David Thompson


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September 19, 2014



How much to tip?

Remember, though, for Gallifrey, that's going back in time, and sideways.

Feline masseurs.

With commentary


High street shops in sci-fi films.

My favourite...



I do like the idea that the Death Star has a W.H. Smith kiosk. And for reasons I don’t quite understand this made me laugh.


Tim Worstall spots the employee you’ve always wanted.


The drive-thru funeral chapel.

Couldn't they just have a website or a phone app?

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I think the Australians have a different definition of science than I do:

Australian researchers develop a new psychological test for psychological well being of dogs

Researchers from the University of Sydney have developed a scientific test that evaluates whether dogs are feeling optimistic or pessimistic. It's hoped the test might help to help scientifically assess animal welfare.
Lancastrian Oik

I saw Sun Ra and the Arkestra once; it must have been about 1990 or so, at the Royal Northern College of Music. I was quite a jazz aficionado in those days, but really unfamiliar with his oeuvre, and the only 'Ra tune I knew was courtesy of NRBQ who once covered "Rocket No. 9". I persuaded my then-girlfriend to come along, and we sat through two hours' worth of badly-executed and excruciatingly dull free jazz with no sight of the main man. It was exceedingly crap, and I speak as a man who once persevered in listening to Rahsaan Roland Kirk records. When a very elderly and clearly decrepit Sun Ra emerged, hobbling gingerly towards the piano with the aid of one of those tripod walking sticks relied upon by those in extremis, things somehow genuinely perked up. We got a few pieces of Monk-ish piano improv, which did actually sound like tunes, then the whole band launched into "Saturn" and finished with a bit of neatly executed New Orleans/Dave Bartholomew-style R&B, the title of which I never did know and which I've never heard since. Then they all shuffled off, chanting and praying, and waving joss sticks and that was it.

It was quite the oddest musical performance I've ever seen/heard. Sun Ra died a couple of years later. My girlfriend eventually agreed to marriage but has never ever forgiven me, and has refused to accompany me to gigs ever since.


My girlfriend eventually agreed to marriage but has never ever forgiven me, and has refused to accompany me to gigs ever since.

I’m not a fan of Mr Ra’s music (or his ‘lectures’ and general rambling), but you have to give the man points for his stylish accessorising.


re: Tipping

There was a case recently where a famous (?) American Sportsman tipped 20c on a $64 bill and the owner scanned the bill (including the customer name) and put it online. The restaurateur wanted to shame the customer but it backfired. For me 20c is an message - your service is c***. Much more so than not tipping at all. I'm surprised the owner couldn't see that.

Interestingly, Socialists oppose typing. George Orwell reported that tipping vanished from Barcelona when the anarchist POUM took over but came back when the communists suppressed them.


Interestingly, Socialists oppose typing.

I was tempted to fix the typo, but I sort of like it.


Interestingly, Socialists oppose typing

There is rather a bit of that going around.

Google: ISIS bans math.

Of course, of typing and labels and such, that cluster of wannabe islamacists do have their ongoing problem with the Latin alphabet. Given that Isis is a well established goddess of Egypt, the idea that any actual Muslim would have any use for or support of Isis does have its humor.

Fine, then, what if the stated name then tried for the more general Islamic State . . . ahhhh even more certainly No.

NATO against Islamic State

. . . . There may be different headline phrasing on the east side of the pond, but here on the west side, that sort of headline is clearly discussing the college and uni sports program of, oh, Northern Alabama Technical Occupational and their traditional cross state, agricultural studies program, rivals . . . . . .



Hilary Mantel publishes a short story in The Guardian...


[Mantel] talks about the “boiling detestation” she still feels for the woman she believes set back the cause of women. Thatcher was anti-feminist and a “psychological transvestite,” Mantel said… “She was not of woman born.”

And so a leftwing literary feminist wants to narrow the definition of an authentic woman, of how women are allowed to be.

[ Added: ]

This seems relevant.



The typo that shames me is "c***". No one reading that is thinking I meant "crap". Bugger!


I don't think I could eat a black burger. My mind says 'that is a dead thing'. The barbecue-looking sauce seems to have erupted from within the dark depths of the bun.


And finally, where are they now?

Well for one variation, apparently a couple of days back the Guardian noted that the answer is; Still beating the crap out of the current failures . . .

Into Darkness voted worst Star Trek film by trekkies

At this weekend's annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, the JJ Abrams sequel was voted the worst Star Trek film in the entire canon by fans. To add insult to injury, it was beaten not only by 1989's much-maligned, William Shatner-directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (which almost killed the entire movie franchise) but by sci-fi spoof Galaxy Quest, which is not in fact a Star Trek movie at all. First place went to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Emphasis added . . .


Into Darkness voted worst Star Trek film by trekkies.

I actually enjoyed Abrams’ Trek films, even Into Darkness. Yes, the plot is full of enormous holes and was seemingly written on the back of a beer mat by someone having a seizure. And yes, its riffing on Khan doesn’t really work and feels contrived. But the film still thunders along briskly and is fun. Given the choice between two hours of dumb, shiny fun and two hours of TNG’s woolly agonising and pseudo-gravitas, I’d go for option one.


Ah yes . . . . Wooly agonizing and pseudo-gravitas . . . and yes, my favorite DS9 episode was more of the same---and overall, I'd say Garak has long been one of my favorite characters . . .

Where yes, by contrast, one can indeed have a preference for full of enormous holes and written on the back of a beer mat by someone having a seizure if that's what one Reeeaaallllyyy wants . . . . . . . . .


Oh, and STTNG did provide one reminder that we've seen Minnow before . . .


My fave: Evil Spock.


My fave: Evil Spock.

Ahhh Yeeesss . . . That was fun. . . .


Didn’t we discuss the strange, often perverse moral conceits of TNG and Voyager, what dicentra called a “pernicious ideal,” not too long ago?



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