David Thompson
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December 05, 2014

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Hal

Two ladies cook shrimp, quite quickly, with a cannon.

Ah, help? We we going to have some dinner and Mom got really weird.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Physicists develop giant pasta.

I thought everybody knew spaghetti grows on trees.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Components of a city, made of paper.

Antonin Langweil's paper model of Prague

svh

Type-related matters in the film Alien.

He went full sci-fi font nerd.

David

Antonin Langweil’s paper model of Prague.

Thanks, Ted. I hadn’t seen those.


He went full sci-fi font nerd.

It’s a tad obsessive, yes, but the chap does have an eye for detail. Not unreasonably, he asks why an escape shuttle would have a device that blasts large amounts of toxic and flammable gases directly into the cockpit, where the human occupant sits. And then of course there are the drug references on the Nostromo’s self-destruct system. Things like that.

Sam

Toilet paper machine. http://youtu.be/FBgOrtonlIs

David

Toilet paper machine.

Stunning. And it’s ideal for the disabled.

Rafi

on arriving back at the ship-scuttling instructions, Ripley follows the French instructions with her finger, not the English ones from before. And this is where it all goes horribly wrong.

He wins all the nerd points.

David

He wins all the nerd points.

Glorious, isn’t it? And to think, if not for some dodgy French instructions, which omit certain important-sounding details about nuclear heads and whatnot, the legendary cooling unit might have been turned back on just in the nick of time.

sk60

And then of course there are the drug references on the Nostromo’s self-destruct system.

I can't believe I missed that. I've only watched it four times.

JL

And to think, if not for some dodgy French instructions, which omit certain important-sounding details about nuclear heads and whatnot, the legendary cooling unit might have been turned back on just in the nick of time.

Are we confusing our Alien episodes?

David

Are we confusing our Alien episodes?

It refers to this scene, from the first film, in which Ripley’s day is getting a tad stressful.

Theophrastus

Incidentally, Deborah Orr is feeling conflicted. Again.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/05/bill-cosby-made-me-confront-my-do-gooder-racism

David

Deborah Orr is feeling conflicted. Again.

Julia emailed that this morning. I can’t help wondering whether a psychiatrist should be involved. I mean, if you’re determined to think of people primarily in terms of categories, as Ms Orr apparently is, errors will accumulate. And preposterous fretting.

But I’ve promised myself a weekend free of Guardianista agonising. There’s Christmas stuff to do.

Darleen

Vaginas! What can't they do for the Art world? Now with more practicality.

http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/pop-star-pays-charge-his-phone-womans-vagina

David

“The woman wanted to show how humans have become dependent on technology and she felt a super-charged vagina would help make her point.”

Ah, she’s teaching us. Being so wise.

dicentra

I'm ashamed of you, David: Darleen beat you to the punch on that one.

Quoth Orr: Clearly I see black celebrities as under a greater obligation to be exemplars — and that’s wrong, because it suggests black failings are more serious than white ones

More serious? No, just more problematic because race-obsessed freaks like you keep dredging up cobwebbed narratives from the Old South about black men's alleged obsession with raping those pure white women.

(An obsession that EVERYONE knew was true, hence the lynchings, because all a black man could do was deny that he was hoping to rape him a white woman, but that never cleared anyone of suspicion. Just like the fact that today, EVERYONE knows that conservatives hate them some black folks, and there's no defense against that, either.)

I see Cosby's sexual assaults (assuming they're true) as a fame problem, not a race problem. He'd have behaved thusly because in Hollywood the rules don't apply anymore, and given that he was carousing with Hefner, it's not hard to see how a man could figure that all the women were fair game.

Orr's kind of public self-flagellation must feel awfully good, though, or it wouldn't show up all. the damned. time.

dicentra

Moar Orr: Fewer excuses and greater aspiration – that’s [Cosby's] message. African-Americans should be rising above all that. If they don’t, they’ve only got themselves to blame.

Yet all over the world, people who find it hard to rise above far less inauspicious circumstances can be found. Cosby essentially sets African-Americans apart from other disadvantaged groups, and demands self-conscious exceptionality from them. It’s a large-scale version of what I do, when I shake my head, all sad, that Cosby has let black people down.

Sweety darling.

Cosby is a man who through his own hard work made it to the top DESPITE much worse racism than anyone in the U.S. faces today. He was one of the PIONEERS. He cleared a path for thousands more blacks to rise in society by depicting blacks as regular people, not as "step and fetchits" or as ignorant comic relief. "If you want what I have, you've gotta do what I did," is perfectly sound advice.

In the U.S., that is. I'm pretty clear on the fact that it's impossible for an Untouchable to rise to the top in India through hard work. Furthermore, you folks across the pond still haven't let go of your class consciousness, as many of my fellow Americans can testify: Yanks chat up waitresses and "the help" on your little isle and get reprimanded by the natives for being "too familiar."

Whereas over here we think nothing of befriending the lady who cleans our office buildings if for no other reason than to keep our Spanish fresh. We're not ashamed of "menial" labor. The Latinos who come up here are pleasantly surprised by our utter LACK of class consciousness (which they also have).

In the United States, there's no good reason for able-bodied people to spend generations and generations on welfare (whether in the "hood" or Appalachia). In their cases, it's not "the system" but behavioral pathologies that keep them down — domestic abuse, broken families, substance abuse, dropping out of school — all of which render people incapable of functioning in a productive manner in our system, regardless of race. Most of our welfare recipients are white, after all. You just don't see them because they're spread out in rural areas and suburban trailer parks, whereas the blacks are warehoused in urban "projects."

Cosby's message is correct, even if his private behavior was reprehensible. You, however, are pathetic, privileged, and petty.

Go haul water for an African village for about a year, then get back to us on anything related to real life.

David

I’m ashamed of you, David: Darleen beat you to the punch on that one.

I’m mortified, obviously. Though in my defence, I was hoping to take the weekend off.

JerryC

So, can one really recharge one's mobile phone by placing the charger in a woman's vagina? Is this a real thing? Do we need the Mythbusters to investigate this?

ac1

http://www.thepoke.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/EYXfx.jpg

dicentra

I really like the grassy knoll and the cat fort, BTW. Something about cats in the snow…

Jeff Guinn

Hi. I'm Jeff. I haven't seen even a second of any part of the Alien franchise.

[hangs head in shame]

David

Hi. I’m Jeff. I haven’t seen even a second of any part of the Alien franchise.

Quickly, bring firewood and pitchforks. We must chase him from the village.

Hal

Quickly, bring firewood and pitchforks. We must chase him from the village.

Nah. Just give him an egg. A big leathery looking one. Tell 'im it's really valuable and an entire extremely large and successful corporation will pay millions of dollars for it, and he needs to keep a close eye on the top of the egg. Keep a very close eye on the top of the egg, face positioned centrally just over the top of the egg . . . . . . . . . . .

---Yeah, when Aliens came out, I was extremely amused to note that the corporate staff were all chain smokers and completely accurately costumed as yuppys, as the hipsters of the day were then called . . . .

David

Nah. Just give him an egg. A big leathery looking one.

I saw Alien again not too long ago and I’d forgotten how good Veronica Cartwright’s performance is. There’s one particular scene, which I can’t find online, where just her expression is gripping.

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