Mar
13

Also, I Never Should’ve Gotten That Tesla Coil




Posted at 4:05 by Gavin M.

I got an old oscilloscope a few years ago because I work on antique guitar amps, and because I didn’t realize how it would freaking ruin my appreciation of science fiction.

The trouble began when I watched Silent Running and saw that my exact model of oscilloscope was in use on the bridge of the Valley Forge, as a sensor to detect distant spacecraft.

I have been unable to use this feature on mine. There is no combination of settings that seems to detect spacecraft at any distance. Hell with you, Silent Running.

Over time, through other movies and TV episodes, I learned that my oscilloscope’s capabilities also include alien language translation, tractor-beaming, and scanning for life forms.

Needless to say, if I can’t detect spaceships, I’m not going to have any aliens to talk to whose space-gibberish needs translating. No combination of settings seems to emit tractor beams. The bushes outside could be rustling with ninjas for all I can tell, scanwise.

Plus, if that life-form-scanning function even worked, how would I know it wasn’t detecting me, earthworms, or even airborne bacteria? You might as well have a device in your home to detect atmospheric nitrogen (or gravity).

So long story short, yesterday I attempted to watch the first episode of Space:1999 only to find Barbara Bain (as Dr. Helena Russell) using my very oscilloscope to detect abnormal brainwave activity among the personnel of Moonbase Alpha.

I’m going to assume without even checking the knob settings and output jacks that this represents YET ONE MORE FRAUD perpetrated upon the science-fiction community by the oscilloscope lobby.

[PS: If the vid doesn't start at 1:20, advance the slider-thingy. KTHX! -Steiner]

407 Comments »

  1. Spearhafoc, who waits dreaming in his house at R'lyeh said,

    March 13, 2013 at 4:13

    Scifi Isreal!

  2. Crissa said,

    March 13, 2013 at 4:19

    C’mon, the oscilloscope is the basic way to convey an analog signal into a basic recognizable pattern.

    Therefore, you’re just missing the important piece of signal generation equipment that the scopes are plugged into, obviously.

  3. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 13, 2013 at 4:25

    I’m going to assume without even checking the knob settings and output jacks

    Pay attention to the sines.

  4. Jeffraham Prestonian said,

    March 13, 2013 at 4:27

    Sine, sine, everywhere a sine!
    Do this! Don’t do that! Can’t you read…
    .

  5. boconn13 said,

    March 13, 2013 at 4:40

    However, I can sell you the up-grade, Wyndows XT. Please deposit $13,000,000 US in my Nigerian Bank account. 5 4 – 4 6 is my number.

  6. Thread Bear said,

    March 13, 2013 at 4:55

    Your oscilloscope will detct gravity. Simply hold it about three feet above your bare toes and release it. If you feel a sudden sharp pain in your toes there is gravity present

  7. Major Kong said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:03

    It’s scary that I’m old enough to remember when 1999 was “the future”.

  8. Major Kong said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:03

    Oh, and Barbara Bain was seriously hot.

  9. Spearhafoc, who waits dreaming in his house at R'lyeh said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:08

    Take a look at what life was like back in the year 2000.

    Man, I miss those giant seahorses.

    I also love the hair cutting machine. Man, I wouldn’t have wanted to be the one to product-test that.

  10. Spearhafoc, who waits dreaming in his house at R'lyeh said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:11

    Man

  11. Snorghagen said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:13

    There is no combination of settings that seems to detect spacecraft at any distance. Hell with you, Silent Running.

    You need to attach a lower-range Wetenbourg vacu-invilibalibulater to the ganeuton valve and set the ectoplasm pump to at least 4.5 tsi. If the nilometer shows a positive value, you’re in business.

  12. Major Kong said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:15

    You need to attach a lower-range Wetenbourg vacu-invilibalibulater to the ganeuton valve and set the ectoplasm pump to at least 4.5 tsi

    You need a three-phase ectoplasm pump for that to work. The two-phase ones don’t have enough output.

  13. Snorghagen said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:28

    You need a three-phase ectoplasm pump for that to work. The two-phase ones don’t have enough output.

    Definitely avoid using two-phase pumps. Those pieces of crap tend to seize up when exposed to the extremely high radiation levels generated by the plutonium wads in the roto-testes.

  14. El Manquecito said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:40

    McCain used a wasillascope to pick his veep.

  15. S. cerevisiae said,

    March 13, 2013 at 5:49

    Shooting the plutonium wad

  16. Random Troll said,

    March 13, 2013 at 6:09

    Oh man, you got the *B* Model…
    ya shoulda got the *A* .

    My *A* does ALL that and MORE.

    And with LESS uranium residue left over!

  17. bbkf said,

    March 13, 2013 at 6:20

    Take a look at what life was like back in the year 2000.

    why would anybody want to go seagull fishing, man?

  18. Shwell Thanksh said,

    March 13, 2013 at 6:34

    I think there’sh a LabView module for that, no need to actually get yer handsh dirty there.

  19. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 7:08

    It’s scary that I’m old enough to remember when 1999 was “the future”.

    I remember the WorldCon (World Science Fiction Convention) bid for 1999: “Space Station Alpha – last chance before it leaves orbit,” as the storyline had them blasting out of orbit after the Labor Day weekend, which was the traditional WorldCon weekend.

  20. Bob Munck said,

    March 13, 2013 at 8:18

    I had similar problems with the ARDS terminals we had at Brown in the late 60′s, the ones using Tektronix storage tube displays. A decade later it turned out they could be used to draw cross-sections of Cylon spaceships when they attacked the Galactica. Who knew?

  21. jim the heretical anti-cliff lemming said,

    March 13, 2013 at 9:12

    SCIENCE!

  22. Green Eagle said,

    March 13, 2013 at 9:17

    Maybe there just aren’t any alien spaceships that are close enough.

  23. Smut Clyde said,

    March 13, 2013 at 10:57

    brainwave activity among the personnel of Moonbase Alpha

    My credulity is strained already.

  24. Smut Clyde said,

    March 13, 2013 at 11:01

    “Its full name,” he said, “is the Praetorian eschatalogical morphomorphic tangram, Endymion-type, but we usually just call it a ramification.”
    The old man fixed him with a stern black eye. “Are you trying to be funny or something? I mean, I may not be a smart-aleck scientist, but I sure as hell know a television when I see one.”
    Cal assured him it was not a television, and proved it by switching it on. “See,” he said, pointing to a pattern of square waves, “there are the little anapests.”

  25. blowback said,

    March 13, 2013 at 11:20

    Gavin – that oscilloscope could detect alien space ships, you just didn’t have the right accessories. You need one of these, one of these and a few of these and you’re good to go.

  26. Shakezula said,

    March 13, 2013 at 14:26

    Next: The sad truth about theremins.

  27. Shakezula said,

    March 13, 2013 at 14:29

    I somehow missed out on that Intensive Breeding that took place in 2000. Blast!

  28. drew42 said,

    March 13, 2013 at 15:01

    I can’t watch TV shows from that era, because they hadn’t yet invented the Gross-Mouth audio filter. When an actor pauses between lines, every little spit bubble pop, mucous-clogged nose breath, and sticky dry tongue cluck comes through loud and clear.

    I wish NPR would start using the filter.

  29. Oblios_Cap said,

    March 13, 2013 at 15:04

    It sounds like you might need to give it some adjustment with your sonic screwdriver.

  30. J— said,

    March 13, 2013 at 15:51

    For “Mack the Knife” in German, an oscilloscope is what you need.

  31. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    March 13, 2013 at 17:12

    rustling with ninjas

    My new band!

    P.S. Good to see you around, Gavin.
    ~

  32. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 13, 2013 at 17:31

    They call it science fiction for a reason. It doesn’t pay to actually know anything about science. Next you’ll be saying that spaceships can’t really travel faster than light.

  33. Trilateral Commissioner said,

    March 13, 2013 at 17:54

    I wish NPR would start using the filter.

    Me too. Daniel Schorr used to sound like he was drowning, and there’s some other (very adenoidal) commentator who’s almost as bad. I don’t know what it is that they’re not doing, but I wish they’d stop not doing it.

  34. Pupienus Maximus said,

    March 13, 2013 at 17:54

    Gavin, you can’t do it just by twiddling knobs. You have to get inside the thing and reconfigure it. You have to use the scope on itself to produce the desired function but if you’re not careful you’ll induce a recursive nonlinear Daystrom loop and end up in four million BC or create a distortion in the local morphogenic field and get orgone poisoning. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing BEST NOT FUCK WITH IT.

  35. Major Kong said,

    March 13, 2013 at 18:20

    For “Mack the Knife” in German, an oscilloscope is what you need

    All you need to speak German is a bad head cold.

  36. JohnR said,

    March 13, 2013 at 18:28

    And hob-nailed boots. The spike on the helmet is optional.

  37. bughunter said,

    March 13, 2013 at 18:29

    it would freaking ruin my appreciation of low budget science fiction on TeeVee.

    Fixed.

    Counterexamples would be Babylon 5 and some seasons of Stargate… I don’t have access to the SyFy network so can’t comment on its productions.

    But SF on TV and in movies is still aeons behind written SF, even stuff first published almost 50 years ago, like Herbert’s Dune and Delaney’s Nova. If you like the space opera that typically gets made for TV then I recommend you try Alastair Reynolds or Peter F. Hamilton, two authors who write imaginative, compelling space opera with complex characters, but seem to be perennially ignored by the Hugo people. (While other space-opera-y writers like Iain M. Banks, David Brin and Vernor Vinge aren’t… of course, they’re also recommended.)

  38. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 13, 2013 at 18:49

    You need to attach a lower-range Wetenbourg vacu-invilibalibulater to the ganeuton valve and set the ectoplasm pump to at least 4.5 tsi. If the nilometer shows a positive value, you’re in business.

    I was shopping for vacu-invilibalibulaters at Amazon and now they keep pestering me with e-mails about cheap knock-off Interociters and other unrelated crap. Get your shit together Amazon!

  39. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 19:10

     I recommend you try Alastair Reynolds or Peter F. Hamilton, two authors who write imaginative, compelling space opera with complex characters, but seem to be perennially ignored by the Hugo people. 

    If you want a say in who’s nominated and who wins, get a membership:
    From http://www.thehugoawards.org/i-want-to-vote/

    You do not need to attend the convention in order to nominate or vote. A “supporting membership” will be sufficient to make you a member of the World Science Fiction Society and grant you voting rights for both the current year’s nomination stage, the final ballot, and the right to nominate for the next year’s awards.

    Hugo Voting Process

    The Hugo Awards voting process has two stages: a nomination period and a final voting period. During the nomination period ballots may be cast by current Worldcon members (who join by January 31) and members from the previous year’s Worldcon.

    After the nomination period closes, only members of the current Worldcon are eligible to vote on the final ballot.

    Nominations are closed for 2013, but LonCon 3, the 2014 WorldCon, has supporting (voting, not attending) memberships for US $40 (this price good through this April, after which it will probably go up).
    The number of people nominating is very small, so your voice could make a difference. The number voting is larger, but still pretty small. Lately, I suspect to increase the number of voters, they’ve been an electronic voter’s packet, which also increases the exposure to the nominated authors’ works.

  40. Pupienus Maximus said,

    March 13, 2013 at 19:29

    I wouldn’t nominate or vote for Hamilton or Reynolds. It’s pretty good stuff as space opera goes but I have never read anything of theirs that made me say “Wow!” I don’t cast a vote every year because some years there isn’t anything I deem worthy of the award.

  41. El Manquecito said,

    March 13, 2013 at 19:31

    and end up in four million BC

    Will there be fur bikinis? Because rawr!

  42. eataTREE said,

    March 13, 2013 at 19:33

    I have to agree with Crissa: an oscilloscope is just a means to display an analog signal or waveform. Presuming it’s got the Spaceship Detecting Sensors hooked up to the inputs, there’s nothing illogical or contrary to science in that scenario.

    So do you actually recommend Silent Running? For non-ironic entertainment or cultural value? Never actually seen that one.

  43. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 13, 2013 at 19:37

    Silent Running is a long Bruce Dern monologue with spaceships and cute robots. So not bad. An over-enthusiastic appraisal.

  44. bughunter said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:11

    I wouldn’t nominate or vote for Hamilton or Reynolds. It’s pretty good stuff as space opera goes but I have never read anything of theirs that made me say “Wow!”

    Hugos are awarded on popularity at least as much as a literary merit… the same authors (Brin… Stross) get nominated repeatedly for sequels / successive novels that aren’t nearly as good as their first, nor as good as many newer authors’ who never get nominated.

    (Saturn’s Children? Come on… it was “meh” at best.)

  45. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:13

    with spaceships and cute robots.

    I kept thinking I’d seen one of the Silent Running robots in the hold of the jawa scavenger in Star Wars, but teh intertoobz have convinced me I was wrong (being able to look for stills from old movies is wonderful). I’m pretty sure I’d seen the trashcan with feet style robots somewhere earlier, probably in something low budget.

  46. tigris said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:15

    Apparently the Catholic church has been poped.

  47. tigris said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:16

    Didn’t take that long to squeeze one out.

  48. Shakezula said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:22

    Oh? Who will be the next head of the Raped Children Corporation (TM)?

  49. Helmut Monotreme said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:23

    The number of living popes is double what it was last year. If this rate of increase continues there will be a popeulation explosion.

  50. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:23

    Apparently the Catholic church has been poped.

    Let me guess – a regressive white male, probably European. I realize the “male” part is a given, but I had to say it.

  51. tigris said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:38

    If it’s the Boston guy I was in line at the airport behind him once. He didn’t molest anybody while I was watching, which I suppose counts for something nowadays.

  52. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:44

    Did you check under the cassock for a small boy?

  53. gocart mozart said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:49

    NEWS FLASH!: It’s Rick Santorum!

  54. tigris said,

    March 13, 2013 at 20:51

    No, and security at Logan is notoriously lax, but it would have had to have been a really little one. WHICH ONLY MAKES IT WORSE!

  55. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:11

    Let us now pay homage to Pope Gilbert Gottfried.

  56. Smut Clyde said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:12

    I was in line at the airport behind him once

    RETRO ME TIGRIMUS

  57. Smut Clyde said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:14

    aliens to talk to whose space-gibberish needs translating

    Mayor Snorkum will lay the cake.
    What for the cake be laid by Snorkum?
    He will starch his mustache.
    That is night-gab. How can he starch a tepid mouse?

  58. tigris said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:15

    It’s the Argentine. Love the papal emergency escape slide.

  59. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:19

    Love the papal emergency escape slide.

    Is it like the “Electric Slide?”

  60. tigris said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:19

    RETRO ME TIGRIMUS

    *goose*

  61. tigris said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:21

    It was a big curtain I guess, but it looked like they were busting out an emergency exit.

    Also: Borgesian pope?

  62. gocart mozart said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:28

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Bergoglio

  63. gocart mozart said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:29

    I predict an uptick in the use of the phrase “Lighten up Francis.”

  64. Smut Clyde said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:32

    Also: Borgesian pope?
    His first papal bull will be about the Sect of the Thirty.

  65. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:34

    All I know about Pope Francis I is from his Wikipedia page, so I see he is of Italian descent, though since only his father is mentioned (Italian railway worker), I suppose his mother could have been non-European. I got the “regressive* white male” part right, though.

    *Yes, he’s SJ, which usually means a certain intellectual rigor, and yes, he’s said to eschew many trappings, but he seems, no surprise, to be right in line with the regressive core of the RCC.

  66. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:36

    Time for a rousing rendition of María de Buenos Aires.

  67. El Manquecito said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:36

    The pope’s not a peep? Don’t tell Riddled.

  68. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:39

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Bergoglio

    Gotta love teh wackypedia sometimes:

    “Francis (Latin: Franciscus; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio; December 17, 1936) is the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, elected on March 14, 2013, and taking the papal name Francis,[1] after St. Francis of Assisi. [2] He is the first Pope born in the Americas.

    “Early life

    Jorge Bergoglio was born in India, one of the five children of an Indian railway worker and his wife. ”

    LOLWUT

    Unrelated: there is a very cute ginger girl standing outside my building thoroughly berating whoever she’s talking to on the phone. This side of the conversation is amusing. “Fucking idiot” has been used three times so far.

  69. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:40

    And the wiki has already been fixed. Funny.

  70. bbkf said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:43

    He has also insisted that adoption by homosexuals is a form of discrimination against children. This position received a rebuke from Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who said the church’s tone was reminiscent of “medieval times and the Inquisition”.

    you go, girl!

  71. Pupienus Maximus said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:44

    (Saturn’s Children? Come on… it was “meh” at best. )

    I have no clue as to why I forced myself to finish reading it. It was that bad. Speaking of bad, Amazon popped up a suggestion for Ben Bova’s latest. I didn’t even know he was still alive. I seem to recall enjoying the Kinsman stuff back in the day (though I can’t find any detailed memories specific to those books I read so long ago – maybe they were crap too?) so I bought it. It was fucking awful. Characters were unbelievable, inconsistent, unengaging. Plot holes big enough to push a Saturn V through. And the dialogue, my god the cheesy, forced, ridiculous dialogue! Totally craptacular.

  72. deering said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:45

    “RETRO ME TIGRIMUS”

    Pfit. That all you got? I’ll see and raise you one “Liberate tutame ex infernis.”

  73. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:47

    And they’ve changed the pic from Cardinal red to Papal white.

    The wiki Francis_I page I first got to (after googling “pope” and clicking on the wiki link after tigris made ref to the Argentinian), had the “born in Buenos Aires” on it from the first time I saw it. But they’ve been busy updating in the few minutes I’ve been going back to it.

  74. El Manquecito said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:48

    The best overheard fone I caught at Mardi Gras was;

    “Don’t worry baby this ain’t enough to make me trade you for some other lame no good ass bitch. “

  75. mat said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:48

    Damn, damn, damn, they elected another old white guy.

    I was rooting for Nipsey Russell to be the next pope. So what’s he’s dead, so was JP II for the last ten years he was the pope.

  76. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:49

    Oops, no. The Pope_Francis wiki page still has the cardinal red pic up. Wonder when they’ll get their pages together.

  77. bbkf said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:50

    Speaking of bad, Amazon popped up a suggestion for Ben Bova’s latest

    speaking of, i would like to know how netflix comes up with their oftentimes weird ‘you may also like’ suggestions…and really…who writes their synopsi for them?

  78. bbkf said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:52

    “Don’t worry baby this ain’t enough to make me trade you for some other lame no good ass bitch. “

    soooo…she may be a lame no good ass bitch, but at least she’s his lame no good ass bitch…niiiiiiiice…i bet he has either a soul patch, mullet or both, wears sleeveless novelty t-shirts and has an excess of gold jewelry and/or tats…

  79. deering said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:53

    brainwave activity among the personnel of Moonbase Alpha

    My credulity is strained already.

    Werd. Especially since there was precious little brainwave activity among the SPACE: 1999 writing personnel. How many truly good eps. did that show have–three?

  80. deering said,

    March 13, 2013 at 21:54

    Crud–coding didn’t work. Sorry!

  81. VCarlson said,

    March 13, 2013 at 22:05

    Lord Foul’s Bane was the first book I consciously chose to stop reading, right after the protagonist raped his host’s daughter. I decided I really didn’t need to give any more of my time to such a loathsome character. A friend who made it through the first six books (which was the end of the series at the time) said he was still the same sorry SOB (still feeling sorry for himself, and no one else) at the end of the last book, so I felt vindicated. I’ve done it since, with other books I don’t feel quite so strongly about.

  82. deering said,

    March 13, 2013 at 22:13

    Heh. A friend of mind summed up the Covenant series thusly: “I’m a pathetic leper; I’m a really pathetic leper. I’m a pathetic miserable leper. I’m still a pathetic miserable leper. I’m a pathetic miserable powerful leper. I’m still pathetic.” I’ve never seen such a popular trilogy that was outright hated by so many SF/fantasy readers–apparently everyone who ever read it.

  83. mat said,

    March 13, 2013 at 22:24

    I LOVED Space:1999 back in the day! Then again, I was frying my brain with a melange of seriously potent illicit drugs back then, ‘cos I thought Ponch & Jon were totally cool too. And that bearded guy and his bear. Oh, and, the blind chick from Little House on the Prairie! And Kristy McNichol in Family! Talk about a spank bank deposit!

  84. bbkf said,

    March 13, 2013 at 22:41

    And that bearded guy and his bear.

    grizzly adams…we refer to my brother as that when he is at his mountain man best…and for the record, i thought jon was way cuter than ponch…but then again, i had a crush on that one dude from emergency!…

  85. kg said,

    March 13, 2013 at 22:54

    speaking of, i would like to know how netflix comes up with their oftentimes weird ‘you may also like’ suggestions…and really…who writes their synopsi for them?

    Amazon is constantly trying to sell me shit I just bought — From THEM!

  86. kg said,

    March 13, 2013 at 22:56

    Lord Foul’s Bane was the first book I consciously chose to stop reading, right after the protagonist raped his host’s daughter.

    That’s the point where I put it down too.

  87. CRA said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:01

    Francis, faugh. They really missed an opportunity naming this pope. I will say, he doesn’t look as evil as whats-his-name did. The eyes! … We coulda had some lovely IIs:

    Dionysius II woulda been interesting. Wikipedia says the whole renaming thing started with a guy named Mercurius (too pagan).

    Cornelius II — for the Planet of the Apes fans
    Hilarius II — just funny
    Lando II — George Lucas probably used this name without knowing its popitude

  88. Reality Checker said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:09

    Y’know, I kind’a liked Space: 1999, even though the premise was plain silly. Weird and trippy in its way. The 2001 influence was definitely there, at least in the first season. A lot of these big, empty (visual) spaces a la Kubrick.

    I must be the only science fiction fan I know who hasn’t read Thomas Covenant, though I think I’ve read a Donaldson short story or three over the years. But I have to say long, long series are hard for me to keep up with sometimes. (About the only one I have lately gone through is George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire. But day-um, he’s taking his sweet time to get to the payoff he set up at the start).

  89. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:26

    Holy shit. It turns out the new Pope hid prisoners of the Argentine junta from international rights workers. If this is true it makes Benedict in the Hitler Youth look like a Cub Scout.

  90. Shakezula said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:26

    Watching people eagerly wonder if Nova Pope will be less of a regressive troglodyte reminds me of two kittens I adopted while living with the owner of a psychotic cat.

    The kittens would toddle up to psycho cat. Psycho cat would knock the kittens over with a swift smack and run off growling. After a second the kittens would right themselves and toddle off after the psycho cat.

    It was kind of sad. The difference here is that people wondering about Nova Pope aren’t being malicious little dicks.

  91. bughunter said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:28

    Lord Foul’s Bane was the first book I consciously chose to stop reading

    It’s no wonder mine was also a Donaldson screed, The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story; the man can write some of the most depressing shit I’ve ever read.

  92. Shakezula said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:30

    The thing about Donaldson is after five zillion people insist you MUST MUST MUSTY MUST read his book about some leper dude, you expect to have your socks knocked off by the first sentence.

    This does not happen.

    Book don’t get read.

    See also: The Missed of Avalon.

  93. Xecky Gilchrist said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:34

    there is a very cute ginger girl standing outside my building thoroughly berating whoever she’s talking to on the phone.

    I? W? N? Vid?

  94. Xecky Gilchrist said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:36

    I must be the only science fiction fan I know who hasn’t read Thomas Covenant

    I too was unable to finish even one book of it. I don’t remember why, as this was a really long time ago. But it was all the goddam rage among my friends in junior high school.

  95. Smut Clyde said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:37

    He lived in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial bishop’s residence.

    No wonder — his residences seem to turn into Black Prisons:

    the Argentine navy with the connivance of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio [...] hid [...] the dictatorship’s political prisoners [...] in nothing less than his holiday home in an island called El Silencio in the River Plate

    Also: Borgesian pope?

    This statement by Funes informed the court that the two Jesuits were abducted on 20th May 1967 after Bergoglio removed their religious licenses to preach in Bajo Flores as well as their protection.

    I trust that Argentinean law affords a special status to testimony from mnemonists.

  96. Shakezula said,

    March 13, 2013 at 23:42

    I don’t remember why

    Some guesses:
    1. It sucked.
    2. It really sucked.
    3. It really sucked. A lot.

  97. Spearhafoc, who waits dreaming in his house at R'lyeh said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:05

    Unrelated: there is a very cute ginger girl standing outside my building thoroughly berating whoever she’s talking to on the phone. This side of the conversation is amusing. “Fucking idiot” has been used three times so far.

    Relevant to my interests.

    Anyway, I’ve mostly been reading really, really old science fiction lately.

    Some of them are very good, like Voltaire’s “Micromégas” and “Plato’s Dream”, Cyrano de Bergerac’s “The Other World: or the States and Empires of the Moon”, and “True History” by Lucian of Samosata.

    Most of them are pretty racist, sexist, and imperialist. Even some of those can be pretty interesting, but I don’t think I’ve been as pissed off at a book in a long time as I was at “Across the Zodiac”.

    In that book, Martian society has granted legal equality for women. That’s apparently terrible for women because without the presumption that women are weak, helpless, and need protection, husbands are allowed to beat their wives with impunity as long as they don’t leave a mark that lasts longer than a certain period of time. The book also states that at one point, girls and boys received the same education in school, but they found that most of the girls were too stupid to keep up with it, and the few that were somehow became physically unattractive and thus unmarriable as a result of their studies, so the whole thing was dropped.

    Also, it’s explicitly stated that Martian people as a whole are cruel and cowardly specifically because they don’t believe in God. The only good people are a secretly religious group. Even they’re not as good as the human hero, who’s been raised in a culture of religion and chivalry.

    He’s considered weird because he doesn’t beat his wife, but it’s unthinkable to him because of his upbringing. The whole thing implies that wifebeating doesn’t happen on Earth (in the Victorian era, no less).

    Ugh.

  98. El Manquecito said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:11

    A fascist Jesuit? You’re kidding!

  99. Anonymous said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:15

    speaking of, i would like to know how netflix comes up with their oftentimes weird ‘you may also like’ suggestions

    Netflix did. They had a contest few years back for a better algorithm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix_Prize but they aren’t using it http://www.techdirt.com/blog/innovation/articles/20120409/03412518422/why-netflix-never-implemented-algorithm-that-won-netflix-1-million-challenge.shtml

  100. Pupienus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:20

    Oops. Teh Ho got us sirefef’ed so I hadda disinfect, delete cookies, etc.

    I can’t forget, (no matter how hard I try) a line from the Covenant series. Went something like “he trudged on under an omen of dolorous import.” I had been prepared to stop reading by that point but after seeing that I HAD TO go on in the hopes of finding more laughable crap. I like bad SF movies too.

  101. Pupienus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:25

    Teh Ho LOVES Space 1999. Note my use of the present tense there. He hasn’t tried to make me watch any for many years but I swear to FSM he knows most of the dialogue. I like crappy SF too but I won’t go near crappy TV SF.

  102. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:30

    A fascist Jesuit? You’re kidding!

    I just wonder if canoodling with the Argentine fascists will come back to bite him in any significant way.

  103. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:32

    Teh Ho got us sirefef’ed

    I’m going to make you suffer, KoenigPupienus.

  104. Major Kong said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:55

    I remember liking Space 1999, but I was 13 or 14 at the time and liked anything remotely Sci Fi back then.

  105. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 14, 2013 at 0:59

    That was one high-speed moon they had there.

  106. PopeRatzo said,

    March 14, 2013 at 1:05

    Gavin does antique guitar amps? How cool! That’s also a hobby of mine.

    I found a guy here in Chicago that does all my speaker re-coning. If you ever need some special reconing done, drop me a line. He does great work.

  107. deering said,

    March 14, 2013 at 1:07

    1) The SPACE: 1999 “Ultima Thule” episode still gives me the creeps, admittedly. Nasty…

    2) As regards Brit SF, I started watching old SAPPHIRE AND STEEL eps. for the first time recently, and that is/was one unnerving-ass show. The evil forces were as terrifying as anything out of DOCTOR WHO–and the humans caught in whatever time disruptions S&S were trying to stop were pretty much collateral damage. Talk about cold-blooded…

  108. Spearhafoc, who waits dreaming in his house at R'lyeh said,

    March 14, 2013 at 1:11

    Oh yeah, loved Sapphire and Steel. Great atmosphere and great use of a nonexistent budget.

  109. tensor said,

    March 14, 2013 at 1:12

    Re-coning the speaker.

  110. Spearhafoc, who waits dreaming in his house at R'lyeh said,

    March 14, 2013 at 1:13

    Using the budget.

  111. tigris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 2:13

    I just wonder if canoodling with the Argentine fascists will come back to bite him in any significant way.

    No more than canoodling with the German and Italian ones came back to bite anyone else is my guess.

  112. Tehanu said,

    March 14, 2013 at 2:15

    Shakezula said,

    March 13, 2013 at 14:26

    Next: The sad truth about theremins.

    Gavin, my adored: Get a theremin, you’ll never regret it, especially when accompanying the waves of the oscilloscope.

    Re Thomas Covenant: I once won a bet by pointing out that you could open any of Donaldson’s books on any page and find some really egregious misuse of the language within six paragraphs either way. My favorite is still “The rising sun was a cynosure to his eyes.”

  113. Shakezula said,

    March 14, 2013 at 2:32

    Canoodling the German.

  114. sparks said,

    March 14, 2013 at 3:12

    Ooh, Gavin! Wanna service my Valco? I’m not sure it’s antique enough, though.

  115. bbkf said,

    March 14, 2013 at 3:19

    servicing the valco…

  116. Anonymous said,

    March 14, 2013 at 6:06

    I admit to having a lot of fun with crappy TV sci-fi, but then I was a teenager at the time. My favourite was Blake’s 7 – the number probably represented the budget in pounds.

    On a totally different topic, but still entertaining, I’ve just ordered Dead Sushi. Lordy, those wacky Japanese. Do watch the trailer, as you will probably not have seen anything like it (unless you’ve seen Robogeisha). Seems even more ominous given that my blog post today (Cephalopod fandango) was about how clever the damn things are (tooting own horn, or perhaps tentacling own horn would be more appropriate).

  117. sparks said,

    March 14, 2013 at 6:07

    no, you’re thinking of my Supro!

  118. Alison with no jokage said,

    March 14, 2013 at 6:18

    Rats, that last comment was me

  119. Another Kiwi said,

    March 14, 2013 at 6:22

    I just wanted to shake Covenant and tell him to get the fuck over himself. Then jail him for rape.
    The spaceship detection unit is no longer supported by Microsoft, sorry Gavin. But they have a replacement unit that lets you photoshop cat and rabbit photos. Then it sends your personal details all around the interweb.

  120. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 14, 2013 at 6:55

    The Starlost. Thank you Cordwainer Bird!

  121. Alison with no jokage said,

    March 14, 2013 at 7:04

    And I too got thoroughly disgusted with those bloody leper books. Well, book. Well, the part of the book that I read. It was all “Poor me, I’m useless, I’m a leper, I can’t do anything, poor me” and so forth. I wanted to slap him, except I didn’t want to contract either leprosy or pathetic-osity.

  122. Nym said,

    March 14, 2013 at 7:33

    My favorite is still “The rising sun was a cynosure to his eyes.”

    A quick dictionary check gave one of the definitions of “cynosure” as “a center of attraction or attention”– so I’m not so sure if it’s a misusage or a case of “Donaldson, you are not Clark Ashton Smith and never will be. Stop trying.”

  123. Hogeye Grex said,

    March 14, 2013 at 9:52

    Wonder when they’ll get their pages together.

    That’s Congressmen. These guys get altar boys.

  124. Gag Halfrunt said,

    March 14, 2013 at 13:52

    Holy shit. It turns out the new Pope hid prisoners of the Argentine junta from international rights workers. If this is true it makes Benedict in the Hitler Youth look like a Cub Scout.

    It turns out that perhaps he didn’t:

    This article was amended on 14 March 2013. The original article, published in 2011, suggested that Argentinian journalist Horacio Verbitsky claimed that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio connived with the Argentinian navy to hide political prisoners on an island called El Silencio during an inspection by human rights monitors. Although Verbitsky makes other allegations about Bergoglio’s complicity in human right abuses, he does not make this claim. The original article also wrongly described El Silencio as Bergoglio’s “holiday home”.

  125. Shakezula said,

    March 14, 2013 at 14:37

    Maybe it’s ‘cos I’m ex-RCC, but I really don’t think you need to look for reasons to find the pope a morally nauseating humanoid.

  126. Gary Ruppert said,

    March 14, 2013 at 15:14

    The fact is, liberals idolize Obama and Hitler. They want full control over everyones life, but let blacks commit crime and let gays have sex in the rear, so they are hip[ocrits.

  127. 'natch said,

    March 14, 2013 at 15:32

    via Wonkette :

    New Pope does not hate the poors, and actually sometimes sounds like a goddamn communist:

    “We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least,” Bergoglio said during a gathering of Latin American bishops in 2007. “The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.”

    KLO may have a sad over this.

  128. bbkf said,

    March 14, 2013 at 15:32

    The fact is, liberals idolize Obama and Hitler. They want full control over everyones life, but let blacks commit crime and let gays have sex in the rear, so they are hip[ocrits.

    it’s twoo! it’s twoo! my obama/hitler shrine is a bag of tits, i tell you…in fact, i worship them so much, i recently watched ‘the boys from brazil’ just so i could learn how to clone…look soon for a dark skinned boy with freaky blue eyes in a home near you!

  129. bbkf said,

    March 14, 2013 at 15:39

    KLO may have a sad over this.

    sadly, no!

    gads…i hope she brought extra panties with her…

  130. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 14, 2013 at 16:13

    It turns out that perhaps he didn’t:

    OK, fair enough. Open opposition to a government of murderous thugs is something that should not be demanded or expected of any person, even a man of God. Extraordinary courage is just that: extraordinary.

    OTOH, it would be nice if the RCC would at least acknowledge that they’ve had a leeeeeetle problem with fascism over the years. At least they could stop patting themselves on the back over JPII’s “courageous” opposition to Communism.

  131. Helmut Monotreme said,

    March 14, 2013 at 16:37

    OK, fair enough. Open opposition to a government of murderous thugs is something that should not be demanded or expected of any person, even a man of God. Extraordinary courage is just that: extraordinary.

    What about the two Jesuits he allegedly refused to protect, and effectively turned over to the Junta’s secret police? Was that a thing that happened or is that more bad reporting? Wikipedia says the controversy exists, but …wikipedia.

  132. tigris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 16:45

    perhaps tentacling own horn would be more appropriate

    Not in public it wouldn’t.

  133. El Manquécito said,

    March 14, 2013 at 17:22

    Not in public it wouldn’t.

    Oh, I think it would be OK inna ‘Well you don’t see that everyday.’ kind of way.

  134. Shakezula said,

    March 14, 2013 at 17:57

    OTOH, it would be nice if the RCC would at least acknowledge that they’ve had a leeeeeetle problem with fascism over the years. In the same way it would be nice if we all got sparkle ponies, although universal sparkle pony distribution is 99.9% more likely than the RCC admitting it is a massive cluster o’ fucks human rightswise.

    Fxd.

  135. Pupienus Maximus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 18:07

    Okay already media, ENOUGH about the fucking pope.

  136. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 14, 2013 at 18:39

    Okay already media, ENOUGH about the fucking pope.

    No shit, it’s not like the airwaves had a shortage of insufferable pompous gasbags before this whole “ooh, he’s still got the new pope smell” ridiculousness.

    I think the various news crews are milking it as long as they can just to keep hanging out in Italy. That’s what I would do, although I think I’d find an excuse to interview folks in say, Portofino or someplace nice like that instead.

  137. bbkf said,

    March 14, 2013 at 18:41

    Okay already media, ENOUGH about the fucking pope.

    well, not only that, but i am really tired of the no meat on friday’s thing…fine…do your freaking penance, but do it quietly…you are no more pious than any other practicing christian…

  138. bbkf said,

    March 14, 2013 at 18:42

    I think the various news crews are milking it as long as they can just to keep hanging out in Italy. That’s what I would do, although I think I’d find an excuse to interview folks in say, Portofino or someplace nice like that instead.

    word…

  139. not a gator said,

    March 14, 2013 at 18:46

    Book don’t get read.

    See also: The Missed of Avalon.

    I had a very good reason to read the Mists of Avalon in high school: There was a threesome scene (and my parents didn’t have internet access yet).

    I mean, it’s not as if the threesome scene was really worth it or anything, but, yeah. Also, it was an easy, quick read, unlike some of the books that have been mentioned here.

  140. Thread Bear said,

    March 14, 2013 at 19:02

    Those darn illegals coming into Italy and stealing the good jobs away from deserving Europeans. All so the Vatican can save money by hiring a Pope for 2 euros an hour.

  141. Shakezula said,

    March 14, 2013 at 19:14

    “ooh, he’s still got the new pope smell” ridiculousness.

    XXOO.

    I had a very good reason to read the Mists of Avalon in high school: There was a threesome scene (and my parents didn’t have internet access yet).

    Internet? In high school? Wow, I feel old now.

    I admire your perseverance. Perhaps I bailed too soon but I saw no evidence that any of the lighter human emotions would be permitted in the book. The one Dragon Rider I read was draggy enough at 1/5th the size.

    P.S. GoaML.

  142. Major Kong said,

    March 14, 2013 at 19:23

    That’s what I would do, although I think I’d find an excuse to interview folks in say, Portofino or someplace nice like that instead.

    Portofino was very nice. I felt like I was stinking up the place with the stench of middle class.

    Monte Carlo was like that too. People with too damn much money for their own good.

  143. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:01

    Okay already media, ENOUGH about the fucking pope.

    Just be grateful you don’t subscribe to the Chicago Tribune. Fucking thing must have had six or seven broadsheet pages this morning full of pope coverage. As far as I could tell, there was one passing reference to how well he got on with Argentina’s fascist junta.

  144. Pupienus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:10

    So the CERN folks said they found the god particle. The day after da new popeyguy gets made. Hmmmmmmmm…

  145. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:21

    If you meet the god particle in the Large Hadron Collider, kill it.

  146. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:33

    You may be interested in why, in an alternate history, Mitt Romney was able to beat Barack Obama.

  147. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:42

    Happy pi day, people!

    I figured the new pope would be a South American. I figured they’d elect a *heh heh* Brazilian. Figures that they’d elect a dude from Argentina, that most “European” of South American countries.

    You may be interested in why, in an alternate history, Mitt Romney was able to beat Barack Obama.

    Ya know, I am digging the “Moe beats Mr Burns” angle to the 47% video story. I am happy that a working-class bartender shot down a sociopathic, overprivileged teetotaller. It’s even funnier that Romney was ultimately brought down because he was in “bullying douchbag” mode with regards to the help. Prouty served up a plate of existential Snotchos that Romney will taste for the rest of his life.

  148. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:44

    You may be interested in why, in an alternate history, Mitt Romney was able to beat Barack Obama.

    Worst slashfic EVER!

  149. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:47

    Note that the guy who wrote that thing Sub linked to uses “Controversial Public Figure” as his title.

    I don’t know if we should take his word for it. Is there some sort of certification process for CPFs?

  150. Pupienus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:48

    I was interested, truly I was. But the writing is worse, inconceivably, than Donaldson’s. Could. Not. Continue.

  151. Pupienus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:54

    GOPUSA sent me an email titled “Obama’s Latest Screw Up May Lead to Impeachment.’

    Gotta see what that’s about!

    Dear GOPUSA Reader,

    Fearing the very worst, the nation’s super-rich are unloading their stocks at an alarming rate.

    Even more troubling, the wealthiest 1% of Americans, who typically know the most, are the ones most anxious to sell.

    You see, Obama just allowed 13 new tax increases to further slow the economy, wreck the stock market and make it even harder on the 12 million Americans already looking for work.

    The bigger question is this…

    Is Obama’s Latest Tax
    Screw Up Grounds
    For Impeachment?

    The poll results are likely to shock you.

    Cast your vote now to see what America thinks.

    I guess that explains the record highs on Wall Street.

  152. Pupienus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:56

    Buenos Aires isn’t really Paris, you know, it’s just called the Paris of the western hemisphere.

  153. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 14, 2013 at 20:57

    I was interested, truly I was.

    The choice bit is Mitt explaining that he does nice things just to be nice.

  154. tigris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:01

    Is Obama’s Latest Tax
    Screw Up Grounds
    For Impeachment?

    The poll results are likely to shock you.

    Polls are indeed the best way to determine if people know what Constitutional grounds for impeachment are. Apparently this one says NO.

  155. tigris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:07

    The choice bit is Mitt explaining that he does nice things just to be nice.

    It was obvious and tedious, which gave it the ring of truth.

  156. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:10

    No shit, it’s not like the airwaves had a shortage of insufferable pompous gasbags before this whole “ooh, he’s still got the new pope smell” ridiculousness.

    Funny how “new pope smell” and “old man smell” are the same.

    well, not only that, but i am really tired of the no meat on friday’s thing…fine…do your freaking penance, but do it quietly…you are no more pious than any other practicing christian…

    You say that now, but if you had the Kerala fish curry I had for lunch yesterday, you’d be talking differently.

    Having the curry…

  157. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:14

    Buenos Aires isn’t really Paris, you know, it’s just called the Paris of the western hemisphere.

    Yeah, right, only n00bs who haven’t been to the Bronx would ever say that.

  158. Chris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:18

    Late to the party and now trying to catch up;

    They call it science fiction for a reason. It doesn’t pay to actually know anything about science. Next you’ll be saying that spaceships can’t really travel faster than light.

    Yep. Good sci-fi doesn’t dwell on the science, IMHO. If you throw lightsabers, hyperdrive and tractor beams into your shows and don’t explain them, the audience will just figure “okay, they’re way way ahead of us, obviously they just found a way to make that stuff work, the same way we found ways to make airplanes, computers and nuclear fusion work.” If you actually stop to try and explain the science behind it, most of the audience will get bored because that’s not what they’re there for, whereas the people who actually have a background in science will sit there tearing their hair out because “WHAT is this SHIT? That’s not TRUE! THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!”

  159. tigris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:23

    Buenos Aires isn’t really Paris, you know, it’s just called the Paris of the western hemisphere.

    There’s going to have to be a cage match between B.A., Havana, New Orleans, and Montreal at least for the title.

  160. tigris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:24

    Also too the Bronx.

  161. Helmut Monotreme said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:28

    Funny how “new pope smell” and “old man smell” are the same.

    “old man smell” is still much better than “old pope smell” which is usually the smell of a corpse.

  162. Chris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:29

    Counterexamples would be Babylon 5 and some seasons of Stargate…

    I second that, at least for Stargate. Not so much at first but the SFX got better as it went on. Which actually fit in perfectly with the show, since the humans start out with pretty much nothing but modern day technology (plus the Stargate), and then gradually build up to the point that they actually have a space navy. The increase in the show’s popularity (ergo its budget) happily mirrored the way the story was developing.

    I don’t have access to the SyFy network so can’t comment on its productions.

    Ugh. SyFy stopped being the home of sci-fi and became the home of wrestling ages ago.

    I remember tuning in to the Sci Fi Channel almost daily when it was good back in high school. Then I left for college in 2005 and didn’t have a TV anymore for years (just the laptop) until last fall, where I moved into a room that came with a TV. In some ways it’s been back to high school, but whenever I zap past the SyFy channel and see wrestling where there used to be Stargate and Battlestar Galactica… UGH, how the awesome have fallen.

    (Yeah, I hear they still make “original movies…” Never been impressed by any of those I came across, either in terms of the story or the SFX).

  163. Helmut Monotreme said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:35

    Buenos Aires isn’t really Paris, you know, it’s just called the Paris of the western hemisphere.

    Isn’t Paris the Paris of the western hemisphere? (I suppose it depends on where you draw the line.)

  164. Chris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:45

    But SF on TV and in movies is still aeons behind written SF, even stuff first published almost 50 years ago, like Herbert’s Dune and Delaney’s Nova. If you like the space opera that typically gets made for TV then I recommend you try Alastair Reynolds or Peter F. Hamilton, two authors who write imaginative, compelling space opera with complex characters, but seem to be perennially ignored by the Hugo people. (While other space-opera-y writers like Iain M. Banks, David Brin and Vernor Vinge aren’t… of course, they’re also recommended.)

    I admit I’m more of a sci-fi nerd for the TV and movies, but as far as books go, I’m going to toss in the oldies but goodies, H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. Wells if you like the social commentary (like nineteenth century Star Trek or BSG), Verne if you like the gizmo-powered adventure (like nineteenth century Stargate or Farscape). That’s the sci-fi I read as a kid.

    Heinlein; the only Heinlein I ever read was Starship Troopers. It read like a sci-fi version of one of Tom Clancy’s later books – as in, there’s clearly the potential for a fun story, but it keeps getting sidetracked by the author pausing to give political rants several pages long. It would be one thing if any of it was actually intelligent, but at the end of the day, all he has to say is “veterans should be the only ones who vote [coincidentally, I happen to be a veteran].” A lot of fancy words for the usual conservative creed, namely, “I deserve special rights.”

    Dune is, of course, fantastic. One of my favorite books and not just within the world of sci-fi.

    Ender’s Game I continue to be fond of, even though the author is probably the most loathsome human being in all of modern sci-fi. I really liked the whole concept of first contact turning into an existential war because of a misunderstanding between two species so radically different (biologically, psychologically, socially) that they couldn’t even communicate with each other and basically went to war by mistake.

    And then there’s the Old Man’s War trilogy by Scalzi. Doesn’t go for a Dune level of depth and awesomeness, but then it’s not trying to. It’s just very readable and funny military sci-fi, very much recommended.

    That’s me for science fiction books…

    Oh, yes, and Planet of the Apes, the novel. Very different from the movies but a classic nonetheless.

  165. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:48

    Even more troubling, the wealthiest 1% of Americans, who typically know the most, are the ones most anxious to sell.

    ORLY?

  166. Pupienus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:51

    Chris, Orson Scott Card has always been an asshat.

  167. Pupienus said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:54

    Good sci-fi doesn’t dwell on the science, IMHO. If you throw lightsabers, hyperdrive and tractor beams into your shows and don’t explain them, the audience will just figure “okay, they’re way way ahead of us, obviously they just found a way to make that stuff work[...] If you actually stop to try and explain the science behind it, most of the audience will get bored

    H. G. Wells.
    Jules Verne.
    Compare and contrast.

  168. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:57

    Good sci-fi is sci-fi, and then there’s the other stuff that’s science fiction.

  169. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 14, 2013 at 21:59

    Also too the Bronx.

    Damn straight!

    Dune is, of course, fantastic. One of my favorite books and not just within the world of sci-fi.

    I’ve always thought that the background to Dune was more interesting than the actual plots of the novels (though I never read any of the prequels). Oddly enough, I thought the parody was better than the original.

    Now, Jack Vance is my all time favorite F&SF author, but he mainly writes exotic travelogues interspersed with droll dialogues. The Moon Moth is one of my all-time favorite short stories.

  170. Shakezula said,

    March 14, 2013 at 22:00

    Even more troubling, the wealthiest 1% of Americans, who typically know the most, are the ones most anxious to sell.

    No elitism here. Nosireebob.

  171. Chris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 22:31

    Chris, Orson Scott Card has always been an asshat.

    I am aware of that Internet tradition. And the part of it I find most plausible is that OSC didn’t even write the book, or at least not all by his lonesome. “Empire,” the only other book I’ve ever read by him, didn’t even read like it came from the same author. It’s possible that the man’s style slowly deteriorated from “good” to “fucking awful” – witness “The Hunt for Red October” versus “The Bear and the Dragon” – but the “new ghostwriter” thing seems at least as plausible.

  172. Chris said,

    March 14, 2013 at 22:32

    I’ve always thought that the background to Dune was more interesting than the actual plots of the novels (though I never read any of the prequels). Oddly enough, I thought the parody was better than the original.

    The universe the kinds of sagas are set in are always a huge part of the books, but I thought the plot held up reasonably well.

  173. Anonymous said,

    March 14, 2013 at 23:13

    I like to imagine the new pope was chosen by the most respected of traditional selection methods: the talent show. Further I would hope that the new pope won on the strength of his karaoke Madonna medley which included parts from “like a prayer”,”Like a virgin”, and “Hanky Panky”. I further think that one of the cardinals that didn’t make the cut, did a takeoff on Sir Mixalot entitled “I like big hats and I cannot lie”

  174. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 14, 2013 at 23:48

    Cock, Raper, Pissers.

  175. bbkf said,

    March 14, 2013 at 23:49

    The choice bit is Mitt explaining that he does nice things just to be nice.

    oh…just like he cuts people’s hair just to be nice…he’s awesome…

  176. rdale said,

    March 14, 2013 at 23:49

    “Bring in the machine that goes ‘Ping!’ ”

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

  177. Major Kong said,

    March 15, 2013 at 0:04

    I like to imagine the new pope was chosen by the most respected of traditional selection methods: the talent show.

    I would have preferred Thunderdome. Two Cardinals enter, one Pope leaves.

  178. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 0:19

    The dunk contest gets more embarrassing every conclave.

  179. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 15, 2013 at 0:33

    The dunk contest gets more embarrassing every conclave.

    I hear there’s a 7’3″ bishop in Sudan who’s going to be made a cardinal before the next conclave just to be a ringer in that contest.

  180. Provider_UNE_AndPlayersToBeHatedLater™®☢☣ said,

    March 15, 2013 at 1:19

    I guess I know what I am gonna be up to for the next hour even though I watched this series last summer when I found it on the YouTube.

    Man was it cheezier than I remembered, but on Sundays in the seventies this show and Star Trek fired my imagination (along with all of the pamphlets that came in manilla envelopes from NASA that would show up in my mailbox from time to time.

    The oscilloscope that I managed to win at a University surplus auction never did function correctly (I had anticipated the possibility and planned to harvest it for parts for radio frequency projects that I never got around to.)

    Hidy Ho Crazy Bastiges, love you all.

    xoxox
    k

  181. Provider_UNE_AndPlayersToBeHatedLater™®☢☣ said,

    March 15, 2013 at 1:36

    I have made it six minutes in to the S 1999 episode and am considering a suspension of disbelief catalog, a drinking game or both.

  182. Provider_UNE_AndPlayersToBeHatedLater™®☢☣ said,

    March 15, 2013 at 1:44

    Happy pi day!!!

  183. bughunter said,

    March 15, 2013 at 2:55

    The old UFO BBC series from the early Seventies is even better than Space:1999 for retro SF kitsch from the UK.

    But nothing, absolutely nothing, beats the Fourth Dr. Who.

  184. Pupienus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 3:12

    Teh Ho has just informed me that he and his college buddy wrote a musical, A Chorus Line 1999. It included such hits as: Kiss The Earth Goodbye and a tribute to Barbara Bain – Acts 2 Looks 1.

    We’re watching stars go whizzing past
    It’s from the blast
    Kiss the Earth goodbye and point me toward Lambda

    Now, these were the guys who spent an entire weekend going through the whole ST original series to figure out how many died under Capt. Kirk’s command. Of course since this was before they were available on VHS, they had to do it _from memory_. They knew every fucking episode. And the dialogue.

  185. Pupienus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 3:15

    What do you get when you cross a geek with a theater fag?
    My husband.

  186. Pupienus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 3:29

    I can’t imagine the cardinals doing anything more physical than musical chairs to determine the new Papa. HOW DO WE KNOW THAT ISN’T THE WAY IT’S DONE??!??!?

  187. Pupienus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 3:34

    Why hasn’t anyone noted that the -_last time_ Germans needed to be out of sight and out of mind ARGENTINA was involved?

  188. Pupienus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:00

    Gav, can I interest you in a slightly used Jacob’s ladder?

  189. Pupienus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:02

    Dancing nekkidly tru da tred, I iz. Look at me I’m dancing! I’m dancing!

  190. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:13

    Raining on your parade.

  191. Alison with no jokage said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:14

    Heinlein; the only Heinlein I ever read was Starship Troopers…. It would be one thing if any of it was actually intelligent, but at the end of the day, all he has to say is “veterans should be the only ones who vote [coincidentally, I happen to be a veteran].” A lot of fancy words for the usual conservative creed, namely, “I deserve special rights.”

    Ender’s Game I continue to be fond of, even though the author is probably the most loathsome human being in all of modern sci-fi. I really liked the whole concept of first contact turning into an existential war because of a misunderstanding between two species so radically different (biologically, psychologically, socially) that they couldn’t even communicate with each other and basically went to war by mistake.

    Oddly enough, that’s one of the (few) things I remember about Starship Troopers. Perhaps I’m the only one who saw this, or perhaps I had the very rare edition in which the trooper in question actually realised that the Bugs he was slaughtering while rampaging through their homeland were real people just like humans (in a sense). That’s why the movie offended me so much: it seemed like the book actually contained an argument against war (i.e. that it was just two essentially identical group slaughtering each other), and the movie reduced it to Us vs Them. Pfaugh.

    And Don’t Talk To Me About Orson Scott Card.

    As far as popes go, I like the idea of a cage match or mud wrestling. Even dancing nekkid tru da thread, as long as I don’t have to watch.

  192. tigris said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:14

    New pope: Donald Sumpter

  193. Jeffraham Prestonian said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:17

    Fucking addicts! How do they work?
    .

  194. Major Kong said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:17

    The old UFO BBC series from the early Seventies is even better than Space:1999 for retro SF kitsch from the UK.

    I remember that show from when I was in 5th or 6th grade. I’m still trying to talk Mrs. Kong into wearing the purple wig.

  195. M. Bouffant said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:18

    Isn’t Paris the Paris of the western hemisphere?
    San Francisco is the Paris of the Western Hemisphere.

  196. tigris said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:21

    I really liked the whole concept of first contact turning into an existential war because of a misunderstanding between two species so radically different (biologically, psychologically, socially) that they couldn’t even communicate with each other and basically went to war by mistake.

    You might like Fiasco by Stanislaw Lem, and you wouldn’t have to hate yourself for it.

  197. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:22

    Lem ruined so much science fiction for me. Bastard.

  198. tigris said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:25

    Substance is dead to me. DEAD.

  199. M. Bouffant said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:25

    Here’s some wonderful news. The evil-doing assholes at Google are “retiring” Reader 1 July.

    Guess Gmail & Blogger will be next.

    Anyone know just how much security there is at their fucking concentration camp/campus deal? (Now I understand why they’re in Mtn. View, which was a shithole yrs, ago & apparently still is full of shitheels.) Asking for a friend who has a lot of guns. (And ammo.)

  200. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:28

    Try out Omea Reader. Google Reader was not so good in the first place. I remember it happening and thinking…I can do more with what I already have.

  201. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:30

    Substance is dead to me. DEAD.

    I just mean it felt kinda pointless to read that other bullshit after Lem…

  202. tigris said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:33

    Oh c’mon, there’s still, um, stuff. By some people.

  203. Chris said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:36

    Oddly enough, that’s one of the (few) things I remember about Starship Troopers. Perhaps I’m the only one who saw this, or perhaps I had the very rare edition in which the trooper in question actually realised that the Bugs he was slaughtering while rampaging through their homeland were real people just like humans (in a sense). That’s why the movie offended me so much: it seemed like the book actually contained an argument against war (i.e. that it was just two essentially identical group slaughtering each other), and the movie reduced it to Us vs Them. Pfaugh.

    I remember Ender Wiggin having that moment of realization at the end when he finds the bugger cocoon and discovering that humanity just slaughtered an entire species basically by mistake, but I don’t remember anything similar in Starship Troopers. Maybe it is a difference in editions, or maybe it’s just my memory. The only commentary I thought I vaguely recalled was something to the effect of the alien bugs being a naturally communist species.

    As for the movie, it was also intentionally made as satire of the ultra-militaristic, Us vs Them ideology. (The director lived through World War Two in Holland as a very small child, which left him with a decidedly antiwar outlook on life). I agree that it’s a shitty movie any way you slice it, but it at least wasn’t intended as a “Yay War!” piece.

    You might like Fiasco by Stanislaw Lem, and you wouldn’t have to hate yourself for it.

    Thanks. I may have to look into that.

  204. tigris said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:41

    Solaris is also very good, and less frustrating than Fiasco, though that may be at least partly because I read Fiasco during the Bush years.

  205. Major Kong said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:43

    While the movie was pretty bad, it did have some good elements of satire in it. The little propaganda commercials that would pop up from time to time were pretty funny.

    Plus the new recruits kept getting younger and younger looking as the movie went on, implying that they were losing the war.

  206. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:48

    I tend to like the shorter Lem more, like the Trurl and Klapaucius stuff and Ijon Tichy. A Perfect Vacuum and One Human Minute are a lot of fun. But Solaris and Fiasco are good.

  207. Provider_UNE_AndPlayersToBeHatedLater™®?? said,

    March 15, 2013 at 4:53

    I like the board game coupled with manditory drinking.

    I agree, ’tis a go. I’ll start work on the concept next weekend. (Big Ten tourney, visit to ailing grandma precluding devotion of attention on my part, If you cough up any ideas, let me know.

    This year i have objectives of at least making it to Detroit and Nashvegas, Phoenix would be a bonus and a trip to the NorthWest a dream.

    xoxox.

  208. Snorghagen said,

    March 15, 2013 at 5:07

    I like to imagine the new pope was chosen by the most respected of traditional selection methods: the talent show.

    Cardinal Ouellet’s attempt to play Jimmy Crack Corn on a theremin fell flat, and Cardinal Scola’s demonstration of armpit farts drew only polite applause. But Cardinal Turkson’s near-perfect Peter Lorre imitation while reading excerpts from Humanae Vitae was a big hit, and Cardinal Bertone’s whacky rendition of Ghost Riders in the Sky with a Swedish accent drove the crowd wild. A mob of cardinal-electors rushed the stage as Cardinal Dolan threw a chair through a window and shouted “Yeah! Fuck, yeah! Fuuuuuck!”

    But it was Cardinal Bergoglio who completely blew away the competition with his energetic and technically proficient rapid-fire tap-dancing, punctuated by high leaps, back flips, and repeated ear-piercing squeals of delight. The fact that he wore only tap shoes with spats and a lime-green codpiece heightened the impact of the performance. By the time Bergoglio was done the excited Conclave had degenerated into a mass of brawling, screaming, and vomiting prelates. Cardinal Zen stood on a table pissing on his colleagues, yelling “Heads up, punks! Yow!” until he was knocked down by a dozen Italians. Cardinal Schönborn pinned Cardinal Rodríguez to the floor and tried to bite off his ear until Cardinal Puljic broke a bottle of Old Milwaukee over Schönborn’s head. Most of the Sistine Chapel was demolished, burned, or scrawled with Latin obscenities. A vote was considered unnecessary.

  209. John Revolta said,

    March 15, 2013 at 5:32

    Wow. Naturally, I never read about any of this in the LameStream Media.

  210. Pupienus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 5:34

    a trip to the NorthWest a dream

    Don’t bother. There’s no good beer, no spectacular hiking and biking, it takes TWO+ HOURS to go from the shore to the slopes, the food sucks, the wine is bad, there’s just nothing worthwhile here. Might as well stay where you are.

  211. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 5:52

    it takes TWO+ HOURS to go from the shore to the slopes

    Geez, that sucks.

  212. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 15, 2013 at 6:20

    The old UFO BBC series from the early Seventies is even better than Space:1999 for retro SF kitsch from the UK.

    I’ve never seen this before. I’m digging the purple wigs… IBIMB…

  213. Provider_UNE_AndPlayersToBeHatedLater™®☢☣ said,

    March 15, 2013 at 6:51

    Don’t bother. There’s no good beer, no spectacular hiking and biking, it takes TWO+ HOURS to go from the shore to the slopes, the food sucks, the wine is bad, there’s just nothing worthwhile here. Might as well stay where you are.

    You are not only responsible for the third laugh out loud moment of this day, I am still looking forward to being your sous chef/prep cook/kitchen bitch. I also have a very good friend that I would love to visit out in your neck of the woods. I love you man. I would also dream of a NorthWest Atriot/SadlyNaut conventiocon.

    A freaking bastard can dream. I also would like to see the b cubed + 1 during my next visit to the Nor’east.

    In any event, love you and the rest of you snarky bastiges.

    gonna run away before I make a fool of myself and watch archer, a show I was introduced to four days ago. I find it hilarious whilst waiting for the fifth season of the venture_Bro’s.

    good night lovelies!
    xoxox pup

  214. ustan said,

    March 15, 2013 at 8:21

    If you wire that oscilloscope up to your trebuchet you can hit the alien spaceships on approach.

  215. Gavin M. said,

    March 15, 2013 at 9:25

    I loved the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson UFO series when it was on Channel 11 in the NY area (WPIX). Most of the kids in the neighborhood had a die-cast Lunar Interceptor from Dinky Toys/Meccano. (Why were most of these painted green? No one has ever been able to account for this.) Me and John Jones (actual name) also had the die-cast S.H.A.D.O. Mobile. (It was also green for some reason — why?!)

    The love was kind of deepened years later when I found out that Lt. Gay Ellis, the principal moonbase woman with the purple moon-hair, was played by Gabrielle Drake, Nick Drake‘s sister.

    …And that the Nick Drake song, ‘Things Behind the Sun,’ was inspired by the Andersons’ pre-UFO TV movie, ‘Doppelganger’ (a.k.a. ‘Journey to the Far Side of the Sun’).

    Also, I’ve been a lifelong helpless supersucker for Eurostile, the ubiquitous Anderson sci-fi typeface.

    -Harrington/Straker

  216. not a gator said,

    March 15, 2013 at 10:03

    Ender’s Game I continue to be fond of, even though the author is probably the most loathsome human being in all of modern sci-fi.

    You hear that, Daffyd ab Hugh? You’ve been told.

    On second thought, ab Hugh is less loathsome than whiny.

  217. M. Bouffant said,

    March 15, 2013 at 10:16

    Congrats on the favicon.

    Now if you could get it to work on the individual posts as well as the home page you’d really be hap’nin.

  218. Smut Clyde said,

    March 15, 2013 at 10:46

    Also, I’ve been a lifelong helpless supersucker for Eurostile, the ubiquitous Anderson sci-fi typeface.

    I rate for Eurostil — are there any other typefaces using supercurve geometry? — but it never occurred to me until now to bring up the memories of UFO and see how much it was used.
    This is why GavinM earns the big bucks.

  219. Gavin M. said,

    March 15, 2013 at 10:58

    Favicon? Me? What, where?

    Meaningless Episode One-Zillion of “There Are Two Kinds of People in the World”: Delightful Eurostile vs. Fucking Bank Gothic.

  220. Provider_UNE_AndPlayersToBeHatedLater™®☢☣ said,

    March 15, 2013 at 11:44

    Meaningless Episode One-Zillion of “There Are Two Kinds of People in the World”: Delightful Eurostile vs. Fucking Bank Gothic.

    I remember spending a not insignificant amount of time laughing my ass off at one of the definitions of “fuck” as a “meaningless intensive” (providing memory serves, there were some cannibinoids involved) which was in the edition of the American Heritage dictionary (full version) that we had at our disposal at the time…Font Geeks, whatcha gonna do!

    Now it occurs, that hanging out with friends, looking up dirty words in a dictionary and being momentarily paralyzed by laughter, and the fact that it remains a favorite memory, suggests that I might be one of the biggest nerdbags ever (reefer notwithstanding) in a company of nerdbags.

    Imma gonna attempt to do something cool today…

  221. S. cerevisiae said,

    March 15, 2013 at 14:59

    Just do everything in Comic Sans.

  222. bbkf said,

    March 15, 2013 at 15:23

    freezing rain…woot!

  223. S. cerevisiae said,

    March 15, 2013 at 15:44

    Hey bbkf, I’m heading for the cities for the Bob Seger/Kid Rock show tonight – how nasty is it down that way?

  224. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    March 15, 2013 at 16:05

    A silly scope? Of course they don’t work consistently. The Tesla Coil however, is possibly the best base defense you can build. You will need tons of power generation and some serious anti-air support to back it up, but that sucker fries even a Tanya in a single shot. In terms of the defensive tower arms race- it is the lick-my-nuts-infinity.

    On teh topic of Cardinal Wars: A New Pope.
    It seems to me that the RCC has taken on the RNC method of selecting a leader. First runner-up will take the place of the winner when the winner is no longer able to fulfill his duties. Witness JiSM3 losing to W, then beating Mitt. Meaning all the talk about Jeb and Marco is pointless since we’ll have a frothy R ticket for 2016.

    MH3U countdown: 4 days.

  225. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 16:06

    Most of the kids in the neighborhood had a die-cast Lunar Interceptor from Dinky Toys/Meccano.

    Eeyup.

  226. Provider_UNE_AndPlayersToBeHatedLater™®☢☣ said,

    March 15, 2013 at 17:23

    Far out man. You gonna pass that stick ‘fore you do sumpthin cool.

    Thanks for the giggle my nym adjusted for extended gag effect friend!

  227. bbkf said,

    March 15, 2013 at 17:39

    Hey bbkf, I’m heading for the cities for the Bob Seger/Kid Rock show tonight – how nasty is it down that way?

    shut the hell up or pick me up on your way through! our area in the hump is okay…but to the northeast of us…alexandria, morris, etc. sounds pretty treacherous…lots of schools in that area have closed…

  228. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 15, 2013 at 18:08

    shut the hell up or pick me up on your way through! our area in the hump is okay…but to the northeast of us…alexandria, morris, etc. sounds pretty treacherous…lots of schools in that area have closed…

    S’posed to be 61 degrees and mostly sunny today. Been like that most of the week. Feels like June around here.

    I love it, but am a bit concerned for the rest of the planet if this trend continues.

  229. bbkf said,

    March 15, 2013 at 18:10

    S’posed to be 61 degrees and mostly sunny today. Been like that most of the week. Feels like June around here.

    can it!!!

    s.c…the son says roads a-okay in the metro…which way are you going in?

  230. bbkf said,

    March 15, 2013 at 18:11

    also, too…i would KILL to see bob seger…kid rock, othoh, i would kill to NOT have to see…

  231. Pupienus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 18:40

    Substance McGravitas SPOTTED!

  232. jim teh cliffophobic lemming heretic said,

    March 15, 2013 at 19:32

    Whoa … whodathunkit … damn … Subby was actually an ELK this whole time.

    THE MOAR U KNOW

  233. El Manquecito said,

    March 15, 2013 at 19:53

    One of the more striking costumes at Mardi Gras was a willowy redhead in a fine Kid Rock beard, shades, hat and suit wearing no shirt but with sparse glued on chest hair. She got some double and triple takes.

  234. bbkf said,

    March 15, 2013 at 19:54

    Whoa … whodathunkit … damn … Subby was actually an ELK this whole time.

    right? recalling the great sadlynaut meet-up of aught ’11 or ’12 in the fabled nyc kinderbeergarten, i just assumed he had wild hair…now i see it was just antlers…

  235. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 20:16

    Lemme tell you, NYC is a pricey place to get antled.

  236. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 20:49

    Here, have a couple of paragraphs from Thomas Sowell:

    Roman conquests had historic repercussions for centuries after the Roman Empire had fallen. Among the legacies of Roman civilization were Roman letters, which produced written versions of Western European languages, centuries before Eastern European languages became literate. This was one of many reasons why Western Europe became more advanced than Eastern Europe, economically, educationally and technologically.

    Meanwhile, the achievements in other civilizations — whether in China or in the Middle East — surged ahead of achievements in the West, though China and the Middle East later lost their leads.

  237. gocart mozart said,

    March 15, 2013 at 20:50

    Interesting article

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/15/pope-francis-book-radical-progressive
    “Bergoglio appears as a man with a profound social conscience, expressing admiration of some atheist socialists and professing a genuine belief in interfaith dialogue – to the extent that some radical Catholics accuse him of heresy.”

  238. gocart mozart said,

    March 15, 2013 at 20:59

    “Here, have a couple of paragraphs from Thomas Sowell:”

    Here Sub, have some of this:

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

  239. Pupienus Maximus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 21:43

    What about Roman numerals Mr. Smarty?

  240. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 21:45

    Roman numbers became numerate well before British numbers.

  241. Helmut Monotreme said,

    March 15, 2013 at 21:49

    I used to think the RCC was run by an antiquated club of creepy misogynist old men yearning to reclaim the ancient power of their decrepit organization. Now I think they are a giant investment trust/money laundering organization that uses an antiquated club of creepy misogynist old men yearning to reclaim the ancient power of their decrepit organization as a tax dodge.

  242. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 15, 2013 at 21:57

    I think you discount the strong desire to eat human flesh.

  243. Helmut Monotreme said,

    March 15, 2013 at 22:05

    I think you discount the strong desire to eat human flesh.

    How does that make them different from baptists?

  244. gocart mozart said,

    March 15, 2013 at 22:24

    The CPAC blogging award is in! And the winner is . . . Julie Borowski, and isn’t she precious.
    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/15/bachmann_blogging_is_a_miracle/
    When it came time to present the award, Bachmann called up recipient Julie Borowski, who video blogs under the pen name “Token Libertarian Girl.” In her brief remarks accepting the honor, Borowski said she started the blog when she was 22 and living with her parents. “See, you kids need to get a job and move out!” Bachmann joked, expanding on her message of self-responsibility
    http://julieborowski.wordpress.com/
    About Julie Borowski
    Hi, I’m Julie Borowski. I’m 24. I’m a Policy Analyst. I love dogs. I make YouTube videos about libertarianism.

  245. gocart mozart said,

    March 15, 2013 at 22:29

    Also, http://www.youtube.com/user/TokenLibertarianGirl

    gocart ascared to watch any of the videos

  246. Chris said,

    March 15, 2013 at 23:02

    Speaking of CPAC, I had an amusing conversation a couple hours ago with a Republican friend who works at National Harbor. “OMG! So many creepy old men at CPAC!” Me: “LOL. Yeah. Welcome to the Republican Party. (Don’t b mad now!)” Her: “They’re too conservative even for me.” She went on to say that she’d apparently mentioned Chris Christie and gotten an extremely negative reaction.

    Fight, motherfuckers, fight! We’ll just be sitting here, enjoying the show and waiting until it’s time to pick up the pieces.

  247. Thread Bear said,

    March 15, 2013 at 23:04

    I am just a Poe boy
    Though my screed is not that bold
    I have squandered my consistency
    For a pocketful of talking points
    Such are my blogs
    All lies and jests
    But a wingnut hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest

  248. Smut Clyde said,

    March 15, 2013 at 23:08

    why Western Europe became more advanced than Eastern Europe, economically, educationally and technologically
    Sowell does know that Eastern Europe was stomped all over by the Mongol invasions in the 13th century, doesn’t he?

    centuries before Eastern European languages became literate.

    Those ignorant, backward Byzantines…
    Armenians were already using Pahlavi script when Christian missionaries introduced a Syriac-based alphabet around 400 CE.
    The Georgian and Caucasian scripts go back to about 430 CE.

  249. bbkf said,

    March 15, 2013 at 23:20

    Thread Bear said,

    March 15, 2013 at 23:04

    well done, you…martini?

  250. gocart mozart said,

    March 15, 2013 at 23:32

    At CPAC, opinions vary on slavery issue.
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/03/15/1729331/cpac-slavery-minority-outreach/

  251. Smut Clyde said,

    March 15, 2013 at 23:56

    Thread Bear said,
    March 15, 2013 at 23:04

    He’s just a Poe boy
    From a Poe family
    Spare him his life from this monstrosity

  252. Smut Clyde said,

    March 15, 2013 at 23:59

    At CPAC, opinions vary on slavery issue.

    At one point, a woman challenged him on the Republican Party’s roots, to which Terry responded, “I didn’t know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.”

    North Carolina! Rick Santorum sticker!

  253. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 16, 2013 at 0:07

    Julie Borowski said,
    March 15, 2013 at 22:49
    You make the call. Am I Poe?

    I’d say not… Poe doesn’t have that cleft chin.

  254. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 16, 2013 at 0:10

    Among the legacies of Roman civilization were Roman letters, which produced written versions of Western European languages, centuries before Eastern European languages became literate. This was one of many reasons why Western Europe became more advanced than Eastern Europe, economically, educationally and technologically.

    How soon before Victor Davis Hanson performs sparagmos on Sowell?

  255. gocart mozart said,

    March 16, 2013 at 0:10

    “I didn’t know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.”

    And they’re so cute when they complain about sharia law

  256. gocart mozart said,

    March 16, 2013 at 0:12

    sparagmosing the Sowell?

  257. Snorghagen said,

    March 16, 2013 at 0:52

    Roman conquests had historic repercussions…

    And also hysteric re-concussions.

    The Georgian and Caucasian scripts go back to about 430 CE.

    But the Caucasian Alabamans had scripts as far back as the Age of the Caveman-Dinosaur Alliance.

  258. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 16, 2013 at 1:06

    The Bible’s in English after all.

  259. Snorghagen said,

    March 16, 2013 at 1:17

    The Bible’s in English after all.

    But long ago, back in the mist-shrouded dawn of time, the Bible was written in Latin, the language of the Latvians. Those people lived on the shores of the Baltic, derived from Baal, the fearsome god of the Canaanites and Canadianites.

  260. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 16, 2013 at 1:41

    Among the legacies of Roman civilization were Roman letters, which produced written versions of Western European languages, centuries before Eastern European languages became literate.

    Why, the Greeks didn’t even have an alphabet, nor did they have a simple, one character way to express the concept of “pi”.

    It’s a shame that one has to register with Townhall, I can’t be arsed taking the time to do that just to rip Sowell a new one. It’s funny, though, that a guy who is so often touted as an “intellectual” can be so incredibly stupid.

  261. Nym said,

    March 16, 2013 at 2:00

    I’m a little surprised no one’s done anything on the rancid mangoes coming out of CPAC yet.

  262. Nym said,

    March 16, 2013 at 2:01

    I stand corrected. Still, a full new article would be nice.

  263. Pupienus said,

    March 16, 2013 at 2:18

    “I didn’t know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.”

    He First Timothy 2:12′ed her!

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

  264. Major Kong said,

    March 16, 2013 at 2:43

    Why, the Greeks didn’t even have an alphabet

    Just the one they copied off the Phoenicians.

  265. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    March 16, 2013 at 3:00

    Poe some Bachmann in TEA
    Teh Tea Party’s nuts
    Poe some red meat wheeeeee!
    They just can’t get enough.

  266. Smut Clyde said,

    March 16, 2013 at 3:15

    nor did [the Greeks] have a simple, one character way to express the concept of “pi”.

    I don’t know how Greek mathematicians put it but the use of ‘pi’ in that sense first appeared in 1706.

  267. Pupienus said,

    March 16, 2013 at 3:29

    I think the “Greeks” – the Hellenic peoples we would later think of as “Greek” – mostly used words and sentences to express such concepts, not symbols.

  268. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 16, 2013 at 3:33

    Why, the Greeks didn’t even have an alphabet

    Just the one they copied off the Phoenicians.

    I don’t know how Greek mathematicians put it but the use of ‘pi’ in that sense first appeared in 1706.

    My basic point is that Sowell’s statement the Roman alphabet resulted in “more advanced” civilizations completely ignores the fact that the Greeks, in Eastern Europe, laid the foundations of Western Civilization, including the intellectual traditions that enabled Roman cultural achievements.

    In other words, Sowell sure is a dumbass, public intellectual or not.

  269. Major Kong said,

    March 16, 2013 at 3:57

    The Romans copied just about everything from the Greeks. Even the Roman gods are just Greek gods with different names.

    The Romans were great engineers and architects. Deep thinkers not so much.

  270. Pupienus said,

    March 16, 2013 at 4:05

    The letter ‘y’. Where’d you get that shit, and I’m talkin to you latin?

  271. Shakezula said,

    March 16, 2013 at 4:29

    CPAC 2013 UPDATE

    If you bet March 15th would be the day the CPACers would turn on a minority attendee, please collect your winnings.

  272. Smut Clyde said,

    March 16, 2013 at 5:42

    the CPACers would turn on a minority attendee
    You mean that poor disenfranchised white neo-nazi, right?

    According to another white attendee, the “disenfranchisement” comes in when dark-skinned people are allowed to cast votes, thereby cancelling out white votes.

    “Concerned in what way?” he said. I explained I meant the part about how whites were being disenfranchised by blacks en masse and the Confederacy wasn’t being respected.

    “I would just say that if you cast a fraudulent vote you are depriving someone else of the right to vote, because you are canceling a vote that was legitimately cast,” he said.

  273. Smut Clyde said,

    March 16, 2013 at 5:56

    My basic point is that Sowell’s statement the Roman alphabet resulted in “more advanced” civilizations

    Oh yes, his idea of “Eastern Europe” evidently excludes Greece, Romania, the Caucasus. His idea of primitive parts of Europe — deprived of the advantage of Roman colonisation — is confined to Germany, the Balts, the Slavic countries. The evidence of their cultural and technological backwardness is essentially that they lagged behind in carving out colonial empires of their own, and that they don’t feature much in English-language histories..

  274. Snorghagen said,

    March 16, 2013 at 6:11

    (Part of) the evidence of their cultural and technological backwardness is… that they don’t feature much in English-language histories.

    Nobody pays attention to them because they’re not important and they’re not important because nobody pays attention to them.

    Nice, neat reasoning.

  275. Jeffraham Prestonian said,

    March 16, 2013 at 6:25

    and the Confederacy wasn’t being respected

    Say the fuck what?

    Rmoney’s not being respected in the reality bubble, either. Know why? He lost.
    .

  276. M. Bouffant said,

    March 16, 2013 at 12:46

    Substance McGravitas said,
    March 15, 2013 at 16:06

    Most of the kids in the neighborhood had a die-cast Lunar Interceptor from Dinky Toys/Meccano.

    Eeyup.

    Now feeling old. I had a plastic Fireball XL-5.

  277. LittlePig said,

    March 16, 2013 at 13:00

    Gavin, are you sure the interrossiter is in circuit when you try this stuff? Otherwise you’re just stuck on this island earth.

  278. El Manquécito said,

    March 16, 2013 at 15:44

    Now feeling old. I had a plastic Fireball XL-5.

    Call that old? I had toy tractors and dump trucks made out of metal.

  279. Major Kong said,

    March 16, 2013 at 16:41

    I had toy tractors and dump trucks made out of metal.

    Me too. Those things were pretty much indestructible (I tried).

  280. bughunter said,

    March 16, 2013 at 16:51

    Yep. Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels made of steel.

    GI Joes taller than a Barbie.

    Cap guns with cartridges that went fucking BANG when the hammer fell (but we always just hit em with a rock to make ‘em ‘splode).

    Toy guns that looked like guns (I liked the Star Trek disc gun… it had range).

    Bikes without helmets.

    Lawn Darts. Without helmets.

    And despite all that, it was still safe enough for moms to kick us out of the house on summer afternoons and tell us not to come back until suppertime.

  281. Thread Bear said,

    March 16, 2013 at 17:03

    And despite all that, it was still safe enough for moms to kick us out of the house on summer afternoons and tell us not to come back until suppertime.

    My mom always told me not to come back until september.

  282. Thread Bear said,

    March 16, 2013 at 17:11

    Save the trees!

  283. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 16, 2013 at 17:12

    Me too. Those things were pretty much indestructible (I tried).

    Dad got mad when the first thing I did was to take the truck to the garage and smash out the windows with a hammer.

  284. Thread Bear said,

    March 16, 2013 at 17:12

    Oops:

    Save the trees!

  285. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 16, 2013 at 17:28

    I had toy tractors and dump trucks made out of metal.

    Me too. Those things were pretty much indestructible (I tried).

    Relevant.

  286. Major Kong said,

    March 16, 2013 at 17:30

    And despite all that, it was still safe enough for moms to kick us out of the house on summer afternoons and tell us not to come back until suppertime.

    Our lives weren’t scheduled like kids today seemed to be. We didn’t have “play dates” it was just “Go play, dinner’s at six”.

    We didn’t have so many organized activities either. We played baseball in the middle of the street “The blue Chevy over there is second base”.

  287. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 16, 2013 at 17:46

    I saw some column about parental failures in supervising children the other day and I thought “Supervision is a new thing.”

  288. LittlePig said,

    March 16, 2013 at 19:04

    Bikes without helmets.

    Hell, we used to crash head-on at the bottom of a gulley for the hell of it. Like Bill Engvall said (specifically in regards to metal dashboards), ‘You learned to take a fall back then’.

    I liked the Star Trek disc gun… it had range

    Didn’t it though? Sling them little suckers 25 feet.

  289. 59gibson said,

    March 16, 2013 at 19:41

    Look mate… all you have to do is take a gain pot that goes to eleven, run everything through a KT66, an voila! the trans linear phase modulator will indicate life forms in that spicy green bud.

  290. Shakezula said,

    March 16, 2013 at 20:18

    Yep. Tonka trucks

    My first introduction to the concept that some people just suck came at age 3, when some scum licking doucheclog swiped my Tonka dump truck.

    Also, don’t leave your stuff out in the front yard, because a sucky person might come by. I learned that lesson as well.

  291. VCarlson said,

    March 16, 2013 at 21:14

    Our lives weren’t scheduled like kids today seemed to be. We didn’t have “play dates” it was just “Go play, dinner’s at six”.

    For us, it was “come back when the streetlights turn on.”

    And played games that involved a lot of random running around, often through each others’ yards. I feel sorry for today’s kids – I bet none of them have the opportunity to just climb a tree and sit, either.

  292. M. Bouffant said,

    March 16, 2013 at 21:49

    Hey, I had an actual tricycle, not a plastic piece of Big Wheel shit. And metal earth-moving equipment. Sharp edges.

  293. kg said,

    March 16, 2013 at 21:55

    I’m finna stay clear of y’alls lawns.

  294. John Revolta said,

    March 16, 2013 at 22:23

    Ya’ll kids comin’ on MY lawn, better be wearin’ your helmet. I’m just sayin’.

  295. Shakezula said,

    March 16, 2013 at 22:24

    Does anyone remember those roller skates that you secured to your shoes? I had a plastic pair and envied the kids who had metal.

  296. Snorghagen said,

    March 16, 2013 at 22:25

    “Supervision is a new thing.”

    When I was a little kiddo way back in the fifties, they hadn’t developed vaccines against some fairly serious childhood diseases. Polio vaccines had just been introduced a few years earlier, and a generation or so earlier truly deadly shit like diptheria had still been prevalent. Back in the old, old days children were seen as somewhat expendable – I believe the attitude was that there was no point in closely supervising and protecting kids when you couldn’t ensure their survival anyway. I’m pretty sure that remnants of that outlook were still operative during my childhood and to some extent even later.

    And I’m glad of it. I got to climb trees and play with fireworks.

  297. Major Kong said,

    March 16, 2013 at 22:26

    Does anyone remember those roller skates that you secured to your shoes? I had a plastic pair and envied the kids who had metal.

    I do remember those. I actually had a skateboard with metal wheels on it.

  298. El Manquecito said,

    March 16, 2013 at 22:40

    Digging in 100 year old bottle dumps, jumping up and down to collapse the river banks and leaping back to shore, dirt clod fights in gravel pits, jumping up and down on the ice to star it (loser got wet), miles from home in the woods, all at the age of ten, my parents would prolly be arrested now.

  299. John Revolta said,

    March 16, 2013 at 22:48

    those roller skates that you secured to your shoes?

    With the plastic wheels that seized right up if you hit a tiny pebble? Yeah, I seem to recall those…………funny how I never really learned to skate very well.

    skateboard with metal wheels on it

    Yeah. Same damn deal as the plastic skates, pebblewise, too also.

  300. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 16, 2013 at 22:52

    We used to play a team “kill the carrier” game we called “saluchi” (urban dictionary defines it as “keep away”, but we played it in teams). We’d come in covered in bruises and scratches.

  301. Suezboo said,

    March 16, 2013 at 23:44

    I surely remember those skates that you had to adjust onto your shoes with a special key. Broke my coccyx on the concrete playground, those little buggers did.
    Jeepers, the memories. Skipping ropes held at both ends by other girls and really complex jumping patterns over them, pick-up jacks, spinning tops, marbles, hide and seek, blind man’s buff, rounders – and that was just at school breaks.
    Better stop now. I know – tl;dr.

  302. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 17, 2013 at 0:04

    We also used to engage in the very politically incorrect in name squaw wrestling. We were hardy little creatures.

  303. LittlePig said,

    March 17, 2013 at 0:28

    We made low grade gunpowder (saw ‘Arena’, said ‘that looks easy’), put it in plastic pill bottles, wrapped ‘em tight in electrical tape and set ‘em off with nichrome wire (electronic ignition revolutionized our lives).

    No.Way.In.Hell could I relive my childhood today. I’d be in juvie by age 11.

  304. LittlePig said,

    March 17, 2013 at 0:32

    A friend from Northwest Arkansas said they discovered taking pencil leads and making salt peter rock ‘candy’ around them. Run a car battery through it and ka-wooomph!

    Man, we missed a trick.

  305. Snorghagen said,

    March 17, 2013 at 0:45

    A co-worker of mine who grew up in a small Texas-German town during the seventies or eighties told me about some neighbors who, whenever they were going to cut down a large tree, let their kids climb the tree first. The kids reportedly loved it, so they must have managed to avoid being killed or maimed.

  306. Major Kong said,

    March 17, 2013 at 2:45

    We made low grade gunpowder (saw ‘Arena’, said ‘that looks easy’)

    Yep. It’s amazing I made it to adulthood with all my limbs intact and no permanent criminal record.

  307. Smut Clyde said,

    March 17, 2013 at 3:14

    Limbs intact, lungs not so much.

  308. VCarlson said,

    March 17, 2013 at 3:27

    Yep. Skates you attached to your shoe soles with a key, with metal wheels. I didn’t really get to enjoy that part of skates, as my shoes were Hush Puppies with soft soles. Kick off with the skate, skate flies off shoe, held by ankle strap. I gave up pretty quickly. My first skateboard, one I saved up to buy and was stolen almost immediately, had metal wheels. The replacement, which Mom bought for me out of pity, had clay wheels, which I used to demonstrate Newton’s 2nd (?) law (an object in motion tends to stay in motion) fairky frequently, no matter ow carefully I scanned for small stones and palm seeds.

    Also, visiting stepsibs in Texas in summer, and being introduced to bottle rocket fights. My worst injury from that was clotheslining a telephone pole cable, because I didn’t see it because it was dusk snfpd I’d removed my (glass) glasses fir safety.

  309. Pupienus said,

    March 17, 2013 at 3:49

    Skates you attached to your shoe soles with a key, with metal wheels.

  310. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 17, 2013 at 3:53

    One of my favorite childhood memories was of a visit to Jones Beach, which is on a barrier island off the south shore of Long Island. On this particular day, a huge jellyfish swarm had washed up on the beach, and we had a jellyfish fight- we were scooping up handsful of slime and chucking them at each other. By the end of this battle royale, we were all covered head to toe with protoplasm.

  311. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 17, 2013 at 3:55

    Skates you attached to your shoe soles with a key, with metal wheels.

    Now that’s some top-notch sexual innuendo!

  312. El Manquecito said,

    March 17, 2013 at 4:02

    we were all covered head to toe with protoplasm.

    Our version of that was the tomato fields after harvest. Not enough pavement where I grew up for skates or skateboards. Also, too, snow and mud.

  313. jim the heretical anti-cliff lemming said,

    March 17, 2013 at 4:07

    CLASH OF THE TITANS!!!!!!!!!!!

  314. Snorghagen said,

    March 17, 2013 at 4:40

    we were all covered head to toe with protoplasm.

    The Japanese invertebrate-porn studios might be interested in purchasing the movie rights.

  315. John Revolta said,

    March 17, 2013 at 5:04

    Me’n my friends had our own version of that Melanie thing:

    Oh,
    I’ve got a brand new pair of hockey skates,
    You’ve got a brand new puck
    I think that we should get together and *^$#!@#$%$#$%^&*
    I’ve been looking around awhile
    Now I think I’m in luck,
    I’ve got a brand new pair of hockey skates,
    You’ve got a brand new puck

  316. Jon H said,

    March 17, 2013 at 5:52

    I used to help do sound for plays and whatnot in high school, and I would bring my dad’s oscilloscope to just sit there at the tech table in back, looking cool doing waveforms of the pre-show music.

  317. Jon H said,

    March 17, 2013 at 5:56

    BTW, this tiny scope is *nuts*, it’s small enough to fit on a breadboard. Also has a frequency generator and a logic analyzer. And costs $50.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlcA6vjrxxI&feature=youtu.be&t=45s

  318. Nym said,

    March 17, 2013 at 6:35

    I did my share of tree-climbing and cap-hammering, but was generally inclined to read and be nondestructive.

    However, I suspect that if I were in junior high school now, bringing Witchcraft, Magic, and the Supernatural to read during a PE rainout– a book which had Satanists (of the Anton LaVey types) and contemporary (well, ’70s) pagans and Satanists having naked Satanopagan fun (no sex, but butts and boobs aplenty) would have gotten me thrown out of school.

    They didn’t even confiscate the book. Then again, a) this was Southern California and b) I was one of the “best and brightest” at that school and known for not cutting up and making trouble.

    Sure did get a lot of guys who wanted to look at that book, though.

  319. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 17, 2013 at 7:13

    I don’t know whether I’m surprised or not that it was as easy for others as it was for me to get quantities of salt Peter in the seventies. The amounts of black powder I made and not so subtly disposed of would probably get me on a watch list today… And I was 9.

  320. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 17, 2013 at 8:41

    I guess I should mention that for Mac people I’ve built an audio Annalyzer.

  321. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 17, 2013 at 8:42

    http://houseofsubstance.blogspot.com/2013/03/i-am-totally-programmer-and-stuff.html

  322. S. cerevisiae said,

    March 17, 2013 at 17:43

    I used to cut the heads off paper matches until I had enough to fill a small box then bury it in a mound of sand and light it – it made a very cool volcano.

  323. Pupienus Maximus said,

    March 17, 2013 at 18:16

    I don’t know whether I’m surprised or not that it was as easy for others as it was for me to get quantities of salt Peter in the seventies. The amounts of black powder I made and not so subtly disposed of would probably get me on a watch list today… And I was 9.

    I didn’t do such things at that age. In high school, though … well, can you say “fulminates?”

  324. Suezboo said,

    March 17, 2013 at 18:50

    Boy, boys sure do love their explosions – phreakishly phallic.
    I was hardly a girly girl but Big Bangs scared me.

  325. John Revolta said,

    March 17, 2013 at 19:47

    “fulminates?”

    You guys and your Greek philosophers.

  326. S. cerevisiae said,

    March 17, 2013 at 19:47

    Back to the subject of Sci-fi, does anyone else remember this?

    http://mystartrekscrapbook.blogspot.com/2008/11/1976-mad-star-trek-spoof.html

  327. Pupienus said,

    March 17, 2013 at 20:08

    One day while fucking around in our very well equipped garage / shop, someone got the idea to fire up the torch and cut one end off a spare driveshaft. Because we had M-80s. And empty beer cans. Made a fine cannon, yes it did.

  328. John Revolta said,

    March 17, 2013 at 20:30

    Never saw the Trek musical- BUT I do still have the issue that the photo came from.

    Now get off my shuttlecraft.

  329. El Manquécito said,

    March 17, 2013 at 20:47

    In high school, though …

    Well, sure. By then I was working volunteering in a fort museum from the French/Indian war* where we fired Charlevilles, Brown Besses, tower pistols (all flint; no fulminates) and an anachronistic Napoleonic brass 6 pounder that someone had donated. Fun.

    *yeah, yeah, War of the Austrian Succession.

  330. Pupienus Maximus said,

    March 17, 2013 at 20:55

    I also discovered that adjusting an oxy-acetylene torch to a very lean mix, snuffing the flame and filling party balloons, tieing them off then applying some tape as a fuse makes really really really loud noises. Louder than an M-80. Been making them for the Fourth ever since. One day not that many years ago I filled a trash bag – a big one, smaller than a lawn bag but bigger than a kitchen bag – and put it in the apple tree in my mom’s back yard. I put a looooooong fuse on that sucker. It was SO COOL! Cracked a neighbor’s window. Heh.

  331. Pupienus Maximus said,

    March 17, 2013 at 20:56

    I’m telling you all this stuff in the hopes that someone can learn from my experience. Have fun!

  332. Smut Clyde said,

    March 17, 2013 at 21:16

    we were all covered head to toe with protoplasm.
    The Japanese invertebrate-porn studios might be interested in purchasing the movie rights.

    Why is it, by the way, that the Japanese are unable to spell “buck-cake”?

  333. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 17, 2013 at 21:59

    Why is it, by the way, that the Japanese are unable to spell “buck-cake”?

    Cut them some slack, they usually make noodles out of buckwheat, not cakes.

  334. Major Kong said,

    March 17, 2013 at 22:21

    I’m telling you all this stuff in the hopes that someone can learn from my experience. Have fun!

    They used to sell a type of torch that was a standard propane torch with the addition of a solid oxidizer – kind of poor man’s acetylene torch.

    We discovered that grinding the bars of solid oxidizer into powder and mixing 50/50 with flour made a very satisfactory incendiary device.

    Even better, if you filled a glass bottle halfway with the stuff and sealed the end – it made a rather nice explosion.

    Hopefully the statute of limitations has run out by now.

  335. El Manquecito said,

    March 17, 2013 at 22:25

    I’m telling you all this stuff in the hopes that someone can learn from my experience. Have fun!

    I delight in explaining to my friends’ boys how to make flour bombs.

  336. Babe Ruthless said,

    March 17, 2013 at 22:45

    “Back to the subject of Sci-fi, does anyone else remember this?”

    Oh hell yes. I was 11. You just made my day.

  337. Shakezula said,

    March 17, 2013 at 22:53

    I think supervision of children varied by locale, or maybe it was a middle- to lower working class thing?

    My mom & aunt grew up under the stern eye of neighbors (usually women) in the deep south and later in D.C.. In D.C. a lady next door was particularly notorious for ratting out kids who were, or might have been, or thinking about engaging in questionable/dangerous behavior. She was just the worst in terms of information sharing. Other adult neighbors would come out and (for example) grab a kid who was playing in the street. It was not unusual for a non-relative to swat a child who was being particularly stupid.

    Flash forward a few decades. I’m living in the same house. Mrs. Chase is still alive but now her kids are grown and she’s a widow. So she had more time to rat out kids. The new generation of neighbors are just as vigorous about grabbing kids who are about to get killed, in fights, getting dirty.

    The same applied when I lived in a big apartment in Maryland. I’m pretty sure those women could have taught intelligence gathering agencies a thing or three about surveillance.

    My younger siblings had to put up with the same thing when we moved to an apartment complex in the outer burbs. By that time I was a senior in college, I was old enough to yell at smaller kids who were about to kill themselves, fighting, not sharing the swings. It was accepted behavior. No one would think of seeing a child about to get hurt, or acting up and turning away because it wasn’t their kid. We don’t have kids but I know if we did, the neighbors on both sides would keep an eye on them. It’s just what you do.

    In short, I never understood what the fuck all the fuss about when HRC said it takes a village to raise a child. That’s a big ol’ duh in my book.

  338. Shakezula said,

    March 17, 2013 at 22:54

    Also too, more girls than you’d expect like things that go boom. It’s just the stupid boys that won’t let us play. Poop heads.

  339. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 17, 2013 at 23:13

    Also too, more girls than you’d expect like things that go boom. It’s just the stupid boys that won’t let us play. Poop heads.

    Ya know, a bottle rocket up some sexist’s poop chute would teach him not to prop up the patriarchy.

  340. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    March 17, 2013 at 23:37

    First take a metal chamber roughly a litre in volume (such as two metal funnels welded together) firmly fastened to a retort stand. It needs a hole in the bottom (1-2 cm diameter) and a pinhole in the top, sealed with masking tape.

    Fill it with calibrating hydrogen. Remove tape and light the top hole on fire.

    If you get the pinhole right, it burns very slowly. Hydrogen burns with a colourless flame. The only giveaway is a whistling sound caused by burning gas (or someone yelping after they stick their hands over it). As more hydrogen burns, air is sucked up through the bottom hole. I believe it is the gas density change that causes the pitch of the whistling to get lower. I seem to recall that it gets quieter as it gets lower pitched. The natural involuntary response is to lean in for a better listen.

    Of course at some point, enough air will have rushed in for the overall mixture inside the chamber to drop below hydrogen’s upper explosive limit. For some reason, the fireball which belches out tge bottom hole isn’t colourless. It’s blue.

  341. Shakezula said,

    March 18, 2013 at 3:00

    A friend and I got our hands on several cases of bottle rockets once. And she was in a room on the top story overlooking the quad.

    Bwaha hahaa!

  342. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 18, 2013 at 3:30

    A friend and I got our hands on several cases of bottle rockets once. And she was in a room on the top story overlooking the quad.

    During my freshman year in college, we had a massive snowball war, with hundreds of participants. At one point, gangs of freshmen converged on an upperclass dorm and began barraging the place. One of the occupants of the dorm had a couple of Roman candles and started “firing” them out the window.

    Good times, good times.

  343. Shakezula said,

    March 18, 2013 at 4:23

    See also: Why campus security tends to be selectively deaf.

  344. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 18, 2013 at 4:42

    See also: Why campus security tends to be selectively deaf.

    It’s kinda hard to arrest a couple of hundred people.

  345. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    March 18, 2013 at 5:45

    Let me amend that… It’s kinda hard to arrest a couple of hundred white people.

  346. not a gator said,

    March 18, 2013 at 6:14

    This was one of many reasons why Western Europe became more advanced than Eastern Europe, economically, educationally and technologically.

    Yaaa, imma call bullshit on Sowell’s smart guy cred. Ignorant, incurious, and lazy.

    Back when I used to read the paper I dubbed his column Thomas Sowell’s Dispatches from La-La Land. And how is the weather in La-La Land today, Mr Sowell?

    But world history as taught by the Texas School Board and VDARE is really a new low.

  347. not a gator said,

    March 18, 2013 at 6:18

    Omg, Snorg, you win:

    But long ago, back in the mist-shrouded dawn of time, the Bible was written in Latin, the language of the Latvians. Those people lived on the shores of the Baltic, derived from Baal, the fearsome god of the Canaanites and Canadianites.

  348. not a gator said,

    March 18, 2013 at 6:28

    I saw some column about parental failures in supervising children the other day and I thought “Supervision is a new thing.”

    Supervision went up as fertility rates went down. Children have a frickin’ high mortality rate, but parents are no longer willing to just pop out a bunch as insurance against the inevitable deaths. So stopping them from dying is a big deal.

    The society in general has gotten extremely sensitized to the deaths of children instead of inured (as it was in the days of deadly epidemics and child labor), so the police and so on demand a high level of supervision of parents. Even accidental deaths are often followed by an inquiry and charges. In Florida they recently charged a teenage mother who was putting the wash in when her 2 year old opened the latch and ran into the retention pond and drowned. There was also a notorious case where an upper middle class couple was charged with shaking their baby to death when in fact the child, about 18 months, was playing and decided to take a flying leap off a piece of furniture and bumped his head against the corner of a coffee table. Okay, so bad piece of furniture to have in a household with kids… but let’s realize our attitudes about such things have changed so utterly drastically since even the 1950s.

  349. not a gator said,

    March 18, 2013 at 6:32

    I believe the attitude was that there was no point in closely supervising and protecting kids when you couldn’t ensure their survival anyway.

    One telling matter is the point at which children are named. In the US today, children are often named before birth. In some places, children aren’t named until they’re a year old. A month, a day, eight days… it tells you a lot about the infant mortality rate in that society and when it’s considered safe to form an attachment.

  350. Shakezula said,

    March 18, 2013 at 16:33

    Occasionally I am reminded that RNC impresario Rinsed Penis is an astoundingly stupid motherfucker.

    I tried to select one nugget of dumbshittery from TPM, but there were just too many.

  351. Exford legs said,

    March 18, 2013 at 17:00

    Nice one Gav on the guitar amp work. I have a Laney VC30, it has survived the shipment from UK to Australia, but it still has a bit of a buzz in it that hangs around for about 15 minutes after powering on. The only oscilliscope work I have done is checking crystals for clocks.

    Make sure when you get the alien ship detector working and you attach it to the Very Large Array you don’t mix up the positive cable with the negative. If you do that, you will end up having the Air Marshall send all his interceptors off in the wrong direction because the picture is upside down. Oops.

    Also, the best book I have on Radio Engineering is from the 1930′s and smells like a Very Old Library. Gav, you went away for so long, and I love Reddit now. But we’ll always have A Load of Laughing Boy

  352. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 18, 2013 at 19:39

    Children have a frickin’ high mortality rate, but parents are no longer willing to just pop out a bunch as insurance against the inevitable deaths. So stopping them from dying is a big deal.

    When the death toll from Iraq was starting to mount and it started to become clear that the war was turning into the horrible clusterfuck it turned out to be, the Wall St. Journal ran this crushingly idiotic op-ed about why death is overhyped today. The gist was, how dare this born cannon fodder cherish their miserable lives. Back in the day, a Momma Grizzly would just pop out a passel of brats and not care so damn much if a few of ‘em died from diphtheria, or bullet wounds, or whatever. The dumbest WSJ op-ed ever, and that’s saying something.

  353. Whale Chowder said,

    March 18, 2013 at 20:05

    Back in the day, a Momma Grizzly would just pop out a passel of brats and not care so damn much if a few of ‘em died from diphtheria, or bullet wounds, or whatever.

    Y’know, I realize this is the conventional wisdom but from what I can tell it ain’t true. I’ve read several accounts over the last few months about how devastated parents were even back in the day when they had to bury their own children. Probably the most famous example would be Lincoln’s loss of his sons and the effect it had on both him and Mary.

    I don’t think anybody would get used to having their children die, no matter how many they had.

  354. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 18, 2013 at 20:24

    Y’know, I realize this is the conventional wisdom but from what I can tell it ain’t true.

    Oh, of course not. It was just one more stupid point in that stupid WSJ op-ed. Even death gets the rose-colored-glasses treatment from these idiots.

  355. Helmut Monotreme said,

    March 18, 2013 at 20:43

    Even death gets the rose-colored-glasses treatment from these idiots.

    Of course it does. If you’re only selling one product, you’re going to talk it up.

  356. bbkf said,

    March 18, 2013 at 20:45

    but Big Bangs scared me.

    big bangs scare me still to this day…could never watch linda evans on ‘dynasty’ and michelle gave me a bit of a fright at inauguration time…but hers are okay…

  357. Bitter Scribe said,

    March 18, 2013 at 21:07

    big bangs scare me still to this day.

    They wouldn’t if you saw Zooey Deschanel through a straight guy’s eyes.

  358. bbkf said,

    March 18, 2013 at 21:15

    They wouldn’t if you saw Zooey Deschanel through a straight guy’s eyes.

    her’s don’t scare me…she’s too tiny…

    anyhoo…EVERYBODY GO LOOK AT MY BLAHG!!! overwhelming cuteness is there!!!

  359. Pupienus said,

    March 18, 2013 at 21:29

    YUM! Leftover Guinness Old Rasputin Imperial Stout stew for lunch. I didn’t wear green yesterday either. phtphpthptht

  360. Major Kong said,

    March 18, 2013 at 21:33

    EVERYBODY GO LOOK AT MY BLAHG!!! overwhelming cuteness is there!!!

    I think I just overdosed on cute.

  361. Helmut Monotreme said,

    March 18, 2013 at 21:49

    I think you should go with the ironically ferocious dog names, like ‘Spike’ or ‘Fenris’

  362. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 18, 2013 at 21:53

    EVERYBODY GO LOOK AT MY BLAHG!!! overwhelming cuteness is there!!!

    I hope you’ve already hidden all of your shoes.

  363. Shakezula said,

    March 18, 2013 at 21:57

    …it tells you a lot about the infant mortality rate in that society and when it’s considered safe to form an attachment.

    I think you’re misinterpreting superstition spurred by fear the child will die. I have heard from my grandparents’ generation that naming was bad luck. For my mom it was purchasing clothes before the baby was born.

    I’ve even read that people will call the child by a nickname which is based on some really old beliefs about the power of names and the sorts of things that will abuse that power.

    I don’t think anybody would get used to having their children die, no matter how many they had.

    This. Hell, animals experience distress when they lose offspring. To achieve that sort of detachment it would have to be hard wired at our genetic level and you wouldn’t shake it off in a couple of generations.

  364. bbkf said,

    March 18, 2013 at 22:03

    I hope you’ve already hidden all of your shoes.

    indeed…she has shown quite an affinity…this sucks because i have lots and lots of shoes…

  365. Pupienus said,

    March 18, 2013 at 22:45

    AWWWW LOOKIT DA PUPPY!

  366. bbkf said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:01

    hubbkf is leaning towards maeve…

  367. Linnaeus said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:05

    And, of course, the labels on the various instruments are in Microgramma font, which seemed to be the “spacey” choice of font back them. Seems to have undergone a bit of a revival in the past 5-6 years – I see it a lot more lately.

  368. bbkf said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:07

    in Microgramma

    hubbkf’s mom is so teensy, we could call her microgramma…hey-o!

  369. gocart mozart said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:15

    Obama is the Lord of the Flies

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/wnd-obama-s-long-history-attracting-flies-suggests-demonic-possession

  370. Suezboo said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:25

    I once knew a Maltese poodle named Fang. Her owner, a glassblower by profession (seriously), felt it would help her self-esteem issues.

  371. Suezboo said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:26

    PS Cute dog, bbkf – understand the irresistible attraction.

  372. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:29

    I think you should go with the ironically ferocious dog names, like ‘Spike’ or ‘Fenris’

    Cerberus.

  373. Major Kong said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:42

    Cerberus.

    Needs a couple more heads for that to work.

  374. Smut Clyde said,

    March 18, 2013 at 23:46

    ironically ferocious dog names, like ‘Spike’ or ‘Fenris’

    Don’t forget Fenrir’s sons, Mánagarm and Sköll.

  375. Whale Chowder said,

    March 19, 2013 at 0:57

    a glassblower by profession

    Now I’ve seen uh, heard of movies with women who do that but I didn’t know it was a profession.

    Also, adorbs pup. Not Pup; pup.

  376. Whale Chowder said,

    March 19, 2013 at 1:18

    Why would you name a dog Mammogram?

  377. Shakezula said,

    March 19, 2013 at 1:31

    The puppy is so cute I am surprised little squeee noises don’t erupt from my computer.

    As for names, why not name her after an eyepatch wearing baddie or badass. If you stick to women you might be kind of limited. What about Mrs. Taggart? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062671/

    Or maybe Elle [Driver]?

  378. tigris said,

    March 19, 2013 at 1:37

    Also, adorbs pup. Not Pup; pup.

    he’s adorable, too, all youse guys are. YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE.

    I am surprised little squeee noises don’t erupt from my computer

    SOMEbody’s obviously got the sound muted.

  379. S. cerevisiae said,

    March 19, 2013 at 2:29

    bbkf, that puppy is so sweet it could cause diabetes. I tried to comment on your blog but FYWP so I suggested “‘Nimoosh” which is Ojibwe slang for dog. Otherwise maybe “Gaween!” (NO!).

  380. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 19, 2013 at 2:30

    Nutpick via LGM. The horror:

    Having said that, doing sexual things and getting sexual gratification from a passed out human body is pretty sick.

    It seems to me like necrophilia. But, on the other hand, bestiality is on the decline, though in the 1800s I understand it was quite common.

    Women are unable to understand the extreme power of the sexual drives of males, even though they react to it.

    As an example, I offer up my experience with my rooster. Normally, I go into the fenced off area, throw down some food pellets on the ground, despite that it takes the chickens more time than eating from the food dispenser. They like to eat this way. The rooster loved this, and grew accustomed to me doing this.

    Our remaining hen had managed to escape the fenced in area, and I captured her, put her under my arm, and walked into the enclosed area. I felt a pain in my leg, and realize the rooster was attacking me. I tried my best to express to the rooster that I was vastly superior in power and strength, without hurting him. My efforts including making myself large with my arms, loud with my voice, and indeed it had a momentary effect. That’s it: the rooster came back to fight again, and I realized he would fight to the death for his hen.

    That’s how deep these things are. To the death.

    It’s not just chickens. It’s all kinds of mammals. Lions, who not only kill their rivals, but even kill the offspring of their rivals. Walruses, Apes, etc.

    Suddenly, through the power of ill-defined liberal ideals, the government can change the social compromises and institutions to deal with this. I say horseshit.

  381. LittlePig said,

    March 19, 2013 at 2:37

    Why would you name a dog Mammogram?

    Well, if it is a female dog, then that’s exactly what most women I know call the procedure.

    At the very least.

  382. LittlePig said,

    March 19, 2013 at 2:38

    (oops, should have read the back story first. Dammit)

  383. Pupienus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 3:05

    “‘Nimoosh” which is Ojibwe slang for dog.

    “Deeohgee.” Said quickly.

  384. Snorghagen said,

    March 19, 2013 at 3:14

    Women are unable to understand the extreme power of the sexual drives of males, even though they react to it.

    Women sense his power and they seek the life essence. He does not avoid women, but he does deny them his essence.

    (And not just women – all kinds of mammals. And chickens.)

  385. VCarlson said,

    March 19, 2013 at 3:35

    And chickens

    He never touched those ducks.

  386. Shakezula said,

    March 19, 2013 at 3:42

    Suddenly, through the power of ill-defined liberal ideals, the government can change the social compromises and institutions to deal with this. I say horseshit.

    Um yeah. But he just finished arguing that the assholes involved should have gotten in a knock down drag out over who got to rape her.

    Unless the theory is that wussy liberal ideals and/or ducks pave the way to gang bangs?

    Keep fucking that chicken.

  387. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 19, 2013 at 3:44

    Women are unable to understand the extreme power of the sexual drives of males, even though they react to it.

    The poor bastard has never been propositioned.

  388. Major Kong said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:15

    And chickens

    Penguins is practically chickens.

  389. Snorghagen said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:16

    This is what I got out of it:

    1) Long ago, in the time of our fathers’ fathers, people everywhere fucked animals. Alas, those golden days of yesteryear are no more.

    2) It will be a far, far better world when we learn that we must throw our chickenfeed on the ground and abandon the unnatural use of feed dispensers.

    3) The immense power of the male gonads, the same colossal force that angers roosters and annoys walruses, cannot be thwarted by puny liberal idealism.

  390. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:18

    It’s not just roosters and walruses, it’s ALL KINDS of mammals.

  391. tigris said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:18

    Women are unable to understand the extreme power of the sexual drives of males

    I understand that if he got raped while he was drunk he wouldn’t shrug and say it was just the extreme power of some guy’s sexual drive and therefore laws against it were horseshit.

  392. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:29

    What caused me to buy doughnuts this morning? The extreme power of my sexual drive.

  393. tigris said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:35

    I’m having a hard time deciding whether to go with a goatse joke or a “cream-filled” joke.

  394. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:41

    The extreme power of my sexual drive indicates a long-john joke.

  395. tigris said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:43

    With a quick release flap, obviously.

  396. S. cerevisiae said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:53

    “walk beside the ocean with my — sexual drive….”

  397. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 19, 2013 at 5:56

    One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the extreme power of my sexual drive.
    Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
    In each scene I noticed prints in the sand.
    Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
    Other times there was one set of cockprints.

  398. bughunter said,

    March 19, 2013 at 5:58

    As an example, I offer up my experience with my rooster.

    That story didn’t end the way I was predicting… but it did have a little pecker.

  399. bughunter said,

    March 19, 2013 at 6:08

    Oh. And I was called into my boss’ office today, to find both the IT manager and human resources waiting along with him. I was there to explain why I had installed hacking tools on a laboratory laptop. (This laptop is an aging Dell Latitude D30 with a bad serial port, a left touchpad button that works about one out of every three clicks, a missing removable DVD drive, and a crunched front left corner… it’s given to people who travel or do field testing. I took it to Egypt a year and a half ago, and use it on occasion for lab and field testing.)

    The hacking tool?

    Nethack.exe — installed so I’d have something to do on my 16 hour flight from LA to Dubai.

    No, the IT manager didn’t run it.

    Nor even google it.

    Fucking moron.

    And now he’s gonna be watching everything I do online cuz *I* “made” him reveal his moronity.

    Any suggestions of ways to fuck with him? I’d have to commit a felony to lose my job so almost anything goes.

  400. bughunter said,

    March 19, 2013 at 6:21

    Also, too: If you *must* fly coach 16 hours from LA to Dubai, Emirates is the way to go. Reserve a seat in an empty row in the back of the aft cabin on the A380, and it will very likely be all yours for the entire flight. It’s the most pleasant international coach class experience I’ve ever had.

    And the food is awesome.

  401. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 19, 2013 at 6:22

    http://www.autohotkey.com/board/topic/29224-solved-run-as-a-service-and-stay-alive-after-logging-off/

    Then you make the autohotkey script do silly things when a word is typed. Like always misspell it.

  402. Cerberus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 8:04

    It turns out I still live. And I come bearing a long awaited new post.

  403. tigris said,

    March 19, 2013 at 16:53

    Then you make the autohotkey script do silly things when a word is typed. Like always misspell it.

    public -> pubic

  404. Mooser said,

    March 19, 2013 at 21:19

    Unfortunately, no matter how corrupt and parasitic the Oscilloscope Lobby is, we must indulge their little peccadilloes. Oscilloscopes are, after all, necessary to fix vintage Hammond Organs. In my opinion, that should just about confer immunity, if not impunity upon them, bless their little CRTs.

  405. rapier said,

    March 21, 2013 at 4:15

    I recommend a Turbo Encabulator. It won’t do those things your oscilloscope won’t do either but what the hell.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac7G7xOG2Ag

  406. Mooser said,

    March 24, 2013 at 22:14

    My occilliscope does everything! Right now it’s puttin’ the moves on the Triplett 650 VTVM. I know an insinuating sine wave when I see one! Almost obscene, the way it undulates, but Ms. Triplett 650 is giggling and blushing prettily. Hussy!
    Man, tube electronics, still acting like it’s the 50′s. And it’s not just relationships, most of their circuits are heavily biased, too.

  407. John M. Burt said,

    April 1, 2013 at 22:40

    I cannot fault oscilloscopes for anything.

    They are a precious icon of science, and of science fiction, as sacred as the green eye of the radio.

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