome covers of anything by anyone.

#34 ::: Handslive ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 09:26 AM:

That's a good one, Sam, but I like their cover of Put a Ring on It just a little better.

#35 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 10:24 AM:

abi, Fragano, Lee, dotless i, Jacque, and anyone else I missed: Thank you.

#36 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 12:48 PM:

Here is a cover I first encountered in Hawai'i:

Country Roads

My reaction: They've got FILK here!

#37 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 12:54 PM:

AKICML, domestic wildlife version: So we've had a wicker loveseat on our front porch for the last seven years, with big old puffy tufted cushion in it. A week or two ago, we noticed that the cushion, which was already looking a bit ratty and very sun-faded, had suffered depredation by squirrel, who had dug a hole in it and removed much stuffing. We, in our innocence, believed that was the end of the matter and got a new cushion with no puffiness. Yesterday I headed out for the mail and noticed a whacking great big hole in the new cushion. (Fortunately not all that expensive, but still...)

Question: most of the squirrel-repelling stuff seems to be intended to keep them out of your garden, which is not what's going on here [*]. What can I put on a tile porch floor or onto the plastic wicker or the cushion? All the things I see recommended involve pepper spray or other things that people don't want to sit on or track into the house.

[*] Frankly, we don't care what happens in the garden as long as Evil Neighborhood Cat doesn't eat the birds that like to play in the fountain.

#38 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 02:34 PM:

C. Wingate, #31: Whoa. Found the first guy's album on Amazon, but I'm not seeing the Brandenburg on any of the Punch Brothers albums. Do you know if it's available anywhere?

Both of those are stellar examples of the art of arrangement! (Side note: I played the first movement of Brandenburg 3 in my high-school orchestra, and I was amused by the way my ear still automatically follows the cello line.)

#39 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 03:39 PM:

Felicitous natal anniversary, Teresa!

#41 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 05:21 PM:

For years, I simply thought this *was* a bluegrass song, and a damn fine one.
Only later did I learn that it was originally a soul song from the Stax label, covered by its author William Bell and more famously by Otis Redding.

The band, "Emerson's Old Timey Custard Sucking Band," played around Baltimore in the early '70s. No idea what happened to them.

#42 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 05:25 PM:

Which reminds me that there is another thread on some other version of this blog right now, reflecting on the way that country and bluegrass has appropriated African American music since the beginning.

#43 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 05:46 PM:

Joann @37: The only thing I can suggest is getting or making a cover for the cushion that is unchewable.

If it wouldn't poke your butt, you could put a thin layer of steel wool between the cushion and the cover -- biting steel wool is VERY PAINFUL.

#44 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 05:54 PM:

Ska bands are also famous for covering damn near anything.

(apologies to the gnomes in advance. Chocolate chip cookie?)

#45 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 06:02 PM:

(I will admit that results vary greatly, mostly on the downside.)

#46 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 06:14 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#47 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 06:32 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

Unrelated: I just saw a movie called The Dressmaker. It's very odd and somewhat satisfying. Anyone care to recommend a peculiar movie?

#48 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 06:35 PM:

Elliott Mason #43:

Sounds like I should be investing in those godsawful plastic or vinyl sun pads? Ick, but whatever it takes, I guess, up to and including just the wicker to sit on. (So far they've ignored the chairs with the flat cushions, although acorns tell me they've been on them.)

#49 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 07:15 PM:

Happy Birthday Teresa!

#50 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 07:48 PM:

I'm having fridge-logic issues with the new R-rated Wolverine movie, Logan. It may not be worth a spoiler-thread of its own, but please indulge me here.

Vs Ybtna jnf tvira gur jebat xvaq bs cvyyf, ubj pbzr gur cvyyf pbagvahrq gb jbex gb fhccerff Cebsrffbe K'f frvmherf naljnl?

Nsgre gurve ubzr va Zrkvpb vf vainqrq, gur punenpgref qevir njnl va n yvzbhfvar. Ng fbzr fhofrdhrag cbvag (gur tnf fgngvba? gur pnfvab ubgry?) gurl ner va gur Havgrq Fgngrf. Gur zbivr qbrf abg rkcynva ubj Ybtna trgf npebff gur obeqre va n ohyyrg-jenpxrq pne, juvpu, V'q rkcrpg, zvtug nebhfr gur fhfcvpvba bs n obeqre thneq, naq jvgu Nzrevpn'f Zbfg Jnagrq Gryrcngu va gur onpx frng.

Tvira gur erfbheprf gurl nccneragyl unir, jul qvq gur onq thlf tvir hc punfvat gur tbbq thlf nsgre gur genva fprar? Va fcrrqvat guebhtu n qrfreg jnfgrynaq, gung pne vf cebonoyl envfvat n pybhq bs qhfg ivfvoyr n ybat jnl bss. V'q rkcrpg gurz gb unir pnhtug hc jvgu gur tbbq thlf fbba nsgre, engure guna znal qnlf yngre.

Jul qvq Cebsrffbe K vafvfg ba fgnlvat sbe qvaare, zhpu yrff bireavtug, jura ur xarj gung gur shtvgvirf jbhyq or chggvat gur ubfg snzvyl ng evfx sebz onq thlf? Naq nyfb ng evfx bs n envq sebz ynj rasbepref, jub va gur jnxr bs gur vapvqrag ng gur ubgry, zhfg fheryl or pbzovat gur pbhagelfvqr va frnepu bs uvz (gubhtu guvf arire orpbzrf n cybg cbvag)?

Jura Ynhen gnxrf bire gur gnfx bs qevivat gur Oebapb, fubhyqa'g fur ng yrnfg fuvsg gur frng sbejneq?

Ubj qvq npphengr pbbeqvangrf sbe gur eraqrmibhf cbvag svaq gurve jnl vagb gur pbzvp obbx?

Vs gur punenpgref fvzcyl nterrq gb zrrg ng pbzcyrgryl neovgenel pbbeqvangrf gurl bognvarq sebz n pbzvp obbx, ubj qvq gurl xabj gung gurer jbhyq or n pbzsbegnoyr ohg nccneragyl nonaqbarq sver-gbjre pnzc gurer? Be jnf vgf cerfrapr zreryl n yhpxl pbvapvqrapr?

Fnl, jnf gung sver pnzc ERNYYL nonaqbarq? Jung orpnzr bs gur sberfg enatref? Fynhtugrerq ol zhgnag puvyqera, creuncf?

Rirelobql jnagf gb trg gb Pnanqn. Jul jbhyq Pnanqn or fnsre guna Zrkvpb be gur H.F.? Ner gurer ab oynpx FHIf, uryvpbcgref, svernezf, be ehguyrff zrepranevrf ninvynoyr sbe chepunfr va Pnanqn?

Isn't it about time for a movie where the sinister ruthless mercenaries drive around in gaily-colored SUVs?

(I note that "black" in Rot13 becumes "oynpx," which is kinda close to "onyx," but not really.)

Qvq gur fvavfgre fpvragvfg trg xvyyrq va gur svany fubbgbhg? Znlor V zvffrq fbzrguvat. V qba'g erpnyy frrvat uvz trg njnl, gubhtu.

Thanks, it's good to get that off my chest.

#51 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 07:50 PM:

OK, in the course of looking around for stuff for this thread, I have found a whole new level of awesome:

Apparently you can cover anything on the gayageum.

#52 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 08:21 PM:

Bill Higgins @51:

In re Ynhen gnxrf bire gur gnfx bs qevivat gur Oebapb, I would like to note that pnabavpnyyl Ybtna vf dhvgr fubeg, jryy vagb gur nirentr-srznyr urvtug enatr, be rira vagb vgf ybjre crepragvyrf.

Haven't seen the movie. Just noting.

#53 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 08:37 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz @ #47:

For some reason, I thought first of Nabbie no koi, or "Nabbie's Love", a Japanese movie my brother caught once on the TV channel that shows the foreign movies and spent ages trying to find a home video version to throw money at. (I see it's now available on Bluray with English subtitles. I'll have to see if he knows.) It's set on a small island off the coast of Japan, and was actually filmed there, with the co-operation of the local population; there's a plot, but on one level it's as much about getting a record of the island's lifestyle and traditions (and the ways they've changed to accommodate, or refused to change to accommodate, modern times).

Of a more recent vintage, and presumably easier to find, there's Hunt for the Wilderpeople. It's in English, though depending on how good your ear is at tuning to a New Zealand accent, you might find yourself wishing it had subtitles too.

#54 ::: Quercus ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 09:25 PM:

Sandy @ 46 beat me to posting the Ska/Pink Floyd cover (and she's right about sometimes better than others: that band's version of "Sunshine of your Love" isn't nearly as good)

For bluegrass, how about this one (which popped up as I watched one of Teresa's)

#55 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 09:30 PM:

How about Rocket Man?

#56 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 09:40 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz, Paul A @53
Wilderpeople: Presumably Sam Neill enjoyed acting with a Kiwi accent for a change.
Are sub-titles for the deaf are available via standard delivery methods? There is a meta-layer of references that you need to be a Kiwi to get, but I think an excellent movie even if you miss that aspect.

#57 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 10:54 PM:

Bill Higgins @50: "Onyx" in rot-13 resolves to "balk," which may be useful if I ever have to discuss baseball spoilers here.


#58 ::: Race Traitor Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2017, 11:01 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa Nana Lankara Bhushite!

#59 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 12:06 AM:

There were a few moments in Logan that were, umm, noncanonical and a few that were also probably non-self-consistent.

Fridge Logic:

Gurfr ner zl engvbanyvmngvbaf.

Cebs. K jnagrq gb fgnl jvgu gur snzvyl orpnhfr ur jnagrq gb fubj Ynhen jung n erny snzvyl jnf yvxr. Orpnhfr ur jnf byq naq gverq. Orpnhfr ur gubhtug ur unq zber gvzr, gurl jrer snegure nurnq. Orpnhfr ur sbetbg ubj guvatf tb jura Ybtna'f bhg ba uvf bja.

Jbyivr qvq trg n erny obggyr bs erny cvyyf, ohg gung jnfa'g jung Pnyvona jnf fubjvat uvz. Gurer jnf n fjvgpu va gurer.

Cebs K znl unir unq n yvggyr ovg bs ohvyg-hc gbyrenapr gb gur cvyyf; ur'f gur zbfg cbjreshy cflpuvp va gur jbeyq naq rira vs ur'f 99% fhccerffrq ur'f tbg n srj cneybe gevpxf. Gung zvtug rkcynva gur Fcrrq bs Cybg punfr. (V nyfb unq gur vzcerffvba gung gur genva va dhrfgvba jnf uhaqerqf bs pnef ybat naq gbbx, yvxr, unys na ubhe gb cnff.)

V guvax nyy gur aba-zhgnag vaabprag olfgnaqref, gur ivpgvzf, jrer abajuvgr; V nz cerggl fher gung jnf abg nppvqragny sbe rvgure gur qverpgbe be gur ivyynvaf.

V qba'g unir nal ernfba jul gur sver gbjre jnf erny, jul gur Pnanqvna obeqre jnf fnsr (Nycun Syvtug znlor?), jul gur TZB'f jbexrq gur jnl gurl qvq, jul nqnznagvhz vf n fybj cbvfba.

The main point, for me, was that this was a movie about old age. Wolverine was like 190, Charles was a nonagenarian, and it showed. The way every morning there was the sort of mental check, can I move this body part ... I'm starting to recognize that.

#60 ::: Quill ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 09:11 AM:

Nancy Lebovitz @ #47: Lifepod--slightly dark sci-fi/suspense. Or American Dreamer, which does romantic comedy in a way that miraculously doesn't make me want to throw anything at the TV.

#61 ::: john, who is incognito and definitely not at work ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 10:01 AM:

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey @ 50, Sandy B. @ 59:

Gur ovg jvgu gur snzvyl obgurerq zr n ybg; vg frrzrq yvxr fhpu n curabzranyyl onq vqrn gb fgnl jvgu gurz gung V jnf nccnyyrq naq znqr guvf vaibyhagnel fpbssvat abvfr jura Cebsrffbe K fnvq gurl'q or unccl gb fgnl sbe qvaare.

#62 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 10:41 AM:

@Quill no. 60, Nancy Lebovitz no. 47: Lifepod is IMO one of the best movies the whatever-the-Sci-Fi-Channel-is-calling-itself-these-days ever made. Two quibbles: There is a harrowing scene of emergency surgery done by amateurs, and also at one point they're all freezing nearly to death and yet still bareheaded.

My offering is The Quiet Earth, a New Zealand film that's also on my short list of movies that transcend the books they are based on. A man wakes up to discover that New Zealand is empty of animal life except for him, some spoilers, and a few insects and fish. I don't mean that they're all dead; they're all just plain not there. And then it gets weird.

#63 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 11:57 AM:

Happy birthday, Teresa!

#64 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 12:14 PM:

Happy birthday, Teresa!

#65 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 03:26 PM:

Just got back from viewing the live-action "Beauty and the Beast." It's gorgeous, a little darker than I expected, and very satisfying.

I just ordered the soundtrack (deluxe edition) and will order the film when it comes out on Blu-Ray.

Emma Watson has a LOVELY voice, I've seen some sniping in various reviews with which I do not agree. The protagonist is not supposed to have an operatic instrument.

I got a kick out of the call outs to various musicals, by my tally it's Oliver!, Sound of Music, (pick your favorite musical) choreographed by Busby Berkeley--and tucked into that sequence a hat tip to Singing in the Rain.

Very enjoyable, but I wouldn't take anyone under 10, the darker sections could be scary for a child.

#66 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 03:46 PM:

Trailers and extras from many NZ films are available from NZ On Screen

There are spoilers in the description (below the 'fold') of The Quiet Earth

A 2010 NZ film with some international success is Boy, directed by Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)

#67 ::: Daniel Dern ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 04:21 PM:

Back to the bluegrass'd:

John Hartford, "Piece of My Heart"

and, going farther back (both in performance and material)

Pete Seeger, "Goofing-Off Suite"
with audience humming along in spots
(longer, includes other classical stuff too)

(I'm not immediately finding the version I know best, which I think comes from an album that Seeger did along with Big Bill Broonzy...)

#68 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 07:01 PM:

Forgot to mention the cover that The Strange Rangers did at Telluride back in 92 about how this guy Jim-Bob Hendrix taught them how to play Purple Hay.
(They probably did it some other times; I heard it on the car radio one day, so the details about who played it and when come from YouTube.)

#69 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 07:28 PM:

Daniel Dern #67: I can confirm the "Goofing Off Suite" is on the Seeger/Broonzy album, and it gives Broonzy the occasion to define folk music: "All the songs I've heard in my life is folk songs; I've never heard horses sing none of 'em yet." I'm sure he used that line at other times as well.

#70 ::: Sten Thaning ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 07:31 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 50:

Nobhg gur pbbeqvangrf: Zl haqrefgnaqvat jnf gung gur pbbeqvangrf jrer pbzcyrgryl enaqbz. Gurl hfrq gur pbzvp obbx pbbeqvangrf nf n onfr sbe gurve cyna orpnhfr gung'f jung gurl unq, naq gura gurl fcernq gur jbeq gung gur zrrgvat cbvag jnf gur bar nqiregvfrq va gur pbzvp obbx. Gur snpg gung gur enaqbz pbbeqvangrf tnir n ybpngvba gung nccneragyl jnf va jnyxvat qvfgnapr sebz gur Pnanqvna obeqre jnf cheryl n pbvapvqrapr.

#71 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 08:46 PM:

Happy birthday TNH!

My local growing-up-in-N.H. bluegrass band did a great cover of "Paperback Writer." My friend Glenn Pillsbury, whose dissertation (and now book) was Damage Incorporated: Metallica and the Production of Musical Identity introduced me to the album Iron Horse - Fade to Bluegrass: Tribute to Metallica. They're on YouTube:

#72 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 08:55 PM:

rm @ #69:

I've also heard that line attributed to Louis Armstrong.

#73 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 09:42 PM:

TNH @ 0: so I guess Emma Bull was only a bit ahead of time when she had Bird That Whistles playing Glenn Miller and The Who (in the eponymous story from 1986)? (Not very far ahead, given Bill Stewart @ 68's link from just 6 years later.)

Ingvar M @ 216::970: "lin" also shows up in Romance languages (and in a Debussy piece), so a fair number of us \should/ recognize it -- but I admit I didn't catch it immediately.

C. Wingate @ 33: that is indeed awesome -- or at least awesomely weird....

Bill Higgins @ 50 (plausible answers only -- some I think aren't answerable):

Nterr jvgu Fnaql O. nobhg gur yratgu bs gur genva (juvpu jnf nyfb abg zbivat ng cnffratre fcrrq), naq nobhg gur pbbeqvangrf orvat frzv-enaqbz. (Gur 30-lrnef-ntb svpgvbany jevgre znl unir tbggra fbzrguvat sebz n znc whfg sbe sha.) Vs vg jnf cheryl n sver pnzc, vg jbhyq bayl unir orra vaunovgrq qhevat sver frnfba; jung gvzr bs lrne qb jr guvax gur zbivr vf frg va?

V guvax Pnanqn vf va snpg uneqre gb qb oynpx bcf va; V fhfcrpg, sbe vafgnapr, gung gur obeqre thneqf gnxr n qvz ivrj bs n pebjq bs crbcyr jvgu zvyvgnel-tenqr thaf, naq V guvax fhpu ner uneqre gb ohl gurer. Abg gung gur cbyvgvpny pyvzngr gung pybfr gb gur Ebpxvrf vf cnegvphyneyl yrsg, ohg zl vzcerffvba sebz n gevc gb Pnytnel vf gung gurl qba'g unir arneyl nf znal ongfuvg penmvrf nf whfg fbhgu bs gur obeqre.

Zl dhrfgvba nobhg gur ybpngvba: jul pbhyqa'g gurl unir whfg tvira jrfgrea-Zbagnan pbbeqvangrf vs gurl jnagrq qenzngvp fprarf ba zbhagnvaf, vafgrnq bs fnlvat vg jnf va (abgbevbhfyl syng) Abegu Qnxbgn?

And a non-spoiler question: in scene ~2, Logan's fast-healing body expels what look like cartridge casings rather than bullets. WTF?

Elliott Mason @ 52: well, yes, but not \that/ short -- and only in the books, not at all in any of the movies.

Belated BDay congratulations to Teresa. (I didn't check in yesterday because the evening was spent learning the quirks of a new conductor, and preparing to add settings-of-the-Xian-mass #20 & 21 to my life list. Conclusion: Haydn did a number of things well, but Mozart wrote much better work for choruses.)

And another WTF: National Geographic 18 months ago was being taken over by a Murdoch branch (21st Century Fox); IIRC, reactions here were predictable and plausible. But it has carried on with what I see as a balanced--to--left-of-center tone, including a January 2017 issue about gender ]malleability[ that uses preferred pronouns and doesn't tut-tut at anything. Has the debate boundary moved that far to the right, or is the magazine somehow keeping its own path?

#74 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 10:16 PM:

Re Elliott: Va er Ynhen gnxrf bire gur gnfx bs qevivat gur Oebapb, V jbhyq yvxr gb abgr gung pnabavpnyyl Ybtna vf dhvgr fubeg, jryy vagb gur nirentr-srznyr urvtug enatr, be rira vagb vgf ybjre crepragvyrf.

Lrf, ohg gur Ynhen va dhrfgvba vf ryrira. Rira pbzvpf-pnaba Ybtna vfa'g gung fubeg. :)

Re Sandy B: jul nqnznagvhz vf n fybj cbvfba

Zl gurbel vf gung Puneyrf' svefg frvmher fperjrq jvgu Ybtna'f urnyvat snpgbe. Vg frrzf yvxryl gb zr gung gur Jrfgpurfgre Rirag jnf gur svefg bar, fb ab bar xarj ubj gb fgbc vg naq vg jrag ba sbe na rkgen-fcrpvny ybat gvzr (guhf nyfb rkcynvavat jul n ohapu bs lbhat, urnygul crbcyr qvrq bs vg). Ybtna pbhyq fheivir vg, ohg vg jnf onq sbe uvz. Vg'f nyfb pbzvpf-pnaba gung vs uvf urnyvat snpgbe tbrf, gur nqnznagvhz pnhfrf urnil-zrgny cbvfbavat, nf jryy vg fubhyq.

And in non-Logan stuff, Quill mentions American Dreamer which is one of my very favorite movies ever. I always wanted to see the (sadly non-existent) sequel.

#75 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2017, 11:31 PM:

Carrie S and CHip, in re Logan's canonical height: Oh! Was unaware of context from movie (as mentioned, haven't seen).

He may be taller in movies than comics, because he's Hugh Jackman, who's 6'2". That may be, by the way, "Hollywood short" for a man, just as certain actors or characters are "Hollywood plain/ugly", and the prefixing adjective sets it out with a much higher value than most of us have access to.

Current average US height for white men is 5'10", for reference.

ADDENDUM: I googled for average leading-man Hollywood heights and found something I didn't expect: they tend to be on the average-to-short side for their ethnicity in the US. I stand corrected.

#76 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 05:21 AM:

Many @ #(element of the natural numbers):

Va er "jul Puneyrf Knivre vafvfg va qvaare"? V guvax ur'f dhvgr sne sebz uvf shyy zragny snphygvrf naq sryg gung fubjvat Ynhen "snzvyl" jnf zber vzcbegnag guna nalguvat ryfr.

Elliott Mason @ #75:

It's amazing, what you can do with a camera, if you put your mind to it (or, just by having strategically placed out-of-fram boxes and holes in the ground).

#77 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 06:33 AM:

#69 ::: rm

I've framed it as "Folk music is music showing the influence of only one planet."

#78 ::: cori ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 08:59 AM:

Local NYC band The Delorean Sisters exists to do bluegrass covers of 80s pop tunes. Their cover of the Fixx's "One Thing Leads to Another" is a personal favorite.

#79 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 10:07 AM:

Please call your Congress people today and beg them to vote "no" on this health-care abomination.

The "Freedom Caucus" just rewrote it last night to make it even worse--stripping out the "Essential Health Benefits" (EHB) provision that required insurers to cover basics like ER visits, pediatric coverage, and opioid addiction coverage.

A lot of moderate Republicans are ready to jump ship. Please call and give them a push. If this bill goes down in flames, you will have the satisfaction of having helped it die.

#80 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 11:55 AM:


I understand that there is software that will keep track of how long you use a certain program or website. When I try to look it up, I get a lot of time tracking systems for employers, which is more or less the functionality that I need, but they all look way too elaborate. There's also a zillion of them; I don't have a good way to thin down the herd.

Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations? Something aimed at freelancers might be better than the big business systems that I'm finding. Free or very low cost is a bonus. Search terms for a more targeted Google search would help, too.

#81 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 12:11 PM:

Mary Aileen @80 I like Toggl at I do not use the website/application tracking feature but I believe it has one, even in the free version.

#82 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 12:19 PM:

OtterB (81): Thanks, that looks useful. I'll have to check it out in depth when I have the time to concentrate on it. I wish they would tell you exactly how it works without signing up, though.

#83 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 01:40 PM:

Question: Do you all think Trump actually wants this Obamacare revision to get passed? Or is he giving the congressional Republicans centered on Ryan enough rope to hang themselves, encouraging them to try to do something very unpopular and fail so that he gains in power relative to them in the party? Or something else?

#84 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 01:51 PM:

Open threadiness: Israeli police arrested a guy for making a bunch of phone calls threatening to attack Jewish temples, schools, daycare centers, etc. Oddly, he's Jewish and an American/Israeli citizen.

I wonder about the effect of media attention on this kind of crime. Some fraction of people are seriously messed up, and they crave some kind of attention or feeling of importance. Hoax bomb threats give that to them, and they become more rewarding, in some sense, when they've being reported more widely.

It's a little like mass-shootings--I wonder how it would affect the rate of these crimes if they were less widely reported. And yet, it's hard to imagine any kind of free media that *wouldn't* report on either mass-shootings or daycare centers having to be evacuated because some jackass called in a bomb threat. It's newsworthy, but the news coverage seems like it probably make it more common.

#85 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 01:56 PM:

albatross @83

Bannon has explicitly said that his "long game" is to kneecap Ryan, and this may be his intention.

But like many would-be Machiavellis, Bannon is nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is.
If Trumpcare is voted down, it is going to damage Trump's brand more than Ryan's.

#86 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 02:11 PM:

albatross @ 83:

My opinion from observation of Trump's past and present behavior is that he only does things with the goal of making himself feel good, and secondarily to benefit his family and 'friends'. His only attachment to any of his policies is that he thinks they'll make him popular and thus he'll feel good.

And @ 84:

Great... Now we get to deal with all the anti-Semites crowing about how now they have proof that Jews really are threatening and vandalizing their own communities to drum up sympathy, instead of just their own assertions.

#87 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 02:23 PM:

Happy birthday, Teresa! (I think a day late, but still.)

#88 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 03:50 PM:

I agree with Ingvar@76. Cebsrffbe K vf sne sebz jung ur jnf, naq abg va gur Ubyyljbbq "V'z bayl fravyr jura vg qbrfa'g vagresrer jvgu zr qbvat vzcbegnag guvatf" jnl.

As far as "Hollywood short" - the joke with the book "Get Shorty" is, it could be ANYONE. Tom Cruise is infamously short (Also Michael J. Fox, Dustin Hoffman.) It is really annoying to me that they wimped out and put Danny DeVito in the role.

#89 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 04:18 PM:

#86 ::: KeithS

Not just anti-Semites-- there are also conservatives who've been claiming that liberals (progressives?) believe the US has much more prejudice than it actually does.

They may be right on this one, at least for anti-Semitism.

#90 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 04:41 PM:

#76 ::: Ingvar M @76, in re leading man heights:

I was aware that Gene Kelly was considered fairly short for leading men of his day (looks it up; 5'7") because of all the stories around Singing in the Rain and Cyd Charisse. First of all, she's a statuesque amazon of dancing wonderfulness, taller than him in flats. Then add in the heels she was wearing. The entire dream sequence on the set of stairs was choreographed, in part, to let Gene be taller than her all the time. It's also why when she's near him she's in plie almost all the time.

#91 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 05:34 PM:

Nancy #89:

This Pew Center summary shows that Jews get about the highest favorability ratings of any religious group. Muslims and Atheists get the bottom scores, with Mormons fairly low as well.

I have no idea how this maps to any particular definition of anti-Semitism, but it doesn't seem particularly consistent with there being widespread hatred of Jews in US culture.

#92 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 07:45 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz #89, albatross #91:

That high approval vale is an average, which indicates Jews aren't facing widespread hostility from the population-at-large, but even they note a minority of perhaps 10% that were a lot chillier. I wonder about the regional balance of their survey (coastal vs. midwestern and southern, urban/rural, etc). I'm sure there are still pockets of anti-Semitism , but I'd expect them to be mostly invisible from my east-coast background, lately transplanted to a "blue dot" in the South. In "my world", you don't really get away with anti-Semitic comments, let alone attacks -- but I've little doubt that there are pockets of the country where things are otherwise. That said, I suspect that these days, any specific anti-Semites are overshadowed and absorbed by the "anti-everybody" reactionaries who've lately taken hold of American politics.

#93 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 08:14 PM:


I'm pretty sure that Trump DOES want the Obamacare repeal to pass. He hates losing at anything and if the repeal doesn't pass it's a defeat for him (although I fully expect him to say some version of "I meant to do that" if that happens).

It is, however, very likely that Trump doesn't understand much about what the repeal actually does.

#94 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 08:45 PM:

Unicorn chaser: David Malki has been tweeting hummingbirds. (Note: I have no idea how that link works, but it does seem to gather the hummingbird tweets over some time. I don't know how long it will last.)

#95 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 09:07 PM:

On anti-Semitism: my experience in the South would lead me to guess that anti-Catholicism is stronger than anti-Semitism, still. I had Jewish colleagues in both places I worked in Virginia, and there was a Jewish synagogue in Jackson TN where I started college long before there was a Catholic parish.

#96 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 09:57 PM:

Anna's hummers, most likely. There's one nesting in the entryway to my apt building, inside the front door and across from the mailboxes. She's been sitting on the nest for about 11 days. (It's a couple of inches above my eye level, so I won't know about babies until I see beaks above the edge.)

#97 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2017, 11:42 PM:

TIL that it isn't only psittacids and flamingos who dance when they hear music they like. Behold the reaction of an ostrich to "The Shire Theme" played on a pennywhistle:

I clicked over to some footage of ostrich courtship, which does not include these particular moves. This isn't a mating display; the ostrich was indeed inspired to boogie down.

#98 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 12:11 AM:

David #92:

Surveys are good at telling us about the averages, not so much about the extremes. The 1/1000 or 1/10000 extremely anti-Semetic people arent going to show up.

The good news is that those guys can't arrange widespread persecution or mistreatment when 99%+ of the surrounding population is against them. The bad news is, they can still do individual nasty actions like vandalizing synogogues or graveyards.

#99 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 01:36 AM:

An amazing piece of collaborative microfiction in the comments to a webcomic (that has an amazing commentariat).

Thread contains no particular spoilers for the comic. All you need to know is that there is a supernatural being called in this thread the WFB, which appears with a plethora of magical spiders as its minions.

#100 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 01:41 AM:

albatross @91, I dunno ’bout that survey. Scroll down to the part that talks about how many people say they know people from various religions. It says that 61% of US adults know someone who’s Jewish, yet only 58% know someone from a mainline Protestant denomination.

The mainline Protestants are Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. They outnumber American Jews by more than 7-to-1, and are more widely distributed. There is no way in hell that more US adults personally know a Jew than personally know a mainline Protestant.

There’s also no way in hell that white evangelicals actually feel as warmly towards Jews as that poll says. I’m pretty sure this is a case of people reporting how they think they ought to feel, instead of how they actually feel.

#101 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 06:54 AM:

Avram @ 100

I would agree that there's no way more Americans personally know a Jew than a mainline Protestant--the numbers just don't work--and share the sense that the poll may not be entirely reliable. I wonder if part of it, though, may be that (observant) Jews are much more obviously identifiable than mainline Protestants. (AKA, the only neighbors on my block who I know their religious affiliation, here in Massachusetts, are the observant Jews.)

I do wonder why you think the numbers for evangelicals are wrong. They look plausible to me; evangelicals generally are very friendly to "Jewish-identified" Jews who are not actively and overtly hostile. (AKA, I expect that a lot of evangelicals despise Mikey Weinstein and George Soros, and think well of Benjamin Netanyahu, Charles Krauthammer, and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik.)

#102 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 09:18 AM:

Forty years ago, when I (Methodist) told an elderly cousin (also Methodist) that I was marrying a Jewish man, she said, "That's okay. That's 'roots'."

#103 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 10:39 AM:

Avram #100:

I know polls can go wrong in a variety of ways. The Pew Center is a reputable organization and I think they try to get things right, but there could definitely be people shading their answers based on social availability, or subject to other biases. But I'm not sure how else to try to get an actual answer to the question of how widespread anti-Semitism is. News reports of hate crimes seem a lot worse--whether a hate crime gets reported has a lot to do with whether other media have been reporting them lately, many of the ones in the news appear to have been hoaxes, etc.

As an aside, how do you know that your intuition about how evangelicals feel about Jews is more accurate than the polling data? Do you hang around with a lot of evangelican Christians, so that you know their inner thoughts and beliefs that they wouldn't share with a pollster?

#104 ::: Sarah E ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 11:03 AM:

Recently rewatched Trouble Bound (1992) which is basically a screwball noir.

#105 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 12:06 PM:

Lori Coulson@65: Agreed on Beauty and the Beast: it was beautiful, especially in the Busby Berkeley bits, and I really liked Emma Watson (even if my brain did keep trying to turn her into Hermione whenever there was magic flying around). I thought they did about as well as they could with the problematic aspects of the story, given how closely they were bound to stick to it.

I did find myself flashing frequently on Ursula Vernon's Bryony and Roses in a "but what if..." way, but that's not a bad thing.

#106 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 12:20 PM:

I have just spent roughly 25+ work hours on my backyard, and it's finally getting to the point where we might actually be able to do something with it. We paid the neighbor's son and his buddy to do brush pile and log cleanup (from a tree that fell and was taken apart last year, but not removed.)

Now I have some privet removal (I've gotten everything I could with loppers, but we still have to remove the ones with delusions of tree-hood.)

Now, what to do with a lawn where the *best* part is bermuda grass...

#107 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 12:43 PM:

dotless i @105 LOL! When the movie reached the point where Maurice is rescued by Agatha, my brain said, "Aha! We are in one of Lackey's 500 kingdoms, because there's the Fairy Godmother to save the day!"

That was only reinforced by the events that occurred when all hope was lost...

#108 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 12:53 PM:

#103 ::: albatross

It's really hard to say how much anti-Semitism there is in the US, and harder to figure out the intensity level.

I'm not sure it matters if someone believes that Jews have too much influence on Hollywood but doesn't actually care very much, doesn't encourage hatred, and treats actual Jews decently.

The amount of anti-Semitism I've run into personally has been *very* small. On the other hand, it seems to be less than what many of the Jews I know have experienced.

There have been some anti-Semitic murders, but just a very few in the past decade or so. (None of them killed Jews, people were killed for being around Jews.)

Trump has targeted Muslims and immigrants much more than Jews.

I'd like to believe that Americans are about as destructively bigoted as they want to be, and Trump isn't making things worse.* I'm obviously not right-- there have been more violent hate crimes than usual, but not a lot more. As this point, I'm inclined to think there isn't a large reservoir of hatred waiting to be activated.

*I'm just talking about violence by individuals. Government policy and laws are another and more dangerous matter.

#109 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 02:40 PM:

albatross @103, I actually had a bunch of conservative Christian friends in my dorm at college. They weren’t all evangelicals (at least one was a conservative Catholic, and another a Mormon), but I think some were. Still, that was over 30 years ago. I’m only still in touch with one of those people today.

Anyway, my intuition is based in a lifetime of watching evangelicals on television complaining about “those northeastern liberals who control our media and don’t support our Christian values.” The code is pretty obvious. They love Israel, because it occupies a special place in their religion, but they don’t talk like they have any particular affection for the Jews who are living here in the US.

#110 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 04:41 PM:

B. Durbin - If you're still out near Sacramento, digging up that grass to plant tomatoes sounds like an obvious plan.

#111 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 05:36 PM:

So... No vote on the AHCA, which means the ACA remains the law of the Land.

#112 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 07:19 PM:

Some time ago, I read an article that posited that anti-Jewish prejudice tends to be qualitatively different from anti-anything-else. The article said that it's basically a scapegoating thing, where Jews are allowed to get close to the top but can be blamed for things, with a side of lying and betrayal because they aren't really Us, now are they. Also interesting was an article, possibly linked here, about an Aryan prison gang and the Jewish inmate who ate with them.

I find a lot of Judaism interesting, but this is probably because the friend who converted has a really interesting way of looking at religion, at festivals, at terminology, et cetera. It means I have a weird patchwork understanding of festivals, too.

In more local news, I have planted a wee succulent in my Bulbasaur planter and rearranged a number of other plants, which will hopefully not die immediately.

#113 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 08:54 PM:

If you phoned your representatives, then celebrate tonight.

If you went to a town hall, then celebrate tonight.

If you marched on DC with the Women's March, then celebrate tonight.

If you are a decent human being who wants more healthcare for more people and less suffering for the poor, then celebrate tonight.

We're going to have to fight every step, every day, until decent Americans regain control from the Russian moles.

But for tonight, we can celebrate.

#114 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 09:15 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 75: in the heyday of Hollywood, there were a number of men picked for looks and acting skill rather than height, and a number of sleights used to disguise this. Some were mechanical, as Ingvar M. notes (cf the box Prince Charles stood on for the official photograph with Diana, who was much less than a head shorter). Some involved casting; John Houseman in Front and Center says that Alan Ladd would say of any significantly taller actor (either gender) that they just weren't quite right for the part and somebody else should be found.

albatross @ 83: Trump is certainly that selfish -- I don't think he believes in a government of three branches -- but I don't think he can think that strategically; he expects to proceed from triumph to triumph (even if he has to skew them, witness the latest justification of his claim of being wiretapped, or outright ignore the failures like the casino and the airline shuttle), and figured he could get the "Freedom Caucus" to fold. (Can you imagine him trying to campaign for civilized Republicans to beat teabaggers in primaries? Talk about unconvincing....) Interesting late-breaking tidbit: at 4pm EDT (GMT-4), the Boston Globe said that a Ryan spokesperson said Trump called and ordered the bill pulled. (Of course, the President couldn't make Congress pull a bill, but Trump doesn't know that.) However, I don't see that in the current crop of stories; the summary of the top story says Ryan did it with Trump's acquiescence, but the story proper says nothing. Given the crop of pathological liars in the White House and Ryan's unwillingness to deal with simple truth, I figure we'll be luck to know the truth in three decades; learning Deep Throat's name was easy compared to this mess.

#115 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 10:09 PM:

This time is going to make one cracking good dark-comedy movie someday.

I hope today is the setup for the scene where the Young Conservative Idealist character hears his heroes tearing into each other through a closed door and realizes the whole mess is teetering on the brink.

#116 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2017, 11:31 PM:

And speaking of selfish politicians:
(from File:770, due to SF mention near the end.) I suppose Farage doesn't really care what Londoners think of him, as he (like Trump) draws support from people who despise current cities....

#117 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2017, 03:45 AM:

Stefan Jones @115

Have you seen the (late, lamented) TV series "BrainDead"? Medium dark comedy by the writers of "The Good Wife" which blames the current political climate on brain-eating insects from outer space. Very funny.

#118 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2017, 03:56 AM:

Nancy Liebowitz @47

Two of my favorite peculiar movies:

"Wristcutters: A Love Story" about the afterlife awaiting suicides (actually a somewhat funny and romantic story, unexpectedly)

"Map of the Sounds Of Tokyo Bay" a sad, but moving story about an assassin who falls in love, which introduced me to Rinko Kikuchi.

#119 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 01:50 AM:

On the bluegrass Brandenburg, and "will cover anything": mandolinist Chris Thile did a wonderful cover of Bach's Sonatas & Partitas which were composed for solo frickin violin Here's Sonata 1 in G Minor

#120 ::: Emily ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 07:43 AM:

I think this thread needs the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain...

#121 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 12:15 PM:

#112 ::: Diatryma

Anti-Semitism is weird. There are a number of other middleman/market minorities (people who are better at commerce than the surrounding population)-- Ibo, Bengalis, oversea Chinese (incomplete list)-- but so far as I know, Jews are the only group that has weird conspiracy theories woven around it.

Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition is about how non-Jews have invented a version of Judaism to be opposed to.

Some anti-Semitic tropes go back to ancient Egypt, and the author thinks it's because as a minority, Jews look to the top of the government for protection, and as a result, people who are unwilling to attack the top of the government directly attack the Jews instead.

This isn't the whole story. Christians made theories about people who were worshipping the same God but who wouldn't choose a superior religion. I am very grateful to be living in the modern era.

#122 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 01:40 PM:

PNH "Disruption" Sidelight: I wonder how many Slate readers have actually heard of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. A fair number, I hope, but I expect less than half.

#123 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 05:30 PM:

Tom Whitmore #122: How many have been taught Marxist theory in that building?

#124 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 07:21 PM:

Fragrant Ledgister @ 123: It was mostly used for science labs when I went there (NYU's Brown Building).

#125 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 07:23 PM:

Me @124: Damn autocorrect! Sorry, Fragano.

#126 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 07:25 PM:

Me @124: Damn autocorrect! Sorry, Fragano.

(And this may double post. We're just error central today.)

#127 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 08:49 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz at 121:

I think the Sogdians were the subject of conspiracy theories, but they no longer exist as a people.

#128 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2017, 08:53 PM:

At least "fragrant" has a good meaning. I once had autocorrect turn my husband's last name into "Stinks."

#129 ::: Louis Patterson ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 05:28 AM:

#119 ::: thomas

A lot of this is convergent evolution, but mandolins are actually pretty similar to violins in a lot of respects. Same tuning, for example. Mandolins can't play as high up the fingerboard and generally aren't as agile, but it's pretty straightforward to transfer over most of the repertoire.

[there's even the mandolin orchestra or quartet, with larger mandolin relatives filling the viola and cello slots]

#130 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 07:48 AM:

HelenS @128: My mom was issued an email when she went back to school. Their scheme was "first initial, first five of last, number if not unique." She was ebeltz, which was unique.

While writing papers, WP kept autocorrecting to "eyeballs".

It amused her so much she didn't teach it to the dictionary. Of course, she's also a massive fan of the original Gorey Addams Family, so. :->

#131 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 09:13 AM:

Elliot: "the original Gorey Addams Family" ?

Do you mean>these?

Chas Addams was the cartoonist. (If you're not one of today's 10,000, apologies for overexplaining. And if Edward Gorey did some Addams Family work, I'd love to see it. )

#132 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 11:42 AM:

...Although, to be fair, there totally ought to be a Gorey/Addams mash-up....

#133 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 11:44 AM:

..."Psst! Chutney!"

Me: "Noooooo.... I already don't have time...!"

#134 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 02:39 PM:

Seeing the Sidelight on Disruption! made me think of another great classic of Management Literature:

Donnie in the Room (with apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer)

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for Republicans that day.
They’d promised for six years that they’d repeal the ACA.
But when the caucus gathered, and they looked from man to man
They knew that not a one of them had ever had a plan.

“I’d counted on a veto,” said a rep from Tennessee.
“The blame Obama always took would fall on Hillary.
Then Pennsylvania went for Trump, and Michigan the same.
And now we run the government, we can’t just play a game.”

A colleague from Wyoming was equally concerned.
Shaking his head sadly, he stated what he’d learned.
“My hopes from the beginning always had one little flaw.
I’d pictured making speeches, never thought I’d write a law.”

Neither had the others, though they often said they would.
They knew what programs shouldn’t do, but not the things they should.
Then said a man from Texas, “We’ll never have success.
We got so used to saying No, we’ll never get to Yes.”

“I know,” said Ryan hopefully, “that’s sometimes how it feels.
But Donnie wrote the book about the art of making deals.
I know agreement’s hard to find, and deadlines closely loom.
But we can still succeed if we get Donnie in the room.”

Oh Donnie! Clever Donnie! How everyone agreed.
The plan that he campaigned on was just the one they’d need.
It ended it all the mandates! It set the markets free!
And still it covered everyone, from sea to shining sea!...

I won't spoil the ending.

#135 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 03:16 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 134... Or maybe they had a very subtle plan that's still unfurling as we speak.

Baldrick: "I can't see any subtle plan."
Blackadder: "Baldrick, you wouldn't see a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing 'Subtle plans are here again!'"

#136 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 05:19 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 130... While writing papers, WP kept autocorrecting to "eyeballs"

That reminds me of the day I escaped from the Gap and, as I wrote my goodbye letter, the word processor tried to change my boss's name, giving me a choice between 'valuator' and 'violator'.

#137 ::: Angiportus Librarysaver ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2017, 09:18 PM:

HLN: Area web-surfer, recalling a headline about a quasar "streaking across the sky", wonders if this is what they mean by a naked singularity.

#138 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2017, 10:25 AM:

Angiportus: ::applause::

#139 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2017, 03:21 PM:

Serge Broom @ 135: Well, of course not. If it's tap-dancing, it's not a subtle plan. Unless you're the Mad Thinker, I suppose.

#140 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2017, 04:53 PM:

AKICIML: My new computer, which I have named Plastic Pal, wants me to open a Web browser in order to read a PDF that I have downloaded to my desktop. Failing that, it wants me to use Word.


Does Adobe still make a thing that reads PDFs for free, and what is it called? I went to their site and was deluged with ads for clouds and apps and I don't know what, and I couldn't find a search window.

#141 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2017, 05:04 PM:

Slate's Triangle Shirtwaist piece -- OUCH. It hurt to read and it was perfect. So glad to be pointed to it.

#142 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2017, 05:04 PM:

Jenny Islander @ 140:

Adobe's latest and greatest is Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Aesthetics are a value judgement, and I judge it to be kind of ugly. Remember to uncheck the optional offers on the download page before you click the install button.

I used to keep track of free alternative PDF readers that were lighter-weight, or had different features, or just had the advantage of not being made by Adobe. They were all terrible in various ways that encouraged me to put up with Adobe's standard product instead.

#143 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2017, 05:05 PM:

Jenny Islander @140:

Here's the link to download Adobe Reader. I personally quite like Foxit Reader.

#144 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2017, 07:39 PM:

I was doing my taxes the other day. At the end of the process TurboTax offers to save your returns as a PDF and print them up. It uses their own PDF viewer for both of these tasks.

I saved the PDF to a couple of places, then asked for a print job. I let it chunk off the 42 pages of forms and worksheets and such, stapled 'em together, and was about to file it when I noticed . . . high weirdness. Not PostScript code, but a churned-up mess of characters. Recognizably my return, layout-wise, but with nothing readable.

It turned out that my printer's "eco friendly" driver was responsible. Turned off "save the earth" mode, and it rattled off readable pages.

#145 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2017, 07:40 PM:

Jenny Islander @140
I have a similar issue, with the hassle of a layer of corporate b*llsh!t. Edge/Chrome don't provide a competent PDF reader (about 20% of the time I want to rotate the scanned page I've been sent, for instance). Our local IT had to agitate for a separate reader to be installed, and it is clunkier than it should be to utilise it.

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