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August 26, 2016

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Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Fun with grammar.

"On the sentence"?

And technically, isn't it syntax and not grammar?

(I know, I know. No refunds; credit note only.)

ftumch

Summon the henchlesbians Ted's getting all uppity!

https://twitter.com/swear_trek/status/768835349447606272

TimT

The longest word in English, indirectly via this.

Fred the Fourth

The caterpillars marching in a circle, nose-to-tail, for a week, somehow reminds me of contemporary Higher Education.

Chester Draws

The longest word in English, indirectly via this.

It's not English.

How do we know? Well, that's also what it is called in every other language in the world too. It's no more a word that a long computer program printed out makes a "book".

I once worked in a patent office, and "words" like this were commonplace. It wasn't even remotely unusual to have a "word" take five or six lines of text. Worse, I often could work out the actual formula from a "word" that long, I got so used to them. It's a very specialised skill, and not much in demand.

The really bizarre thing about the chemical patents was not the long chemical names, it was the sentence lengths. There used to be a guideline that every claim in a US patent should only be one sentence. Once when "reading" a patent (probably about some surfactant) I though to myself -- "Chester, when did you last see a full stop?". A bit of checking revealed that the sentence was 52 pages of text long.

[+]

Well, it’s one way to do it, I suppose.

A lot of set-up to not much effect.

David

A lot of set-up to not much effect.

Absolutely. It’s the latest in a series of art that wasn’t worth making. I suppose it’s what happens when you’re desperate to think of another novelty, another angle, another excuse for self-flattering verbiage, but you don’t have much actual, you know, talent. Unlike the people who designed the robots.

And if you want to an “intersection” of art, performance and robotics, others have done it much better.

David

Arthur C Clarke reads extracts from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It’s funny how the word ‘space’, as used above, really dates science fiction, rather like how in Star Trek the crew refers to “space dock,” rather than just “dock” or “dry dock.”

It’s a bit like referring to the ship’s décor and furnishings as “space carpet” and “space curtains.”

witwoud

There's something rather comforting about that airship crash.

'Nobody was hurt, but one passenger spilled champagne on his trousers.'

Jonathan

I'm glad to see the New York Times acknowledging Harambes influence on all our lives.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Airlander, or per Iowahawk, Kardashian One.

dearieme

"reminds me of contemporary Higher Education": contemporary with what, Fred?

R. Sherman

The Starbucks van in the "sliding doors" link perfectly expresses my feelings about Starbucks coffee. Burned beans and overpriced.

Alice

Hippo table of note.

Don't know if it's art but I do like it.

Alice

Well, it’s one way to do it, I suppose.

If the robot is more interesting than the painting you're doing something wrong.

jabrwok

we see a huge hornet nest atop a statue that has a striking resemblance to a turban.

I'm not seeing it. That statue doesn't look anything like a turban.

R. Sherman

@Jabrwok

*golf clap*

jabrwok

@R. Sherman: Thank'ee kindly good sir:-).

Moving on, I wonder if this woman would qualify for a Performing Arts grant?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3759302/Woman-releases-tub-live-crickets-worms-New-York-subway.html

David

If the robot is more interesting than the painting you’re doing something wrong.

“Yes, Mr Ilić, the robot arm that you hired – which was designed and built by people who aren’t you - is very impressive. But even after grafting on all this robotic drama, your painting still looks like shockingly inept window cleaning.”

R. Sherman

But even after grafting on all this robotic drama, your painting still looks like shockingly inept window cleaning.

So much of modern art commentary--usually provided by the "artists" themselves--seems to devolve into those sort of pretentious reviews of wine: "A flirtatious, yet innocent bouquet which invokes memories of a summer in Tuscany combined with sweaty jock-straps. Dry as a summer in Dafur during the recent sectarian strife. Ten quid at Tesco."

Fred the Fourth

The Airlander idea has been around for a long time. Check out the article by John McPhee "The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed" which must be from the 70s. Smaller, but with the "sometimes crashes" feature in common.
Btw I unreservedly recommend anything by McPhee. In light of recent event in Louisiana, let me suggest his "Atchafalaya".
And to think he used to write for the New Yorker...

PiperPaul


Sorry about the (image) size.

Spiny Norman

In 120 years, sprinters have gotten faster.

Equipment has palyed a part in that. Here's an interesting comparison between Jesse Owens' 1936 100 meters in Berlin and a modern sprinter (Canada's bronze medalist Andre De Grasse). Owens' 10.3 looks even more impressive in retrospect.

David

Nobody was hurt, but one passenger spilled champagne on his trousers.

Oh, the humanity.

Spiny Norman

**played a part**

For a moment, I thought that sprinter comparison link had already been posted here (maybe it was, but I can't find it). Anyway, in De Grasse's defense, the track he was running on was not that good, compared to the cinder tracks that were used in Owens' day. It looks like the red clay track we had at my high school back in the 1970s.

Joan

What media bias?

https://youtu.be/Ra8NA3gb_lI

David

What media bias?

Heh.

Sporkatus

Starring The Computer does appear to need a great deal of development to reach the lofty archival heights of the Internet Movie Firearms Database or the Internet Movie Firearms Database. Both are excellent in their topics of choice.

Sporkatus

Sorry, meant "Movie Cars Database".

Fred the Fourth

What media bias

Shorter Joel Stein: "I wrote it that way because I'm too lazy to look beyond the squeakiest wheel."
That is almost literally what he says in the interview.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JRVBBBvQBLE/Udy4dwT483I/AAAAAAAAAFo/UsK4UojkRi0/s640/journalismorwell.jpg

Hedgehog

I wrote it that way because I'm too lazy to look beyond the squeakiest wheel.

That's his excuse. He wrote it that way because he doesn't think that there's anything wrong with calling Sarah Palin a cunt, but God forbid somebody dare call a feminist a bitch.

TimT

I once worked in a patent office, and "words" like this were commonplace. It wasn't even remotely unusual to have a "word" take five or six lines of text. Worse, I often could work out the actual formula from a "word" that long, I got so used to them. It's a very specialised skill, and not much in demand.

Love it. Incidentally, the video in the second link with the live reading of the word in question seems to be heavily accented, as if the guy is - I dunno, Russian? In English it would surely be pronounced rather differently.

An early entry in the longest word competition. Some day I will memorise it all and then put it on my CV; the employers will be throwing themselves at my feet.... :p

Fred the Fourth

Hedgehog, of course you are right.
It's like the operating principle of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation: The thrill you get from overcoming the superficial design defects completely blinds you to the fundamental design defects.
I was surprised that Stein was unable to come up with a plausible rationale, especially since he knew going in that Milo was going to dig at him. So I was blinded by his admission of laziness and poor journalism, and forgot his fundamental motivation.

Turk Turkleton

Like fat crabs in a bucket. In the world of competitive fat victimhood, having any redeeming features — like, say, being "conventionally pretty", or merely being Rubenesque as compared to Jabbaesque — can and will be used against you when convenient.

Fred the Fourth

Re: McPhee, I like
-The Curve Of Binding Energy (how to build your own A-bomb: interviews with Ted Taylor, a principle fission bomb designer for the US DoE)
-The Control of Nature (3 essays: Atchafalaya (Mississippi River floods), Cooling the Lava (the saving of Heimaey in Iceland), and something about fires and mudslides in S. California)
-Rising From the Plains (The Wyoming one of his geology series. Others include In Suspect Terrain, Basin and Range, and Assembling California)
- A Sense Of Where You Are (interviews with Senator Bill Bradley, former NBA player)
- The Crofter and the Laird (Scotland)
All should be available separately or in collections.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Read the reviews.

Fred the Fourth

and to tie that blatant plug back into the conversation, in "Cooling The Lava" we learn the Icelandic phrase for what a guy does when he's working on the still-hot lava but has had one too many cups of coffee: Pissa a hraunid.
Also used by the scoffers to describe the whole lava-stopping effort.

Hedgehog

Fred the Fourth: The thrill you get from overcoming the superficial design defects completely blinds you to the fundamental design defects.

I like that. It sounds a bit like what goes on where I work.

Jonathan

What media bias?

" They get more upset."

With the unspoken implication that conservative women should just suck it up.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Meanwhile in Canada, speaking of things that fly, yet another SJW moonbat, a PhD candidate in political "science", you will be shocked to learn, wants to ban annual airshow.

Welcoming refugees into our communities implies a responsibility to provide a safe environment for rehabilitation and integration. Yet next week thousands of our neighbours will be exposed to trauma in a spectacle most of us would do away with in the first place.

Aside from the dubious contention that an airshow, part of which is a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the flight training plan that helped end WWII, is "trauma", I am sure he took a vote.

I have yet to encounter a neighbour with an even remotely positive opinion of warplanes making low altitude passes for days on end.

I would wager this is like the Pauline Kael quote about not knowing anyone on the Upper West Side who voted for Nixon. "Days on end" = 3. The area of the airshow is over Lake Ontario. The only part of the city that gets over flown is the - wait for it - approach to runways 33L&R at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, so I doubt this is going to be particularly louder than any other day.

In a city with a large population of refugee newcomers and people who have experienced the trauma of war it is insulting, invasive, and violent...We accept the importance of trigger warnings to help fellow citizens avoid potential harm.

"Take up the white man's burden...", because all the brownish "refugees" are delicate things who need your beneficent guiding hand.

Integration is a dynamic process whereby newcomers and societies learn, adapt, and grow together. Host societies aren’t expected to fundamentally change to serve a minority group.

So why can't this lot learn and adapt to an airshow which, if the actual majority of Torontonians didn't want, wouldn't happen ?

Of course that would ruin his moral preening, so we must just Ban All The Things.

Tim Newman

In a city with a large population of refugee newcomers and people who have experienced the trauma of war it is insulting, invasive, and violent...

If that's his concern he should look to ban Toyota pickups and aviator shades rather than air shows. I don't think this clot knows what wars in the developing world look like.

Hedgehog

Host societies aren’t expected to fundamentally change to serve a minority group.

That's the obligatory and utterly meaningless disclaimer that SJWs append to every one of their statements to lull the citizenry into believing that the changes to society they are contemplating and advocating won't make the society materially different. Meanwhile we have creeping sharia all over the developed world, we have no-go zones in many Western cities, we have women, even non-Moslem, who wear the hijab to avoid being assaulted in some parts of these cities, we have honor killings, rape gangs, and on and on. But don't worry, for you rubes out there, host societies aren’t expected to fundamentally change to serve a minority group®.

Thank God Germany is confronting the problem head-on. Although I think Texas's approach may be superior.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

If that's his concern he should look to ban Toyota pickups and aviator shades rather than air shows.

Don't forget the Camrys, the VBIED vehicle of choice.

I don't think this clot knows what wars in the developing world look like.

I doubt he knows anything even vaguely about any kind of war, according to the list of performers, unless they have something else in the surprise acts, the only planes there that are actually capable of dropping bombs or firing any other kind of ordnance are the F-18s. Not that a Beech 18 in WWII Canadian colors and a Bellanca towing a Schweitzer glider aren't violent, or traumatic, or both. I forget which.

Glorification of the tools of war is antiquated, regressive, and morally repugnant. It’s something we deride in other countries, and is contrary to everything good about Toronto.

Canada's icons of the air, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will perform their dazzling display of high-speed, formation aerobatics. The team's amazing aerial artistry will leave you glowing with patriotic pride!

Patriotic pride ? Mustn't have that antiquated, regressive, and morally repugnant nonsense, xe said with a sneer and a spit.

PiperPaul

"Host societies aren’t expected to fundamentally change to serve a minority group."

I wonder how the whole transgender bathroom hysteria from a couple months back fits into this?

PiperPaul

"Glorification of the tools of war is antiquated, regressive, and morally repugnant."

Sounds like boilerplate agitprop straight out of a Soviet-era handbook for war protesting speeches in the west.

Hedgehog

Mustn't have that antiquated, regressive, and morally repugnant nonsense

Yep.

Spiny Norman

Has that sniveling twerp Craig Damian Smith ever spoken to an actual "refugee", ever? Or is this just another special snowflake projecting xer own neuroses onto others?

Spiny Norman

Mark Steyn once quipped that the Lumberjack Song accurately described the evolution of Canadian society since the end of the Second World War.

Fred the Fourth

Don't get me wrong, I am a military son and I associated with Marine, Navy, and NASA pilots all my life. But.

I recall watching some of the practice for the airshow at Moffett Naval Air Station (Mountain View, CA) back in about '84. The Navy Blue Angels were there, in those days flying A-4s. As it happened my house was right under the approach to Moffett, and I got on the roof to watch. For some of the runs, an A-4 would make a 45 degree descent, then level off for a fast low pass over the runway. They actually seemed to be using my house as the aim point for the descents. It was a very VERY intense experience to see and hear them screaming down right at me at 300kts.
I remarked to my girlfriend that I hoped there weren't any Vietnamese watching in the area because of the flashback-inducing quality of the experience. (Silicon Valley has enough Vietnamese that San Jose has its own "Little Saigon" district.)

I am on the side of those who say that seeing and appreciating the qualities of our military is a Good Thing, and is part of immigrants assimilating to the culture, which is also a Good Thing.

The Canadian Snowbirds are excellent. Not as noisy or panic-inducing as the T-birds or Blue Angels, but their routines are a demo of truly amazing piloting skill and teamwork. Worth a Trip, as the travel guides say.

David

Lovely people.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Fred,

The sort of thing you witnessed at Moffett just isn't happening at Toronto:

The CIAS takes place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada over Lake Ontario and is best viewed at the southwest waterfront grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)...

To get to Lake Ontario, they fly south east on the same departures and approaches as commercial aircraft. The area of the airshow is over by Billy Bishop TCA.

The Canadian International Air Show complies with all regulations, including those published by Transport Canada relating to noise...Aircraft flying over the city follow all regulations issued by Nav Canada and are under the control of the CIAS Air Boss. Each flight is instructed as to the direction and height that it may fly according to federal aviation regulations. Aircraft taking off from, or en-route to, Pearson International Airport are under the control of Nav Canada flight controllers located at Pearson. The CIAS works with its support agencies closely to ensure safety is paramount and that any noise is minimized.

So all the sporty flying is out over the water, and the twit with his knickers in a knot is carrying on about something about which he is abjectly ignorant, and, to no one's surprise, failed to research.

Not as noisy or panic-inducing as the T-birds or Blue Angels... Well, they are Canadians, so they are nicer...

Geezer

Ruben really likes his job.

In 1965, I had a summer job operating non-self-leveling elevators. Somewhere in my vast archive is an Elevator Operator's License.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

More idiocy from Mizzou, unisex bathrooms renamed because the name isn't inclusive enough.

The change is apparently meant to accommodate student complaints that the “unisex” label, intended to encompass everybody, is actually exclusionary and hurtful.

Anyone "hurt" by the name on a bathroom needs a canvas camisole with wraparound sleeves, and to be made a ward of the state, for example one Stuart Waldman.

“Unisex is just such an uncomfortable and outdated word,” MU student Sterling Waldman told the Columbia Missourian. The word, Waldman said, excludes people who identify as neither male nor female. Waldman serves as the social justice chair in MU’s student senate,

Of course he is.

Henceforth, restrooms intended for use by both men and women will simply be labeled “toilet.”

Annnnnnnnnnnnd we come full circle. No doubt it took a committee, focus groups, and polls to come up with the same idea ever one hole gas station in the country has had since they invented indoor plumbing.

According to MU spokesman Nathan Hurst, it will cost at least $11,600 to change relevant signs for all 28 unisex restrooms on campus...The school currently doesn’t have the money to do that, thanks to budget cuts that have accompanied a major drop in enrollment this school year.

If only there was something that could have been learned from the prior episode.

R. Sherman

I remarked to my girlfriend that I hoped there weren't any Vietnamese watching in the area because of the flashback-inducing quality of the experience.

As it happens the other day I was attending a high school soccer game and sat next to the parents of two of my kid's teammates, both of whom did the whole "boat people" thing. The father never ceases telling people what a great country the U.S.A. is. BTW, he took the family to California for a short vacation and visit relatives. Two stops: Disneyland and the Reagan Library.

Joan

Lovely people.

So once these scumbags have had a shit in someone's garden will capitalism fall?

Spiny Norman

Of course it will, Joan. It's always worked before.

>_<

David

So once these scumbags have had a shit in someone’s garden will capitalism fall?

It’s as good as any plan they’ve ever come up with. And curiously, their plans always seem to entail vandalism, squalor, thuggery and acts of colossal wankerdom. I can’t help feeling that tells us something.

Spiny Norman

Tells us something? Heh.

What it tells me is that they're over-indulged overgrown adolescents behaving as toddlers throwing tantrums. They are doing so because, I'd wager, throwing tantrums has gotten them what they wanted all their lives.

R. Sherman

Regarding our class "warriors," its simply a fashion statement. If it were otherwise, they'd be booking one-way flights to Venezuela forthwith. Though I suppose someone should let them know that in Caracas, the hunger strikes aren't ironic or voluntary.

Fred the Fourth

R.Sherman: Hence my remarks about Good Things.
Farnsworth: I'm happy to hear about the ATC measures for the show. I watched a lot of airshows over the Silicon Valley and San Francisco areas, and I was always made a bit nervous by the flight paths. Bad things can happen - somewhere I've got a photo showing five long black scars in the Nevada desert, in perfect echelon formation, showing where the entire show team followed their leader into the ground (during practice, thank god).
My old man did a lot of aviation accident flight research, so I've been exposed to more than a fair share of this stuff. Also, there was a midair collision between a Navy P-3 and a NASA CV-990 on approach to Moffett in about '72, both planes' debris ending up on the 12th green of the Sunnyvale golf course. He usually commanded NASA missions in that CV-990, but that day was testing some noise-abatement procedures in a United DC-8 at SFO.
I guess I'm just a bit more nervous about aviation risks than most folks.

R. Sherman

Fred,

My dad was an E.E. for McDonnell-Douglas and did internal navigation for the Mercury and Gemini missions. He also did a lot of work on A4s, F4s and F15s before he retired. As a kid, I always looked through his Aviation Week & Space Technology magazines before he got home.

jabrwok

throwing tantrums has gotten them what they wanted all their lives

If only they'd encountered Sheriff Taylor at some point.

David

So once these scumbags have had a shit in someone’s garden will capitalism fall?

I’ve only had one first-hand exchange with a professed member of Class War. It didn’t reveal evidence of a nimble mind. But then we’re talking about a self-styled “working class action group” that’s basically a few dozen borderline personalities looking for a pretext to wear balaclavas and indulge in a spot of thuggery – say, by waging a “decisive battle against gentrification” by smashing the windows of an estate agent.

Given their stated goals and revolutionary bluster, their actions have zero effect beyond disgusting the very people in whose name they claim to “struggle.” But if you think of it as a fig leaf for narcissism, psychodrama, and outright sociopathy, it makes a little more sense. There will always be some excuse to smash someone’s windows or shit in someone’s garden.

And it’s the kind of “movement” that attracts clowns like self-styled “rebel ethnographer” Dr Lisa Mckenzie, whose strange mental adventures have previously entertained us.

Jonathan

Bad things have happened at airshows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opzbgC_9z_8

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Bad things have happened at airshows:

Bad thing have happened at auto races. In both instances that is why spectator control and safety measures, e.g., such things as carefully designated flight paths and crash fencing, keep improving.

Spiny Norman

Bad things have happened at airshows:

Bad thing have happened at auto races.

And at air races.

I met Jimmy Leeward back in 1991. At that time, the "VIP seating" where he crashed was off-limits when aircraft were under way. It was the "run-up" area where they warmed up their engines before taking off.

Sonny Wayze

I'm certain this is a parody:

http://mascupathy.org/what-is-mascupathy/

I mean, it must be, right? Right?

Fred the Fourth

Sonny: Apparently not.
Though it does, perhaps inadvertently, serve as a trove of comedy material, e.g. this description of news anchor Brian Williams:
He’s the smart-aleck kid, with a little of the bully in him, who gets the prettiest girl. He’s cool but probably thinks he’s cooler than he really is,

Fred the Fourth

And:
Keillor and Stewart are like your ministers: for years you sat in the same pew, and time after time you listened with real attentiveness, sometimes laughing, other times jolted into self-examination. But, like holy men, these guys have been guides to your spiritual life: you, all of us, have been chastened and purified by their speaking the truth.
I think these Mascupathy guys live some place, some how, where they think these folks warrant this admiration. We need a term for it, right?
They are Bubble Boys.

Fred the Fourth

The basic problem with the Mascupathy guys is simple. They do not have any relatives or close acquaintances who are
- plumbers
- construction workers
- urban cops
- sergeants
- bus drivers
- UPS drivers
- longshoremen
- power plant engineers
- Mike Rowe
etc.
In their world, all that dirty, heavy, dangerous stuff isn't really there. All the nice stuff they depend on every day, like the 110 volts in the wall and the clean water at the tap, is just there, like air.
They live in fantasy land.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Virtually all men struggle to some degree with mascupathy — a pathology of masculinity...

If one wants to coin a pseudo-scientific neologism that is a mash-up of Latin and Greek, that should be "masculopathy".

We need a term for it, right?

I think "Snake Oil Salesmen" might work. I doubt Donaldson got, "his two homes on Beaver Island and in Petoskey, Michigan both of which overlook the shores of Lake Michigan and provide ideal settings for reflection and writing," from teaching English.

dicentra

The march of the processionary caterpillars reminds me of the passage in Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, (my favorite book, since you asked, wherein:

[S]he recounts an experiment by the 19th century French entomologist J. Henri Fabre. Working with pine processionary caterpillars, who travel through forests in single file, led by a silken marker laid out by the leader, Fabre lured them onto the rim of a large vase, where they marched around in a circle. Fabre wanted to see if they would realize they were trapped in useless motion, and do something to change their path. But, to his amazement and horror, the caterpillars continued marching in the same circle for over a week, unable or unwilling to change their course despite lack of food, the heat of day and the cold of night. Dillard contemplates this "blindered and blinkered enslavement to instinct." Fabre calls it the "abysmal stupidity of insects" who "lack the rudimentary glimmers of reason" that would lead them to abandon a futile effort.
I'm quoting the linked blog post, not Dillard herself.

It's a great book. If you haven't read it, go and do. It's about the Wonder and Horror of the natural world, a brilliant offshoot of Thoreau's Walden without the 19th-century certainty. I have run into few writers who can match Dillard's gift for word choice and imagery.

If nothing else, read the chapter on "Intricacy." It will blow your MIND.

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